by Dr. David Minkoff March 01, 2018 4 min read
Digestion is the engine of our health.
It’s how we get our energy, nutrition, vitality.
But when it goes off, it can throw our whole system out of whack.
Ultimately, many digestive issues can be traced back to a low level of stomach acid. Stomach acid sets the stage for the rest of the process
Even heartburn and GERD, conditions that feellike there is too much acid are actually symptoms of too little.
And this is where pharmaceutical solutions go wrong. Most inhibit acid production, compounding the underlying problem.
We need simple, easy, natural solutions.
So what can you do?
To restore your digestive balance, there are a few key places where you can make small alterations for big results:
WHAT you eat, HOW you eat, WHEN you eat, and BEFORE you eat.
Most people focus on “before you eat” supplements: it’s easy, external, doesn’t require behavior change.
But this is only one step in the process. By integrating each of these aspects, you can restore your digestion naturally.
Diet is one of the most impactful steps you can take to lower your stomach pH and restore your digestion. A clean diet rich in vegetables, fiber, and healthy protein does wonders for all aspects of health.
MINIMIZE: excess alcohol, sugar, grains, dairy, factory-farm meat, chemical exposure (pesticides, pollution, etc.)
EAT MORE: vegetables, especially the leafy greens, fiber to help regulate your gut microbiome and bowels, and healthy protein like lentils, sustainably sourced fish, and organic, humanely treated meat. (factory farm animals have very high levels of stress hormones and antibiotics in the meat, which has a negative impact on your health.)
Once you’ve got your gorgeous big plate full of organic vegetables, clean protein, we encounter another problem area for busy, modern individuals.
Many people eat in a rush, gobbling down food in mere minutes.
If your stomach is a small fire, these massive pieces of partially chewed food are huge wet logs.
They need to be broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks to burn well. So relax, take your time enjoy your food. Feel the taste and the texture.
This translates into two important action steps:
The timing of when you eat is a little-known secret of robust digestive health – not to mention overall health, immunity, detoxing, energy, and even muscle building.
Digestion actually turns off other important body processes like detoxing, healing, building new protein and enzymes, and resetting your digestive system. Every athlete needs recovery time – so does your stomach.
Fasting and Intermittent fasting are powerful ways to give your body a chance to clean itself, rebuild, and rebalance. These are deep topics, so here is quick overview.
Intermittent fastingis a protocol that keeps your food consumption into a tight window of time, generally between 6 and 8 hours in a day. This gives your body a nice long rest to fully absorb the food, cleanse, and heal itself. For example, if your first meal is at 10am, your last meal of the day would be around 5pm.
Fasting is the total abstinence from solid food. A 3-5 day fast can powerfully activate your immune system, trigger major detox, reset your digestion, but even a 1-day fast can bring many benefits. Be sure to inform yourself and consult your health professional before undergoing a major fast.
Avoid Eating Before Bedis recommended advice for everyone. Digestion uses a lot of your body’s energy. It diverts it away from other important activities like growing, healing, and cleaning. These are all processes that primarily occur at night while you sleep, so eating before bed can actually disrupt your natural biorhythms and impact your health. It may not always be possible, but try to eat at least 3 hours before going to sleep.
Before you eat, you can give your stomach a little boost to help it get ready for all the hard work of digestion.
Here are 3 natural remedies for getting your digestion into high gear:
The natural secrets presented here are not new – these have stood the test of time. They have helped humans for centuries.
With patience and persistence, they can help you as well.
Anton SD, et al., Flipping the Metabolic Switch: Understanding and Applying the Health Benefits of Fasting. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2018 Feb;26(2):254-268.
by Dr. David Minkoff
Signup for the BodyHealth Newsletter and get a FREE digital copy of "The Search for the Perfect Protien" by Dr. David Minkoff and discover the key to weight loss, depression, fatigue, insomnia, and osteoporosis!