As a Crohn’s patient, learning to live with certain digestive sensitivity is all part of the game. However, over the past ten years I have found some good tips and tricks that have helped my wee little intestines and can help anyone out there with Crohn's, digestive disorders, or just sensitive rumbling tummies. Take advantage of some (or all) of these tricks and you are sure to feel better. Remember, these tips are what have helped me but always consult your doctor before changing your eating plans.
Wheat is so out of style
If you don’t have a gluten allergy or Celiac disease, you might be wondering why I am saying stay away from wheat. Celiac disease (or CD) and other wheat allergies used to be thought to affect only 1 in 1,000 people. However, recent studies show that as many as 2 – 3% of the population has some sort of intolerance to wheat. Two American physicians, James Braly and Ron Hoggan, have just published a book called Dangerous Grains and cite wheat and gluten are at the root of a proportion of cases of cancer, autoimmune disorders, neurological and psychiatric conditions and liver disease. This would mean that our Western diets of high carbs are actually making a vast amount of us ill. If you have a sensitive stomach, take a look at your cupboard and throw away the glutton.
Candida diet – even if you don’t have Candida
Candida, an overgrowth of this naturally occurring yeast can cause a handful of problems. If you have it, it can cause a mountain of chronic illness and you should follow what is known as a Candida diet. If you don’t have it, follow the diet anyway and your gas problems, sensitive stomach problems, weird bathroom breaks are bloating will all go away. I don’t have Candida, but I keep to this diet because I credit it as one of the reasons I have been in Crohn’s remission for ten years (and counting). The basic rule to follow with a Candida diet is no dairy (except cheese and yogurt) and nothing fermented (throw away the soy sauce, vinegar and beer), and refined sugars.
For more information about Candida and a Candida diet please go here:
Probiotics…nature’s best microscopic bug
I call it the microscopic good-for-you bug. However, the scientific name is Lactobacillus acidophilus. Try saying that five times! Lets keep it simple – probiotics. Literally it is the bacteria that is “pro” your intestines. We all have it naturally – and it is in cheese and yogurt. But added a kick to your diet does wonders. I take one probiotic pill a day and feel like a normal person with a stomach that behaves. It eases digestion, keeps you regular and helps break down other foods you eat. I use a pill, but you can find yogurt with added probiotics, tea, and live cultures you can add to smoothies. Go to your local health store or natural foods store and stock up.
More information on Probiotics https://www.empowher.com/media/reference/acidophilus-and-other-probiotics
Acai Berry - despite the hype
Chances are in the past few months you have heard Oprah talk about her, her Dr. (Dr. OZ) talk about it, and countless of infomercials about it. It gets tricky, dissecting what is hype and what is not. It happens all the time – Oprah talks about something and a thousand people try to uber-market their schemes. After a while, you wonder what is real. I did a lot of research on Acai (pronounced A-say-ee) Berry and what I can tell you is this:
- It is a superfood
- It has changed my life (5 pounds gone, perfect blood tests, no colds, stomach loves me)
- Be careful where you buy it
Acai Berry aids in digestion, skin health, immune system, and brain function. It is the antioxidant rich and only found in the Amazon Rain Forest. You can buy it in a juice form or freeze dried. I have both, but to get you started I recommend getting the freeze-dried powder (don’t forget to refrigerate) and adding it to your water / smoothie every day. The brand I trust is http://www.amazonthunder.com/ (lame name I know).
Pass the popcorn…to another person
A normal person can eat some popcorn. Try getting a normal person to get an entire tub of popcorn and he or she will certainly be having some interesting “movements” the next day. If you have a sensitive stomach or a digestive disorder – stay away from popcorn, corn or any large amount of roughage. Your toilet will thank you.
Coconut Oil – the really good for you fat
I cook with coconut oil almost every day. However, there are many ways you can use this unique fat, which is a unique saturated fat (solid at room temperature). Don’t let the idea of a saturated fat scare you – coconut oil is different in that it is a medium chain fatty acid (MCT). Most vegetable oils are long chain fatty acids (LCT) and take longer for the body to burn. My doctor has told me that the two greatest sources of medium chain fatty acids are coconut oil and breast milk. Well take a guess at the one I am cooking with! I use coconut oil for everything, from topping on my veggies to an olive oil replacement in cooking recipes - everything. The first couple of days I was gassy and felt very very hot (no not supermodel hot but feverish hot). After that, I just felt..well good. My stomach feels calm, I lost weight, my hair grows like a weed and I am holding on to nutrients now. Remember to use virgin coconut oil, preferably expeller pressed. I stock up at my local Trader Joes and Whole Foods, and you can also order in bulk on Amazon.
*The products discussed and promoted here are solely the personal opinion of the author and don’t replace a diagnosis or treatment for any medical condition. Consult your doctor before trying any new diet.
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