Dr. Maoshing discusses which healing foods ease female digestive problems.
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Let's talk about digestion. Most of my patients, female patients, come to me and they say to me, “Dr. Mao, I am bloated all the time. I am constipated. I have gas. I have all kinds of problems; heartburns, indigestion, well, what can I do in my diet or lifestyle?” So what I brought today are some of the things I want to talk to you about because it’s critical to have good digestion. If you don’t have good digestion, forget it, you have no energy, right? Because everything you eat gives you energy and nutrients, and if you don’t have good digestion, you can’t absorb, you can’t process, and you end up feeling really, really, stopped up, which is very uncomfortable. So critical to have excellent digestion, but how do you do it? I look at the American diet; it’s terrible, it’s awful. What do you do? You eat a hamburger and then you chase it down with some kind of a soda, as an example, or drink coffee, and this is, this is not the way to treat your digestion. You must be good to your digestion. Coffee, for example, what’s wrong with it? Some people tell me it’s a laxative, so keeps them regular, but it’s also very acidic, and it can upset your stomach. That’s one of the reasons you have a heartburn and you have to take medication all the time. So let's talk about things starting from the top. Heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, probably the most common problem in America. If you look at prescription drug sales, if you look at over-the-counter drug sales, antacids, acid blockers tops the list. So why do Americans have so much stomach problems? Well, diet is key. Let’s talk about things that actually can help you. Heartburn, ingestion. Your body produce too much acid for a number of reasons. One, you don’t produce enough gastric enzymes. The enzymes are needed to digest different types of food. You need different kind of enzymes for starch, for meat, for vegetables, and other foods, more exotic foods. So to compensate, your body will produce more acid to break down the food, so that’s one. Two, you might have bacteria in your stomach. The most common cause for a gastric reflux or indigestion problem is a bacterica called, Helicobactor pylori, otherwise known as H. Pylori. So, this little bacteria hides in your stomach. Your stomach keeps producing more acid to try to kill it, but guess what, this bacteria is somehow immune to your acid, all right? But the body doesn’t know. The body just keeps producing more so you have heartburn, indigestion. The third cause is stress. Stress can increase your acid production because what happens is that as your stress hormones, the cortisol goes up, adrenaline goes up, your secretion of acid also goes up. So there you have it, the three top causes, from stress, from insufficient enzymes, and from bacteria. Well, if you don’t have enough enzyme, this little fruit right here called papaya happens to be fabulous because it’s filled with digestive enzyme papain, and it helps you with digestion. So if you eat papaya, it will help you actually reduce your acid production, meaning the excess acid production. So papaya and improved digestion helps to relieve your reflux problem, your indigestion problems. So as you go down the pipeline, if you will, from the stomach through the small bowels, through the large bowels, there could be problems along the way. You could have a difficulty in digestion, in breaking down nutrients and absorbing, and you can have problem absorbing the wrong things. So why don’t we talk about something that’s near and dear to my heart, or my intestines, I should say? These little things here, these things by the way are called dry plums, otherwise known as prunes. Now 90 percent of all dry plums are grown in California, which is really remarkable, but what’s so special about these little fruits? Well you see, dry plums are perfectly balanced in their fiber contents. We have soluble fiber, we have insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber actually helps to slow down the sugar delivery in