Health Briefs

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Basic Principles for a Happy Gut

Live Longer and Improve Your Mood

by Lee Rossano, CNC

Basic Principles for a Happy Gut -

Many of us read about "diet" and don’t really understand the connection between what we are eating and the impact it has on our digestive health.
A ketogenic (keto) diet for instance is a short-term solution for weight loss but it is not sustainable and is very hard on your digestive system.

The Standard American diet (SAD) contains processed foods, sugar, soda and excess caffeine which destroy the stomach lining, pH and any good bacteria in the gut. The more nutritionally-depleted foods we eat, the worse we feel: both physically and emotionally.

If we start out with some basic principles for a happy gut then we will live longer and our mood improves.

Digestion starts in the mouth with saliva. Amylase digests carbohydrates, lipase digests fats and hydrochloric acid found in the stomach digests proteins. Diets high in live foods such as fruits and vegetables contain enzymes that will balance your pH and the digestive tract will be less stressed.

Fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles and yogurt help aid digestion by providing pre and probiotics for the gut. Grains and ground flax seeds can provide much needed fiber for the lower intestine and food for the good bacteria.

Fruit should be consumed away from protein and carbohydrates. That gives your body a chance to digest it without stress.

Other tips:
1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. That can include nuts, seeds, legumes (in moderation,) vegetables, and fruits (in season) and quality proteins like poultry, red meat and some fish. Dairy is sometimes hard for humans to digest unless it’s fermented like cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir or cheeses. Butter is pretty neutral because it has very little casein and no lactose. For some people wheat/gluten or soy can be inflammatory so try removing it and see how you feel.

2. Sometimes your body needs a little help. If you run out of your natural enzymes, add a good full spectrum probiotic to remind your body to make them.

3. Take good quality vitamins. These help your body make what it needs to stay healthy, Avoid one-per-day-styled vitamins because of the tableting base.

4. What can’t be measured can’t be improved! Do you need to start counting calories to understand why you are not losing weight or checking your blood pressure to see what is causing it to rise? Start paying attention to what your body is saying and set goals!

Lee Rossano, is a Certified Nutritional Counselor and owner of Advanced Nutritional Solutions in Lake Orion, MI. For more information call 248-652-4160 or visit

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