Nutrition is an overlooked science, we think that a doctors pill will fix our ailments but this is missing the fundamental cause of a weak immune system: the small intestine.

There are millions of microbes and enzymes throughout our digestive system many kilos of living elements working in a myriad of ways to absorb nutrients from foods. Lactose intolerance is a reduction or absence of the enzymes that break down dairy products. Cow’s milk is public enemy number one, dairy from goats can be less problematic, but has a strong flavour.

We can avoid milk, butter, and cheeses however this means we have eliminated one of our animal proteins. This is not a great problem, well only the cheese lovers suffer, over time we might think that avoiding dairy is healthier and on the whole that is true, less processed foods that have milk powders, breads, meats and a host of cakes. So our diet becomes much cleaner but we are still lacking the enzymes.

Solutions: two ways we can try to help our gut:Β  Some companies like Alpo make simply plain soya yogurt ( sugar content 2.1g / 100) with active cultures S.thermophilus and L.bulgaricus these enzymes can help digestion, the yogurt has a cooling affect, this is important if you are eating lots of wheat products, pasta, bread, couscous.

Wheat has many elements but one of them is theΒ  protein gluten which can cause inflammation of the the walls of the small intestine, this wall is not flat it has finger like protrusions that increase the area and allow for quicker absorption of nutrients.

Do you feel bloated after a sandwich or pasta dish, do you have some garlic bread with your pasta? The inflamation reduces surface area of the inner wall. We can see then that our gut is in trouble, how can it work properly and reducing the capability of our immune system

If you are lactose intolerant, take a break from the wheat, let your small intestine recover, add some soya yogurt with cultures I recommend trying this for about three weeks make note of what you are eating and how you feel, the frequency that you use the toilet and has there been any changes. After this trial period you my find that you can re introduce some goats’ yogurt to help boost your gut enzymes. If you have some wheat make sure you have 48 hours break before you consume any more. You don’t have to become totally gluten free but you will find that it helps calm the small intestine allowing you to feel better and have less visits to the bathroom and maybe even a bit of your favourite cheese.

Try also rice pasta from Sainsbury’s and Quinoa rather than couscous.

Some important reading that helped me with this personal experiment: Ben Greenfield ‘Beyond Training’ and The Diet Myth, Tim Spector.

Let me know your experiences

Thanks for reading.

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Written by

caspar chamberlain

Personal Trainer and Nutrition Advisor