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Diet and Lifestyle

The Happy Path To Gut Health

The Happy Path To Gut Health

With our digestive health playing an integral role in maintaining the health of our bodies. Nutritional Therapist Kerry O’Connor explores how we can maximise it.

They say you are what you eat, but we now know we are what we absorb.  Unfortunately for some it feels like everything they eat creates a disturbance or sensitivity in their digestive system.  Our digestive system, which begins in our mouth has three main functions; to digest, absorb and eliminate.  All of these processes must be working properly to maintain good gut health, which plays a huge part in overall health.

Up to 70% of people suffer from gastrointestinal disorders at some point in their lives, symptoms varying from bloating, fatigue, heartburn, IBS and burping to skin issues and for some even pain.    Aside from so many symptoms being unpleasant this can occasionally lead to more serious gut health issues.

There are a lot of things we can do to help alleviate symptoms by adopting some lifestyle changes. Regular exercise, stress reduction and taking more probiotic and prebiotic rich foods, such as bone broth and fermented foods or a quality microbiotic supplement like super 8 can help.

One of the best ways to discover if your issues are caused by food and drink intolerance is to keep a food diary and recording how you feel both physically and mentally for up to three days after eating.

If you discover that a food or drink seems to be creating symptoms then you should eliminate this for up to three months before gradually reintroducing and closely monitoring how you feel.  Some people find great relief by adding a digestive enzyme when they eat to help break down foods and to help with absorption of nutrients.

Of course, if you are coeliac, which is an autoimmune condition, you will try to never eat gluten again as it causes such damage to the small intestine.  However, there are around 13% of Irish people classified as having non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and are now following a gluten free diet.  They report symptoms such as diarrhoea, wind, constipation, brain fog and fatigue and find that these are alleviated when they cut gluten out of their diet. The only EU approved enzyme for breaking down 86% of residual gluten in just 10 minutes, Gluten Shield, has just been launched in Ireland.  This is an additional help for those following a gluten free diet who inadvertently eat gluten through possible cross contamination, thereby giving a sense of security to those who suffer from gluten sensitivity especially when eating out.

Figuring out food sensitivities and trying to avoid them, healing our gut and adding in beneficial microbiotics and digestive enzymes can help both physical and mental health.  Eating a wholefood low sugar diet will always be better than eating processed foods containing additives regardless if they are gluten free or free from.

Gluten Shield is a food supplement. It is not intended to replace a gluten free diet and is not intended to prevent or treat Coeliac disease. It may be useful if you are following a gluten free diet and are concerned about unintentional or residual gluten in a gluten free diet.

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Diet and Lifestyle

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VAGAN SUPPLEMENTS

If you follow a well-planned vegan diet, you’re probably getting abundant amounts of most nutrients a multivitamin provides. But a few nutrients may fall through the cracks, so a vegan multivitamin can be advisable. Few vegan foods are good sources of zinc or iodine.

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They found that people who eat vegan and vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease, but a higher risk of stroke, possibly partly due to a lack of B12. The researchers found that those who didn’t eat meat had 10 fewer cases of heart disease and three more strokes per 1,000 people compared with the meat-eaters.

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Diet and Lifestyle

Olimp Labs Gold-Vit® C 1000 Vitamin C – 30 Capsules

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It’s involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the proper functioning of the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

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Diet and Lifestyle

Udo’s Choice® Ultimate Digestive Enzyme Blend

Digestive enzymes help your body break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. This is necessary to allow for the absorption of nutrients and to maintain optimal health. Without these enzymes, the nutrients in your food go to waste.

A unique blend of 7 plant based digestive enzymes to assist in the breakdown of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fibre.

Find Digestive Enzyme Blend in your local Health Food Store or Pharmacy.

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