Eat Your Way to A Healthier Gut
When the intestinal tract’s terrain is in balance with enough probiotic bacteria and the proper acidic environment, harmful microorganisms are crowded out with no available place to
cause trouble. Pathogens may come and go, but thanks to the natural cooperation between your immune system and probiotics, you remain healthy.
Ward off GI Invaders
So, from the get-go, here’s how to create a “bulletproof” terrain to ward off any invaders:
Skip the sweets, molds and refined starches.
Sugar, artificial sweeteners, moldy foods and highly refined, starchy carbs create the ideal landscape for pathogens, parasites and fungus. These colon corruptors feast on sugars and starches, causing fermentation, gas and bloating. The common inability to completely absorb starchy carbohydrates encourages yeast overgrowth. Fungus overgrowth is also encouraged by foods that contain yeast and mold, including: cheese, mushrooms, vinegar (with the exception of apple cider vinegar), wine, beer and yeast-based vitamins. An overload of gluten grains including wheat, corn, barley and rye also encourages food sensitivities.
The best plan is to replace sugar and starchy carbs with foods like: brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, sweet potatoes and yams, zucchini, string beans, broccoli and cauliflower.
These are foods that can satisfy and nourish while creating an unfriendly environment for gut corruptors.
Power up on probiotics and prebiotics every day.
Probiotics are the foot soldiers in the war against colon corruptors. These beneficial bacteria not only crowd out unwanted invaders, but they also help ferment the fiber that the digestive tract can’t break down on its own. In this way they help to maintain an acidic environment so important for colon health.
Foods that contain natural probiotics are: plain yogurt or kefir, sauerkraut and miso (fermented soybeans). UNI KEY’s Flora-Key probiotic powder contains ten billion beneficial bacteria per
serving. This tasty formula is designed to feed, strengthen and transport the good bacteria into your gut, while crowding out harmful toxins that can hinder optimum wellness and weight loss.
Prebiotics are the foods that actually feed probiotic bacteria. These foods include: onions, garlic, leeks, oregano, Jerusalem artichokes, miso and jicama (a veggie crossed between an apple and potato and delicious when eaten raw).
Fill up on soluble fiber.
All dietary fiber is divided into two kinds: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber found in bran, whole grains and nuts does not dissolve in water and forms roughage which adds bulk to the diet and
prevents constipation. Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel in the digestive tract needed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and to control appetite. It also feeds the probiotics.
Soluble fiber is found in dark green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, green beans and the skins of fruits and seeds, especially flax seeds and chia seeds. This fiber works with probiotics to create short chain fatty acids vital for keeping both fungus and inflammation in check. These fatty acids also stimulate immune cells important for keeping colon corruptors at bay.
Get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 foods provide a sturdy defense against colon corruptors. The most potent of immune builders are the EPA and DHA oils, along with other omega-3 fatty acids. These agents are vital for brain and nerve function, healthy vision and flexible joints. DHA greatly enhances the immune activities of white blood cells, called B cells, which are vital for immune response and pathogen clearance.
Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are: walnuts, Brazil nuts, Atlantic-caught salmon, sardines, and mackerel. UNI KEY’s Super-EPA capsules contains fish oil, including krill, from the North Atlantic. Certified free of PCBs and heavy metals, this superior supplement contains 480 mg of EPA and 240 mg of DHA per softgel. Another excellent source is flaxseed oil which contains more than twice the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. Flaxseed oil promotes fat burning and revives metabolism for effective and long-lasting weight loss. It lowers cholesterol, banishes arthritis and mitigates migraine headaches.
Drink to your health!
Keeping the body hydrated is one of the best ways to fortify against colon corruptors. Healthy fluids keep our cells plumped and resistant to invaders. Studies show that most people are dehydrated, especially older people. Drink half your body weight in ounces of pure water daily. Make sure that you hydrate mainly between meals because drinking too much with food dilutes digestive enzymes and interferes with digestion.
Cut down on coffee if possible and add at least two cups per day of fortifying beverages such as chicory root tea, which discourages pathogens, and African honeybush tea, which is the closest thing to coffee. Dandelion root tea is also wonderful for fortifying the liver.
Choose a Diet that Naturally Flushes Toxins and Invaders
There are a number of gut-loving foods that are valiant foes of gut corruptors. Here are some of the winners:
Bet on Beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is a phyto-chemical found in colorful vegetables—carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and yams. It is a powerful antioxidant that diffuses the power of free radicals and oxidative chemicals which pollute our environment. Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, a nutrient that helps the body fight both infection and cancer. Eating a diet rich in beta-carotene protects
the gut lining from degenerative processes. Choosing carotene-rich foods and a multiple vitamin formula with beta-carotene is a great idea.
Coconut is an energy food. When you eat coconut and coconut oil, you are benefiting from medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are easier to metabolize than other fatty acids. MCTs contain the anti-microbial lauric acid, which fits in beautifully with the imperative to sanitize and flush the digestive tract regularly. Pathogens, including staph, strep and also Candida albicans, are killed by lauric acid which is converted into monolaurin in the digestive tract.
Although coconut is full of saturated fat, it is the type that raises good HDL cholesterol needed to keep arteries clear of blockages. When buying coconut oil, choose virgin not fractionated or hydrogenated.
Use herbs and spices that resist gut corruptors.
Many herbs and spices are powerful weapons against gut corruptors. Cinnamon is a pathogen killer in the mouth and the gut. It can help the body regulate blood sugar by inducing cells to recognize signals from insulin that sugar should be taken out of the blood. Oregano is naturally anti-viral, anti-fungal and a champion crusader against staphylococcus, the source of many drug-resistant infections. Garlic is a well-respected anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and anti-yeast herb. It can prevent travelers’ diarrhea, and when used as a mouthwash, it can clear the mouth of bacteria. Cayenne pepper can inhibit the growth of bacteria, even in raw meat. It can kill H. pylori, the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers. Use these four herbs for both spicing up your life, and for keeping house within the digestive tract.
Add foods and beverages that naturally discourage parasites and pathogens.
Parasites do not like the chemical compounds found in pumpkin seeds, kelp, sauerkraut, ground almonds and radishes. Each of these foods already provide a number of health benefits so their ability to repel gut corruptors is a bonus! Herbal teas that flush existing pathogens include: Pau d’ Arco from a tree in the Amazon rainforest, and the gentle sedative mugwort, which has been used for generations to kill parasites and relieve digestive distress.
Consistently Nourish the GI Tract
Last but not least, it is important to feed the lining of the GI tract with nutrients that can heal and regenerate those vital tissues. Basically, you will need to power up quality protein, revitalize with veggies, sweeten up with fruits, satisfy with the right starches, and repair the GI tract with smart supplements.
Protein provides the raw materials necessary to build and repair tissues of the body. In the gut for example, protein literally makes up the intestinal walls. As we age, we gradually lose muscle mass, so getting the right protein balance helps us protect the precious smooth muscle within the intestinal wall that propels food down the GI tract. It is wise to eat at least eight ounces of protein daily from lean beef, poultry or Atlantic fish.
Of the amino acids necessary for preservation of muscle, among the most important is leucine. Whey is one of the richest protein sources of leucine. Fat Flush Whey Protein powder provides 20 grams per serving of 100% natural whey protein. Hormone and pesticide free, this formula ensures lean muscle development, high energy levels, and protection of immune health.
Health experts advise a diet heavy in vegetables, but many of us simply just don’t eat enough. Vegetables offer protection against food-borne pathogens because of the natural protective compounds they create to ward off infections that might kill them while they are still growing. The GI tract is greatly benefited by vegetable fiber and nutrition from many delicious varieties, including asparagus, tomatoes, yellow squash, peppers and crucifers like broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower. Overall, vegetables are most nutritious eaten raw (after washing well) but cooked vegetables are still a healthy choice. In fact, cooking tomatoes actually increases the amount of available lycopene, a fantastic antioxidant that lowers the risk of various cancers!
The fiber and phytochemicals in fruits fortify the immune system and also help stop the growth of pathogens and parasites. Apples, pears, cherries, citrus fruits, plums and berries supply a cornucopia of nutritional value for the GI tract.
Beans, lentils and peas are some of the most nutritious starches available. A cup of beans provides about a quarter of the adult daily protein requirement. Beans not only provide fiber but also
resistant starch, thus named because it resists digestion until it reaches the lower colon. Once in the lower digestive tract, this starch provides nutrition for probiotic bacteria while it provides
butyrate, a fatty acid that help the intestines repair tissues. Soak hard beans for 24 hours before cooking in order to remove starchy residues that might cause digestive discomfort.
There are three special supplements that nourish and rebuild the digestive tract with amazing efficiency. One is the herb slippery elm, particularly soothing for the intestines. It can
resolve numerous complaints, from diarrhea to inflammatory bowel syndrome. Empty four capsules of this herb into a cup of boiling water and drink twice a day to speed up passage of wastes and
eliminate toxins and pathogens. The amino acid L-glutathione plays a vital role in tissue repair and it maintains the proper permeability of the small intestines. DGL (deglycyrrhized licorice) is a centuries old therapy for gastritis and ulcers. It heals mucous membranes and triggers rejuvenation of both stomach and intestinal cells.
A consistent program to maintain a balanced, well-functioning GI tract is worth the effort. Every tissue in the body is fed by the bloodstream which is supplied by the gut. If the GI tract is clean, the blood is clean and so are the organs and tissues. And, a clean body is a healthy, energetic and pain-free body!