Digestive disorders are growing rapidly throughout our population. The lower gut and, in particular, the colon seem to be under attack these days. We all know someone with irritable bowel syndrome, crone’s disease, diverticulitis, or any one of a dozen other disorders. We spend lots of time and money to identify and cure or treat these problems. Few people are asking why we have such a rise in the actual problem.
Some facts that we know are that we, as a society, eat more processed low quality food containing more chemicals and allergens, comprised of fewer and less available nutrients, today than ever before. When we don’t eat predominantly whole, raw, live food we lose lots of things that are needed to keep us healthy. Processed foods are just that processed, and that means to change or alter them before consumption. We may like to believe that this practice is done to help us or make the food better (enriched!) but who is really benefitting from removing the enzymes, breaking the protein structures, and altering the fats? The manufacturers do because all these things allow the product to be put in a box and put on an unrefridgerated shelf for an extended length of time without worry of spoilage. Thus the product is more profitable than a perishable real food. When food has the enzymes denatured (processed, cooked, etc) the food does not spoil as quickly and also does not digest as well. This leaves the product to rot in the lower gut. This process is detrimental to the probiotics (good bacteria) that live in the gut and maintain the gut thus causing a population bloom of bad bacteria that serve to irritate and damage the colon. This is a major cause of bowel disorders like IBS and can lead to other systemic problems like Candida and infections.
Another less obvious reason is the fiber we do or don’t eat. Many of our foods have a lot of the fiber removed and we all know how useful fiber is to keeping our colon clean. The problem becomes how do we replace it, we use psyllium husks or some other fiber that while natural, it is generally unnatural to our systems. In fact it is quite harsh and can so some harm while it is doing its good. This does not make fiber our enemy rather just eat more whole foods that contain the naturally occurring fibers, both soluble and insoluble, that you need to keep your colon sparkly clean. This will feed your probiotics (they like fiber) and help with hormonal balance and general detoxification. It’s a pretty useful substance, this fiber.
We cannot just blame the manufactures of our food but we also ourselves for choosing to eat these processed products. On top of all the nutritional reasons for gut malfunctions, we are taking more drugs for more ailments than ever before. Many of these drugs interfere with proper digestion or kill our probiotics or stress our detoxification systems. We are finding ways to poison ourselves while believing that we are getting healthier. There are many reasons why we have an increase in bowel dysfunction and with some back to basics nutritional simplicity we can make great strides to preventing these issues. This just fits with our mantra of eating food in a state as close to nature as you can because all of the proper nutrition and components work together to safely and in the right proportion deliver good healthy nutrition to you.
Again, nutrition is the foundation to disease prevention and good health.