Inflammation and digestion

Skye Macfarlane

Inflammation and digestion

Did you know that the most ‘toxic’ thing we do everyday is eating? Weird ah. But think about it. Everyday on multiple occasions we put ‘foreign’ material into our bodies. Then we rely on our body to break it down, extract what it needs and eliminate what it does not. 

Our body does a pretty good job at doing this job but it is important to remember that there is a very small lining between our digestive tract and the rest of our body - for example the lining of our digestive tract is only about one cell thick to divide the GI tract from the rest of us (blood supply etc). So when people talk about ‘leaky’ gut they are referring to this gut permeability that can occur when things cross that lining that shouldn't.

This can occur when there have been injuries to the GI tract (antibiotics, illness, food intolerances, inflammation etc). Ongoing gut disturbances can affect mood, energy levels, nutrient levels, healing and immunity. About 75-80% of our immune system resides in our gut - our digestive system is very important.

Plants like, horopito and ginger help to support digestive functions as well as bringing increased circulation to the digestive organs (as they are warming herbs). 

Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and with black pepper (to add its absorption), it helps to reduce inflammation and support people with gut and inflammatory concerns.

If you are struggling with digestive upsets things to consider are:

  • Food ‘load’. You may not be able to eat as much gluten/dairy/sugar as others. This does not mean you can’t EVER have them but it might mean your portions or frequency is less than others. E.g. You might be able to have bread every 2nd day not every day. It takes time to play around and get to your level but once you do, you will feel much better for it.
  • Bitter foods help with digestion. You might have eaten too much at the dinner party or the drive thru and you are now feeling it...Bitters can help digest that food a little easier. Take a dose of bitter plants after a meal that has not ‘sat’ well and it will help you recover a little quicker (great for Christmas…)
  • Turmeric helps as it works as an anti-inflammatory and some studies have shown it helps with adjusting microbiota and working similarly to a prebiotic
  • Eat more fibre rich foods. Your gut bacteria need fibre to live - that is their food source. SO feed the good stuff. Fibre is found in whole fruits and vegetables, legumes, chia seeds, nuts.
  • Our Anti-Flam tonic Anti-Flam tonic is infused with turmeric, ginger, black pepper, horopito and akeake, is delicious tasting and a good choice for  both stomach and joint discomfort. 

Skye MacFarlane- Wild Dispensaries Naturopath/Medical Herbalist

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