Digestion is key to good health. Our digestive system effects every other system in the body. One such example is when the pH of our digestive system is off, it greatly impacts the small intestine which then effects your immune system. Poor digestion impacts our thinking, our mood, mineral absorption, hormone production and many other bodily functions. The last article focused on getting food to the stomach and having the correct pH to properly digest our food. Now let’s look a little further south and how you can keep your small and large intestines in great order.

Our small intestines contain the Peyer’s Patches which control about 80 percent of our immune system. The lining of the small intestine can be damaged by the pH levels of our digested food when it enters the small intestine. The lining can become perforated allowing undigested food out into the body. This greatly impacts our immune system and can be the beginning of an auto-immune disorder. There are some simple food changes you can include in your diet to keep this lining intact and they actually taste good. The first one is bone broth. This superfood nourishes our body in so many ways. The collagen found naturally in this food helps strengthen the lining and seal up those perforations. If bone broth isn’t your thing, you can purchase powdered collagen and add it to any variety of foods. There are two kinds of powdered collagen. One thickens like gelatin and the other doesn’t. The one that doesn’t thicken has absolutely no flavor and doesn’t change the texture of your food. It is a super easy way to get collagen in your diet to help heal the lining of your small intestine. You can add it to water, juice, coffee, soups and really any food you want. Some great options are made by Great Lakes and Vital Proteins. You can find these online. The collagen by Great Lakes that does gel up makes some great snacks for kids and adults alike. It is super easy to make gummy treats that nourish your small intestine and do wonders for your hair, skin and nails.

Gummy Treats

1 cup fruit juice or pureed fruit

2 Tablespoons sweetener – honey or maple syrup

2 Tablespoons Great Lakes gelatin (orange can)

Silicone mold

Put fruit juice in saucepan and heat slightly. It doesn’t need to be boiling. Remove the pot from the stove and sprinkle gelatin over liquid and let sit for a few minutes. Whisk the gelatin into the liquid until it is dissolved. Whisk in the sweetener and pour into the molds. Put the molds in the fridge for a couple of hours and enjoy. This recipe is so versatile. You can add coconut milk for some healthy fats or sprinkle some Vitamin C powder, Camu Camu, for a cold fighting treat. The key is to sprinkle the gelatin very evenly over the liquid so it dissolves and doesn’t clump.

Our large intestine needs a little attention as well. Keeping a healthy colony of bacteria in your large intestine will keep things moving. To get those healthy bacteria, simply include some cultured vegetables. You can find things like refrigerated sauerkraut and kimchi in the grocery store. Other easy to purchase probiotic-rich foods include kefir and yogurt. Learning to culture your own veggies is very easy and very inexpensive. Once you have those great bacteria, you need to feed them with some prebiotic foods. Great choices are onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus, bananas, apples and Jerusalem artichokes. Including these fruits and vegetables will feed the bacteria and give you some great fiber.

These simple easy additions to your routine are a great start to a healthy digestive system. When you are digesting amazing healthy foods, your body will reward you with great health.