The Healthy Digestion ingredients our experts passionately recommend can be hard to come by on your own, so we painstakingly gathered them together in this powerful Green formulation that’s easily digestible, highly nutritional, and immediately available to your body.
- A rainbow of organic ingredients from the most beneficial fruits and vegetables.
- Prebiotic fiber blend and probiotics with herbs and enzymes to keep your system in balance – extra support for the digestive system, where 70% of our immune cells work.
- Carefully fermented ingredients to ensure maximum absorption into your system.
- Soy-free, GMO-free, Gluten-free, Pure, natural, contaminant-free nutrition.
Organic Fermented Greens Blend
— Fermented Grass Blend (Barley Grass, Alfalfa Grass, Wheatgrass, Oat Grass)
Plus Spirulina and Chlorella
The fermentation process helps pre-digest these nutrient rich plant foods enabling us to absorb their full nutritional potency.
Organic Fruit and Vegetable Blend
— Apple, Kale, Carrot, Parsley, Broccoli, Spinach, Blueberry
These seven nutrient rich fruits and vegetables are true nutritional powerhouses. That’s especially true of apples. To learn more click here.
— Organic Inulin, Chia Seed, Organic Flax Seed, Apple Fiber
This unique blend helps stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the GI tract and add balanced fiber – both soluble and insoluble – for optimal GI health.
Digestive and Alkalizing Blend
— Enzyme Blend (Protease, Amylase, Glucoamylase, Invertase, Diastase, Lipase)
Plus Tegricel Colostrum, Probiotics (Bacillus coagulans), Organic Ginger Root, Organic Cinnamon Bark Extract
The digestive enzymes aid in the chemical breakdown of food for better absorption. The colostrum is clinically proven to help support healthy gut integrity and well-being. And the probiotics deliver friendly bacteria to the gut for optimal microflora balance.
Healing Quest Natural’s Digestive Health Drink Mix is also soy-free and gluten free. It’s a greens superfood blend formulated and fermented to support optimal digestion, assimilation and GI health.
Our Guide to Healthy Digestion begins with a look at probiotics. They come in a variety of forms, either in little pills or as part of a healthy drink mix. But probiotics, in whatever form, could have a big impact on all of us.
Dr. Ronald Hoffman is a New York City physician, author, and expert in nutrition and internal medicine. He says our gastrointestinal system is important for much more than how many tummy aches we have.
For example he says a healthy digestive tract is essential to a healthy immune system and that means making sure we have an ample supply of probiotics:
“You have to introduce beneficial flora which signals to the immune system for certain things to begin happening. Probiotics offer the prospect of conditioning our GI tract and our immune systems early to set up the right type of immune response.”
Dr. Hoffman’s views are echoed by the Royal Academy of Medicine in England. A report from the Academy says 80 per cent of all degenerative disease is due to bacterial imbalance in the digestive tract which weakens the immune system.
Keeping the digestive tract in balance requires probiotics that deliver beneficial lactic acid bacteria. Some of that beneficial bacteria we produce on our own and some of it we get from foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, onions, leeks and garlic.
But experts say we need at least 85 per cent beneficial bacteria in our digestive system to keep that system working well for us. Those beneficial bacteria are supplied by probiotics and Dr. Hoffman says getting enough of them is not always easy to do.
“If we lived in a perfect farmlike environment and if our food was unadulterated and we weren’t drinking chlorinated and flouridated water and we weren’t taking antibiotics and we’re not exposed to pollution we might get the beneficial bacteria that we need from our environment, from the food we eat, perhaps fermented food, perhaps in a natural traditional setting. But these days I think we need to introduce some beneficial bacteria that way.”
For most of us getting enough beneficial bacteria means adding a probiotic supplement to our daily diet. Microbiologist Ichiro Ohhira is a world-renowned expert on this topic.
He’s based in Okayama Japan where he’s been studying probiotics for over 20 years. He’s authored or co-authored over 30 papers in peer review journals and he’s created a formula that blends 12 different strains of lactic acid bacteria with 82 natural crops.
Dr. Ohhira says his research shows that everyone from toddlers to senior citizens should be taking probiotics every day. Dr. Hoffman agrees with him, especially any time antibiotics are involved.
“It’s been said that you should take your antibiotics and then repair the damage afterwards with probiotics. That’s a huge mistake because you really want to take probiotics when you’re taking antibiotics. It’s very important to replenish at the very same time that you’re killing the bad bacteria you want to put the good bacteria back in.”
Another key goal of probiotics is to help stimulate production of the body’s own beneficial bacteria. Dr. Hoffman says that’s especially important in places like hospitals and intensive care units.
“The effects are devastating in the intensive care unit where people receive virtually nonstop antibiotics, multiple antibiotics until their bodies are decimated. New studies show that people would survive better in the intensive care unit setting if given probiotics.”
Dr. Hoffman also says the influence of probiotics can go far beyond our digestive system.
“It really affects the whole body and perhaps even the mind, so there’s some very intriguing new studies. Somehow maybe there’s some sort of complex interplay with digestion and neurotransmitters in the brain.”
And probiotics are not just important for adults. Angelique Rivera discovered that when she started dealing with her son Avery’s health problems and she realized that Ritalin and the other the drugs he was on weren’t helping his ADHD.
“He was like withdrawn in the classrooms, he wasn’t speaking to me much. He was, he was sad basically and not himself.”
In addition, Avery experienced skin problems all over his body, and other side effects. So Angelique brought Avery to Dr. Asma Sadiq, Director of Child Development at New York’s Beth Israel Hospital and an integrative physician. Dr. Sadiq recalled that:
“He had GI complaints, decreased appetite, abdominal pain. He was moody, he was irritable, he had irregular bowel habits.”
Dr. Avery drastically reduced Avery’s pharmaceutical meds and started him on a daily probiotic supplement to help maintain a healthy supply of good bacteria in Avery’s intestinal system.
Dr. Roberta Lee is Medical Director of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing in New York. She says probiotics in recent years have attracted growing interest for their health benefits for both the digestive and immune systems in adults and children:
“Probiotics break down on a chemical level and actually change some of the configurations of the nutrients in foods so we can absorb them. We see that many inflammatory diseases, many autoimmune diseases, are greatly affected by gut flora and so probiotics are now much more of the conversation, especially for children.”
Dr. Sadiq said that in Avery’s case, the results were dramatic after only a few days:
“He had a more regular heartbeat, his appetite improved he felt you know she reported he was having more regular bowel movements and she even reported his mood being better.”
Avery’s mom agreed:
“The mood swing change, the regularity and the skin is real clear and shiny and glow, glowy … the probiotics, I say try it, its doing good.”
Experts say that every day we should deliver 10 million healthy bacteria – so called “good bugs” – to the intestinal system, which has trillions of bacteria in all. Yogurt and other cultured foods are one popular way to get probiotics into our systems, but it’s hard to know how many of those “good bugs” actually make it through the acid of our stomach and into the intestines alive.
So a wide variety of pills and ingredients in health drinks have been developed, mostly for adults, to help deliver the right amount of probiotics. Dr. Sadiq says probiotics can be a very beneficial part of the daily diet for kids as well as adults:
“I think it should be part of lifestyle and I think what’s happening with our lifestyle is our foods are so processed we’re not getting enough of the good bacteria. And I think we just need to support the immune system in so many ways and I think probiotics is one of the ways that available.”
Another food that can make a big difference in digestive health is raw milk – milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. Raw milk is somewhat controversial but we found many physicians and natural health experts who enthusiastically endorsed it.
Dr. Lindy Woodard is a partner in a thriving pediatric practice in Mill Valley California and she’s had literally decades of experience with raw milk:
“It’s a food that is curative, it’s natural, it’s alive and healthy. I believe with all my heart that food is medicine and bad food is actually harmful. Milk, raw milk, is actually a blessed food.”
Dr. Woodard says raw milk from a properly regulated local dairy is just as safe as pasteurized, homogenized milk and much more nutritious. Ron Schmid, a naturopathic physician and author of The Untold Story of Milk, agrees with Dr. Woodard. He says:
“Pasteurization heats the milk to at least 160 degrees or so, even higher for ultra-pasteurized, and in the process it kills harmful bacteria. It also kills all of the beneficial bacteria that make fresh food what human beings thrive upon. So you wind up with a dead food.”
In place of that ‘dead food’ Dr. Schmid and others recommend raw milk. Sally Fallon Morell is president of the Weston A Price Foundation which is dedicated to improving nutrition in the U.S. She says:
“I can’t think of anything more wasteful that we do than to pasteurize our milk because what pasteurization does, it doesn’t get rid of the nutrients in the milk it destroys the enzymes that you need to absorb those nutrients.
The FDA says health claims for raw milk are not supported by scientific evidence. But physicians like Lindy Woodard of say they’ve had a very different experience:
“I’ve had a number of situations in my practice where I had children that were sick from all kinds of reasons, particularly allergies and gut issues, and I have found that raw milk has actually healed them.”
Another proponent of raw milk is Joseph Heckman, a professor of soil science at Rutgers University. He’s studied international research on raw milk:
“Studies out of Europe, the epidemiological studies, have shown the children that grow up drinking raw milk they have less problems with allergies and asthma.”
Although raw milk is widely available in Europe, it’s not only discouraged by federal officials in the U.S. and outlawed in about one third of U.S. states which only permit the sale of pasteurized milk. Foundation president Sally Fallon says concerns about the safety of raw milk are exaggerated:
“You do need to make sure that the milk comes from pasture-fed cows in an operation with a good focus on cleanliness. But what people don’t realize is that raw milk contains anti-microbial components, particularly enzymes, that kill pathogens.
“It’s very hard to find pathogens in raw milk because if they get there by mistake they’re quickly taken care of by these components in the milk. And all of those are destroyed by pasteurization.”
The FDA says that since 1998 more than 800 people in the U.S. have gotten sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from it, and the agency says only pasteurized milk is safe. But Professor Heckman has another view:
“There are those that are opposed to having the choice of raw milk and they would like you to believe, or at least they imply, that pasteurization guarantees safety. And the fact of the matter is: it doesn’t.
“The scientific record clearly shows that there have been outbreaks from the consumption of pasteurized milk. As a matter of fact one of them was a massive outbreak back in the 1980s when over 168,000 people were sickened from salmonellosis, and it was pasteurized milk.
“And there’s been a series of outbreaks since then. One of the most notable recent examples is a case of pasteurized milk being linked to the death of three people in Massachusetts. And in that case it was listeria.”
Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation has her own perspective on the safety of raw versus pasteurized milk:
“So it’s actually more dangerous to drink pasteurized milk than raw milk and we can just look at the statistics. Well we have looked at the numbers. We’ve done the number crunching and you’re 35,000 times more likely to become ill from other foods than you are from raw milk on a per-serving basis.”
Dr. Ron Schmid agrees:
“Raw milk from healthy grass-fed animals is a traditional food that human beings have used for at least 10- or 12-thousand years, and thrived on. It’s a wonderful food and the problem really is its lack of availability in the United States because of draconian laws about it.
“It’s a corporate agenda; some four or five companies control all of the dairy sales in the United States and they’re very happy to have no raw milk available anywhere.
“In 1946 there were over a million farms with an average of eight cows each, selling raw milk to their neighbors and friends. And those farms are all lost; there’s some 90 thousand left and they’re largely big operations with hundreds of cows and not out on pasture and selling milk that has to be pasteurized because if it wasn’t it would be dangerous.”
A Raw Milk Institute has been launched to help farmers who want to get into that business. And if they have their way a new generation will grow up with a very different view of how this food called milk can help them with their digestion and their health.
Another important contributor to healthy digestion is fermentation which helps pre-digest complex foods to unlock their full nutritional potency. Fermented foods are also known as cultured foods.
Margaret Floyd is a natural foods practitioner and author of the Naked Foods Cookbook – The Whole Foods, Healthy-Fats, Gluten-Free Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great.
As an example of an unprocessed “naked food” Margaret’s book shows us a simple way to turn cabbage into sauerkraut that’s tasty and healthy and has multiple digestive health benefits:
“In terms of what you can do with this, because you might be thinking, well this is great, and now I’ve got sauerkraut in my fridge and I have no idea what to do with it. Well, I use this in everything.
“I mean, I have it with my eggs in the morning, a little spoonful of it. You can throw it into a salad; you can throw it into a wrap, you can throw it into soups. I would throw it into the soup after it’s off the stove when you’re serving it as opposed to cooking it in the soup because of course sauerkraut has living probiotics in it so we don’t want to kill them.
“And it’s going to help you digest anything that you eat with it. It’s great for barbeque, because you know that yummy charcoal that tastes so good but is totally carcinogenic. Eating it with sauerkraut actually neutralizes the negative impact, so if you’re going to have your barbecue, have some sauerkraut with it.
And it goes perfectly with it. I don’t think it’s any accident that bratwurst and kraut are so popular together. We understand now the science behind it, but traditionally we’ve been doing this for years.”
Also in use for many years as a digestive aid is peppermint. In fact peppermint has centuries of documented use as we discovered from our friend Mark Blumenthal, the founder of the American Botanical Council:
“You know there’s a reason why restaurants have those after-dinner mints — they’re really good for your tummy. For thousands of years people have used peppermint as a mild sedative for their stomach. In Europe, peppermint is recognized as a non-prescriptive medicine for helping people improve digestion.
“Actually, the name peppermint has nothing to do with peppers. The name refers to the biting, peppery flavor of this type of popular mint.”
Mark says the leaves and stems of peppermint contain oils that give the plant its pungent odor and taste, and the oil contains menthol which is responsible for the sensation of coolness that is characteristic of peppermint.
And finally one more way to support healthy digestion is by regularly detoxing. Holly Lucille is a naturopathic physician in Los Angeles and former president of the California Naturopathic Association. She says we need to be aware of the how many toxins we encounter in daily life:
“We get a low level exposure every day of so many different chemicals that are proven to cause us harm so you get toxic over time.
“I mean they’re everywhere, they’re in plastics and pesticides, in car exhaust, in soaps and emulsifiers, the household cleaning products that we use, in the health and beauty aids that we have, that we put on our skin.
“Getting our nails done, going into a hair salon, they’re everywhere and the problem is they’re fat soluble. That means they pass through our skin quite readily and then they accumulate in our body over time and they’re really causing some significant health concerns.”
Dr. Lucille says virtually everyone can benefit from giving the body’s natural detox systems a boost with a regular internal cleansing. Pre-packaged whole body cleanse kits are widely available but Dr. Lucille says it’s important to look for three key ingredients.
“You want to have something to support the liver, because the liver works very hard during a cleanse or a detoxification process and so milk thistle would be one of those things. Milk thistle is one of not only protecting the liver but also regenerating the liver as it could be damaged by the toxins that we have accumulated.
“You also want fiber on board. Fiber is extremely important in being able to trap the toxins that get initiated and elicited from our bodies during a cleanse.
“And then a safe and effective, gentle laxative like magnesium hydroxide, which really is wonderful by pulling in water into the intestines and being able to then increase elimination and scrub the intestines as it does so.
“And so those three components are extremely important when you’re thinking about assisting the body’s ability to cleanse.”
Diet is also an important part of a whole body cleanse. Dr. Lucille recommends increasing the intake of organic foods during a cleanse – especially fruits and vegetables — and cutting back or eliminating caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and salt.
During the cleanse she recommends body work like massage and stretching, along with epsom salt baths and dry skin brushing. Dr. Lucille recommends a two week cleanse at least twice a year, or better yet at the beginning of every season:
“Our bodies are brilliant, they really are, and they have the ability to heal and to detox. But what’s happening, because of our ever increasing toxic environment, is that there’s a body burden that just is overwhelming our detoxification processes.
And so, what I’ve noticed is that we’ve got to get on board and do things to actually assist our body’s own abilities to detoxify.”
You can learn more about healthy digestion, including a daily drink mix with probiotics and fermented superfoods, at Healing Quest Natural.com.