Eat­ing a diet rich in healthy foods is a good start to keep­ing your di­ges­tive sys­tem on track.

Amazing Wellness - - EDITOR’S NOTE - Mau­reen Far­rar ED­I­TOR mfar­[email protected]­me­

Ire­cently read a statis­tic that stated up­wards of 60 to 70 mil­lion Amer­i­cans are af­fected by di­ges­tive dis­eases. Pause and read that num­ber again. It seems stag­ger­ing. So does this num­ber: $100 bil­lion a year. That’s how much di­ges­tive dis­eases and dis­or­ders cost the U.S. for care and hos­pi­tal­iza­tion.

Di­ges­tive dis­eases in­clude acid re­flux, gas, bloat­ing, leaky gut, ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome (IBS), Crohn’s dis­ease, di­ver­ti­c­uli­tis, mal­ab­sorp­tion, di­ar­rhea, and con­sti­pa­tion. Many of these can be at­trib­uted to a diet filled with pro­cessed foods and foods high in fat and calo­ries.

I suf­fer from gas­troe­sophageal re­flux dis­ease (GERD), some­thing re­searchers es­ti­mate 20-44 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion in West­ern na­tions con­dend with. Many ex­perts be­lieve that it’s the di­rect re­sult of eat­ing a highly pro­cessed diet (guilty as charged). It can also be trig­gered by food al­ler­gies and poor gut health. As I’ve learned more about treat­ment for GERD, I have found that keep­ing your gut healthy is one of the most im­por­tant things you can do for your health and well-be­ing. When your di­ges­tive sys­tem is out of whack, sheer chaos in the body can en­sue, from con­stantly feel­ing bloated to devel­op­ing al­ler­gies, heart­burn, and even­tu­ally even more se­ri­ous is­sues, like au­toim­mune dis­eases.

Eat­ing a diet rich in healthy foods, with plenty of vitamins, min­er­als, and phy­tonu­tri­ents, is a good start to keep­ing your di­ges­tive sys­tem on track. But if your body isn’t break­ing down foods and ab­sorb­ing them, then they’re pro­vid­ing no nu­tri­tional ad­van­tage.

En­ter di­ges­tive en­zymes. The body pro­duces di­ges­tive en­zymes nat­u­rally, but oc­ca­sion­ally the body needs a lit­tle help, and sup­ple­ment­ing with di­ges­tive en­zymes can help you get the most out of the foods you con­sume. “Readers’ Di­gest” on p. 37 tells you ev­ery­thing you need to know about di­ges­tive en­zymes, from what they do, to who needs them and why. We also sug­gest the best ones for you to take.

And as al­ways, stay­ing ac­tive is an es­sen­tial part of any well­ness plan, so we of­fer tips for pre­vent­ing in­juries while run­ning. Our ex­perts also share ad­vice for re­cov­er­ing from in­juries if they do oc­cur.

Make sure you take care of your­self this sum­mer. Nour­ish your body, and keep mov­ing.

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