By Jill Coleman RN

To recap, from part I, digestion is paramount for health.
If the stomach is deficient in hydrochloric acid, (HCL), it can’t break down food. If our probiotics have been destroyed by antibiotics and poor nutrition we are not protected from the foreign invaders we ingest. Here a domino effect occurs as nutrients are not properly assimilated for the cells, including the cells of the gut that replace themselves every four days; Digestion is further decreased; less nutrients are delivered to our cells; our nutrition is compromised and the immune system suffers. Our body is an unprotected fortress open for attack!
In addition, only fresh, raw foods contain enzymes to help assimilate them, so to digest processed food, our body has to tap into its reserves of enzymes from gland like the pancreas which eventually creates stress on those glands.
So what can we do? If you have acid indigestion, Pepcid, Prevacid or other antacid medications only stop what little acid your body has to digest, and has many side effects as well.
Try a tablespoon of vinegar, (or dill pickle juice) before meals do the stomach can actually digest the food instead it the food fermenting. Or you can buy Betaine HCL tablets and take them with meals. Increase the dose until you no longer have indigestion, and/or the foul smelling gas is eliminated. If you feel a little burning in your stool, you just took too much HCL, and can cut back on the dose.
If you have been diagnosed with an ulcer, your digestive tract needs to heal and repair. Carrots and celery are very soothing to the digestive system and homemade vegetable soups will be helpful while your gut lining heals. Taking quality digestive enzymes will also help your body digest food and increase healing.
A holistic practitioner who uses whole food supplements can help get your digestion back on track. (See my article on Vitamins on my blog site below to tell the difference between whole food supplements and synthetic vitamins).
If you have taken antibiotics, you need to re-inhabit your probiotic population.
Sources of probiotics, (good bacteria) include fermented foods like Brewer’s yeast, miso, sauerkraut, micro algae, raw organic dairy, and yogurt. Many commercial yogurts are heat-treated or pasteurized, resulting in the loss of these valuable cultures, so always look for “live and active cultures” on the labels.
P-R-E-biotics nourish the good bacteria in your gut and give them a good home to live and bred. They are found in bananas, whole sprouted grains, raw, uncooked honey, garlic, onions, inulin, and fiber and should go hand-in-hand with probiotics. (See The GAPS diet reference below.)

Try to get two to four servings of these prebiotics, and probiotic rich foods a day. Of course eliminate over processed foods, and increase whole unaltered foods with twice as many fresh vegetables as fruits.
The body is amazing and has many backup mechanisms and reserves, but only for so long. There is more and more proof today that most disease manifests from nutrient deficient diets which result in
I always welcome comments, or suggestions of future topics.
References: Under ‘Health Issues’ -Getting at the Gut A Gaps Case Study by Natasha Cambel-McBride MD, January 31, 2012
Jill Coleman has been a Registered Nurse for over 21 years. She has studied and trained in holistic, whole food nutrition for over 5 years. In her office in Palm Desert, she helps her clients restore health by finding what is missing so the body is supported and can therefore restore itself back to health.
Please see her blog site for more healthy articles;

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