Discussing the root of digestive discomfort
Even the smallest change can have a profound effect on your digestion, and it’s not always about what you eat, but when and how you eat too. Certain foods can cause digestive upset, but this can also be a result of an imbalance of gut bacteria. Sugar and refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and pasta) feed bad bacteria, causing digestive problems. Vegetables feed good bacteria to provide energy, support your immune system and keep the bad bacteria at bay, to ensure your digestive system is happy.
Nutritional therapy isn’t just about eliminating foods, but also adding in those that are missing from your diet - including oily fish, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. These are particularly valuable for good digestive health due to their essential fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.
When you eat can make a big difference. Fruit is often tolerated better when eaten alone rather than after a meal when it can ferment and cause bloating, flatulence and discomfort.
How you eat involves mindful eating: thinking about your food, preparing it and salivating over it to get your natural digestive enzymes working. Enzymes break down your food so you benefit from the nutrients rather than your resident bad bacteria.
Nutritional therapists are trained to look at your biochemical individuality, and create a personalised programme for you. Nutrition is not a quick fix and may take many months to get the digestive system working optimally, but with a programme tailored to your needs, it can be extremely powerful.
A nutritional therapist works in five stages to remove what is in excess, and replace what’s missing from your diet. You must repopulate with probiotic and prebiotic foods and supplements to rebalance the microbiome for good bacteria to thrive. Repairing the gut lining to optimise absorption and provide immune tolerance is next, before rebalancing lifestyle changes to reduce stress, and practising mindful eating to help prevent recurrence.
These stages are of equal importance to identify where the imbalance is. They then support the relevant body systems to regain balance, so you have long-term digestive harmony.