Digestion

Sunday, 07 May 2017 20:02

5 Ways to Reduce Belly Bloat

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Do you wake in the morning and your stomach is pretty flat and as the day goes on your waistband feels tighter and by the time you go to bed at night you look like you're 6 months pregnant? If you answered yes, then you are experiencing bloating.

Bloating is often caused by eating too fast, eating high amounts of fatty foods or poor digestion. Here are my top 5 tips to help you banish the bloat:

Reduce the sodium in your diet as it could be causing water retention. 80% of the sodium in our diet comes from packaged, refined, processed and fast foods so if these make up a high percentage of your diet you need to start looking at bringing in more whole foods.

Increase the water in your diet, this will help flush the sodium out through your urine reducing the water retention. Remember that if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated so you need to increase your water intake. (Half your body weight in ounces) Set an alarm on your phone if you really keep forgetting!

Eat smaller, more frequent meals and take more time over your meals, eat slower and remember to chew. Undigested food gets into your stomach and intestines and if not broken down properly will sit and ferment causing bloating and gas. Put your knife and fork down between bites and chew until the food is a paste – remember your stomach doesn’t have teeth!

Include foods that aid your digestion such as ginger and if after eating you are experiencing some digestive discomfort have some ginger or peppermint tea. One of my favourite tea blends for this is called ‘Eaters Digest’ by Traditional Medicinals, I always have some on hand just in case!
Another way to help your digestion is to include fermented foods in your diet, but not all fermented foods are created equally. Choosing the right foods will make all the difference in the benefits you receive. The trouble with the majority of commercial fermented foods is that they have been pasteurized, are much higher in sugar and have been heated at high heat causing the beneficial probiotic bacteria to be killed off therefore losing the health benefits.

Here are some traditional fermented foods to consider:
Sauerkraut
Kimchi
Raw kefir
Raw apple cider vinegar
Kombucha
Miso

If you want to try making your own fermented sauerkraut, check out the recipe below and if after making this your bloating is still showing up on a regular basis, make an appointment with your friendly nutritionist to get to the root of the problem.

Traditional Sauerkraut
Yield: 1 quart (32oz) Mason Jar
Days to Culture: 5 Days-3 Weeks

1 Cabbage, thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp Full spectrum Sea Salt

Place chopped cabbage in a mixing bowl.
Add sea salt and massage together well.
Add any other desired ingredients (variations below) and massage until juices are abundant. The thinner the slice the easier this is.
Mix well and pack kraut into the mason jar. Firmly pack until approximately an inch of liquid (brine) is covering the kraut.
Use a weight such as a sterilized stone to keep down the kraut down so the brine is creating a seal

Substitute your favourite vegetables, herbs and spices such as cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots, cauliflower, radishes, dill & garlic, ginger & turmeric or garlic & onions.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:25

Digestion Tips

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Did you know that everything wrong with our body starts in the gut? It’s true. The digestive system starts at the mouth and ends at the other end. Good Digestion is often taken for granted until.... the symptoms start to mount up and the discomfort becomes unbearable or worse like IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

It could go something like this:

Indigestion 2 to 3 hours after meals
Bloating discomfort after eating
Full, tired feeling, especially after eating meat
Excessive gas, belching, or burping after meals
Burning sensation in stomach, heartburn
Heavy, tired feeling after eating
Constipation
Stools poorly formed, pale, greasy, floating
Undigested food particles in stools
Ridges on fingernails, slow growing nails

Then it is often misdiagnosed as too much stomach acid and you are prescribed an antacid. But the fact is if you are experiencing these symptoms the cause is most likely LOW Stomach acid.

What does TOO MUCH stomach acid look like?

Stomach pain 5 or 6 hours after eating usually at night
Stomach pain relieved by eating or by drinking milk
Stomach pain aggravated by worry or tension

If we are not digesting our food properly, we then do not absorb the nutrients from our food.

Greasy foul-smelling stools
Chronic diarrhea
Undigested food in stools
Mucous in stools
Foul-smelling intestinal gas

This is called malabsorption.

After years of faulty digestion, the liver has to do some extra work to pick up the slack. This takes away from the liver’s vital processes of clearing out toxins.
Symptoms start to mount up like those listed below:

Skin oily on nose and forehead
Dark circles or bags under eyes
Fats/greasy foods cause nausea, headaches
Stool appears yellow, clay coloured, foul odoured
Pale, greasy stools that float
Foul smelling bowel gas
Bad breath/bad taste in mouth, excess body odour
Pain on inside of right shoulder blade
Consistent gas and bloating from most foods and especially from onions, cabbage, radishes, and cucumbers.

The lack of digestive enzymes in the gut will lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria. We have billions of good and bad bacteria present in the body at any given time. If our digestion is not working optimally, we are guaranteed to have an overgrowth of yeast and parasites that can lessen our quality of life.

Again, symptoms can look like this:

Indigestion, bloating after meals
Intestinal gas, especially after sugary foods
Diarrhea or constipation
Urinary tract infections
Yeast infections, candida
Cold sores, canker sores

The following is a summary of guidelines that help to create the optimum conditions for digestion. By following these steps, you will be allowing your own processes of digestion, absorption, elimination and intestinal immunity to work as efficiently as possible.

Timing
Eat only when genuinely hungry
Have the largest meal in the middle of the day
Spend at least 30 minutes eating each meal
Allow no more than 3.5 hours between main meals
Have 3 main meals and 2 snacks each day
Consume nothing after 9:00pm

Setting the Mood

Do not eat when angry, anxious, upset, bored or overtired
Eat with congenial company in pleasant conversation or eat alone in contemplative silence or with pleasant music
Avoid reading, watching TV or arguing while eating

Awareness

Eat slowly, chewing food thoroughly
Take time to enjoy the taste, texture, and aromas of the food
Swallow only when each mouthful has turned to paste
Eat only enough to feel good. Never stuff yourself

Food Selection

Drink two litres of purified water daily
Be sure to consume 30-35 grams of fibre each day
Avoid processed foods, refined sugars and flours
Consume alcohol and caffeine sparingly, if at all
Suspect allergy/intolerance to any food to which one has addictive cravings or to any that produces excess mucus, or gastrointestinal stress of any kind.
Observe your body’s reactions to lactose, gluten and wheat
Do not drink liquids during meals, as they can dilute stomach acids. Drink at the end of the meal only.

If you are still having problems after trying these suggestions, it is time to book an appointment.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Monday, 23 November 2015 19:08

Candida- Are the yeasties taking over your life?

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Today I want to talk to you about something I see quite frequently in my practice.

The majority of my clients are coming to me either in the office or online, because they feel helpless and have been unsuccessful with managing symptoms like those I am going to list later on.

You see they go to the doctor and have tests done that come back inconclusive, so therefore they are told that nothing is wrong with them. The problem remains, and they still feel horrible.

Now, I know this may not apply to you.. however, you may know someone who would benefit from this information. Typically my clients are coming to me because someone like you has shared your experience with me. For that I am grateful. When you read my newsletters and share the information or you share with your friends and family about what I do, I am able to help more people feel better.

I am not faulting our doctors, they try to the best of their ability, however time is short, testing methods may be out of date or the parameters are so narrow that certain conditions may go undetected for some time.

I am not able to diagnose as a Holistic Nutritionist, nor do I need to. However, with the use of questionnaires and other assessments, I am able to help certain body systems utilize nutrients more efficiently so the body can do what it needs to do.

With every client we start with Digestion and Gut Health.

If the digestive system is out of balance we do not absorb the nutrients and could develop greater health issues.

Did you know that your small intestine has these little things like tiles and grout that cover the entirety of the intestine? Over time the “grout” like material starts to erode. Perhaps you have heard the term “Leaky Gut”?

Leaky gut allows undigested food particles to pass through the intestines into the blood stream causing inflammation and immune system responses like allergies and inflammation. The body goes on full alert and may start to attack itself, think Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Hashimoto’s etc.

If you have food sensitivities you have Leaky Gut and vice versa.

Often times when the digestive system is out of balance we can develop an overgrowth of bad bacteria, parasites and mycotoxins. The enzymes in the stomach become depleted and they are unable to keep the bad bacteria in control and the good bacteria becomes outnumbered.

If you have had chronic yeast infections, UTIs, athlete’s foot, jock itch, fatigue, depression, weight gain, nail fungus, irritability, uncontrolled sugar cravings keep reading.

Candida is an opportunistic fungus (or form of yeast) that takes many forms and is the cause of many undesirable symptoms ranging from fatigue and weight gain, joint pain and gas.

The Candida yeast is a part of the gut flora, a group of microorganisms that live in your mouth and intestines. When the Candida population starts getting out of control it weakens the intestinal wall, penetrating through into the bloodstream and releasing its toxic byproducts throughout the body.

As they spread, these toxic byproducts can damage your body tissues and organs, and weaken your immune system. The major waste product of yeast cell activity is Acetaldehyde, a poisonous toxin that promotes free radical activity in the body. Acetaldehyde is also converted by the liver into ethanol (drinking alcohol) so some people even feel like they are drunk or hungover, along with debilitating fatigue from the high amounts of ethanol is their system.

You should be concerned about this because an increase in free radicals may lead to disease.

Candida is usually kept under control if our immune system is in balance, however the overgrowth can occur when healthy gut flora becomes altered by the following factors:

  • Diet: a high sugar or refined carbohydrate diet will feed the yeast
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Use of antibiotics, steroids or birth control pills
  • Decreased immunity

Symptoms of Candida

  • Gas and bloating
  • Intestinal disturbances like belching and bloating, flatulence
  • Sugar cravings and fruit intolerance
  • Allergies
  • Itchy ears, nose
  • Autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis
  • Chronic yeast infections
  • Bladder infections and UTIs
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Nail fungus
  • Skin issues like eczema, athlete’s foot and jock itch, nail fungus

"A healthy gut & balanced intestinal flora will lead to proper digestion and a strong immune system." Heather Schoffield, BioMed

There are several methods available for testing: Candida questionnaires, blood testing, stool testing and urine dysbiosis testing.

Several factors can damage our gut micro biome, and being aware of the effect it can have on our body can help us prevent overgrowth. The type of delivery at birth is the first major factor. Beneficial bacteria are passed to us via a vaginal birth. Of course, if the mother is deficient, then the child will also be deficient in good bacteria. As well, beneficial bacteria are passed to us through the mother’s breast milk. Therefore, bottle fed babies will not have this added benefit.

Chronic infections, heavy metals, the types of foods we eat, chronic stress, over-acidity of the body, food allergies and sensitivities as well as various medical interventions and medications can all have an effect on our intestinal flora.

In order to bring back balance we need to Restore, Regenerate and Regulate the gut bacteria.

We likely all have heard of someone on a Candida diet. They are not fun for sure, and limit many different foods making it difficult to maintain.

By following a comprehensive approach with a health practitioner, gut flora can be restored through diet, the addition of good bacteria supplements to heal the mucous membrane lining of the gut and bring down the number of bad bacteria. It is also imperative to identify food sensitivities so the body is not subjected to further stress and is able to regenerate healthy balance. Following which, regulation of foods, beneficial bacteria and enzymes resident in the body to keep the body in balance.

A word of caution: if you have had treatments in the past for Candida either natural or pharmaceutical, the type of Candida then change into a cell wall deficient form and will then go systemic. Dealing with this type of Candida will require different tactics. Please consult with your Natural Health Practitioner.

Deanna Trask RHN

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Resources:

Sayer Ji, Green Med Info

Dr. Elson Haas, Staying Healthy with Nutrition and The Detox Diet

Heather Schofield B.Sc, DHMHS

Monday, 23 November 2015 19:08

Candida

Written by
Today I want to talk to you about something I see quite frequently in my practice.
The majority of my clients are coming to me either in the office or online because they feel helpless and have been unsuccessful with managing symptoms like those I am going to list later on.
You see they go to the doctor and have tests done that come back inconclusive, so therefore they are told that nothing is wrong with them.  The problem remains, and they still feel horrible.
 
Now, I know this may not apply to you.. however, you may know someone who would benefit from this information.  Typically my clients are coming to me because someone like you has shared your experience with me.  For that I am grateful.  When you read my newsletters and share the information or you share with your friends and family about what I do, I am able to help more people feel better.
I am not faulting our doctors,  they try to the best of their ability, however, time is short, testing methods may be out of date or the parameters are so narrow that certain conditions may go undetected for some time.
I do not diagnose as a Holistic Nutritionist, however, with the use of questionnaires and other assessments, I am able to help certain body systems utilize nutrients more efficiently so the body can do what it needs to do.  
 
With every client we start with Digestion and Gut Health.  
 
If the digestive system is out of balance we do not absorb the nutrients and could develop greater health issues.  
Did you know that your small intestine has these little things like tiles and grout that cover the entirety of the intestine?  Over time the “grout” like material starts to erode.  Perhaps you have heard the term “Leaky Gut”?  
Leaky gut allows undigested food particles to pass through the intestines into the blood stream causing inflammation and immune system responses like allergies and inflammation. The body goes on full alert and may start to attack itself, think Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Hashimoto’s etc.
If you have food sensitivities you have Leaky Gut and vice versa.
 
Often times when the digestive system is out of balance we can develop an overgrowth of bad bacteria, parasites and mycotoxins. The enzymes in the stomach become depleted and they are unable to keep the bad bacteria in control and the good bacteria becomes outnumbered.
If you have had chronic yeast infections, UTIs, athlete’s foot, jock itch, fatigue, depression, weight gain, nail fungus, irritability, uncontrolled sugar cravings keep reading.
 
Candida is an opportunistic fungus (or form of yeast) that takes many forms and is the cause of many undesirable symptoms ranging from fatigue and weight gain, joint pain and gas.
The Candida yeast is a part of the gut flora, a group of microorganisms that live in your mouth and intestines. When the Candida population starts getting out of control it weakens the intestinal wall, penetrating through into the bloodstream and releasing its toxic byproducts throughout the body.
As they spread, these toxic byproducts can damage your body tissues and organs, and weaken your immune system. The major waste product of yeast cell activity is Acetaldehyde, a poisonous toxin that promotes free radical activity in the body. Acetaldehyde is also converted by the liver into ethanol (drinking alcohol) so some people even feel like they are drunk or hungover, along with debilitating fatigue from the high amounts of ethanol is their system.
You should be concerned about this because an increase in free radicals may lead to disease.
 
Candida is usually kept under control if our immune system is in balance, however the overgrowth can occur when healthy gut flora becomes altered by the following factors:
-Diet:  a high sugar or refined carbohydrate diet will feed the yeast
-Alcohol
-Stress
-Use of antibiotics, steroids or birth control pills
-Decreased immunity
 
Symptoms of Candida
-Gas and bloating
-Intestinal disturbances like belching and bloating, flatulence
-Sugar cravings and fruit intolerance
-Allergies
-Itchy ears, nose
-Autoimmune disorders like Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis
-Chronic yeast infections
-Bladder infections and UTIs
-Fatigue
-Brain fog
-Depression
-Nail fungus
-Skin issues like eczema, athlete’s foot and jock itch, nail fungus
 
A healthy gut & balanced intestinal flora will lead to proper digestion and a strong immune system.  Heather Schoffield, BioMed
There are several methods available for testing: Candida questionnaires, blood testing, stool testing and urine dysbiosis testing.  
Several factors can damage our gut micro biome, and being aware of the effect it can have on our body can help us prevent overgrowth.  The type of delivery at birth is the first major factor.  Beneficial bacteria are passed to us via a vaginal birth.  Of course, if the mother is deficient, then the child will also be deficient in good bacteria.  As well, beneficial bacteria are passed to us through the mother’s breast milk.  Therefore, bottle fed babies will not have this added benefit.
 
Chronic infections, heavy metals, the types of foods we eat, chronic stress, over acidity of the body, food allergies and sensitivities as well as various medical interventions and medications can all have an effect on our intestinal flora.
In order to bring back balance we need to Restore, Regenerate and Regulate the gut bacteria.

We likely all have heard of someone on a Candida diet.  They are not fun for sure, and limit many different foods making it difficult to maintain.  
 
By following a comprehensive approach with a health practitioner, gut flora can be restored through diet, addition of good bacteria, supplements to heal the mucous membrane lining of the gut and bring down the number of bad bacteria.  It is also imperative to identify food sensitivities so the body is not subjected to further stress and is able to regenerate healthy balance.  Following which, regulation of foods, beneficial bacteria and enzymes resident in the body to keep the body in balance.
 
A word of caution:  if you have had treatments in the past for Candida either natural or pharmaceutical, the type of Candida then change into a cell wall deficient form and will then go systemic.  Dealing with this type of Candida will require different tactics.  Please consult with your Natural Health Practitioner.
 
Deanna Trask RHN
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Resources:  
Sayer Ji, Green Med Info
Dr. Elson Haas, Staying Healthy with Nutrition and The Detox Diet
Heather Schofield B.Sc, DHMHS
Monday, 27 April 2015 20:11

Build a Strong Digestive System in 3 Easy Steps

Written by
Our guts bare the brunt of all of our bad food and drink choices. Over time the mucous membrane in our stomachs and intestines degrades and can cause some rather unpleasant health symptoms.
 
Some of these symptoms can include:
•Bloating

•Acid Reflux

•Constipation

•Diarrhea 

•Inability To Lose Weight 

•Heart Burn

•Gas

•Frequent colds

•Sensitivities To Foods 
 
Creating optimal digestion in the body is the key to improving health and ensuring that your body is being well nourished. If you are suffering from any digestive related health symptoms give these 3 steps a try.
These 3 easy steps may seem simple to you. So simple in fact that you could easily dismiss just how powerful they are. Before you turn a blind eye and reach for an antacid or a pharmaceutical medication give them a try.  
 
CHEW. CHEW. CHEW.
Have you heard this tip before? You want to chew your food until it becomes a soupy mess in your mouth. This is especially important for proteins. Digestion starts in your mouth.
Your saliva contains special digestive enzymes that work hard to ready your digestive system to help break down the food you choose to eat so that it can be better absorbed.
In addition to the digestive enzyme amylase that gets secreted in your saliva, chewing signals to your liver to secrete bile which causes the gallbladder to contract. Your gallbladder is responsible for catching the bile to help digest fat. Without bile your body isn’t able to efficiently digest fat and can cause some painful stomach pains not to mention irregular and unfulfilling bowel movements.
SKIP THE FLUIDS.
Yes, that’s right, we are telling you to avoid drinking while you are eating. Most people only consume water at meal times, leaving them with heartburn and the uncomfortable feeling of being bloated.
Not only should you avoid drinking water at meal times, we strongly suggest skipping anything carbonated or caffeinated with your meals or snacks.
Your digestive enzymes are strong acids and fluids dilute acids. You do not want to dilute your potent digestive enzymes.
Avoid drinking 15 minutes before and 30 minutes after your meal. If you need to drink slowly sip clear fluids, but keep it to a minimum.
DE-STRESS BEFORE EATING.
Digestion is a parasympathetic nervous system function. This means that if your body is under stress that nervous system function gets shut off. While our environment has progressed and become more civilized our digestive system is still very caveman like.
When there is a stressful stimulus our bodies automatically run through a physiological stress response which shunts blood away from the stomach to support working muscles in times of stress.
This is where the common rule of don’t go swimming right after you’ve eaten or your will get a cramp came from.
The body can’t mobilize for a stress response and digest food at the same time. So if you find yourself crazed, upset or stressed out during meal times it better to choose foods easier to digest.
Shakes, soups, steamed vegetables, fruits or complex grains are your best choices. Avoid protein and fats when you are stressed out because they are harder to digest.
Create a meal time ritual where you practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing and gratitude before your meal. 
 
The most common reason I see clients is due to faulty digestion.  Most health issues start with the digestive system.
If you are having digestive system issues like the ones described above or you want to know the specific strategies to improve digestion then give me a call at 519-270-1889