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Maintaining a Healthy GI Tract
Q. I have heard that the foundation of any wellness or detox program is maintaining a health GI tract and regular bowel movements. What are your simple “can do” recommendations to achieve healthy gut.
A. Indeed, you are correct. It was said by Hippocrates, 400 B.C.E., that “All disease begins in the gut.” If you ponder this statement, it makes a lot of sense. It is a fact that we are what we eat, also, what we absorb. Whether that be pristine water and food, or toxins. Maintaining a healthy GI tract is key, as the gastrointestinal tract is the ultimate, selective filter, ideally, allowing nutrients we need to sustain the trillions of cells in our body, while keeping toxins from this polluted world and those created from digestion out.
Here are my 3 + 1 simple steps to take:
- Eat health promoting foods. This means lots of organic, fresh and lightly steamed veggies and other sources of fiber. Cruciferous veggies, like cauliflower, broccoli, provide the body with natural sources of a substance called, Indole-3-carbinol. This helps detoxify and process certain hormones.
- Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water. Clean, non-chlorinated, non-fluoridated water that is not reclaimed from waste water.
- Keep your bowels moving 2 to 3 times a day. You have to eliminate toxins from the body to prevent reabsorption.
Herbal considerations: To support healthy digestion, I recommend using Bitters. To keep the bowels moving, follow the above advice is important (water and veggie consumption). And, on the occasions where the GI tract slows, try the herb Cascara Sagrada to help get things going.
Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D., has 24-years of experience practicing as a Naturopathic Doctor in Portland, Oregon. He is dedicated to using his vast knowledge about alternative medicine to help his patients and generously give to those in need. He has written over a dozen books and 100's of national articles, and was named Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 2003 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Read more about Dr. Meletis here. Or, visit our "Ask Dr. Meletis, N.D." page for additional articles.
*Statements herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or health condition. The information on this website, and provided by Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D., is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is recommended that patients check with their doctors before taking herbs, to ensure that there are no contraindications with prescription medications. There is additional information linked within this site to HealthNotes®, a third party educational source, containing the latest research on health and supplements. Oregon's Wild Harvest will not be held accountable for this information and consider it an education reference only.