Five Tips for Better Digestive Health

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5 Tips for Better Digestive Health

Digestive problems?   Millions of Americans are suffering with poor digestive health these days brought on by not only poor dietary choices but poor dietary advice as well.  The mainstream nutrition advice to eat low-fat, eat more whole grains and eat more fruits and vegetables can actually exacerbate many digestive problems. 

Yesterday I made another TV appearance here in western Massachusetts where I discussed five tips for better digestive health.  Most of these tips are not tips your doctor is telling you about.  But they’re really important, especially if you’ve been experiencing more chronic, long-term digestive problems. 

5 Tips for Better Digestive Health

So did you watch it?  Are those tips something different from what your doctor has told you? 

Or did you not watch it?  I know, six minutes and forty-seven seconds to watch a video is an eternity in today’s digital age.   Don’t worry,  I’m not offended.

I’ll list the five tips for better digestive health below with a very brief summary and if something peaks your interests, well,you might have to go back and watch the vid.

I’m also going to include another video clip from my last appearance which is very applicable to tip number four. 

OK, here are my five tips for better digestive health:

Tip #1 for Better Digestive Health: Relax and Chew. 

I know, that’s not exactly earth shattering information.  But if you’re new to the world of “alternative” nutrition, these next two might peak your interest a little more.

Tip #2 for Better Digestive Health:  Go Grain-Free for At Least a Few Weeks.

There are three reasons why this can be beneficial:

a. You’ll also be going gluten-free.  Unless you live under a rock you’ve probably noticed a rising tide of gluten allergies and sensitivities in our culture.  There are many reasons for this but the short and sweet explanation is simply that gluten can be hard to digest.

b. You’ll also stop eating a lot of processed foods made from refined grains, sugar and chemicals.  Sugar and refined grains form the foundation of most people’s diet and this is the root cause of so many digestive problems. You can still eat a lot of these even on a gluten-free diet.

c. You’ll also stop eating improperly prepared grains.  This is the problem with the well-intention but misguided advice to eat more whole grains.  It’s not that all grains are bad for you, it’s that we’ve lost the knowledge for how to prepare them to make them digestible.  Traditional preparations include soaking, sprouting and fermenting grains.   Without these traditional methods, grains can be very hard on our digestive system.

Tip #3 for Better Digestive Health: Eat More Healthy Fats

Contrary to popular belief, healthy fats which include butter, coconut oil and fats from pastured animals actually help restore digestive function. 

Tip #4 for Better Digestive Health: Eat More Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are pre-digested for you in the fermentation process.  Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, pickles and fermented dairy like yogurt, kefir and cheese are just a few common examples.

You can buy fermented foods in health food stores but I love teaching people how to make them at home.  It’s so easy.  Here’s a video clip of my last appearance in which I did sauerkraut-making demo:

Tip #5 for Better Digsetive Health: Eat More Soups from Homemade Bone Stocks

Please throw the Campbell’s and Progresso soups away!  Yes, I know they’re convenient.  But please look at the label.   It’s nothing but chemicals.  Same for bouillon cubes and most canned and boxed stock as well.

Homemade bone stocks may take a little extra time to make but they are chock full of beneficial nutrients that support digestive health such as minerals, amino acids and gelatin.

My time was cut short on this tip so for a more detailed look at why homemade bone stocks are so important, click here for a previous post I wrote about it.

Of course, there’s a lot more to better digestive health than those five tips.  They’re really just the tip of the iceberg.   If you’ve been struggling with digestive issues for a while and need some extra help you can check out my 3-part video series for how to restore digestive wellness.  This series will explore why poor digestive health happens, how to correct it with food and how to make it practical in everyday life.

Click here to receive all three videos delivered to your inbox.

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Comments

  1. These are all really good tips but I have a question. Are the fermented foods from health food stores you referred to not pasteurized? Because if they are like most commercial fermented foods you have lost all of the value of the fermentation process.

    • Hi Jim,

      It depends on the brand. Some are pasteurized and some are not. You’re correct so always look for the un-pasteurized ones. If you’re in the Pioneer Valley, there’s a company called Real Pickles that has a great line of traditionally fermented vegetables. I think Zukay is traditionally fermented. You’ll see them in a lot of health food stores as well.

      • I just discovered and stated using Real Pickles very recently! We LOVE them. And I love that they are local(to me). I have been battling SIBO for 4 years and have been coming up with my own protocol to heal it with bone broths, fermented veggies, going back to traditional cooking like I did years ago(soaking everything) and essential oils..I have definitely made some big improvements but feels like it is taking forever. I need to replenish the good flora and I am hoping to do it through the fermented veggies. Im off dairy (reactions)for a long time now, hoping to reintro when my gut has healed more.Thanks for the tips, it was very validating to again read that I am doing it right! Just got coconut oil and will start using that soon too.

  2. Some great tips, I look forward to trying… thanks

  3. Great tips! Thank you for spending so much of your time teaching others about better nutrition. It is much appreciated.

    Lynn

  4. Lisa Quenon says:

    Thank you very much! I have ongoing digestive issues and am doing about 70% of what you mention…so can make some adjustments. Have been purchasing Kimchi from the healthy store at some $8 a pint. Hum. Looking VERY much forward to making my own! (For considerably less!)

    Learned how to make bone broth recently and have been using it (as well as homemade veggie broth) in everything. Love it!

    I do eat short grain brown rice. Have been learning lately to soak it before cooking it. How long would you recommend soaking it prior to cooking it?

    Thank you,
    Lisa Quenon
    Austin, Texas

    • Hi Lisa,

      I would try to soak it for at least half a day but you can go as long as 24 hours. The longer the better!

      Sounds like you’re making some good changes. Just stick with it. It’ll pay dividends over time.

      Craig

  5. Tamara Cooper says:

    Thanks for letting people know about fats and stocks and fermented food! It’s something that was probably pretty scary, telling people things that seem completely contrary to modern “knowledge” in just a few minutes, so you can’t justify it.

    • Thanks Tamara. I’ve been on the show a few times and I’m used to telling people to do the complete opposite of what’s recommended in the mainstream! So it wasn’t that scary. 🙂

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