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More on Digestion

Vitamin K is found in leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collards, chard, dark green lettuces and water cress. Cooking them slightly and salting them with kelp or dulse ( a great source of iodine for the thyroid), Celtic or Himalayan sea salt (which contain trace minerals) will prevent ileocecal valve problems during the times when you aren’t out in the sun. Vitamin K aids in calcium deposition to bones optimizing bone density.

Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is needed to break protein down into amino acids, the building blocks of the body. Because of our high fat, high protein diets since birth, our levels of hydrochloric acid are severely depleted. Gas, bloating and burping, ridges on the nails, low energy, poor immunity, unable to build muscle are signs of an HCL deficiency. Betaine hydrochloride is a supplement that replaces our own HCL and helps digest protein. Celery juice, 16 oz on an empty stomach first thing in the morning will help to rebuild our stores of HCL. Wait 30 minutes after drinking celery juice before eating anything and please do not mix it with other fruits or vegetables as it works best alone.

Digestive enzymes may also need to be supplemented if gas, bloating and / or digestive pain occurs after eating carbohydrates (potatoes, bread, pasta, fruit) or fats (oils, butter). Digestive enzymes (amylase, protease, lipase) are produced by the pancreas and secreted into the upper intestine (duodenum) to help break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. As we age, our pancreases become sluggish in producing and secreting enough enzymes (sugar, fats and stress negatively impact) which is why elderly people often have more burping, gas and bloating than younger people. A Hydrochloric acid (HCL) deficiency is also very common in this population depleting protein digestion. Combination HCL and digestive enzyme supplements are available. Eating some raw vegetables and/or pineapple or papaya with meals will help digest foods.

Probiotics such as Acidophilus, Bifidus or Saccharomyces keep bad bacteria and yeast in check. Herbs such as oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, savoury and turmeric are useful for their anti-yeast and anti-inflammatory properties. Proper food combining is helpful by avoiding eating proteins with high starch foods at the same meal. The body produces hydrochloric acid (HCL) to break down protein and Amylase to break down carbohydrates and when eaten together, the enzymes may effectively cancel each other out leading to fermentation, gas, bloating and cramping.

A good combination would be meat or fish with steamed or stir-fried low carbohydrate vegetables (leafy greens like chard, spinach, bok choy). This diet is essential when Candida overgrowth has occurred in the small intestine and potentially throughout the body (systemic). Strengthen the ileocecal valve by eating foods in season and calcium magnesium supplementation.

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