We all know that if we want to improve our health, lose weight and get fit we need to exercise and eat correctly. You are what you eat. That means you need to choose more of the right foods that provide the building blocks for healthy cells and support the body's ability to build and repair itself. This leads to more lean muscle tissue which means a faster metabolism which results in increased fat burning, improved tone and a better looking body. But what if you already eat 'healthy' foods and regularly train at the gym but are still struggling to get the results you desire like getting rid of the stubborn paunch or belly fat, recover from injury or perhaps you still suffer from ill health ? It’s likely that your digestive system isn't fully functional. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much healthy food you eat, if your digestive system is damaged somehow and not working properly, you'll have a hard time absorbing all the vital nutrients that allow your body to function optimally leaving you mal-nourished, tired and always hungry. As a result you can expect to find it difficult to increase muscle mass, boost your metabolism, lose weight and burn fat. Furthermore, you could also end up with leaky gut syndrome, fatigued adrenals, an under-active thyroid, an exhausted immune system, food allergies, gut bacterial problems, parasites like H.Pylori, a swollen belly, chronic inflammation, bowel irregularity, back and joint pain and more likelihood of developing an auto-immune disease such as arthritis, diabetes, ulcerative colitis, celiac, MS or chronic fatigue syndrome.

You are what you absorb.

In brief, poor lifestyle and diet choices can negate all the hard work you do in the gym. An unhealthy digestive system will struggle to absorb nutrients, cause an immune response, create chronic inflammation and paves the way for undigested food, bacteria, fungus and even parasites to get into the body and wreak havoc in the intestines, colon, the liver, the bloodstream, the brain and consequently every cell in the body ! The solution isn’t more anti-inflammatory drugs, the answer is to work from the inside out, making healthy lifestyle and diet choices that restore the optimal function of the gastro-intestinal tract. Prevention is always better than cure…

Top Ten Digestive Tips

  1. Stay Hydrated - Drink more pure mineral (bottled) water (avoid tap water)
  2. Eat Organic Wholefoods - Eliminate the toxic additives that damage the gut
  3. Minimise Stress – Stress can shut down the digestive system. Find time to relax.
  4. Chew Your Food - Break your food down into liquid form before you swallow
  5. Good Fats - Support the immune system (Omega-3's are anti-inflammatory)
  6. Avoid Gluten - Modern grains are heavily processed and irritate the gut wall
  7. Avoid Sugar - Don't feed the bad bacteria, fungus and parasites (they love it)
  8. Use Pro-biotics - Look after the good gut bacteria and they'll look after you
  9. Natural Anti-inflammatories - Turmeric, rosemary, oregano, ginger and chilli
  10. Eat Pre-Biotics - Fermented foods like sauerkraut & kefir feed the good bacteria

Duncan Edwards BSc (hons) Director, Bodyguards Health & Fitness, Jesmond, Newcastle Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiologist, Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Metabolic Typing Advisor & Personal Trainer

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