I’ve been writing a lot lately about the importance of your digestion. Once it’s working optimally, you’ll enjoy a whole bevy of benefits from the shedding of excess body fat and improved hormonal function to super-effective detoxification and ramped up energy. Truly, working on your digestion is one of those core root causes that affects nearly every system in your body.
Your digestion is a process that’s very unique to you. But there are some general first steps that you can try to begin healing your digestion. Are you ready to begin?
Start by Eating Real Food
Real food is nourishing. Fake food is not. Ask yourself: Was this once living? If you answer yes, and it hasn't been highly refined, like sugar, enjoy it.
Focus on colorful vegetables, especially green
You need nutrients! Pureeing them in soups or smoothies can be helpful when your digestion isn't up to par.
Limit starchy non-vegetable carbs to one meal a day (preferably dinner)
These can feed the bad bacteria in your gut and they cause your body to release a lot of insulin. We're talking about grains, flours made from grains, and beans.
If you're a vegetarian, feel free to include more grains and beans, but watch your portions.
Severely limit--or eliminate--sugars
Do what you can, knowing that your cravings will lessen with time. You'll also learn later what other issues may be driving your cravings--and how you can help curb them.
You can use organic stevia or monkfruit as safe alternatives. Chocolate that's at least 80% cocoa is fine, too--an ounce (or less) daily. Click here for my favorite.
2 cups max for coffee; stop before 2:00 (while healing digestion)
Caffeine can mess with many of the systems that mess with your digestion, especially deep sleep. Remember that as your digestion improves, you'll derive more energy from your food.
Avoid industrial oils
These are just toxic bad news and they really do a number on your digestion. Think "vegetable" oils and seed oils.
Use olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and grass-fed, pastured butter or ghee.
Don’t take antacids or allergy meds, if possible
Remember: I'm not a doctor and I can't tell you what to do. But I can share that these can seriously impair digestion.
And now for the step that's targeted to healing your digestion...
These are the best digestive supplements I’ve found. Thorne is a good company that comes with third-party testing for quality control. These particular capsules also take the place of a bunch of different supplements. It has good amounts of:
Betaine HCL to help boost your body's production of stomach acid
Ox bile to help promote good bile flow (helpful for everyone, and necessary if you've had your gallbladder removed)
Pepsin to help break down proteins into smaller peptides
Pancreatin to help your body digest carbohydrates, fats, and protein
How to take Bio-Gest Digestive Enzymes
At first, just take one with dinner, either with the last few bites or when you’re done. It’s important that you make sure you’ve swallowed it and that it isn’t sitting in your throat.
If you have no or low digestive disturbances with this dose, you have two options for the following day: You can try taking one at lunch and another at dinner; or you can take two with dinner. There's no "best" here. Just go with your schedule and how you feel.
Continue with this routine, adding another capsule as long as you feel fine. You can work up to 2 capsules, 2-3 times daily (always with meals—if you skip a meal, skip the Bio-Gest, too).
You won't need these supplements forever (unless you’ve had your gallbladder removed). Depending on your dosage and what state your digestion was when you began, you can take them for a month or up to six months. Once your body is producing sufficient enzymes on its own, you can use this occasionally, when needed.
***IMPORTANT*** The Betaine HCL in this supplement doesn't work well with NSAIDs and corticosteroids. If you have an ulcer, wait until it’s healed before supplementing with Betaine HCL. Personally, I don't take these on days that I'm drinking alcohol. I haven't read anything to indicate this would be a problem, but I'd rather be cautious.
***NOTE*** Besides the Betaine HCL (which is derived from beets), these are animal-based ingredients which are easier for the body to assimilate, but may go against your beliefs.
That’s it for now. If you have any questions, please reach out!