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A Fox News report suggested that as many as 80 percent of the American population complain of some type of digestive disorder. We are quick to blame our food and our stress on our digestive woes – which is actually spot on.
Where we miss the mark is not taking advantage of the therapeutic strategies there are to address the stress and foods underlying our digestive concerns. While any stress reduction technique is a welcome visitor to our worn out, over-stimulated nervous systems, little attention is given to the stress incurred while eating. Eating on the run, while watching a horror movie, eating late, while driving, reading, texting or multi-tasking will directly turn off the part of the nervous system in charge of digesting. (1)
The nervous system in charge of boosting digestion is called the parasympathetic nervous system – also called the “rest and digest” nervous system. It is activated when we chill, relax, calm down and eat. Remember the old Vedic saying about eating in haste: “If you eat standing up, death looks over your shoulder.” Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but the point is well-taken.
As for blaming foods for our digestive distress, we have become masters of misdirection. Logic would suggest that if you feel yucky after eating a certain food, then it’s a bad food and we should stop eating it. To this, I say yes… and no!
Processed, refined, additive-, preservative-, sugar-laden foods are more than just bad for you. They are the foods that have compromised our ability to digest, and we should be blaming and avoiding them like the plague.
The result of eating processed foods for decades is linked to our current epidemic of obesity, depression and diabetes. (2-4) A highly processed food diet accomplished all of this by diminishing our ability to digest foods that we have been eating for millions of years.
The solution is to, yes, take out the processed and refined foods from the diet first. Then, temporarily take out the foods that give you trouble while you fix your digestion. Then, you can safely re-introduce some of those foods in a non-refined, non-processed form.
Wheat for example, has been targeted as a poison and we now have a 16 billion-dollar-a-year industry promoting a grain-free diet. Sadly, most of the gluten-free alternatives offered by the gluten-free industry are highly processed versions of bread, pasta or brownies. This may alleviate your hypersensitivity to processed wheat, but it will not repair the broken down digestion – which may even be exacerbated from eating gluten-free products.
I recently wrote an article called “The Dangers of a Gluten-Free Diet” that will be coming out soon. In this article, I cite studies that have shown that a gluten-free diet dramatically changes our microbiome for the worse and compromises our immune systems. Those on a gluten-free diet had 4 times the mercury levels in the blood compared to folks eating gluten. The new science is suggesting that the harder-to-digest compounds found in grains, nuts and seeds offer amazing health benefits. We just have to be able to effectively digest them to unlock those benefits! Hard-to-digest foods, like whole grains, act as immune system-stimulators and beneficial microbe-proliferators for our human bodies. Without them, we may be creating an even bigger problem than just digestive woes.
Question Your Digestion
Let’s not let the massive and ever-growing 16 billion dollar gluten-free industry dictate the foods we should eat. We know what to eat: Whole foods, in season, as full meals, eating in a relaxed way.
The problem: Decades of processed foods have set us up for real problems, including food allergies, depression, obesity, diabetes and much, much more.
I just released a 4-hour, 4-part video free video training called “Question Your Digestion: Repair the Damage Eat Fad-Free.” In this training, which I consider my best yet, I take you step-by-step how we got here, and how we can dig ourselves out.
This training will only be free and available for a short period of time. Don’t miss this opportunity to question your digestion and start eating fad-free!