Last week, I saw one of those TV commercials for a popular brand of antacid tablets.
The main character, 45+ years old, overweight, clearly has digestive problems. Big zoom on his concerned face.
He wants to eat more pizza and drink more soda, but his heartburn and stomach cramps tell him he better not.
Then something magical happens…
He takes the antacid tablets, and…
Problem solved. Here comes more pizza, soda, ice cream, and cookies… pain-free!
This commercial is just another example of how misleading the pharmaceutical companies are about pain relief.
Of course, you can pop another antacid tablet and continue eating those treats.
Of course, you can pop some Tylenol and forget that your back hurts like crazy.
But you know these pills will never really FIX your pain.
Like Rick, I never advocate going for the quick-fix solution. In the case of our overweight pizza-eater, he’s worsening his pain in two ways:
1) The antacid tablets are not fixing his digestive problems, only hiding them. When you get heartburn, it’s for a reason. Poor digestion, allergic response, you name it. The important thing is: if you ignore what your body is telling you… it will eventually catch you up in the long run.
2) Because pain starts in your belly, any joint or muscle pain will be aggravated by bad food choices.
I’m not talking about heartburn or stomach cramps here.
Pain and chronic inflammation start in the belly when it’s under constant stress.
In plain English, the more you damage your gut flora (microorganisms that live in your digestive tract) with bad food and bad habits, the more you’re making your shoulder, neck, elbow, and knee pain worse.
What our couch potato “hero” can do is eliminate these inflammatory and gut-damaging treat foods 90%+ of the time. If it’s something he’s very allergic or intolerant to (dairy and gluten are very common), he may have to stop eating those foods completely.
Sugar, pasteurized dairy, refined grains, and refined vegetable oils are all shown to weaken your digestive system and potentially increase that nagging pain that just won’t go away whatever you try.
- The first step is to reduce or eliminate the foods that damage your gut flora.
- Second step: add in foods that will rebuild and strengthen your digestive system and reduce your pain long-term.
Here are my 4 favorite gut-friendly foods that you can start using today:
#1 – Probiotic Supplementation
Probiotics are live microorganisms that will help rebuild some balance in your gut flora.
Note that I didn’t advise you to eat more probiotic-containing yogurt here, and for two reasons: most people can’t tolerate dairy anyway – and it doesn’t make sense to damage your gut flora with the food you’re allergic to while trying to rebuild it – and most yogurts contain too much extra sugar or artificial ingredients to justify its use.
#2 – Fermented Foods
Kimchi, sauerkraut, or any fermented veggies can contain even more probiotics than most supplements and can be bought for a fraction of the price.
If you’re on a budget, prepare your fermented veggies. There are many tutorials around that will show you how to can veggies and make them develop these precious gut-friendly probiotics you’re looking for.
#3 – Apple Cider Vinegar
This vinegar is shown to help your stomach acids digest your food. Bonus, it’s really tasty when used in your homemade salad dressing.
Important note: choose the unpasteurized version. Apple cider vinegar that has been processed and pasteurized doesn’t show the same benefits.
#4 – Coconut oil
Not only is this oil a proven fat-burner; but it also has anti-microbial properties and is a recommended cure to ward off candida. Use within your daily caloric needs for cooking, in shakes, or if you’re like me – by the spoon.
I’ll be honest here.
Working on fixing your gut won’t give you instant pain relief like painkillers or antacids tablets do. But it will fix the problem instead of hiding it temporarily.
In my new book, Healthy or Not, I reveal what foods can damage your gut flora and make your pain worse, and what anti-inflammatory foods will be the best ally on your journey to finally be pain-free.
Keep it simple and healthy,
Hey, it is Rick now, thanks, Nick.
P.S. – If you liked Nick’s article, here are a few more from him: