We don’t tend to think about our digestive systems until we have a problem and then the tendency is to use medicine to cure the problem. Indigestion? Have an over-the-counter antacid. Constipation? There’s a sugary syrup for that. Healthy digestion is essential for optimal wellness; without it we just don't fully absorb the nutrients from the food we eat - and the result is we end up de-energised, under the weather and, at worst, are at risk of developing chronic illness as the digestive systems fails to deliver what is necessary to repair, maintain and support our day-to-day health.
Actually, your intestine is just as important and complex as your brain. Although it's often overlooked and ignored until you get symptoms such as gas, bloating, nausea, constipation, indigestion and diarrhoea, your gut is responsible for much more than just eating and bowel movements.
For instance, did you know that your gut has more nerve cells than your entire spinal cord? Or that it accounts for 75% of your body's immune system? Or that it houses 400 species of microbes and 100 trillion bacteria? Quite impressive statistics, aren’t they?
Dr Thomas Rau, from the internationally renowned Paracelsus Clinic in Switzerland, has found a strong collation between cancer and unhealthy digestive bacteria. Since meeting him I always take my probiotics and go for colonic irrigation twice a year!
Without really acknowledging it, many of us need a little assistance with our digestion at some point in our lives - be it sluggishness from over-eating, eating too much of the 'wrong' thing or an increasing sensitivity to various foods.
Regular consumption of foods such as ginger can really support your gut health, as can good quality probiotics from your local health food store.
Research has shown that wheatgrass juice can be beneficial for digestive issues, too. Despite the name, wheatgrass contains no wheat (and therefore no gluten), making it suitable for those with gluten intolerance. A detailed study of patients suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease found that wheatgrass juice could successfully repair and stop internal bleeding.
Is going gluten free the answer?
For some people, omitting gluten from their diets for a period of a month or two brings relief from a number of gut-related disorders. Unexplained symptoms disappear, digestion problems abate and aching joints are soothed.
A fantastic book by my friend, Anette Harbech Olesen, has some really helpful insights and is good news for anyone wanting to cut down or eliminate gluten. Full of inspiring, healthy recipes it gives practical advice on how to reduce your gluten intake. Just because your diet is gluten-free, it doesn't mean that you can't have a burger, a crisp pizza, wraps, pancakes, sandwich rolls or even cakes - you'll find recipes for all these and more in Gluten-Free Secrets. You'll also find information on which flours to use as substitutes for wheat, rye and barley, which all contain gluten. Gluten-Free Secrets combines theory and hands-on cooking, offering a host of delicious, appetising recipes for bread, cakes and other dishes.
Eat your way to a healthy gut
Wheatgrass, rich in chlorophyll, is a real nutritional powerhouse. It contains a cocktail of nutrients we need to stay healthy, including iron, magnesium, amino acids, phytonutrients and vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Why not see what a difference it can make to your digestive health with one of our freshly frozen, organic, field-grown superfood juices?