Updated: Mar 15, 2020
Did you know that the majority of your body’s bacteria live in your “gut?”
Your gut is home to HUNDREDS of different types of good and bad bacteria. This is why it is important to be mindful of what you consume. Your body’s organ systems are interconnected to form one being, you. So as you can imagine, what you consume has an effect on every system in your body.
Working in an emergency department, I find that a great amount of the patients come in with complaints of abdominal pain. According to a study noted in an article by Fox News, regarding digestion, “74 percent of Americans are living with digestive symptoms like diarrhea, gas, bloating and abdominal pain” (Fox News 2015). I then began to look at myself; I’d like to consider myself a pretty, healthy person. I mainly eat home cooked meals, I take my vitamins, I don’t eat sweets, I only drink tea and water, etc. Despite my constant effort to live a healthy life, I tend to have minor abdominal pain from time to time. Being the health freak that I am, I began to look into natural ways to help alleviate some of the discomfort and assist my body with proper digestion.
To begin, food is medicine! And having a healthy gut is a substantial factor of strong immunity.
LISTEN to your body! Your body speaks to you every day. It is critical to listen to these signs you are given. Signs can range from how your skin reacts to a certain food, how your stomach feels, your energy level, how you’re sleeping, how often you’re getting sick with something as simple as a common cold, etc. Moreover, a great example would be how your body reacts to dairy products. There is a great amount of people who are lactose intolerant and actually aren’t aware. According to NIH, “Approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy” (Lactose Intolerance 2020). Those who are lactose intolerant experience pain and discomfort after eating dairy products. Symptoms can flare up in other ways, such as face acne breakouts.
Kombucha has been a hot commodity on the market. But what is Kombucha? And does it really work?
To begin, let’s discuss what kombucha is. Kombucha is a tea-like drink that is believed to have originated in Asia, thousands of years ago. Kombucha is a fermented drink that contains live (good) bacteria cultures.
These bacteria are said to strengthen the immune system and assist with digestion. Kombucha heals in a multitude of other ways. It is said to help decrease blood pressure levels, help control Type II Diabetes, and prevent various types of chronic illnesses. Kombucha also plays a huge role in vaginal health. This carbonated beverage helps to balance the pH levels in the vagina. Just like yogurt and probiotic supplements, it helps generate good bacteria to prevent a pH imbalance.
Drinking kombucha can help prevent common vaginal issues like yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (Mackeen 2019).
Similar to green tea, kombucha is considered an antioxidant.
Antioxidants are typically found in certain kinds of fruits, nuts, and green tea.
They aim to remove toxins that may be damaging to the human body. Antioxidants are extremely beneficial for the liver. If you aren’t aware of the human anatomy and physiology, the liver’s function is to cleanse the body from toxicity. Alcohol consumption is extremely detrimental to the liver because this is the organ that is responsible for dispelling it from your body. Alcohol consumption is fine at moderate levels; however, when the amounts exceed moderation, your liver is overworked. This is why foods and beverages with antioxidants are important, they help speed up the metabolism process.
A great amount of the kombucha flavors on the market include ginger and lemon, which are popular agents used in digestive health. Both of these agents are extremely beneficial for building immunity against many sicknesses. From personal experience, they both usually help alleviate any stomach pain I experience. I can recall getting sick on one of my most recent trips to Africa. I must have eaten something bad because my stomach was constantly hurting. I began drinking lime and ginger infused hot water twice a day and it helped, tremendously!
In addition to one’s diet, getting active and incorporating movement into your day is so important! They actually say moving and exercise helps move the food down your gastrointestinal tract.This is why it is strongly suggested to eat no later than 2 hours before you go to sleep. Eating and going to sleep before your food digests causes digestive problems and irregular weight gain. So be mindful of this and make sure to move after you eat!
Supplements + natural remedies:
If you’re into natural healing and prevention. I strongly recommend looking into consuming supplements and incorporating the following agents into your day.
These agents play a huge role in digestive health and strengthening the immune system:
Probiotic pills (also helps with vaginal health)
Take care of yourself and remember food is medicine!