Women in New Zealand have the highest rate of bowel cancer in the OECD.
Men in New Zealand have the third highest rate of bowel cancer in the OECD.
Overall NZ has the highest rate of bowel cancer in the developed world.
Based on the above stats, as a kiwi, it pays to get checked out if you have any changes or abnormality in your bowel habits. This website is a good reference to check symptoms.
I’ve had issues of my own in the past linked to a diet lacking in enough fibre. When I popped into see Eric Bakker, a prominent NZ naturopath based in Havelock North, he told me I have the sigmoid of someone much older. Its not a recent issue, more like 20 years of abuse!! I just didn’t realise what was ‘normal’. And I’ve always had high stress jobs (& personality!). I just didn’t pay any attention to my gut. And once your gut is out of balance, a whole bunch of other issues ensue including leaky gut, crohns, Irritable Bowel syndrome, candida and…depression.
90% of seratonin is produced in the gut
At the risk of providing too much information, going no.2’s at least daily is very important. However at its best, just like kids, our bowels should move within an hour after each meal!
The bristol stool chart is a simple way to check your gut health.
Soooo…now that I have my diet under control, its time to heal my gut.
The recipe for a natural approach to gut health for me are:
-Organic or sprayfree (easy to digest) wholefood
-Less stress (exercise, yoga, lifestyle)
-Cultured foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi
-Slippery elm powder
-Aloe vera juice
-Linseed, psyllium husks
-Good mix of soluable and insoluable fibre
The theory I use is Cleanse, Heal and Nourish.
Cleanse – 2 week lntestinal cleanse like Malcolm Harkers first, combined with a 5 day juice fast and liver flush to get rid of any bacteria and parasite build up.
Heal – very light, easy to digest diet of smoothies, blended soups, bone broths, supplements.
Nourish – focus on diet..portion sizes..eating the right stuff…Food as medicine!
I’ve put some key components in this smoothie. A mixture of blended soluable and insoluable fibre and some supplements to kickstart your gut health.
Leaky gut smoothie
1/4 cup blueberries (add more if you love ’em)
6 tsp aloe vera juice
2 tsp slippery elm powder
2 rounded T collagen hydrolysate
1 sml lemon
1 cup kefir or water
1cm ginger root
1 T linseed (soaked in water)
*1 T honey or maple syrup or date puree
Blend all and drink immediately.