Holistic Nutrition: Digestion and Aging part 2

This blog is a continuation of  the discussion to develop optimal digestion, especially as we age.  Part 1 is available via my website. In this article  I will suggest a few other options that are easy to do and many have found great relief and results.

DGL, stands for deglycyrrhizinated licorice.  DGL is produced by removing glycyrrhetinic acid from a concentrated licorice extract. It is removed because it can raise blood pressure in some individuals. DGL is excellent in treating peptic ulcers.  It can also be used as an anti- ulcer remedy. DGL does not inhibit the release of acid, rather it stimulates the body to release normal defense mechanisms. It improves both the quality and the quantity of the protective substances that line the intestinal tract, increases the lifespan of the intestinal cells and improves blood supply to the intestinal lining. There are even some studies that it inhibits h.pylori bacteria.  Some studies have shown DGL to be more effective than Tagamet, Zantac or antacids in both short and long term maintenance therapy of peptic ulcers.

Take as directed.  For the best results take 20 minutes before meals. It takes aprox. a month for significant results.  My experience has been to use DGL when traveling when my gut is not happy with various foods, or at times when I experience some acid reflux. I try to remember to take prior to meals, but have taken even between meals and have found some relief.  Since this is derived from the licorice root it not a chemical, but an herb.  Licorice tea can also be a great remedy for digestive concerns.

Digestive Enzymes decrease as we get older.  They come from the pancreas.  If you have heartburn, abdominal bloating and discomfort and gas with in the first 15-30 minutes after eating, it is usually due to lack of HCL recreation., BUT if it happens more than 45min after eating, its is usually a sign that you are lacking pancreatic enzymes. Digestive enzymes products are the most effective treatment of pancreatic insufficiency. Some of the products you may see include enzymes from free hog pancreas (porcine), or vegetarian sources such as bromelain and papain from pineapple and papaya, as well as fungal enzymes (mushrooms).   Many times a mixture from  the vegetarian and fungal can offer excellent results.  They appear to be more resistant to digestive secretions and offer a broader range of activity in the gut. It is most effective taken 15-20 minutes before a meal. You may notice results immediately or it may take a week or more for you to experience a change, depending on how severe the symptoms.

Probiotics are also a supplement I often suggest my clients to take, regardless of age, but it is even more important as we age.  There are major changes in the type of probiotics that inhabit the intestinal tract.  These changes are brought about as a result of many influences on the digestive tract including: diet, prescription drugs (mainly the use of antibiotic or antacid use) and the decline of digestive secretions. Some recent studies suggest that as we age we may want to increase the levels of the Bifidobacteria species of bacteria. Some of the improvements in supplementing with bifidobaceria include improved bowel function, ( reduced constipation, and or diarrhea), improved immunity and reduced inflammation.  Keep in mind the greatest amount of immune enhancing cells are in the digestional tract. One of the main reasons we need to keep our gut happy and healthy. You want to use a formula that has at least 3 billion bifodobacteria  per dosage.

Fish oils for a healthy gut.  Fish oils from Omega-3 fatty acids such as those that came from fish oil can help alleviate symptoms of IBS.  The average American diet has a ratio of 20:1 – omega -6 to omega -3 fatty acids.  The optimal ratio is 1:1.  Increase your omega -6 fatty acids y increasing  foods such as nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains.  Or simply take a high quality supplement to improve your ratio.

The key to a healthy gut is first to be aware of what is going on.  Keep a simple food diary for a week or two and notice when you have distress.  If you think you suspect the offending agent – eliminate it for at least 4 days.  Foods can stay in your system for 3-4 days.  Currently, I am tracking a digestive upset from something I ate 2 days ago. Don’t get in the trap of  feeling that being uneasy, queazy or subpar is the norm, it isn’t.  Of course, we should expect change as we age, but understand why and find some natural alternatives to address the problems.  Many prescribed drugs are masking the issue and can cause other side effects.

If you want to address it further, contact me to go over your eating style and habits.  It could be a simple solution or even a food sensitivity. It  may take a bit of mindfulness and exploration to address the underlining cause.

Some suggestions for products which can be purchased via my website through Emerson Ecologics or Metagenics Nutraceuticals are:

DGL

  • Licorice Root-V  by Douglas Laboratories
  • DGL Ultra by Enzymatic Therapy

Digestive Enzymes

  • SpectraZyme Metagest by Metagenics (vegetarian)
  • SpectraZyme Pan9x  by Metagenics(with porcine)

Probiotics

  • UltraFlora Balance – Metagenics
  • Ultra Flora IB – Metagenics
  • UltraFlora Acute- Metagenics

 

Hope this helps and your digestive health thrives!

Be Well,

   Mary

 

 

 

 

Holistic Nutriton: Aging and Digestion- part 1

Many people don’t realize that digestion slows down as we age, causing discomforts  that you may not have had at an earlier age.  I often hear common complaints about burping, heartburn, indigestion, bloating and gas.  Many times, the eating patterns haven’t changed , however, the digestive juices have.  Take for example, GERD,acid reflux or heartburn, basically all the same, the little purple pill is meant to take care of it, right? Not necessarily.  That little purple pill is to reduce gastric acid.  What is most likely happening is that you have too little stomach acid. A lack of gastric acid excretion is actually a more common cause of indigestion and heartburn.  If that is the case for you, you could be making the situation worse.  You need gastric acid to break down your foods to get the nutrients from the food  and assimilate them into your system.  If you are not breaking down your foods the results will be burping, heartburn, indigestion, bloating and gas etc. Foods will sit in your gut and ferment, and cause irritation and inflammation.  Beyond the above mentioned,  impaired gastric acid secretion may include, food allergies, diarrhea, constipation, cracked or peeling fingernails and iron deficiency. There are other diseases that have been linked with insufficient gastric acid output including asthma, celiac disease, diabetes, chronic autoimmune disorder, lupus, osteoporosis and more- but don’t jump to conclusion.

One way to discern if you have decreased gastric acid is with a detailed gastric acid analysis, provided by your doctor. Many insurances don’t cover this service.  A more cost effective and simple way is to determine your need for acid is to use  hydrochloric acid (HCL) supplements.  This may take a few days to figure out what the correct dose may be, but you would find relief in a relatively short period of time IF you have insufficient gastric acid.

Process: start by purchasing HCL at a reputable store or via my website ( Metgest from Metagenics)take one tabletop capsule containing 500-600 mg of HCL with a large meal. If it doesn’t aggravate your symptoms, try upping the dosage- one tablet with your first meal, two with the meal after that and three with the next meal and so on.

Continure to increase the dose until you reach seven tablets or until you feel warmth in your stomach, whichever occurs first.  A feeling of warmth in the stomach means that you have taken too many tablets with that meal and you need to take one less for a meal of that size.  You may want to repeat the same dose a couple of times in order to feel the ‘warmth’. After you have determined the dose, stick with that for the larger meals and then reduce the dose for smaller meals.

As your stomach start to producing enough HCL on its own, you will notice that warm sensation again, when this happens reduce your dosage accordingly.

This may seem a bit tedious, but it works and will help you to get on a healthier path of digestion.

Do NOT stop taking any medication without the approval of your medical practitioner.  If you want off the little purple pill (it is only meant to be used for a short time- not forever, get to the root cause of the issue!) discuss it with your doctor and possible more natural solutions.

My next blog will be other ways to address ways digestive complaints. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Be Well, Mary

Wellness Coaching: Self Acceptance

As an Am I Hungry Facilitator, I want to share this piece from founder, Michelle May. So Simple, but so true.  We can use this in so many aspects of our lives, beyond dieting.  We are almost always our worse enemies.

 

Self-Acceptance Step 1: Become Aware

By Michelle May, M.D.

“My yoga teacher said, “Whatever you practice, you get good at. If your habit is to compare, judge, and criticize yourself, then you’ll get better and better at it. You will strengthen your habit.”

That really resonated with me. I had subjected myself to 25 years of yo-yo dieting fueled by rejection of my Self.

Wishing I were somehow different and focusing on numbers like calories and pounds only distracted me from living my life fully. Unfortunately, many of us have been convinced that this is the only way, and that we somehow deserve a life focused on what we eat and what we look like instead of living our lives. We waste a tremendous amount of energy beating ourselves up—energy that could otherwise be poured into building relationships, accomplishing other meaningful goals, or simply enjoying life.

I am so over that.

Along my personal and professional journey, I’ve learned that self-acceptance breeds self-care. While it may seem counterintuitive, I also discovered that self-acceptance is the starting line for change. Now I choose to practice loving my Self gently, compassionately, mindfully, and persistently.”

 

Drop me line with your thoughts or awakenings.  If this sounds like you, maybe a little intervention would help.  Pick one small thing that you beat yourself up about and become aware, and how can you stop the vicious cycle that may be driving  you down. With you new found energy do something extraordinary- for you!

 

Be Well,

Mary

Nutrition News: Hearts and Chocolate

When we think of February and Valentines day- what comes to mind? For many it is hearts, chocolate and flowers and that is a good thing. More and more studies are showing that moderate amounts of chocolate are actually good for your heart. You may have already heard this and recent studies are supporting it to greater lengths.

From the Harvard Health Publications, recent results from a study out of England were published in the medical journal of Heart. Some of the findings are showing a link between eating chocolate and a lower risk of heart disease. Chocolate which comes from cacao beans, is abundant in flavonoids, which is an antioxidant produced by plants. Flavonoids are also found in other foods you may enjoy such as tea, red wine, blueberries, apples pears, cherries and nuts. Flavonoids in cocoa have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, prevent blood clots and fight cell damage. Studies are also showing that they also help with thinking skills.

Beware; there can be a few drawbacks with any good thing. Most of the studies are indicating choosing dark chocolate (70%), and avoiding the extra saturated fats and calories from additives: marshmallow, caramel or candy bits. The more processed the chocolate is through fermentation, alkalizing ,roasting etc., the more flavonoids are lost. Most commercial chocolates are highly processed. The good news is that major chocolate manufactures are looking for ways to keep the flavanols in their processed chocolates.

What about the fat? The fat in chocolate is from cocoa butter and is made up of equal amounts of oleic acid (heart healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil), steric and palmitic acids. Stearic and palmitic acids are forms of saturated fats. Yet, research shows that stearic acid appears to have a neutral effect on cholesterol, neither raising it nor lowering it. Although, palmitic acid does affect cholesterol levels, the good news is that it makes up only a third of the calories found in chocolate. This should make you realize that you cannot consume all the chocolate your heart desires.

Some thoughts to consider while optimizing your healthy chocolate indulgence:

  • Limit yourself to 1-2 oz. of chocolate a few times a week
  • Go for dark, minimally processed 70% cacao
  • Avoid cocoa powder that has not undergone Dutch processing which changes the natural acidity
  • Avoid milk chocolate that has added fats and sugars
  • Indulge in a variety of foods that contain flavonoid antioxidants such as apples, pears, red wine, tea, onions, peanuts, cherries and cranberries.

It might be a great choice to have a piece of dark chocolate with cranberry and peanuts, along with a bouquet of your favorite flowers.

Enjoy with your heart and soul.

Happy Healthy heart Month!

Be Well,

Mary

 

Visit my updated Metagenics store, www.yourchoice4wellness.com,  and get 20% off you first order at the new store with FREE shipping.  Recurring orders always receive 10% discount. Great deal! Check it out! For questions, contact me, wellbychoice@comcast.net

Nutrition News: Clean Up Your Act with Some Nice Discounts

Happy 2016! This is the time of year when many people do a cleanse or detox to get rid of the excess sugars, fats and indulgences from the holidays.  I am offering some specials through February to support  you, if you choose to clean up your act and get back in the swing of feeling energized and eating healthier.  The 10-day Clear Change Program is a terrific program where you eat real food,  is very easy and clear to follow, you are not hungry and it helps to curb the sweet tooth as well as gets your mind focused on food choices for health.  This is not a restrictive plan – however you are restricted in some of the foods you can eat.  Check it out via my website store: www.yourchoice4wellness.mymetagenics.com.  

If this is not for you, try some of the following suggestions that will help you regain your choices for a healthier lifestyle:

  1. Drink lots of water – add a little lemon juice or Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar to aid digestion.
  2. Increase your greens- kale, spinach, swiss chard, parsley, brussel sprouts; they support your digestive system, and  liver for natural detoxification and benefits of a lot of fiber.
  3. Cut back on red meat to one time a week, or totally for a few weeks – and only eat grass fed. Try substituting beans, fish, organic chicken or vegetarian meals for easier digestion.
  4. For one week remove all sugars, white floor, processed foods from your diet. This includes most breads, baked goods, processed foods, candies, chips.
  5. Quit coffee for a week or more, substitute herbal teas instead.
  6. Remove artificial sweeteners, like Equal, Splenda etc, use stevia instead.
  7. Get sleep- a minimum of 7-8 hours a night, take a 20 minute nap daily, sleep in if you can.
  8. Do some type of exercise every day for 30 min(or more) – walk, swim, yoga, dance,pilates do something different.  It will lift your mood and act as a stress buster.
  9. Try a few minutes of deep breathing, mindfulness meditation or muscle relaxation every day for a week or more.  Download an app ( try One-Moment Meditation free app) see if it helps you to unwind and clear your head.
  10. Play, have some fun, do something different. Go skating, take a hike, go to a museum, attend a lecture or some local music, call an old friend.  Bring life into your life.

If you were to pick just one thing to do, you would be assisting yourself in developing a healthier lifestyle. Try it!

Some specials that may interest you: 10% off the following through the month of Feb.

  • 10 day Clear Change Program
  • PhytoMulti- multivitamins plus  protective phytonutrients
  • Ultra Flora Balance– daily probiotic for immune support
  • Ultra Energy Bars – New! 3 flavors
  • ImmuCore– for immune support during cold and flu season or all year long.

Go to www.yourchoice4wellness.mymetagenics.com.  , register if you haven’t registered and use code  –jumpstart16– when you check out for your discount.

Good Luck- make a small change to make a BIG difference.

Be Well,

 Mary

For further support or information, contact me; wellbychoice@comcast.net