Without question, the gut is very much like a second brain in the body. What is happening in the gut, is representative of your overall health. As an expert on whole-food nutrition, countless community members come to be asking about “detox” and digestion.
In my courses and eBooks, I cover in depth the workings of our digestive system, common allergens to avoid like (some) nuts, gluten and dairy as well as the healthy-whole foods to incorporate to begin cleansing on a cellular level.
If you currently suffer from bloating, migraines, inconsistent bowel movements or smelly gas, addressing your digestive system may very well help you address which foods have been sabotaging your progress and weight loss. When you start with digestion, you begin to uncover hidden food allergies and can often times finally kick stubborn cravings for unhealthy foods and toxic sugar. In my practice, I work with state of the art labs across the country to help my clients discover hidden food sensitivities, and get a clear look at their hormones levels – because if you don’t know, hormone health is directly tied to digestive health.
In this post, I wanted to address a few easy ways to improve your digestive imbalance, while boosting your ability to assimilate and utilize nutrients from your food. I tell my clients all the time that its not only important to eat healthy food, your body needs to be able to use it! If you have a clogged gut or unhealthy digestive system, it’s time to get started. Below are a few tips to quickly apply to your everyday routine:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar to balance stomach acid: There are many medicinal uses for apple cider vinegar, but for this post I want to highlight its ability to balance stomach acid. When it comes to stomach acids, a body overly acidic will develop an impaired immune system, attack its own cells, age rapidly, experience various metabolic and weight imbalances, develop new allergies, ineffectively absorbs nutrients, have trouble flushing out everyday toxins as well as properly regulate minerals. For those with stomach acid issues, you may know how easy it can be to become dependent upon antacids. Ironically, antacids cause the body to produce more stomach acid over time yet medicinal apple cider vinegar works to actually re-balance your stomach acid. The next time you have indigestion problems, give this a try: 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar (washed down with a glass of lemon water). Apple cider is so effective that any stomach pain or deep belly churning usually resolves within minutes. The only exception to this would be if your stomach issues are related to ulcers. P.S. I highly recommend Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar in glass bottles.
2. Coconut Oil for Digestion: Aside from boosting metabolism, aiding in thyroid imbalance symptoms and boosting your immune function, coconut oil is tremendous for your digestive health too. If you suffer from bloat, and even if you don’t – try adding 1-2 tbps coconut oil to your diet daily. I like to eat coconut oil right from the spoon, but that’s not for everyone 😉 You can add coconut oil to smoothies, teas, as well as dressings. Medicinal coconut oil benefits digestive disorders like IBS as well as the entire digestive system. The healthy medium chained fatty acids in coconut oil are anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial which have a soothing affect on tummy bacteria, yeast/candida, or any parasites (yikes) that may be at the root source of your digestive issues.
3. Probiotics for Good Health: By now you have likely heard of probiotics, and if you haven’t yet, probiotics are healthy bacteria that support your immune and gut health. A quality, wide-range probiotic will help to balance the effects of antibiotics, by preserving the good bacteria in your gut and thus boosting your immune function and preventing the common antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Certain strains of probiotics also help to balance the pH of women’s urinary and vaginal tracts to prevent bacteria and yeast overgrowth and are tremendously beneficial in reducing IBS symptoms, gas and bloating. A quality probiotic is a great addition to any healthy diet and lifetsyle.
4. Understanding Phytates (Phytic Acid): Phytates can be confusing and if you have digestive or hormone imbalance, this is an important nutrient (and anti-nutrient) to read up about. Foods like grains, beans and nuts store phosphorus as phytic acid, as do a wide-range of plant based foods that we would otherwise consider very healthy. Despite what you may have heard, phytates actually fight some chronic disease including cancer, kidney stones, cardiovascular disease and much more- but they can also bind to minerals in the digestive tract, creating mineral deficiency. To navigate the world of phytates and avoid the anti-nutrient effects of phytic acid in these healthy foods, while still getting the benefits of a plant powered diet try soaking, sprouting, cooking or even fermenting phytate rich plant foods. This translates to soaking and/or sprouting grains, nuts and beans before eating them. Adding a healthy acid like vinegar to grains and beans during the cooking process also helps to further enhance mineral absorption and offset phytic acid content.
I have been a successful Health Coach helping my growing community many years now, and while I whole-heartedly believe in the occasional clean-up to reboot the system, I see a fad happening in the world of “detox”. People doing boxed detoxes only to fall back to their old habits. In a way, do you agree that the word “detox” has almost become the new word for “diet”? A sort of ‘healthy on the outside’ word for an unstable relationship with food. My goal as a coach is to help women (and men) balance their Glow, Flow and Hormones with food in a way that is healthy and sustainable.
To help redefine “detox” and give our bodies the delicious and whole food experience it is desperately craving, I created my (FREE) Balanced Detox 11-day seasonal challenge. Countless community members have taken on the challenge and participated in my signature “food detoxes” sharing how simple, clean, and delicious they were and how the experience IGNITED an entirely new way of thinking about food. These seasonal challenges will be available to you for FREE and our next challenge starts this Fall. If you are looking to jumpstart into clean eating habits sign up HERE. During each Balanced Detox challenge we explore safe and delicious ways to clean up your diet, and how to adapt to a grain-free, gluten-free, and/or a dairy-free lifestyle. Wellness should taste delicious.
If you enjoyed this post or are excited about my upcoming 11-Day Balanced Detox challenges , please leave a comment below, share or tweet it out to the world right HERE.