Last week Team RLEI hosted its March Facebook Party. Here’s a recap of the information shared…
Welcome! Tonight I’m going to quickly share 10 tips about aiding smooth digestions. Talking about digestive issues can be a little uncomfortable at times, but then again, so can your bathroom time when the digestive system is not functioning properly. The quality and strength of your digestion governs the ability of your body to properly absorb the nutrients from the food you are eating. Without a healthy, well-functioning digestive tract, free of digestive problems, even the best dietary habits will do you little good as your body struggles to process the essential nutrients locked away in your food. And then disease and disorder sets in. It’s definitely worth discussing.
So let’s get started! And thanks in advance for following along!
Anybody want to grab a bottle, or can, or cold glass of beer to sip on while we talk?
TIP #1. It begins with the chew. Digestion actually begins in the mouth. The act of chewing food mixes it with our saliva; rich in digestive enzymes, saliva begins to break down the food even before it reaches our stomach. The first step in improving your digestive problems is to chew your foods thoroughly—at least 20 times per bite. You will probably have to make a conscious effort to chew this way at first, but it will become second nature soon enough.
TIP #2. When we talk about the “gut,” it’s really the entire digestive tract, which must assimilate nutrients, prevent toxins from permeating cells and move everything along in a timely fashion. The gut shields the immune system, so when it’s compromised, you’re more vulnerable to becoming sick. Dietary imbalances (too much sugar, processed foods, overeating), medication use, mineral deficiencies and even stress can also change the balance of bacteria in your digestive tract, leaving you susceptible to a host of different health conditions.
Load up on probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, miso, pickles, tempeh and kombucha (avoid those sparkling probiotic drinks unless they’re naturally low in sugar, same for most commercial yogurts too).
Shaklee’s Optiflora® is a unique two-product digestive health system that provides dietary support for normal, healthy intestinal microflora. Once the probiotics are delivered to the digestive system, prebiotics can deliver important nutrients that healthy intestinal bacteria need to grow and thrive. Optiflora Probiotic Complex utilizes patented triple-layer encapsulation technology, is designed to live delivery of probiotics to the large intestine, where they provide the greatest benefit.
(Note: Non-VEG product.)
TIP #3. Yeah, genetically modified organisms are not helping. How so?
Up to 2/3 of the processed foods on grocery shelves in the United States have genetically modified ingredients. There is evidence that exposure to GMOs can increase risk for “gluten intolerance” (which can manifest as various gut-disturbing symptoms). Go for whole and organic foods as much as possible and your gut will always thank you.
Learn more at http://www.nongmoproject.org/.
TIP #4. On the subject of food allergies…they can lead to inflammation in all areas of the body, but especially in your gut. You can try the elimination method with certain foods to see if your digestive issues clear up, but it may also be worth getting an allergy panel test done by your doctor.
Have you experienced “lactose intolerance” from drinking milk? A few babies are lactose intolerant from birth and must drink lactose-free formula instead of breast milk. However, most people who are lactose intolerant lose their ability to digest milk sometime after infancy. Usually, this occurs between ages 2 and 12, though you may not experience symptoms until late adolescence or adulthood. Our bodies typically produce an enzyme called lactase that breaks up lactose into smaller sugars, glucose and galactose. But for whatever reason, we don’t all keep producing it. If that wasn’t interesting enough, here is why we have ditched dairy all together: Caseomorphins – a cousin of morphine or heroin – are protein fragments that come from the digestion of the milk protein, casein. In addition to making you want more, casein can be highly disruptive to your body. It raises cortisol and contributes to leaky gut syndrome – a condition that includes vague symptoms like bloating, cramps, gas, and food sensitivities.
If you need some help in the enzyme department, the ingredients in Shaklee’s EZ-Gest support digestion of fat, protein, and carbohydrates, including lactose.
(Note: Non-VEG product.)
TIP #5. You knew fiber was going to be on this list. In the past, we noted the benefits of fiber for the cardiovascular system, but it’s probably better known for its necessity to proper bowel movements. Individuals who consume high fiber diets have much lower rates of constipation than individuals that eat a low fiber diet, plus they have fewer hemorrhoids and diverticula (outpouchings) in the colon. If you’re not getting enough daily fiber from vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains, once again, you can always supplement with a real, whole foods based option.
Fiber Advantage blends appetizing apples, dates, and whole grain rolled oats into a chewy cinnamony bar. Each bar contains 8 grams of fiber. The ingredients in Fiber Advantage promote regularity and the growth of healthy microflora and support the long-term health of your colon.
(Note: Non-VEG product.)
TIP #6. How normal is your bathroom normal? What’s “normal” varies from person to person. Some people go 3 times a day; others, 3 times a week. Although having a bowel movement once a day is common, it’s fine to go a few days without one. Constipation means having fewer than 3 bowel movements per week. There are many causes of constipation including medications, poor bowel habits, low fiber diets, hormonal disorders (or pregnancy in general), and diseases primarily of other parts of the body that also affect the colon. Because it can be symptomatic of other underlying issues, it’s best to talk to a medical professional about it. One thing is for sure though: when nature calls, listen. “Holding” a bowel movement in will hurt you in the long run and aggravate constipation by weakening the signals over time.
For occasional constipation (unlike chronic), Shaklee’s Herb-Lax is an enhanced proprietary blend that includes senna leaf, which has been traditionally used as a natural laxative. The key ingredients in Herb-Lax are a gentle laxative for occasional use and encourage a mild cleansing action to aid the body’s natural processes.
TIP #7. When you’re sick to your stomach, a pantry with natural treatments for nausea can help you get through your discomfort. Our top picks are ginger root, peppermint oil, and BRAT foods. Every parent of a toddler knows about the bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (BRAT) diet to help calm an upset stomach, whether the patient is suffering from nausea or diarrhea.
Quick remedy: Shaklee’s Stomach Soothing Complex that contains peppermint and ginger. Great for travelers who get queasy stomachs in a car, boat, or airplane. Clinical studies show that supplementing the diet with ginger may help maintain a calm stomach.
TIP #8. Reach for papaya if you feel the burn. Papaya, a fruit grown in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and the Americas, has long been purported to aid the digestive tract. Supporters assert that papaya enzymes ease the indigestion and heartburn experienced with acid reflux.
Papain, the key enzyme responsible for papaya’s positive digestive effects, is extracted from the plant’s unripe fruit. Papaya enzymes are commercially available in powder, pill and tablet forms. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid leaks back up into the esophagus — the pipeline between your mouth and stomach. If you suffer from reflux, you may experience heartburn, indigestion and regurgitation. Papaya enzymes help break down food proteins into simpler, easier to digest amino acids, leading to improved digestion and decreased stomach acid production.
TIP #9. The liver is the largest solid organ inside the body and plays a very important role in the process of digestion by physically regulating it and ensuring release of post digestive nutrients into the system. Producing bile and detoxification are the important digestion-related roles that the liver plays too. So be kind to your liver as well!
Shaklee’s Liver DTX Complex is uniquely formulated with milk thistle seed extract, reishi mushroom, Schizandra chinensis, dandelion, turmeric, and artichoke to maintain bile flow and protect the liver from toxins.
TIP #10. Isn’t beer bad for the liver or does it have health benefits?
Hops, the female flowers of the hop plant, give beer its tangy, bitter taste. These bright green buds are also chock-full of chemicals known as bitter acids, which have an array of health-promoting effects. Bitter acids are powerful inflammation fighters, according to a 2009 laboratory study published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. One type of bitter acid, humulone, offers promise for both preventing and treating viral respiratory infections in a 2013 study funded by Japanese beer manufacturer Sapporo. Bitter acids in beer may also improve digestion. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry looked at five types of German and Austrian beer and found that each triggered the release of gastric acid from stomach cells. The more bitter acids a brew contained, the greater the response. Gastric acid is key for both digesting food in the stomach and controlling the growth of dangerous gut bacteria.
Before you go out and celebrate with a few pints, keep in mind that all of the studies above point out that beer is only healthy if you drink moderately. One of the most common harmful effects of alcohol is on the liver. Enzymes first convert alcohol into acetaldehyde, a chemical intermediate that can cause nausea, headache, vomiting, and other bad effects of alcohol ingestion. Unfortunately, in people who drink daily, the body might not be able to metabolize the toxic acetaldehyde fast enough.
The verdict is the same with all alcohol: drink occasionally and not regularly to maximize benefits, minimize harmful effects.
Thanks for joining tonight! I hope there was something informative here that made it worthwhile. You can find any of the Shaklee products mentioned in further detail here:
You can also purchase them directly online or call or email our office at 949-645-7373 and firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help!
One last suggestion…have you heard of the Squatty Potty? We’ll let you check this one out on your own at http://www.squattypotty.com/ and have a great Shaklee week!