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Proper digestion is one of the key elements to feeling good, maintaining a youthful look and preventing disease. The negative side of improper digestion includes a buildup of toxins that could lead to fatigue, accelerated aging, acid-reflux, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive disorders. It is important to note that even though you may be eating healthy, the nutrients and minerals will not be properly absorbed in your body without proper digestion.
Fiber: High fiber diets protect the colon, nourish the intestinal flora (aka: the good gut bacteria), and reduce the incidence of colon disorders, including cancer. Soluble fiber binds to toxins for excretion from the body. Examples of high fiber foods are grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Flora: Flora exists as bacteria in a healthy, productive state when fermentation in the body follows a normal pattern. Fermentation is responsible for hormone production, immune function, blood sugar control, cholesterol metabolism and synthesis, and normal bowel elimination. Cultured foods or probiotic foods contain enormous amounts of these beneficial bacteria, and we recommend eating these foods on a daily basis.
Fluids: Fluids are important to help cleanse your body, keep you hydrated, and aid in digestion. Drink warm teas or soups with your meals, Fluids are also naturally found in fruits and vegetables. As stated in the Body Ecology Diet book, we recommend drinking lots of fresh vegetable juices containing mostly celery, kale, broccoli stems, spinach and lettuce, with the addition of a little sour green apple.
Fats: Body Ecology recommends mostly raw fats from plant sources. They include unrefined coconut, extra virgin olive, pine nut, flaxseed, pumpkin seed, evening primrose, borage and black currant seed oils. Fats from raw or cultured butter and sour cream are also acceptable, as well as fats from the meat of young coconuts or avocados.
Foods: Choose organic and fresh whenever possible. Eat dark green leafy vegetables and ocean vegetables on a regular basis. Include mineral rich sea salts (we recommend the Grain & Salt Society brand), and herbs and spices as they contain medicinal properties. Your adrenals must have minerals in order to provide the necessary energy for natural detoxification.
Fun: Fun balances the stress. Our greatest responsibility is to maintain happiness!
Don’t let poor digestion hold you back or put you at a greater risk of disease. By adding these six essentials to your daily routine, you’re well on your way to improving your digestive health and maintaining a balanced and nourished body.
Donna Gates, M.Ed., ABAAHP, is the international bestselling author of The Body Ecology Diet and The Baby Boomer Diet: Anti-Aging Wisdom For Every Generation. An Advanced Fellow with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, she is on a mission to change the way the world eats. Over the past 25 years, she has become one of the most loved and respected authorities in the field of digestive health, diet, and nutrition, enjoying a worldwide reputation as an expert in candida, adrenal fatigue, autism, autoimmune diseases, weight loss and anti-aging.
Her groundbreaking work has been instrumental in transforming the natural foods industry. Donna first introduced the natural sweetener stevia to the U.S. in 1994. Her very successful grassroots movement blossomed to tens of thousands enjoying the new sweetener and after three years it was approved as a “dietary supplement,” becoming a common item in every health food store in America. Donna’s cookbook, Stevia: Cooking with Nature’s Calorie-Free Sweetener (Avery) was the first of its kind. The next five years were dedicated to educating on the value of coconut oil, which was demonized as a dangerous fat. Her dedication spurred new research and now coconut oil is promoted by holistic doctors and sold nationwide. Donna also focused on fermented foods and probiotic beverages and reintroduced milk Kefir to the U.S. marketplace. Her innovation continued with “young coconut water kefir,” a fermented drink touted by medical doctors for healing the digestive tract and treating acid reflux.