Updated: Mar 12, 2021
How’s your start into 2020 been?
Mine started with what we generally call the ‘stomach flu’ yikes!
Some of you might have followed that I’ve been on an eradication and gut healing protocol in the past couple of months. Through an additional training I did on the microbiome and comprehensive stool testing, I discovered all this dysbiosis going on in my gut, plus some parasites that I’ve probably had for years (I suspect an incident when I was on holidays in Bali and brushed my teeth with tab water). So this is the first time in like 30 years that I'm getting the stomach flu and I actually see it as a sign that my immune system must be recovering.
You might wonder how is it possible to have all this when eating a healthy and balanced diet? The simple answer is STRESS (and stress can be so many things like parasites and pathogens stressing out your digestive tract and immune system but also other stressors. You might want to check out my article on stress for more information).
It actually starts with eating on the go and not being present with your meal, not chewing your food properly. It means that your stomach will not produce enough acid to break down the (insufficiently chewed) mass, which will therefore perturb the digestive process. Also, bacteria in your food will not be killed off if the environment is not acid enough and be able to go further down the digestive tract to proliferate.
If you’ve been like me and many others, your immune system and digestive tract could probably use a little love.
This also includes your liver! Especially after those holidays with lots of sugary treats, heavy meals and alcohol, your liver deserves some care.
Did you know that our liver is our largest organ and the only organ that’s capable of repairing itself? It performs over 500 vital functions in our body, amongst others it:
Filters our blood
Detoxifies chemicals, hormones, histamine, drugs, pesticides
Converts vitamins to their active form and stores them for later use
Controls blood sugar levels
Converts fructose to glucose and stores in fat cells
Stimulates bile production in our gallbladder which is necessary to break down fats
Supports our immune system
These can be signs that your liver needs some support:
Trouble sleeping (typically wake up around 3 AM)
Pain on right hand shoulder and/or underneath right-hand rib cage
It’s a perfect time to support your liver with herbs that help it to recuperate. You can buy these in form of capsules or liquid extracts.
Ideally, do this for minimum 3 weeks :
Our liver loves anything that’s bitter like: dandelion, arugula, broccoli sprouts, cilantro, cruciferous vegetables, Swiss chard
On top of that reduce all industrial and packaged foods, heavy meals, dairy, simple carbs like pasta, white rice or bread, sugar, fruit and alcohol, but also watch out for toxic body care products, cosmetics or cleaning products – your liver will thank you!
For your gut, I can recommend to incorporate collagen into your diet if you haven’t already done it. It’s not only great for our skin, but really supports repairing and restoring our gut lining. Bone broth (like our grandmothers used to cook) is actually even better if you have the possibility to make it (you just need to get some bones from the butcher). The benefits of bone broth consumption include supporting connective tissue and gut repair with collagen and gelatin, feeding gut cells to support regrowth with glutamine, and a white blood cell boost for immune health.
Here are some other remedies I’d recommend to boost your gut health :
Probiotics (after what I’ve learned about the microbiome last year I’d not recommend to just take any probiotic. However, if you do not want to test you could try a generic one like Metagenics or Nutergia for instance)
Active charcoal to help move out some of the toxins in your gut (be aware that charcoal can colour your stool black and cause constipation. After the flu you might want to take half a capsule between meals (=2x1/2 capsule per day).
L-Glutamine from bone broth or as a supplement to repair & seal the gut lining
Go dairy-free and this would be a strong recommendation at this time of the year as dairy can drive mucous and higher risk for ear or respiratory infections in adults and especially in children
Support your healthy bacteria with fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso and resistant starch from cold sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice (it’s important that the they have been cooled in the fridge after cooking. To benefit from the resistant starch, you should consume these foods cold or at room temperature)
Contact me if you have any questions!