The secret to a long healthy life is a healthy stomach and key to that is to avoid inflammation in this region as it is your first line of defence against harmful substances.
All nutrients from food are transported from your stomach into body parts for survival and optimal health.
Our bodies fight inflammation each day and it is your stomach which has to deal most of this. Usually caused by poor diet, resulting in an overworked stomach, inflammation impairs your stomach lining making it more permeable which then starts to let in substances that shouldn’t be allowed in.
Normal nutrients which are not harmful but are too large to go through the stomach lining, such as large protein molecules, all of a sudden start permeating through the stomach and into the bloodstream. When this occurs your own immune system detects these substances as “foreign invaders” and attacks it to eradicate it.
This broken process is what is known as the “leaky gut” syndrome and it is one of the major causes of auto – immune diseases - a condition in which your body starts attacking itself in an effort to protect your body.
Research indicates that diabetes may be an auto-immune disease caused by chronic inflammation to the stomach. Many other negative health effects like weight gain, depression and skin disorders have all been associated with poor stomach health.
How do you prevent your stomach from inflammation?
1) Avoid eating foods that cause inflammation will help. Your body might not tolerate certain foods which you are not aware of. We all respond slightly differently to food, but there are certain common food triggers that promote inflammation, suggest you reduce and/or eliminate. Experiment to find out which foods are ok and which foods cause inflammation to you by starting to reduce or eliminate gluten (grain) and/or dairy.
Reduce intake of gluten for a month and see how you feel as you may find that you feel much better without it. If you aren’t intolerant, you can slowly start incorporating it back in to your diet. Many people are dairy intolerant or allergic to dairy and may not even know it. The only exception is pasture raised grass-fed butter or ghee, which doesn’t have casein – a common cause of inflammation. As with gluten, avoid dairy for a month and see how you feel. If you feel no difference, you can slowly start putting it back in to your diet as well. If eliminating these foods made a difference, then there are other steps you can take to make you feel even better.
2) Reduce sugar, alcohol and also caffeine. Sugar is the most addictive, your main enemy.
3) Reduce or avoid soy, most peanuts, legumes and normal potatoes. Fermented soy such as natto, miso and tempeh are fine to eat since the fermentation process makes it friendly to the stomach. Legumes and potatoes are also fine as long as they have been cooked and then cooled overnight in which case it becomes resistant starch but the advice is to reduce starchy foods.
4) Increase foods which generally promote a healthy stomach such as:
-Protein: Cold-water fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and low mercury such as salmon, trout, herring and anchovies.
-Vegetables: Dino kale (cooked), spinach, (cooked), broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, fennel, radish, collards, cucumber, zucchini, celery, carrots, bok choy, avocados, artichokes, green beans and dark leafy lettuce.
-Fruits: Most berries (strawberry, blackberry, raspberry), most citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, lime).
-Fat: Coconut oil, grass-fed butter and ghee, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil.
5) Supplements one could consider are the common and natural probiotic ones (improves stomach flora) and omega 3 fatty acid (check for krill oil, rich in MCT -medium chain triglycerides) promoting ones. Although you should get majority of anti-inflammatory promoting nutrients from real foods to help improve health, supplements can be helpful, especially if your body is already in an inflammatory state.
Try to eliminate certain trigger foods and implement more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet and see how you feel. Most of us could do with this. A diet high in healthy fats, low in carbohydrates and moderate amounts of protein gets your body to burn fat. The above, together with a tailor made training plan will do it.
You feel much better and it may be just what you need to help you get rid of (that last bit of) stubborn body fat!
Let me know if you require any further assistance.
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