The difference between a GOOD diet and a HEALING diet

Remember the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"...........but does it really?

The fact is, if you have a fructose intolerance (like I did), then an apple is going to make you sick.

A simple apple to me was a plate of pain and suffering, because it would trigger my body to have a painful, inflammatory autoimmune reaction in the form of joint pain.

Food intolerances are as individual as each person

Even though apples are a nourishing, healthy, wholefood, they are not a good choice for everyone.  Food intolerances are as individual as each person and all foods have the potential to cause inflammation and symptoms. 

So, what is a healing diet?

The key to healing, is to understand the difference between a good diet and healing diet and not to confuse the two. Just because something is "healthy" does not make it "healing". Some very healthy foods, can actually cause inflammation and disease.

Good Diet

  • Wholefood
  • Broad range of foods
  • Can include harder to digest foods like wheat, dairy, meat 
  • Can contain some inflammatory foods - alcohol, sugar, coffee etc.

Healing Diet

  • Wholefood
  • Restricted to low allergen foods
  • Restricted to easy to digest foods
  • Inflammatory foods totally eliminated, anti-inflammatory foods increased

Why digestion matters

Everything we eat and drink is processed and absorbed by our digestive system.  It’s a complex function, involving may parts of the body including:

  • Mouth – Chewing mixes food with saliva, which is high in amylase, an enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates.
  • Stomach – Acid is produced and starts to break down proteins. Intrinsic factor is released to help absorb B12.
  • Pancreas – 1.5litre of digestive enzymes are released every day to break down food into smaller molecules for absorption.
  • Liver – Releases bile from the gallbladder and to help break down fats, breaks down fructose molecules.
  • Small intestine – Releases digestive enzymes and absorbs food.
  • Large intestine – Absorbs water and contains massive quantities of bacteria, which feed off fibre and create beneficial vitamins and compounds, like short chain fatty acids, required for a healthy immune system.

Everything needs to be functioning well for optimal digestion and health. But, for a large range of reasons (discussed more in the program), things go wrong and food intolerances, inflammation and disease develop.

“All disease begins in the Gut”

Hippocrates, (370BC) the father of modern medicine said, “All disease begins in the gut”.  And there is a lot of truth to that even today, particular now that we know 70-80% of the immune system is in the gut.

By supporting all the digestive functions we can promote better digestion and better health!  We can do this by:

  • Chewing our food well.
  • Relax while eating, so digestive secretions are produced. Stress turns them off!
  • Look after our liver and pancreas with herbs like stinging nettle and milk thistle.
  • Stimulate digestion with apple cider vinegar and honey mixed in water.
  • Heal leaky gut.
  • Consume lots of fibre-rich foods that feed good bacteria.
  • Eat probiotic rich foods. 

Leaky Gut / Intestinal Damage

One of the main drivers of food intolerance and disease is leaky gut (intestinal permeability).

This occurs when the intestinal lining is damaged or "leaky" and allows large, undigested food particles, toxins and bacteria to enter the blood stream, causing food intolerances and various immune reactions due to molecular mimicry. 

It's often the foods we eat the most, that cause the biggest problem.

Anything we eat, including healthy foods, can leak through the gut lining and cause an immune reaction.  It’s often the foods we eat the most, that are the biggest problem.  Particular foods, like wheat and dairy, are two of the biggest offenders, because of the proteins found in them.

Eliminating food intolerances requires us to remove the offending foods, while healing the digestive system.  Digestive enzyme supplements can help to fill the gaps, while we address the root cause.

As the body heals, food intolerances will disappear and we can expand our food options and start to introduce more variety back into the diet.  To learn more about how to choose a healing diet, then read more here.

If you'd like to know more about how to eat a healing diet and the causes of digestive disfunction and disease, then take a look at my Anti-inflammatory Program and learn how to reclaim your health naturally. 

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