Fix Your Gut
BY: Rodolfo Desuasido • Feb 21, 2020
You have heard it said that all our illness comes from the gut. When you lack energy, when you have trouble sleeping, when you have mood swings, when you are having symptoms of an autoimmune disease, or you are having type 2 diabetes, or have digestive issues like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, bloated stomach, constant belching of gas—you must begin to suspect that your gut system is failing.
The gut system
The small intestine has three parts. First is the duodenum—where the chyme (digested food from the stomach) enters and where it is further broken down by digestive enzymes into materials that can be absorbed in the bloodstream. From the duodenum, the digested food goes into the second part of the small intestine. This is called the jejunum—where the nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. What is left of the food then goes to the third part. This is called the ileum—where further absorption of vitamins A, B, D, E, and K takes place. From the ileum, the leftover materials go to the large intestine where the undigested materials are drained of liquids and become the stools that are eventually excreted through the rectum.
Trouble starts here
The trouble in the gut system starts when you take in foods that are not well chewed. When you swallow improperly chewed food, chances are it will not be digested at all by the body. It will only be lodged in the gut where it will putrefy and produce a lot of acids and toxins—resulting in serious illnesses.
Digestion actually starts in the mouth. When you eat carbohydrates or starches, make sure that you chew them well because these substances are very hard to digest. There is only one enzyme that can start the digestion process of starch or carb. That enzyme is called ptyalin—and produced only by saliva. When you chew carb or starch well, your saliva will produce ptyalin. This enzyme will split the carb or starch in your mouth. The starch must be split first in the mouth before another enzyme in the stomach can act on it. Otherwise, the food will not be digested.
Bad food combinations
This problem is made even worse when you take incompatible foods or a bad combination of foods. For example, bread and meat, or starch and protein, are bad food combinations. A starch requires an alkaline condition in the stomach to be digested. A protein requires an acid condition (production of hydrochloric acid) to be digested. When you combine starch and protein, the stomach will be confused as to what kind of condition to create. Chances are it will create neither, and the food will not be digested. A lot of people keep eating in fast food restaurants. Fast foods are notorious for bad food combinations.
The large intestine or colon suffers most when foods are not properly digested. The colon is the receptacle of all undigested food. Too much-undigested food clogs the colon, resulting in constipation. When constipation becomes chronic, it leads to the development of cancer cells and, thus, to colon cancer.
Natural ways to fix the gut
So, whether one is in keto, paleo, or any other types of diet, there are several, natural ways to keep the gut in good condition. They include the following:
- Chew your food thoroughly. This needs no further elaboration. We can just mention here the testimony of Dr. Josh Jordan (YouTube website of Dr. Axe). He said that at age 19, he weighed only 104 pounds and was in a wheelchair because of digestive issues—Crohn’s disease, Crohn’s colitis, and viral and fungal infections. He visited 69 doctors to find answers to his condition but found none. Remembering the experience of Horace Fletcher about chewing food to get healthy, he started chewing his food thoroughly. In 40 days, he said, most of the digestive issues that bothered him were gone.
- Observe mono meal. Eat only one kind of food at a time. This is easier for digestion because the digestive system does not have to be confused about producing the appropriate and specific digestive enzyme. This also prevents you from eating a bad combination of food.
- Take fermented foods regularly. Fermented foods contain nutrients that are easily absorbed by the body. Sauerkraut or fermented cabbage is a popular fermented food among food chefs worldwide. In the Philippines, fermented foods also abound, such as the buro in the province of Pampanga. Fermented rice wine (known as tapuy) from the Cordilleras is also a fine drink for the gut, provided you drink it moderately. Miso, wasabi, and apple cider vinegar are also good for the gut.
- Keep yourself hydrated. This is to keep your stools soft and help your colon in doing peristalsis (the movement of bowels toward the rectum).
- Take plenty of fiber. Eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables and fruits. As much as possible, always eat them raw to make sure that you are taking the vital nutrients. Blueberries are perfect for the gut. Further, eat fruits on empty stomach for quicker absorption of nutrients and for an easier elimination of toxins from your body. Vegetables and fruits are not only rich in fiber, they also contain high amounts of water that is very important in intra-cellular hydration, not just water that clogs your cells. As the saying goes, “Eat your water” for good health.
- Do some bouncing exercises. This is good for peristalsis. Best way to do this is to stand on a trampoline and make slight bouncing movements. You don’t have to jump if you can’t.
- Finally, eat only a little food each time. This makes sure that you can chew well all the food that you take, and since the food is little, it is easier for your body to digest and absorb it. Don’t worry about getting weak because of little food intake. It will actually make you more energetic because your body will conserve the enormous energy that it spends digesting the big amount of food that you usually take. Dr. William Howard Hay in his book, Health Via Food, said he was able to cure his dilated heart and hypertension, which accompanied his Bright’s Disease (a kind of kidney disease characterized by great loss of protein through the urine) by reducing his food intake to one meal a day and eating only very little amount of vegetable every night. Once it becomes a habit to eat only very little each time, your body will become efficient in processing the food you take, and in absorbing the food nutrients. Your body will become leaner and healthier—resulting in longer, quality life.
If you are healthy, you will feel it in your gut. Therefore, always keep your gut fixed.