Soon it will be the height of the Crop Over season and – no doubt – many of you will be taking in the various events and enjoying the festivities with friends and family. It’s certainly NOT a time you want to be marred by nagging health issues.
While not everyone may be au fait with the term “Leaky Gut Syndrome”, we know its symptoms only too well – bloating, food sensitivities, thyroid conditions, fatigue, joint pain, headaches, skin conditions like acne and rosacea, digestive issues and weight gain.
Considered “the number one health problem facing our generation”, what is most disturbing, according to New York Times best-selling author and talk show host, Dr. Oz, is that millions have it unknowingly.
Inflammatory and Autoimmune
Our gastrointestinal system is crucial to our overall health. It comprises 80 percent of our immune system, and problems in this area are linked to many inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
Our microbiome (the trillions of bacteria residing in our gut) regulates not only digestion, but also has a role to play in hormones, the brain and our genetic characteristics. Microbiome imbalances such as overgrowth of candida and small intestinal bacteria can, in turn, cause imbalances in the entire body.
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Picture a net with minuscule holes that only allow smaller items to pass through, while blocking larger things. A healthy gut lining functions very much like this, keeping bigger particles out, while allowing nutrients and other minerals to permeate. However, if the digestive tract suffers damage, the holes can expand, allowing intruders to get through.
The foods we consume play an essential role in preventing degenerative diseases by improving the microbiome environment. Proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles all “leak” through the gut when inflamed. Once this happens, these toxins can enter the bloodstream and provoke an immune reaction.
Gluten – the sticky protein found in most grain products (unless they’ve undergone a sourdough or sprouting process) is a big culprit. Dairy – the protein in conventional cow’s milk (A1 casein) can trigger a similar reaction to gluten, and is in fact far more inflammatory. Excess sugar – feeds yeast and bad bacteria and damages the intestinal wall. So opt for raw honey as a sweetener, but use in moderation.Unsprouted and unfermented grains and soy – these contain phytic acid that can irritate the intestines, causing leaky gut. GMO foods – herbicides and pesticides in genetically modified organisms are also harmful to the gut lining.
Research from the Journal of Environmental Sciences has shown that these foods destroy the probiotics in the gut and cause organ inflammation.These nutrient blocker foods lead to inflammation and cause numerous negative effects, including fatigue and food allergies.
This progressively escalates, and significantly increases the risk of various diseases.Since, as Hippocrates stated, “all disease begins in the gut”, healing can, thankfully, also take place here.
Here are a few simple gut-healing recipes for total health:
Celery has many minerals and nutrients that are extremely helpful to the gut, gradually restoring the stomach’s natural acidity, promoting healthy digestion and microbiome balance.
Juice 1 to 2 bunches organic celery and drink fresh on an empty stomach in the morning.
Ginger & Slippery Elm Tea
Ginger and slippery elm are both anti-inflammatory and healing to your intestinal lining.
1 tsp fresh grated ginger root
1 tsp slippery elm powder
2 cups purified water
Boil ginger in 2 cups water. Strain, and stir in the slippery elm powder until dissolved.
Turmeric is highly effective in calming inflammation, and its benefits are intensified and made more bio available with fats like coconut and spices like black pepper.
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch black pepper
1 tsp raw honey
¼ tsp ginger powder
Blend ingredients fully in a blender.
Transfer to saucepan, heating for 3 – 5 minutes over medium heat until warm.