Fix Your Gut, Fix Your Health–the Stomach

Last week, we covered the importance of chewing your food long enough to allow it to mix thoroughly with the carbohydrate-digesting enzyme, amylase, before it enters your stomach.  Hopefully, you’ve been practicing this first step in digestion.

After chewing, the predigested food enters your stomach, where it is mixed and ground into a liquid called chyme (Greek for “juice”).  Hydrochloric acid (HCI) and pepsin help to accomplish this second step of digestion, as well as helping to digest proteins.   HCl is strong enough to corrode metals, so it is beneficial for killing pathogens like parasites, bacteria, and viruses.  Digestion may be inefficient at destroying these pathogens and breaking down proteins when there is insufficient hydrochloric acid and pepsin.

Acid Reflux is most likely caused by a lack of stomach acid, rather than too much.  Taking antacids may offer temporary relief but do not get to the root of the problem.  As we age, the stomach may produce less HCl.  This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, including protein and calcium.

Belching could be a sign of poor digestion.  If the belching is accompanied by a rotten egg odor and/or a taste in the mouth, this may be a sign that proteins are not being properly digested.

Self-test:  First thing in the morning, before you eat or drink anything, drink 4 to 6 ounces of water to which 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda has been added.  Don’t gulp the water.  Time yourself for up to 5 minutes.  The sooner you belch (within 1 to 2 minutes), the better the indication that you have a good amount of stomach acid.  The longer it takes (3 to 5 minutes), the lower your stomach acid may be.

Some tips:

Chew your food well before swallowing.

Eat smaller meals (overeating is hard on the stomach and requires more digestive juices).

Don’t drink large amounts of liquids with meals.  Drink a glass of water before a meal, and then just sip as needed during a meal.  If you are staying well hydrated throughout the day, you shouldn’t be thirsty while eating.

Consider taking plant-based digestive enzymes with meals (1 or 2 as needed) to help break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

If you have low stomach acid, you may need digestive enzymes that contain HCl and Pepsin.  Don’t take these if you have ulcers.  Start with only 1 capsule when you eat a meal that contains protein.  Next time, take 2, then 3, etc., until you feel a warm sensation in your stomach.  Back up to the number you took before you felt the warm sensation.  This will be your optimal amount.  Don’t take these long-term.  The goal is to strengthen your production of hydrochloric acid and pepsin through a healthy diet and lifestyle so you won’t be dependent on supplements.  An exception might be for the elderly who are in a chronically weakened condition.

Take a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in 4 ounces of water before a meal, or mix it in a salad.  This not only aids digestion, but it has also been proven to lower blood sugar by as much as 30% when taken a few minutes before a meal.

Enjoy a cup of organic peppermint leaf tea to help with indigestion.

Aloe vera juice is very soothing in cases of indigestion and Acid Reflux.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Natural Health Consultant

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

www.learningtobehealthy.mynsp.com (Proactazyme Plus Plant-Based Enzymes, PDA Combination with HCl and Pepsin, Papaya Mint Chewables Digestive Aid, Aloe Vera Juice)

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Fix Your Gut, Fix Your Health!

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!  It begins with digestion, not just what you eat, but what you absorb–and that’s affected by the health of your gut!

Often, the first signs of health imbalances will show up in the form of digestive issues. This might be constipation (less than one bowel movement a day), diarrhea, gas, bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, etc. When these conditions become chronic, the digestive tract can become compromised. This interferes with assimilation of nutrients and elimination of toxins. Lack of nutrients and accumulation of toxins leads to more health problems.

Taking an occasional antacid or laxative to relieve symptoms may help in the short-term, but they do little for your long-term health.  Instead, get to the root of your digestive issues by paying attention to the warning signs and learning to have healthy digestion.

Step one:  Chew!  Digestions begins in the mouth!

You might be thinking, “I do that, check!”  But, do you really?

You could count to 30, but I don’t like to count when I eat, so I chew until my food is mushy.

Why is this important?  Digestive enzymes in saliva mix with your food to help break it down into an absorbable form.  Saliva contains amylase, an enzyme that digests carbohydrates.  When you skip this step by not chewing adequately, the stomach has to work harder.

Chewing food well has a lot to do with mindful eating.  This happens when we take time to eat in a relaxed environment, paying attention to what and how we eat.  Eating on the go or while talking in a hurried manner often keeps us from paying attention to how we chew our food. This makes it easy to take big bites, give them a chew or two, and wash them down the hatch with some liquid.  Not good!

This week’s recommended action steps:

Pat attention to chewing your food thoroughly before you swallow.  Even semi-solid foods, like smoothies or applesauce, need to be given time to mix with saliva instead of gulping them down.

That’s all!  See you next week for step two!

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Natural Health Consultant

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

www.facebook.com/learningtobehealthy

www.pinterest.com/healthywithlisa

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need.  Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

 

Have a cup of tea for your health!

After water, tea is the world’s most popular drink!  The following list of impressive information makes me want to have a cup of tea!

Tea contains flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect the cells in our bodies against damage.  Laboratory research shows that these flavonoids are more potent than vitamins C and E!  Tea contains five times as many flavonoids as red onions!  One cup of brewed black tea contains about 268 milligrams of flavonoids, and a cup of brewed green tea has about 316 milligrams.  Decaffeinated tea contains only about half those amounts.

Tips:

After steeping three to five minutes, squeeze the tea bag to release more of the flavonoids.  Add fresh lemon juice for additional antioxidants.

Drink some tea before you exercise in the morning.  The flavonoids will enter your bloodstream within about 30 minutes and help protect you against free radicals produced during exercise.

Research:

Laboratory studies consistently show that tea inhibits the formation and growth of tumors.

People with the highest intake of flavonoids seem to have the lowest risk for developing dementia.

Tea consumption is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.  One study found that deaths from coronary artery disease were reduced by 40% among males who drank one or more cups of tea daily.  A Harvard study showed a 44% lower risk of heart attack in people who drank at least one cup of tea a day.

Tea may help increase your metabolism.

One study found that tea may reduce cavity formation by up to 75%, due to its natural fluoride content (not the toxic kind).  Tea also inhibits bacteria from adhering to tooth surfaces.

The Nurses’ Health Study found that the risk of developing kidney stones decreased by 8% for every cup of tea consumed.

Studies have found that habitual tea consumption improved bone mineral density.  This seems to be due to the phytoestrogenic activity of the flavonoids.

Tea has anti-allergenic properties.

Tips:

Drink tea earlier in the day to make sure that the caffeine doesn’t interfere with your sleep.

Green tea has less caffeine than black tea, and both have less caffeine than coffee.

If you are sensitive to caffeine, reduce the brewing time to only one minute, and do not squeeze the tea bag.

Buy organic teas so you won’t consume pesticides.

Instant tea has less health benefits than brewed tea.

Drink warm or iced tea soon after brewing, before its flavonoids begin to deteriorate.

Avoid drinking tea that is too hot, as there is some evidence that throat cancer may be linked to consuming extremely hot beverages and foods.

Avoid using refined sugars and artificial sweeteners to sweeten tea.  These contribute to inflammation and work against its health benefits.

When I worked at a health food store several years ago, I learned this recipe from a customer.  Many whom I’ve recommended it to have had good results.

Green Tea Sinus Remedy:

To make one cup:  Pour boiling water over one organic green tea bag (or 1 teaspoon of loose-leaf dried green tea) and 1 teaspoon of raw local honey; steep 3 to 5 minutes; squeeze tea bag with back of spoon to release more flavonoids; stir in a dash or two of cayenne pepper. Drink warm.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Natural Health Consultant

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

www.learningtobehealthy.com

www.facebook.com/learningtobehealthy

www.pinterest.com/healthywithlisa

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need.. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Your Labels–Artificial Sweeteners are not for Real People!

Lisa Hernandez

The word “artificial” should be enough to keep you from putting it into your mouth, but just in case it isn’t, here are some facts about artificial sweeteners that you might want to consider:

Aspartame (NutraSweet) releases methanol, which is converted to formaldehyde (embalming fluid) in the body.  Both of these toxic chemicals can cause blindness, eye damage, or neurological damage.  Some of its side effects are vision problems, headaches, confusion, depression, dizziness, convulsions, nausea, diarrhea, migraines, abdominal pain, fatigue, chest tightness, and shortness of breath!  In 2006 a bill to ban aspartame was introduced in New Mexico.  A report posted on the National Institutes of Health website in November 2005 stated that aspartame was proven to cause six kinds of cancer, based upon an oncology study done by The Ramazzini Foundation.

Sucralose (Splenda) is made by turning sugar into a chlorocarbon.  Animal studies have revealed many adverse side effects, including shrunken…

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