I was 35 before learning up to 80% of our immunity is in our gut. So, if something is off in the digestive system, it makes sense that other problems follow. After years of digestive issues–bloating and gas, especially, I found I had allergies to beef and chicken, as well as dairy. So I spent an entire summer juicing veggies and fruits and gave up meat for over a year. I felt much better for a while, but bloating and gas eventually returned, as well as itching, burning skin rashes that started on one arm or leg and moved weekly (it seemed) to others. I have always loved to eat, but all of this took the joy out of food for me. After being tested, over 32 food sensitivities were found, and each time I was re-tested, I went home and cried, since more and more foods were knocked off my list. I have found, though, once my gut healed, I have been able to eat all of those yummy things again, except gluten, which causes all kinds of problems.
There are great articles out there about improving gut health (see links below), and I have learned what has helped me in one way or another. Here is some of it:
- Healing the gut takes time and patience.
- Rest! Continuous stress steals our health if we don’t take regular times to relax and enjoy life.
- Be laser-focused and do your best; however, do not expect perfection. Once I read that each time you eat foods you are sensitive to, it’s like opening an old wound (ouch). Even knowing that, I would try a little bit of something on the off-limits list every now and then. Later, I looked pregnant, had terrible heartburn, my stomach burned with intestinal spasms, and I beat myself up since I knew better. And that cycle did not help one bit.
- Give yourself grace when (not if) you slip up. It gets old and frustrating, feeling like the only one who cannot eat anything “normal” at wedding receptions, parties, restaurants and celebrations at work.
- Always take a snack you enjoy–then and afterwards–when you go anywhere. Nuts and Kind Bars (with no more than 5g of sugar) have been lifesavers.
- Eat less carbs and sugar, which can throw off your gut balance. I was told to only eat 1/3 cup of berries a day while my gut was healing.
- Eat more veggies–preferable organic and lightly steamed. Juicing helps, too, but more veggies/ less fruit!
- Add healthy fats to your diet. Avocado, coconut oil and olive oil are some of my favorites.
- Drink ginger, chamomile and/ or peppermint tea about 30 minutes after meals to help with digestion and soothe the intestines.
- Read about raw milk here. It has probiotics and immunoglobulins, which helps build up the immune system. THIS has made such a difference for me, especially since finding I have an immune deficiency.
Want to find out more? Click on these links from some experts:
Have you had issues with your gut health? Since every body is different, what has worked for you?