The Health Advocate

 
by Hannah Whittenly, The Health Advocate

 
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If you experience frequent digestive upsets or don’t feel you’re getting the proper nutrition from the foods you eat, it may be time to investigate how well your gastrointestinal system is working. Individuals can take a number of simple actions to find out what’s going in their digestive system, in order to learn how to choose foods for better nutrition. Here a few measures that will help you assess your digestive health.


Keep a Food Journal

Most people eat without thinking much about what they are consuming. Keeping a food journal of every morsel you consume can help to keep track of the types of food you are eating on a regular basis that could be affecting your digestion.


Get Some Testing

Testing can help find a number of problems that affect digestive health. A blood test can determine whether you have celiac disease, a problem that involves damage to the intestines caused by consuming food products that contain gluten. Tests are available to detect helicobacter pylori bacteria that can cause ulcers. Some individuals have a gene variant that can lead to a buildup of a compound called homocysteine, an amino acid, in the body. You can order a MTHFR home test kit that will provide information on whether you have this gene variant which can negatively affect your health.


Try an Elimination Diet

An elimination diet is a method of eating one type of a food at time, to determine which foods cause digestive problems. The diet is performed over a period of time, gradually adding other foods. For example, you may find that items containing wheat can cause digestive issues, while other grains that do not contain gluten, a substance found in wheat products, do not cause problems. This method can help you to choose food items that cause the fewest problems and those that help you to feel healthier.


Avoid All Processed Foods

Foods that are processed in a manufacturing facility can contain any number of ingredients for flavor and preservation that can cause digestion upsets. Clean eating is a trend that focuses on foods in their most natural state, that is, foods that have not been processed or refined. These foods retain their natural vitamins, minerals and fiber content, without artificial flavorings, colorings or preservatives. The concept is that nutrients are more available in these foods, for better digestion and improved health.


Each individual has their own digestive quirks that can cause them to have stomach upsets and a general feeling of unwellness. Once you know which foods cause a negative reaction, you can avoid these foods and focus on those that provide the greatest amount of nutrition and energy for body.





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