July 18, 2011

Worth Reading: Good Gut Healing by Kathryn Marsden

If you're prone to a queasy bloated tummy after you eat you should read 'Good Gut Healing'. If you tend towards or suspect bad digestion or poor nutrient absorption or if you're like me and have a growing or seemingly unending list of foods to avoid you should read 'Good Gut Healing'. And likewise, if you suffer from:

- Acid Reflux
- Bloating
- Candida
- Constipation
- Diverticulitis
- Food Allergies
- Gallstones
- Haemorrhoids
- Hiatus Hernia
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Ulcers

... you should read 'Good Gut Healing'! I'm not saying that it is a cure all and I am certainly not saying that it will erase your anaphylaxis or even severe food allergies. But it is an extremely interesting, helpful and user friendly read. I have long believed that although anybody can and do have true food allergies to anything (i.e. I believe that my milk allergy is here to stay), that these growing lists of multiple food intolerances and sensitivities are out of control and unnatural. I'm not suggesting that the 30+ foods that my blood test showed as problem foods to be avoided were not actually causing a problem or a reaction. What I am suggesting is that these foods had possibly become a problem for me because something else was amiss, such as my Gut. And that is exactly what led me to Kathryn Marsden. She is the bestselling author of 'The Complete Book of Food Combining' and at least 12 other books dealing with digestion and nutrition.

Good Gut Healing focusses on digestion and how it can be at the root of popular problems such as unexplained weight gain, bloating, IBS and that whole list above. Kathryn Marsden writes in an approachable manner and offers invaluable advice on:

- what not to do
- what to do
- when to do it
- and numerous ways of doing it

Not to mention loads of advice on different brands, quality and storage of foods and supplements as well as accessible 'action plans' for dealing with and healing your specific problem as well as best practice for eliminating foods to test for intolerance.

The most valuable chapters for me are:

Chapter 12 What's Up? Food Allergies (obviously!)
Chapter 21 If You Do Nothing Else... (a pack-it-all in chapter with essential do's and don'ts if you don't have the time or inclination to read the whole book)
Chapter 22. Essential Extras: Fibre Tips (something that everyone should take care with in today's highly refined dietary world)
Chapter 2 The Inside Story (Somewhat enlightening)
Chapter 23 Essential Extras: Food Combining (Especially valuable for bloating, gas and light sensitivities, 'cyclical' allergies and/or intolerances to numerous foods)

It is always good practice to know how your machine works because once you understand it becomes easier to do what is 'right'. F recently got a brand new motorbike. The manual says that it most important to have a full checkup after the first 1000km. Normally I would be less than enthusiastic to follow these directions but as F pointed out: the vehicle is new and previously un-driven. The checkup is therefore essential to ensure that it is running in order and that any loose screws are tightened, etc. Once I understood the reason I professed its urgency and necessity, like a true sheep!

Likewise, I was unaware that saliva is actually pre-digesting your food in your mouth as you chew and that is why seemingly excessive chewing is essential. I had no idea that this saliva digestion is useless for meat and that the only aid you can give it is to break down the chunks with your teeth or that the saliva secretion triggers the rest of your digestive track to get set for a feast. Or even that I should stay at the table for at least 10-15 minutes after eating to allow a peaceful digestion before moving onto the next task. It's a simple thing but once you understand it and the full reasons for it I find myself aware of my poor Speedy Gonzales eating habits and now notice clear and direct links between the way I feel with the way I ate my meal. I've even noticed slight cramping in my stomach if I just read immediately after eating while I'm supposed to be resting! It's crazy but true.

Good Gut Healing: The No-Nonsense Guide to Bowel & Digestive Disorders by Kathryn Marsden

No comments: