Supporting Healthy Digestion

 

Since I firmly believe that good nutrition is the bedrock to good health, it goes to follow that a healthy and functioning digestive system is also crucial to optimal health. One can be eating the “perfect” diet, yet if your digestive system is compromised, than your health will also be compromised. Here are some simple tips to maintain an optimal digestion.1. A healthy organic diet is still very important to maintaining a healthy digestion and assimilation. Also identification and elimination of food allergens from your diet is crucial. Testing for the delayed allergens (IgG antibodies) is not offered by many allergists and is available from naturopathic doctors and other health practitioners familiar and well trained in integrative medicine.

2. Take a good probiotic. Not only do they support your immune system, they help to support healthy assimilation of nutrients. An imbalanced gut flora can create endotoxins which may cause bloating and diarrhea as well as acne, joint and muscle pain as well as fatigue and other general feelings of malaise.

3. Don’t eat after 7 PM! Not only is it unhealthy to go to bed with a full stomach, it can interfere with having a deep restful sleep as well as contribute to weight gain.

4. Get a handle on your portion size. Many people eat the right foods, yet they eat too much of them. Overeating can put undo pressure on the diaphragm and contribute to hiatal hernias and esophageal reflux.

5. Get a handle on your stress levels. Eating under stress, on the run or under duress can also interfere with proper digestion and assimilation of your foods.

6. Chew your food. Slow down your eating. Mom was right! You need to chew your food enough – optimally until it is almost liquid. Amylase is secreted by your salivary glands and is the first step in digestion. If you don’t chew enough, then you leave chunks of food for further on down the GI tract and that is not what those areas are great at doing! And you miss out on that first digestive step. So no wolfing down your food!

7. Drink 64 oz of purified water per day. This will keep your bowels regular (along with a high fiber diet) as well as help to flush out toxins. Most people don’t drink nearly enough water per day.

8. This goes with stress management – learn how to RELAX. Digestion is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system. IT works best when you can learn how to deeply relax. Some of my favorite tools for this are yoga and meditation.

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 Tara Skye Goldin, N.D. Naturopathic Doctor (Colorado) and Classical Homeopath, Boulder CO is an expert in natural medicine as well as a highly skilled and experienced Classical Homeopath. Her practice focuses primarily on women’s healthissues, weight loss, and pediatrics, though she has patients of all ages and both genders.

In addition, she is a 1990 graduate of Bastyr University a four year post-graduate naturopathic medical school (www.bastyr.edu) and is the only Naturopath in the Boulder area to have seven additional years of extensive homeopathy training. She studied from 1998 – 2004 with Louis Klein, RsHom (www.homeopathycourses.com) and Jeremy Sherr, RsHom.

She is also a longtime yoga and meditation practitioner. She has been successfully improving the health of Boulder families since 1993.

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