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Contrary to popular belief, most of us with digestive issues, including heart burn and GERD, are suffering from too little stomach acid, rather than too much. Many factors can contribute to having too little stomach acid including: eating too quickly and under stress, a diet too high in processed carbs and sugars which upsets the gut’s microbial balance and eating foods that we are sensitive to, such as gluten, which can cause an inflammatory response. Some medications also reduce our natural stomach acid.
Besides removing the factors that cause reduced stomach acid, one thing that we can do to improve digestion is to add in a hydrochloric acid (HCl) and digestive enzyme supplement. We can test how much HCl supplement we need by adding one HCl capsule each meal time. By increasing the number of capsules by one, each meal time, we can take note of any reactions we feel. When a slight burning sensation is felt in the upper gastric area, we know our supplementation is having an effect and it’s time to cut back. At this point, we reduce the dosage to that which we were taking prior to the burning sensation.
The HCl acid supplement we choose should also include digestive enzymes, particularly pepsin. If the stomach acid is low, it will not be producing enough protein digesting enzymes either.
A caveat to this advice comes from Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac as he warns:
Note: HCL should never be taken (and this test should not be performed) by anyone who is also using any kind of anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids (e.g. predisone), aspirin, Indocin, ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin, Advil, etc.) or other NSAIDS. These drugs can damage the GI lining that supplementary HCL might aggravate, increasing the risk of gastric bleeding or ulcer.
Tags: Anti-inflammatory, Digestive Enzymes, Elimination Diet, Environment, Enzymes, GERD, Gluten, HCl, Heart Burn, Hydrochloric Acid, Low-Carb, Microbiome, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, Pepsin, Probiotics, Relax, Simple Carbohydrates, Slow Down, Stress
Nothing is more important for your health than the state of your gut microbiome. Did you know that we are made up more of living microorganisms including bacteria, than we are made of cells?
Our digestive tract is basically a tube that runs from our mouth at the top of our digestive tract to our anus at the bottom. In our intestines or gut portion of our tube is a world of organisms called our gut microbiome. The gut is populated with friendly or beneficial microorganisms that are part of our immune system, help us break down foods, and even produce needed nutrients for us. The state of our gut micobiome even affects our mental health.
We also have microorganisms in our gut that can wreak havoc on our health if they become too out of balance. Our modern diets of processed, sugary foods laden with pesticide residues and antibiotics upset the healthy balance our gut microbiome. Stress also destroys this balance. Did you know that in certain cases, we can’t even lose weight no matter how much we diet and exercise if our gut microbiome is out of balance? In short, we can not be in optimal health if our gut microbiome is out of balance.
It is therefore important to re-establish a healthy gut microbiome balance. One way of doing this is by adding in probiotic rich foods. Some of these foods might include: old-fashioned, lacto-fermented foods such as sauerkraut, lacto-fermented pickles and cultured dairy such as homemade (unsweetened) yoghurt and kefir.
See my article, I Found A Solution, to read more about my personal experience with finding a solution to GERD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disorder) with probiotic foods.