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Is Poor Digestion the Cause of Your Health Issues?

In traditional medical systems, such as Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, digestion is considered the foundation of our overall health. Western medicine is slowly catching up; a lot of research has been conducted on the role of digestion in health. In addition to digestive disorders, such as peptic ulcers, acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, food and digestion have been linked to cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Since 70% of our immune system exists in the digestive tract, auto-immune diseases including Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc., and allergic conditions such as asthma and eczema are connected to digestion. Digestion is also linked to our nervous system, so autism, depression, and Alzheimer’s have a root issue with digestion.

If you suffer from any of these diseases, then look at your diet. Science shows that the underlying cause of these diseases is systemic, or chronic, inflammation. (See my article, Chronic Inflammation – The Silent Killer at I sound like a broken record, but to improve digestion and help reduce systemic inflammation eat a more high-fiber, plant-forward diet, i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. You don't need to be vegetarian, but keep animal products to a minimum. Try lean poultry, fatty fish, and Greek yogurt. Herbs that aid digestion include ginger, fennel, turmeric, carraway, cinnamon, rosemary, peppermint, dill, meadowsweet, lemon balm, and lemongrass. Use any of these herbs daily in cooking or as a tea.

Other lifestyle factors that affect the digestive system include poor sleep, too much alcohol, smoking, excess weight, poor liver function, lack of exercise, and chemicals in your food and environment.

Any changes you make to your diet and lifestyle to assist with healthy digestion should make you feel better. I made changes to my diet when I began suffering with the symptoms of Hashimoto's disease; and although it didn’t cure me, it helped tremendously.


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