Do you want to have a healthy gut when your hair turns gray and then white? Start early and try these tips.
- 1. Crank up your stomach acid levels. By cranking up the level of your stomach acid, you’re actually lowering the pH. This just means that the environment inside your stomach is more acidic and more suitable for digestion. Give your stomach a boost by drinking raw apple cider vinegar before each meal.
When hydrochloric acid (HCl) levels are high enough, specialized cells in your stomach called chief cells are informed and commanded to secrete an enzyme called pepsinogen. Hydrochloric acid activates pepsinogen, turning it into pepsin. Pepsin is the active and ready for action form of the enzyme. It’s main action is the digestion of proteins in the food you eat. Without enough HCl in the stomach, there will be no pepsinogen secretion and thus, no protein digestion. Raw apple cider vinegar may also be used after a meal to help with heartburn; this seems to be because the higher acidity tells the lower esophageal sphincter to close.
Furthermore, raw apple cider vinegar increases your body’s (specifically your intestine) ability to absorb iron from the food you eat. Acid helps to transform non-heme iron into a more absorbable form. Hydrochloric acid, together with pepsin, is also required for the release of vitamin B12 from the food you eat. After its release, B12 combines with another protein (called intrinsic factor) so that it can be absorbed effectively in the small intestine.
Aim for 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in half a glass of water 15 to 20 minutes before eating your meals.
- 2. Move! You’re not a plant, so don’t pretend to be one. Don’t be a couch potato either. Move around to help circulate blood in your body. Walking enables your leg muscles to squeeze blood back to your heart and into the other organs, thereby circulating it. This includes your intestines making them propel digested food and wastes properly. This translates to smooth and regular bowel movements for you.
- 3. Drink your liquids before or between mealtimes. If you drink them while eating, you’re actually diluting the digestive juices and rendering them inefficient in performing their function. In addition, make sure you drink plenty of water. Water stretches the walls of your gastrointestinal tract, stimulating them to push the food and waste materials forward (towards your anus, not your mouth). Water also softens up your stools and keeps your digestive tract from becoming dehydrated.
- 4. Eat whole fresh fruits and vegetables every day to bulk up your stools. his works great if you’re prone to having constipation. A great example would be prunes. Don’t let the appearance of this dried fruit fool you (I know they look ugly). Prunes contain a lot of insoluble fiber (for bulking up your stool) and natural laxatives for relaxing your intestines. Don’t like the taste of prunes? Try unsweetened prune juice. Problem solved. Alpine tea can also work well for some if increasing fruits and vegetables doesn’t do the trick.
- 5. Limit coffee, other caffeinated drinks and alcohol. These beverages will make you pee like a horse (Have you seen one peeing?). This is because they cause fluid to be flushed out of your body so in turn you need to drink more water to replace the extra fluid lost. If you don’t replace the water, your large intestine has no choice but to suck the water from your stools. This will give you a hard and prolonged time sitting on the ceramic throne (toilet bowl). The solution, drink a glass of water each time you have these beverages or cut down on how many you drink a day.
Also check out our tips for a healthy brain in your mature years ‘Fire Up All Your Cylinders with These Natural Brain Enhancers’.