alive logo

Gut Instinct


Almost all disease can be traced back to poor digestion. Good digestive health is more than just breaking down your food properly'it's essential for nutrient absorption, immune function, detoxification, and chemical and hormone production..

Almost all disease can be traced back to poor digestion. Good digestive health is more than just breaking down your food properly-it's essential for nutrient absorption, immune function, detoxification, and chemical and hormone production.

By following a few simple tips, you can markedly improve your digestion and, in turn, your general health.

Good Food

Try to eat clean, wholesome food like organic fruit and vegetables, as well as free-range or organic meat. Fresh produce is easier for your body to break down and absorb nutrients from than processed, prefabricated food. Organic food is the ideal choice, as it does not contain pollutants or toxins such as pesticides.

Clean Water

The human body consists mostly of water, so it makes sense that clean, pure water is going to make for a clean, pure body. Water-and lots of it-is naturally detoxifying and vital for keeping digestion in good working order. Try drinking at least eight cups (two litres) of water per day for the best possible digestive health.

Chew Your Food Well

Many people suffer from poor digestion simply because they do not chew their food properly. If you take the time to make yourself a good meal, you owe it to yourself to savour and enjoy it. Your gut will thank you as well.

Portion Control

Your body is designed to digest food in small amounts. This means you need to consider what you are putting on your plate. While it is often tempting to order a large portion of something you like, your body has a hard time digesting enormous helpings of food. Small, more frequent meals are better for your digestion and, ultimately, your waistline.

Digestive Enzymes

As we age, our body decreases its enzyme production. This makes it more and more difficult for the body to properly digest food. When you combine this fact with poor and excessive food choices, it is a recipe for poor digestive health. Gas, bloating, heartburn, constipation, toxicity, and leaky gut are all likely symptoms. Taking plant-based digestive enzymes in capsule form with each meal can help ensure your body has the tools it needs to break down food properly.


Even someone with a quality diet and an active lifestyle needs to cleanse. Cleansing works to rid the body of toxins and pollutants absorbed from the food, water, and air we breathe.

A good cleansing program stimulates all seven of the body's elimination channels but will focus mainly on the colon and liver-the body's two largest detoxification pathways. A poorly functioning colon or liver can result in numerous digestive health problems, mainly toxic overload and constipation. You should be having at least one bowel movement a day-two to three is considered optimal.

The most effective way of cleansing the body is to perform a 30-day herbal cleanse that works to stimulate all seven channels of elimination. Herbal cleansing programs, available at health food stores, should be performed at least twice a year to ensure premium health.

Additionally, a high quality flax-based fibre supplement can assist in the cleansing process. Flax fibre absorbs toxins that have been processed by the liver and brings them to the colon for elimination. Flax is a much better fibre than psyllium, which can dehydrate the colon and cause constipation. Finally, a well-balanced essential fatty acid supplement that contains nutritional oils from flaxseeds, borage seeds, and fish oils will help keep the colon lubricated to ensure proper bowel movements

Relieve Stress

Believe it or not, stress plays a huge role in your digestive health. A person who is able to deal with and relieve stress will have significantly better digestion than someone who cannot. The key factor in dealing with stress is balancing your life and putting aside time for activities you enjoy. Even something as simple as deep breathing is a quick relaxant that can dramatically improve your digestion.


Your body is designed to be active. As such, it operates at its best when you are exercising, increasing your heart rate, and improving your cardiovascular endurance. Inactivity slows down all of your body's processes, including the production of enzymes and hydrochloric acid, which are essential for good digestion. While most of us lead busy lives, you can always fit in physical activity somewhere in your day, whether it's walking instead of driving to the shops or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Nutritional Supplements

With a busy lifestyle and not enough time for yourself, it is hard to do all of the things necessary to take care of yourself. Generally, diet is the first to suffer, and a lack of proper nutrients causes the entire body to slowly deteriorate. This is where nutritional supplements can play a key role in maintaining health. Good multivitamin and green food supplements are vital if you do not otherwise eat optimally. While they are not replacements for good food, nutritional supplements will provide you with nutrients needed to help your body maintain its digestive processes.

Notice the Differences

By caring for your digestion, you are making an investment in your health. Increased energy, vitality, and youthfulness are possible at any age if you take care of the basics. By following these suggestions, you can be on the road to optimal health.



10 Simple Strategies to Help Students Manage Stress

10 Simple Strategies to Help Students Manage Stress

Stop being overwhelmed by school

Michelle von Hahn

Michelle von Hahn

10 Important Benefits of Routines for Kids

10 Important Benefits of Routines for Kids

How schedules can help kids and parents thrive

Christina Chandra

Christina Chandra