Diet

Lemon and Honey for Digestion

Honey and lemon are two healthy natural foods that have been combined by many cultures for countless generations. Combining pure, raw honey with fresh lemon juice is a popular weight-loss remedy, although there are many other benefits to be had, including enhancing your digestion. Honey and lemon share some of the same properties that benefit the gastrointestinal system, but they contrast in other ways, especially their sweet and sour tastes. Digestive Problems Poor digestion has a variety of causes, but often involves lack of acidity within the stomach. Although physical and chemical digestion of food begins in the mouth, acidic stomach juices are essential to further break down the food before it reaches the small intestine. Stomach infections, which often lead to ulcers, reduce digestive ability and can cause bloating, flatulence and abdominal pain. Intestinal inflammatory conditions, such as Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, also reduce digestion and absorption while causing abdominal symptoms. Honey and lemon display properties that benefit the entire digestive tract. Lemon Juice Properties Lemon juice is very acidic, largely due to the citric acid it contains. The acidity of lemon juice can aid the ability of stomach acid to chemically digest food, which not only provides more nutrients to absorb in your intestines, it also reduces symptoms of indigestion, bloating and heartburn, according to “Biochemistry of Human Nutrition.” Lemon juice also displays antimicrobial properties and is a rich source of vitamin C, which combine to reduce the incidence of infections throughout your gastrointestinal tract. Lemon juice also contains calcium, magnesium and potassium. Further, although lemon juice contributes to the acidity of the stomach, it actually has an alkalizing effect on your blood and other tissues, which stimulates immunity and discourages the proliferation of […]
By |November 23rd, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Enzymes can Help Food Tolerance

Supplemental digestive enzymes are gaining traction with consumers. Increasingly, when patients show me their multivitamin labels, there are a handful of digestive enzymes listed among the vitamin and mineral ingredients. I’ve also read online testimonials from folks who swear that enzymes marketed as providing “digestive support” for gluten work as promised—and enable them to eat bread and pasta, bloat-free. What are these enzymes, exactly? Should you be taking them? Enzymes are proteins that facilitate specific chemical reactions. Digestive enzymes facilitate the chemical breakdown of food into smaller, absorbable components. Enzymes called amylases break down starches into sugar molecules; proteases break down proteins into amino acids; and lipases break down fat into its component parts. Humans naturally produce multiple different enzymes in these families that encounter food at different places in the digestive process: first in the mouth, then in the stomach, and finally, within the small intestine. Humans also possess disaccharidases, or enzymes that break the bonds between double sugar molecules like sucrose (table sugar) and lactose (milk sugar) into two individual sugar molecules for absorption. Unlike members of other biological kingdoms, humans (as mammals) lack digestive enzymes that break down compounds from plant cell walls like cellulose, pectins and resistant starches. These dietary compounds are collectively called “fiber.” By definition, fiber is a nondigestible substance whose health benefits derive from its inability to be absorbed. Since it survives the digestive process intact and unabsorbed, it can travel along to the colon where it feeds our resident bacteria and contributes to fecal bulk. In considering whether taking supplemental digestive enzymes may be beneficial, one should recognize that the term “digestive enzymes” is a catchall that includes a variety of compounds with different purposes—similar to “vitamins” or “probiotics.”
By |November 22nd, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Benefits of Whole Wheat Bread

Whole wheat is prized for its nutritional value, and if you need yet another reason to eat it then look no further than your digestive tract. Whole wheat contains all three layers of the grain: bran, endosperm and germ. Each of these has unique nutrients, yet milled wheat only contains the endosperm. Thus, white flour is lacking vitamins, minerals and healthy phytochemicals. Fortunately, most supermarkets carry whole-wheat versions of bread, pasta, tortillas and more. Intestinal Health Whole wheat is packed with fiber, which your body does not break down. Instead, the fiber moves through your entire digestive tract, softening stool while adding bulk. This translates to bowel regularity and lower incidence of constipation. Eating a high-fiber diet also relieves pressure in the intestines. This helps ward off diverticular disease, a condition in which pouches form in the colon and cause swelling and irritation. Other Health Benefits The benefits of whole wheat extend far beyond your digestive system. While milled wheat creates spikes in blood sugar, the whole grain does not. High blood sugar contributes to insulin resistance over time, leading to Type 2 diabetes. Whole wheat also contains healthy antioxidants and may encourage low LDL cholesterol levels. Whole grains have phytoestrogens, similar to human estrogen, which could help prevent some cancers. The most important nutrients may have yet to be discovered; there are hundreds of unidentified substances in whole wheat.
By |November 20th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Good Desert for Digestion

Eating a sugar laden dessert right after a meal is one of the worst things you can do for digestion.  It is a guaranteed formula for causing excess acidity in the body. And on top of that, a sure fire plan for weight gain.  Some health food gurus say, if you are going to have dessert with your meal, just eat it first, and give it a few minutes to digest, before the main meal.  A better option is to make a healthier dessert and include some plant foods that contain natural enzymes. Pineapple and basil are both known for their digestion benefits. The secret with pineapple is this; it must be fresh. Canned pineapple won’t do a thing for your digestion. The best way to make this recipe is to cut up a fresh pineapple and chill it yourself. Frozen pineapple from the store is a distant runner up to be used only for convenience sake. Bromelain is the enzyme in pineapple that is responsible for its digestive benefit. The canning process destroys bromelain. Bromelain is good for breaking down protein, this is what makes it such a valuable enzyme.
By |November 20th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Teas and Digestion

We’ve been drinking tea for thousands of years – the Chinese began boiling the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis, the green tea plant, over 4 thousand years ago. Not only is tea refreshing it offers many benefits to help improve our digestion, overall health and wellbeing.   Digestive Health Benefits Of Tea – Weight Loss Currently there is a lack of scientific research indicating a direct link between drinking tea and digestive health. However, there have been a number of clinical studies in relation to other health issues that have provided a greater understanding about how drinking tea could aid digestion. For example, certain teas such as green tea contain catechin – a natural forming plant phenolic with antioxidant qualities. In one clinical study, rodents were fed catechin derived from tea leaves, while another group of rodents were not. The control group that was fed catechin expended more energy, which resulted in the rodents losing more calories. The test findings concluded that catechin could have a possible affect on stimulating the bodies metabolism. Catechin has also been linked to lowering occurrences of inflammation related to Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.   Green Tea Health Benefits Polyphenols and in particular flavonoids are compounds found in green tea leaves. Extensive clinical research is revealing these compounds have many health benefits and green tea has a high proportion of them. In particular, polyphenols and flavonoids have antioxidant qualities. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, these are rogue cells that have been linked to increasing risks of colon cancer. Drinking green has also been known to help lower high blood pressure.   The Problem With Caffeine Drinking tea for digestive health is a very good idea, however it does contain caffeine and this can have a negative effect on your digestive system. Caffeine can […]
By |November 19th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Tips to Improve Digestive Health

Our drive thru, fast paced culture doesn’t seem to emphasize healthy, easily digestible foods. The very definition of “fast paced” is not conducive to good digestion and therefore the reason for antacids being one of the top OTC (over the counter) sellers. Well, let’s delve into some of the ways that you may enhance your digestion, leading to better nutrient absorption (that is if your eating healthfully) and better overall health. So, throw out your antacids and let’s get started: 1. Eat nutrient dense foods 2. Slow it down! Just relax & CHEW your food—-well! Proper digestion (beyond nutritious foods) is to slow down to eat it & chew it well, this allows your stomach to catch up and produce the digestive “juices” to digest properly. 3. Include enzyme rich foods & probiotics/good bacteria (foods are much more easily absorbed than supplements). Enzyme rich foods include (not limited to) avocado, mango, papaya, etc. Probiotic foods include (not limited to) yogurt, kombucha, kefir, traditionally fermented sauerkraut & pickles, etc. 4. Smaller portions (yes, I know this is difficult with all the super sizing). Eating huge amounts of food puts your digestion through a lot of stress and it’s unable to complete it’s task well or barely at all. Basically all that food you ate (even it’s healthy) will not be absorbed and utilized very well and neither will the nutrients from it. 5. Keep your drinks at meals down to about 1/2 a cup (4 – 6 oz). Don’t wash it down with a ton of tea, water, milk, etc.! All this excessive liquid dilutes your digestive juices. So, drink a small amount with your meal and then wait about 20 – 30 minutes to suck down your big glass of whatever.
By |November 15th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Roughage Helps Digestion

Even though you never actually digest roughage, it works wonders on your digestive system. Roughage, also known as dietary fiber, comes from the plant-based complex carbohydrates found in fruit, vegetables, grains, beans and nuts. Unlike fats or proteins, fiber is neither digested nor absorbed, but it helps carry the food through your system and keeps it running smoothly. Fiber can be soluble or insoluble, each of which affects your digestion differently. Most fiber-rich foods contains a mixture of both. Digestive Process Your body digests food through the process of peristalsis, the waves of muscle contraction that propel food through your esophagus, stomach and intestines. Roughage helps your food move through this process at a healthy rate and absorb the amount of water it needs to eliminate wastes and toxins from your body. This cleansing helps build the immune system, decrease belly fat and reduce inflammation as well as the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Roughage Amounts While the National Cancer Institute recommends 25 to 35 g of fiber per day for adults, the average American intakes only about 15 g. To increase the fiber in your diet, enjoy whole fruit instead of fruit juice. Eat less white rice, bread and pasta, and choose whole-grain products instead. Replace chips and chocolate with raw vegetables dipped in hummus or peanut butter. Add more legumes to your meals, even as a replacement for meat. Considerations As you increase your fiber intake, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, at least eight glasses a day. It’s best to increase your fiber gradually to help avoid cramping or gas. Don’t get carried away with eating fiber. More than 50 g of fiber a day may make it more difficult for your body to […]
By |November 15th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Benefits of Brown Rice

Brown rice, a very popular food source, can play an important role in your everyday digestion. Brown rice is what is known as a fiber, and a diet made up of high levels of fiber comes with numerous benefits, a few of which help improve your digestive system. By increasing the amount of brown rice you ingest every day you can improve your overall health and make your digestive system work more efficiently. Rice has been a popular food source since 2500 B.C. The first rice originated in China but it has since been spread to Sri Lanka, India and the United States. Rice is one of the most important crops to the world today with more than 3.3 billion people depending on it for between 35 and 80 percent of their total food source each year. There are three different varieties of brown rice, long grain, medium grain and short grain. Long grain rice is a fluffy variety that does not stick together. Medium grain rice is a dense sticky version that goes well in puddings and mixed in salads and casseroles. Short grain rice has a very sticky consistency and it is also very soft, making it closer to the traditional Chinese rice varieties. Brown rice is known as insoluble fiber, which means that it is passed through the intestines without changing much. Insoluble fibers like brown rice help move bulk through the intestines more easily and digestion becomes more comfortable. Brown rice also helps remove any present toxins from the digestive system faster. A high-fiber diet can reduce problems with hemorrhoids and constipation significantly.
By |November 15th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Baking Soda Benefits Digestion

Painful digestive problems that strike after a heavy or spicy meal can make you miserable. If you want fast relief, but don’t have any over-the-counter antacids on hand, check your pantry for a box of baking soda. Known scientifically as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is an inexpensive and effective home remedy that you can use to control occasional indigestion or heartburn. If you’re on a sodium-restricted diet, consult your doctor before using baking soda to treat problems with your digestion. Indigestion Indigestion, known medically as dyspepsia, is a collective term for a variety of symptoms, including the feeling of fullness before a meal, bothersome fullness after a meal, nausea, bloating and burning or pain between the lower end of your chest bone and navel. Indigestion is quite common among adults and can occur only once in a while or as frequently as every day, according to the National Institute of Health’s National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Baking soda helps to break down fatty substances and food particles, making them easier to digest and calming the turmoil in your stomach. Heartburn Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is a burning feeling just below, or behind, your breastbone that spreads up to your esophagus. The unpleasant, burning sensation occurs when the band of muscle at the end of your esophagus doesn’t close tightly enough, allowing stomach acid and partially digested food to creep back up into your throat. Almost everyone experiences heartburn at one time or another, which may be made more severe by hiatal hernias, pregnancies or certain medications. Baking soda neutralizes the excess acid in your stomach, putting out the flaming feeling in your chest and throat. See your doctor if you experience severe heartburn more than twice […]
By |November 14th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Good Vegetables for Digestion

The best cleansing vegetables will add the most nutrition, the most fresh vitamin/mineral water with the least burden on the digestion. Even though all vegetables are cleansing, some have more cleansing qualities than others. These qualities are also dependent on how you consume your veggies. Most organic, raw, fresh vegetables will work with a colon cleanse. These should be eaten during the day when the digestion is at its strongest. This will stimulate the cleansing process while strengthening your bodies ability to cleanse itself. Eating fresh, organic veggies lightly steamed will work wonders in the evening. When lightly cooked so the veggies are at their brightest in color, you will benefit from most of the vitamins and minerals. At the same time, these are easier to digest than raw veggies, so eating them in the evening when the digestion slows down will be beneficial for most people. Drinking fresh vegetable juice can help many people with health issues. It will give the body the nutrition it needs to heal itself. A good quality juicer will press most of the nutrients out of the vegetables and put them in the juice. Because you are drinking your nutrients, you will be able to absorb all of them even if your digestion is not in top shape. Some of the best cleansing vegetables are these: • Spinach which will provide the antioxidants needed to protect against cancer-causing toxins that may be traveling through your body on their way out during a cleanse. • Carrots when eaten fresh and raw contain a phytonutrient that protects against colon cancer. this is extremely important since many toxins leave through the colon during a colon cleanse. In addition, the carrots contain cartenoids which may help regulate blood […]
By |November 9th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments