12 Tips To Seriously Improve Your Digestive And Bowel Function

Greetings. It’s naturopath from New Zealand,
Eric Bakker. Author of Candida Crusher and the formulator of Canxida, the Candida dietary
supplement of choice. Thanks for checking out my video today. I’m going to do a frequently
asked question. I think I might have answered this one before in a video, but I’ve got an
email here from a lady called Julie, and Julie is in North Carolina. Julia’s asking me, “Eric,
can you give me some really good hints and tips on how I can improve my digestive function,
my bowel function, how I can just get things working inside?”
Okay, Julie. Let’s just explain to you some concepts from my book, Candida Crusher. I’ll
go into a little bit of detail, so this will be quite a good video for you to give you
the kind of reasoning that I give to my patients when they come and see me in my clinic or
on Skype. These are the sort of things I try to get through to people. This video is called
“12 Tips on How to Improve Your Digestive and Bowel Function.”
Tip No. 1. Add fermented and cultured foods to your diet. I’m going to read some bits
and pieces out of my book here and then add commentary to it. You have just started to
read the section on fermented and cultured foods and doesn’t it make sense to start including
some of these into your diet? Taking probiotics is a very powerful way to get concentrated
amounts of beneficial bacteria, but taking prebiotic foods that I’ve spoken of before
is essential. Taking cultured and fermented foods is also essential.
Cultured and fermented foods � besides adding reasonable amounts of beneficial bacteria,
they also give our digestive system lactic acid, which is really a fuel for lactobacillus
to feed on. They tend to also favorably affect the pH balance of the gut, further allowing
good bacteria to grow. They also give us lots of fiber to help bulk up our bowel motions,
to make us feel full, and to slow down how much food we’re going to eat.
Cultured and fermented foods, prebiotics foods, and probiotics in general are real smart for
you to do, Julie, because they’re going to help you to maintain weight, give you energy,
reduce bloating and gas, get rid of constipation, diarrhea. And you know what? It’s also going
to help prolong your life. Studies from Bulgaria from a long time ago show that people who
eat yogurt in their diet live on average 5 to 10 years longer than people who don’t eat
yogurt. Another good reason to add these foods into your diet.
A good way to begin to incorporate these foods into your diet is to include a small portion,
about three to four tablespoons of natural yogurt into your diet each day. If you’re
a person who has not consumed yogurt previously or not had it for a while, don’t start eating
large amounts of it. Eat small amounts every day consistently, and this way, you’ll slowly
convert the gut and make it a lot easier for you to adapt to these kind of foods in your
diet. Not all yogurt is created equal. Some brands are laden with artificial sugars and
don’t contain any bacteria at all. Just watch out. If in doubt, make your own yogurt. And
there are other kinds of foods you can have, too, in your diet in this realm, the cultured
and fermented. So you can read about that at yeastinfection.org.
Tip No. 2. Slowly begin adding soluble and insoluble fibers to your diet. It never ceases
to amaze me how many patients I’ve seen over the years who simply don’t eat much fruit
at all. Perhaps one piece every so often. And the vegetables they consume are bought
frozen and consumed having been boiled or microwaved. Fruits and vegetables contain
some of the best levels of soluble and insoluble fiber you can get. Be sure to read what I’ve
written also on fiber on yeastinfection.org. And you might find some videos I’ve done on
fiber in the Candida Crusher channel. There are so many ways you can increase the
amount of fiber you take in, but once again, go easy. You’ve heard it all before. A go-low
and go-slow is my motto when it comes to making any changes to diet and digestion in general.
It is, in fact, that most people eat a very small amount of fiber, 20 to 40 grams per
day. If you compare that with people in underdeveloped nations, they could eat 100+ grams per day.
They have smaller bowel motions more frequently. And a lot of these people also tend to maintain
their weight more easily, and they never have digestive problems.
A good friend of mine who worked in Africa for 20+ years and then moved over to Europe,
practiced in Ireland, once told me that he never saw one case of bowel cancer in 20 years
living in remote parts and practicing in remote parts of Africa. Never saw one case of bowel
cancer, and that’s because of the fiber that these people consume to a big degree.
Start by including small amounts of beans, lentils, fruit, but of course, wait for Candida
to improve before you put too much fruit into your diet. Vegetables, raw or partially cooked,
are best. Seeds, whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet are the best grains
and continue to add these foods slowly over two to three weeks until you adapt to these
kind of fibers. You want to eat less, lose weight, feel full, and improve your bowel
tone if that’s what your objective is, then eat more soluble fiber. These foods include
pears, strawberries, kiwi fruit, carrots, psyllium, slippery elm bark powder, lentils,
rolled oats and cucumber. Soluble fiber fills you up and it swells in your gut because it
can hold water more readily, so you’ll feel fuller.
You want to bulk up your bowel motions and maybe clean out that lazy bowel; especially
if you have a bit of constipation, then try including insoluble fiber in your diet. These
foods include brown rice, onions, leafy green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, celery,
cracked wheat. I love making tabbouleh. I soak cracked wheat and then mix it with lots
of finely chopped up parsley and mint and I put some tomatoes and spring onions through
that and lots of lemon juice and olive oil. It’s a beautiful dish. It’s called tabbouleh.
In fact, I had some for lunch today. It’s very tasty. Chia seeds are also a good source
of these kind of insoluble fibers and nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
You want to reduce the amount of gas and bloating you have and feed up the good bacteria. Then
I recommend you consume a combination of fermented and cultured foods as in point one, as well
as foods that contain prebiotics. I’ve done a video on that. These are the foods that
contain oligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, and galactooligosaccharides, so check that
video out. Remember the prebiotic feed the probiotic. Jerusalem artichokes, onions, garlics,
scallions, spring onions, sweet potatoes, many different kind of foods like that, which
are going to really help to clean that bowel out and reduce bloating and gas.
Tip No. 3. Cut back on sugar and fat in your diet. You really don’t want to put sugar in
your diet. I eat small amounts of honey. I’m a beekeeper and I love honey, so I’ll have
honey in my diet. But often, my honey will be mixed with pollen and a bit of beeswax.
It’s a very, very healthy food to have in me, and I always have honey on my porridge
in the morning or with my muesli. When you’ve got a healthy gut like me, small amounts of
honey don’t give you bloating or gas. But when you’ve got Candida in your gut or SIBO,
small intestinal bowel bacterial overgrowth, any kind of sugar, including honey, can give
you a lot of gas and bloating. Because you’re going to give these bugs or yeast something
to really feed on. If you’ve noticed that you’ve put honey in your diet, even a couple
of teaspoons per day, and you get a little bloating and gas, chuck the honey. Take it
out temporarily for a while and start chowing down on more garlic and the anti-Candida foods
that I’ve mentioned in other videos. It’s quite a simple achievement to cut back
on sugar. Just reduce the amount of foods you buy and eat that contain sugar and fat.
Especially, the Trans fats, the bad fats. Be sure to read labels of processed foods
you buy to see how much sugar and fat they contain. It won’t be difficult for you to
do this, if you prepare your own meals with lean meats and vegetables, and particularly
grains. Because you control what other ingredients go into your meals. Not some factory.
The problem with foods containing sugars and fats is that they also contain lots of chemicals,
artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives that you may not be aware of, so these things
are not going to really work in well with your beneficial bacteria. If you eat a really
wholesome fresh diet like I do, you’ll have a really nice digestive system. There will
be plenty of enzymes in the food and lots of fibers, and there will be natural sugars.
Yes, there is even sugar in broccoli, but don’t automatically assume that every single
sugar is feeding material for Candida because it’s simply not true.
Tip No. 4. Drink water. I know this sounds simple, but this is the one boosting health
tip that many never seem to be able to achieve is to drink more water. Even in the wintertime,
you can drink water. One of my patients recently said to be that she drinks quite a large amount
of water in the shower. Well, that’s quite okay to do, especially if you have a shower
in the morning. Morning is a great time to drink plenty of water because it helps to
clean out the gut, the digestive system. I tend to have anywhere between four and five
glasses of water per day. When the weather’s hot, I drink lots of water. Be careful not
to assume that tea and coffee and alcohol and soda drinks are water because they’re
not. They’re dehydrating. So don’t assume because you’ve had four cups of coffee in
a day that you’ve had plenty of water to drink. For every cup of coffee you drink, I think
you should drink two to three glasses of water. It’s very important. Your digestive system
will work a lot better, especially your stomach, pancreas and intestines. And although no proof
exists that water actually aids digestion, I’ve certainly noticed that those with a yeast
infection who drink water and not much coffee, tea and alcohol, appear to have much less
bother with digestive problems. Remember also that when you slowly add fiber, Tip no. 2,
that it really pays to drink plenty more water. It’s just like trying to mix cement without
water. You chuck everything in the cement mixer and you don’t put enough water in there,
it’s going to go clunk. But if you put water in there at just the right consistency, you’re
going to get a beautiful blend with that cement mixer.
I wrote a good article and I’ll do a video on it on “Your Stomach is Like a Cement Mixer.”
I don’t know if you ever make concrete. I love landscaping and I’ve made lots of batches
of concrete at different jobs and I found if you put too much gravel in there and too
much water, it sloshes out. You can liken that to heartburn or reflux. If you don’t
put enough water in there, it’s going to make the cement mixer go all funny. And a stomach
with not enough lubrication and fluid in there is going to act quite strange possibly be
painful. So don’t overload the cement mixer, meaning don’t overload the stomach. Small
amounts regularly, nice and easy to work with in the cement mixer. It mixes beautifully
and it’s easy to tip out. Good analogy for the stomach.
The best approach in improving our digestion is to cut back on sugary, salty and fatty
foods, increase the number of vegetables and whole grains and lean meats, fibers and things
like that and drink plenty more water every day. Try this for 21 days and you’ll be much
surprised at the difference these simple diet tricks make. I keep telling you guys out there.
It’s not the complicated things that improve our health. It’s the simple things that make
us better. I want you to really understand that by doing the simple really effectively
every day and making these habits habitual, your health is going to get better, better
and better. Especially your bowel health. Tip No. 5. Avoid three large meals a day and
eat smaller meals. Three small to medium meals. I like people to stay lean and hungry. I don’t
think it’s good to eat in excess, and that’s why I don’t like going to these smorgasbords
or these places where you can serve up yourself. Tracy and I recently went over to visit for
mom’s 70th birthday, so went out for the night and we went to a buffet. And of course, what
did I have at the buffet? What do normal people do at a buffet? What would you do if you had
every kind of food on tap? You had oysters, roast beef, pork, vegetables, deep fried chips
and fish, soups, chowders, and then you have the ice cream bar. Well, I ate like a pig.
Of course I did. I stuffed my face. And you know what? All that evening I had a really
sore digestive system and I had a lot of bowel motions the following day. I had a lot of
bloating and gas. I felt like crap, but it tasted great on the night.
Some people eat like that all the time. I eat like that once a year, if that. That’s
what happens in a buffet. Some people tend to treat their diets like a buffet. Every
time they go out, they look for bigger portion sizes or more meals. And the great way to
ruin your digestion is to continually eat too much food. I want you to eat smaller meals
and to be lean and hungry. There’s nothing wrong with being hungry. Being a little bit
on the hungry side every now and then will allow the immune and digestive system to become
more efficient. You’ll maintain your weight. You’ll feel a lot better and you’ll sleep
better. By eating smaller meals more frequently, you avoid overloading your digestive system.
And because your body is better at digesting smaller meals in one sitting, you’ll be improving
the way your digestive organs work, so you’ll make them more efficient.
First, you need to figure out how much food you need to eat per meal, and then try to
keep a regular schedule that your body can adjust to. This will take two to three weeks,
but maybe even a month or more. It takes time to get these habits right. And also, your
portion sizes right. So don’t be in a hurry. But by cutting back immediately, if you look
at your plate now, you could easily take 20 or 30 percent off that portion size with each
evening meal. That’s going to make it a lot easier for your digestion to work. Whatever
your plate size is, just reduce it slightly. And over a period of time, your stomach size
will reduce to take that capacity of food. That might be the best advice yet that you’ve
ever heard. Tip No. 6. Eat small amounts of lean protein.
Look at the palm of your hand and if you’re a meat eater, that’s the size of the piece
of meat you should be eating every day. Many adults simply eat way too much meat and portion
sizes are just too big. While protein is essential for good health, you’ll find that smaller
amounts of lean cuts are less likely to cause digestive discomfort like heartburn, bloating,
or gas, and it will be much quicker to digest as well. In general, high fat meats take longer
to digest than low fat meats. Pork or chicken with lots of skin on it will take longer to
digest. Remember also, the wrong kind of fats and too much animal fat will give you lots
of bloating and gas and the wrong kind of bacteria as well and you don’t want to do
that. Tip No. 7. Chew food well. How can I forget
to mention that it is important to chew proteins, in particular, more slowly? Meats, legumes,
beans, need to be chewed really, really thoroughly. You can chew vegetables a little bit less
than you can the meats. You really want to get lots of saliva in the protein and the
starchy foods as well. You need to get a little saliva in there. Saliva predigests food before
it even goes further down. Eating over a computer is not paying attention to chewing and, therefore,
not producing enough saliva and digestion will be impaired.
You may have noticed that eating when you’re stressed or upset that you end up with a digestive
pain, and that’s also because you’re not chewing properly and also because your stomach is
not producing enough acids at that point when you’ve got fear or a powerful emotion. Not
only chewing properly, but also eating with the right kind of mindset is important. Eating
dinner watching the six o’clock news, who got shot or who’s gay or who’s having a relationship
with some politician or some crap like that, is not conducive to good health.
Tip No. 8. Try 30 minutes of exercise every single day. Did you know that those who walk
daily have significantly better digestive health than those who don’t walk? Maybe you’re
creating the sitting disease like I’m doing right now just sitting in front of a computer
all the time. It could be social media. It could be part of your job. A lot of my clients
in the US and Canada and many countries have got computer jobs. They’ll sit, seven, eight,
nine, ten hours a day in front of computer, and then furthermore, that evening they’ll
be sitting there in front of the computer either on a widescreen or on the small screen
and again doing something else. Walking stimulates digestion and it’s one
of the best things you can do to improve the tone of the small and large intestine. So
if you’re not in the habit of walking, try to get used to walking. A good little gadget
to get is one of those fit bits or small device to put on your wrist to see how many steps
you take a day. Ten thousand steps is the minimum. Try to be active. In the old days,
it was quite common for people to have a meal and then go for a walk after the meal. Today,
we sit in front of the computer with food and after food. Don’t take the escalator.
Take the stairs instead. Every time I go flying, I’m amazed, especially the big international
airports, how no one takes the stairs. Everyone is on the escalator. It’s incredible. Next
time you’re at a shopping center, have a look at how many people take the escalator as opposed
to the stairs. Regular movement such as walking, swimming, and dancing all help to move food
through the digestive system, stimulating the metabolism and aiding weight loss.
Tip No. 9. Alcohol and tobacco are the two biggest enemies of the digestive system. You’ll
never beat Candida if you can’t give up alcohol for at least four months. End of story. I’ve
spoken about this many times in my videos. Those who are serious about their health will
know that cigarette smoking is just crazy anyway. I’m very surprised how many patients
I’ve seen with yeast infections who want to continue smoking and drinking, yet still want
to beat their yeast infection. It is not likely to happen. And the day you’re prepared to
become disciplined and say no to these destructive habits, is the day your health will change
for the better. Once your Candida has improved significantly, you can drink socially again.
It’s not a problem. I’m not the alcohol police. Don’t get me wrong. I really do enjoy a glass
of wine from time to time, but those times are spaced quite far apart.
Tip No. 10. This is an important one. Learn the art of relaxation. I’ve done some videos
before explaining the connection with stress and the digestive system. The sympathetic
or fight or flight stimulates the body to rally up against distress. It has the ability
to make us think with more clarity and make us acutely alert of the potential danger and
it pushes blood to the large limbs so we can escape the danger and it accelerates our heart
rate. But the parasympathetic is the one that we want to push up.
Because the sympathetic also dumbs down the digestive system. It pushes the immune function
down and digestion down. And what we want to do is push ourselves into the rest and
digest or the relaxation part because this is going to improve digestive function, reduce
blood pressure, calm the mind, stop anxiety from forming, increase our energy, boost our
immune function and stimulate our stomach and pancreas to produce the enzymes we need
to really digest food properly. You can’t digest food in any kind of stressful situation.
The art of relaxation is paramount in overcoming Candida and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
and leaky gut syndrome. Any kind of functional gut disorder is not going to respond really
well unless you learn the art of relaxation. It’s a key thing I teach my patients. I talk
a lot more about the effects of stress in other videos, obviously.
Tip No. 11. Understand your digestive habits. If you have recurring digestive problems and
just can’t get a handle on them, then try to use a diary or a daily journal to write
down what you’re eating along with any increase or reduction in digestive symptoms you experience.
Sometimes it is only the simple things in your diet and lifestyle you have to change
in order to get an amazing improvement in health.
One of my patients recently, a lovely man in his mid to late 50s. I think he’s also
in Carolina. He might be in South Carolina. He’s a lovely guy and he said to me, “Eric,
every time I go to bed, I get bloating and gas. I can’t work out what it is.” Does that
sound like someone from Carolina? They talk quite sort of relaxed and slow there I believe.
They’re lovely people. Anyway, I said to Bob, “Bob, what are you eating in the afternoon
or early evening? What are you eating?” And he said, “Well, you know what? I like hummus.
I like making up some guacamole or some hummus and most afternoons I have that.” I worked
out he was having some corn chips with a mix with a lot of chickpea in it and garlic. And
once we cut that out in the afternoon, guess what? The bloating and gas went away. Simple.
If you suffer recurring bloating and gas, think back to what you’re eating previous.
It could well be a food. It may be a combination of a few dietary indiscretions you’re consuming
simultaneously or you may be eating too late or too fast. Either way, by keeping a symptom
diary, you’ll be in a powerful position to establish the link between cause and effect.
Tip No. 12. Don’t treat yourself. Go to a naturopath or a doctor, preferably integrated
medical doctor. Someone who has got knowledge on functional health disorders. Most medical
doctors focus on sickness and disease. They don’t look at the function. They wait until
the function is basically turned to custard or when disease develops. That’s when they
start treating the condition. This is not a good idea. Don’t take your car to a mechanic
when it’s stopped. When it’s not working anymore. Take your car to a mechanic when you get the
smallest inkling something is wrong. You hear a tiny noise repetitively. Something about
the car doesn’t feel right. And then you take it to the mechanic and he or she finds out
the brakes are faulty or there is a problem with the engine. It could be a quick fix at
low cost and it could save your life. Same with you. You may have a funny symptom at
the moment that’s going on right now bothering you. Get it checked out. Talk to someone.
Talk to a friend. Go and get a proper blood analysis or get things checked out before
it turns into a repair on you. So you’ve made all the necessary changes.
You’re exercising regularly, learning to relax, drinking more water, eating plenty of fiber,
eating lean meats, you’re chewing properly, but you still don’t feel quite right. May
I suggest you contact your naturopath or nutritionally minded natural medical doctor? You may need
testing for food allergies or intolerances. You may have an underlying bacterial or parasite
problem. It could be any one of a dozen different hidden causes that need a thorough examination.
As I say, it could be a quick fix for you. Simple solution to a simple problem.
I hope that’s given you some insight, Julie, in how to get your digestive system right.
But the last thing I’ll leave you with, the most important thing is you need to get the
digestion as good as you possibly can. If you’re digestion and bowels are functioning
optimally, you’re going to feel fantastic. You’re going to have great energy. You’re
going to have good sleep. You’re going to have a good libido. Everything is going to
work well for you and you’re going to age naturally over time, but you’re not going
have this sickness all the time. Most people I see are chronically unwell. They’ve got
chronic digestive problems and they’ve basically ignored symptoms for many years.
Lots of people I see with Candida or SIBO try to self-treat. They try to take all kinds
of pills all over the internet. They try all these weird diets and stuff like that and
then they come to me five, ten, twenty years down the track and they’re still not well.
I’ve treated thousands of people successfully and I find again simple diet solutions. If
you go and have a look at my YouTube channel that you’re on now, you’re going to find a
lot of hints and tips and self-help advice that’s going to help you recover from this
condition. You can consult with me. If you go to EricBakker.com,
you can do a consultation. You can do my yeast infection quiz, if you go to yeastinfection.org.
You get my book. You can check out my YouTube channel and also my thousands of articles
on yeastinfection.org. I pride myself now on having probably the best online resource
for Candida. I’ve worked in this field for nearly 30 years. I’ve made my income already
through investments and other things I do, but I love doing this kind of work with people.
I’ve chosen YouTube as a great way to educate people.
Don’t forget also I’ve developed some really nice products called Canxida. I’m not here
to push the products on you at all. But after being in the field for a long, long time,
I think I’ve created some of the best products for bacterial infection in the gut, for parasites,
for food allergies, for leaky gut syndrome, for Candida, and they work well and we’re
getting really nice feedback. That’s Canxida.com. Thanks for your question, Julie. Thank you.

19 Replies to “12 Tips To Seriously Improve Your Digestive And Bowel Function”

  1. Hi Erik.. Just wanted to thank you for all your videos… I have been watching you all day. I realized recently that I have had a Candida overgrowth all my life and I have decided to do something about it. The info online is insane and I was going nuts with all the food. Especially the oatmeal, fruit and rice. I have been studying Ayurveda for the last few months and am going to do a PanchaKarma next month.. but wanted to get a head start on the toxins in my body so they can exit my body more easily. Your information had helped my anxiety about all of this so much. I really appreciate it, JJ

  2. Good video! What is good cereal/ porridge to eat, I worry about getting oatmeal because there may be gluten in there. In my research someone said chia seeds/hemp seeds/wheat groats(?) are a good start to the day. I'm recovering from colitis and candida, doing much better but not there yet, Thank you much!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your Insight. I feel like i hit the jackpot lol I thank God for allowing me to find your channel

  4. DEAR ERIC,i am trying to follow your diet as good as i can ,but i have one problem .there are days when i am constipated.also,my bowels feels as if they are inflammed. can you please tell me why?

  5. I am so thankful you have a YouTube channel. I was just diagnosed as diabetic and have a terrible yeast infection after a double whammy of antibiotics and IBS accident in the car for 20 min. Home and shower immediately in burning pain down there, cannot find a cure the past 2 months. Currently taking diflucan again and flagyl. I thank God I found you to overcome a life time of obesity, candida, and the past few years IBS. I am 67. I look forward to healing my body so I can spend time with my grandchildren, children and husband, family and friends. If I win the lottery you will get a chunk

  6. All our diseases come because humans are raw carnivores (even monkeys eat meat.. just search) and people think we are onivorous, so people eat all those bullshit goitrogens, nightshades, seeds with lectins and many things humans are not supose to eat! humans are assassins and predators..
    Lots of raw meat, raw eggs, raw milk, raw kefir, raw organs, and fruits like cucumber to the diet.
    The tree want us to eat the fruits so it can reproduce aswell planting the seed elsewhere. That is why is clearly great for health to consume fruits.
    Bacteria + animal products + fruit. This is the only way to cure any disease

    The Chine study says animal products cause cancer. Yeah it causes, because when there is NO bacteria, foods can't be digested. All bacteria is killed after cooking.. Find a local farm searching for "organic —name of your town—, and ask for raw milk. Raw milk feeds probiotics, that is why it feeds KEFIR! omg, people are lost

  7. I wanna eat beans and lentils but even if I eat just a 1/2 cup,, I'll be bloated miserable and gassy for like 2 days ☹️☹️😧😧 same thing with cruciferous vegetables, not only gas and bloating but not going to the bathroom well, when I eat these foods I get the feeling that no matter how many times I go to the bathroom it's never complete 😧☹️ what can I do to heal my stomach and be able to eat these foods again? It's been many years now, I went on a mostly animal-based diet for a year and I develop hypoglycemia from it, I don't wanna live off animal foods alone I wanna be able to eat more plant foods

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