As a society we eat too much, drink too much, and exercise too little. Our cities and towns are more polluted than ever, our lives are more stressful, and all of this puts added strain on our bodies, including the vital organs that work to get rid of waste and toxins so we can stay healthy. At the heart of it all is your digestive system, where the majority of your immune defenses can be found.
Most Health Problems Stem from an Unhealthy Gut
Most every health issue stems from an unhealthy and outof- balance digestive system. Why? Because the majority of your immune defenses are found in your gut. If your gut isn’t functioning properly—from stress, years of eating processed foods, lack of exercise and many other unhealthy habits—then your body is out of balance and your gut isn’t absorbing the nutrients you need to be healthy, which opens you up to a host of health problems.
As a leading expert in natural digestive care, I’ve helped millions of people get their gut— and their health—back on track.It begins with the body’s ability to properly digest nutrients and eliminate waste. The more efficiently your body performs these functions, the healthier you will be. We all know you must eat plenty of fresh, unprocessed foods, chew your food well, avoid overeating, exercise regularly and take time to unwind. But there are also 4 essential nutrients we need every day to help us achieve superior and lasting health through improving our digestion: optimum amounts of Fiber, Omega-3s, Probiotics and Enzymes. This is what The H.O.P.E. Formula is all about. —Brenda Watson, C.N.C.
The truth is most of us do not consume enough fiber. The average American ingests 10 to 12 grams of fiber per day, yet the digestive tract needs 35 grams of fiber daily to stay regular, help manage weight, and properly remove waste and toxins.
There are Two Types of Fiber
Think of the two fiber types as your internal dual-sided cleaning sponge:
• Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It helps bulk the stool and acts as a gentle “scrubber” along the intestinal walls to remove debris and toxins.
• Soluble fiber dissolves in water and moves through the intestines more slowly, helping to absorb waste so it can be eliminated.
It is best to consume both types of fiber. In general, a higher ratio of insoluble to soluble fiber is recommended, reflecting the natural ratio found in fruits and vegetables, nature’s best high-fiber foods. It can be difficult to consume 35 grams of fiber from diet alone, however; taking an insoluble + soluble fiber supplement each day can give you a good head start.
The Hidden Benefits of Fiber
Fiber is not a laxative, but it does keep us regular. Fiber also:
What is Inflammation?
The two types of inflammation are:
Silent inflammation often begins with a leaky gut, a condition in which the intestinal wall has become so porous that it allows inflammatory particles to escape into the body. The three warning signs of silent inflammation are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar, all of which are affected by a leaky gut. Omega oils, and particularly omega-3s, help repair the intestinal wall by reducing inflammation, the main cause of leaky gut.
Omega oils, and particularly omega-3s, help repair the intestinal wall by reducing inflammation, the main cause of leaky gut.* Today’s Standard American Diet (SAD) is low in Omega-3s (typically found in fatty, cold-water fish), making Omega-3 supplementation an increasingly important part of a healthy diet.
In addition to digestion and elimination, your digestive tract is the first line of defense against invaders. It’s our protection against environmental and bacterial toxins leaking into the bloodstream. It’s the home of up to 80% of our immune system. Most immune cells are generated in your gut where they are supported by an important balance of good bacteria (or probiotics) in the intestines.
Of the 100 trillion bacteria cells living in the intestines, the good bacteria, or probiotics are your own Gut Protection System (GPS). Poor diet, aging, stress, overuse of antibiotics, and yeast overgrowth all reduce good bacteria levels. Gut imbalance impairs digestion and can leave the immune system at risk.
What Do Probiotics Do?
Specific types of probiotics, notably Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria probiotic strains, are particularly beneficial in rebalancing your GPS. Why? Because they are the beneficial bacteria most commonly found in the human digestive tract. Taking a daily probiotic supplement with a variety of these types of strains, taken as you would a multi-vitamin, delivers good bacteria to help alleviate digestive issues and support your immune health.*
In the digestive system, enzymes are the key to breaking down the foods we eat into the nutrients that feed the body’s cells and tissues. Enzymes produced by the body assist with digestion by breaking apart the bonds that hold nutrients together. Once the bonds are broken, tiny molecules can pass into the bloodstream where they are used as energy. A lack of enzymes may result in impaired digestion and a decrease in overall health. Getting enough enzymes is one of the most important components of the H.O.P.E. Formula.*
Where Do I Get Enzymes?
Digestive enzymes are found throughout the digestive tract. Certain enzymes, like amylase which begins the breakdown of carbohydrates, are secreted with saliva in the mouth. Other enzymes produced by the pancreas and the intestinal lining are secreted into the small intestine to help breakdown foods coming from the stomach. The body’s ability to produce its own enzymes decreases with age. In addition, certain digestive conditions, such as low stomach acid or inflammatory bowel disease, can result in decreased enzyme production. Improper chewing and a poor diet also contribute to the inability to properly digest key nutrients from food. Without the essential enzymes necessary for proper digestion, the body may not be able to efficiently break down the food we eat and absorb its valuable nutrients.
How Do I Know if I Don’t Have Enough Enzymes?
Impaired digestion is often a sign that you don’t have enough enzymes. If you experience symptoms such as heartburn, gas and bloating, or fatigue after eating, it is likely that you have too few enzymes to properly digest the food you eat.
How Often Should You Take Enzymes?
To help digest a wide variety of foods including protein, carbohydrates, fats, dairy, and sugars in order to absorb needed nutrients, a digestive enzyme taken with every meal is recommended.