H.O.P.E. for for Digestive Health
Congratulations! You are holding in your hands the power to take back control of your digestive health. The H.O.P.E. Formula is a daily nutritional program that gives you the foundation for great digestive health, and this Starter Guide will show you the way. While this Starter Guide provides you everything you need to know to start the H.O.P.E. Formula today, I encourage you to learn even more by watching the PBS Special, Brenda Watson’s H.O.P.E. Formula. This 90 minute show can be seen nationally on PBS in August. For local show times, please call 1-866-450-8111 or go to www.hopeformula/showtimes. For the past 20 years, my mission in life has been to teach people how to optimize digestive health using The H.O.P.E. Formula, a 4-part nutritional formula that works. Truly, the H.O.P.E. Formula is for everyone, whether you experience digestive issues that need attention, or if you want to maintain the good digestive health you already enjoy. H.O.P.E. stands for:
In this H.O.P.E. Starter Guide, you will learn about each of the elements in the formula, and how to get started with them right away. Yours In Health, Brenda Watson, N.D.
What is Fiber?
If a nutrition scientist had recently invented fiber, it would be advertised as a miracle ingredient! Thanks to its capacity for improving digestive health and fighting chronic disease, fiber should be trumpeted as a revolutionary preventive health breakthrough. Fiber can improve digestive function, help lower heart disease risk, help reduce cancer risk, and help you lose weight. Nearly every poorly functioning digestive tract will benefit from an increase in fiber. We now know that once fiber enters the digestive tract, it interacts with the other foods and substances you consume. Toxins you ingest that might otherwise be absorbed are ushered out of the body. Cholesterol that could potentially block arteries is eliminated through various mechanisms. In addition, the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) living in your digestive system which boost your immunity, feast on fiber and multiply to your benefit. Ironically, our increasing knowledge about the importance of fiber arrives at the same time as our national diet seems to focus more and more on processed foods that lack the fiber we need. Luckily, catching up on your fiber requirement is easy. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with whole sprouted grains; and choose fiber supplements that contain the right balance between insoluble and soluble fiber (the natural balance), and you will instantly be living a highfiber lifestyle.
How Much Fiber Should You Take?
25 or more grams per day. Yet while experts recommend 25-35 grams of fiber per day, most Americans consume only 10-12 grams. Getting your daily 25-35 grams of fiber per day is one of the best ways to promote health and regularity, and even maintain ideal weight.That’s equivalent to up to 15 servings of fruits, vegetables or grains. If you don’t eat that many servings, make sure you take a fiber supplement every day to make up for the shortfall. Choose a fiber supplement that is naturally balanced, which means it is formulated with the same insoluble (75%) to soluble (25%) ratio that fruits and vegetables typically provide.
Choosing The Right Fiber Supplement:
Naturally Balanced Fiber vs. Non Balanced Fiber.
The best way to receive your fiber is the way nature intended: through your diet. When you consume the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber per day through a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you consume a ratio of approximately 75% insoluble fiber to 25% soluble fiber. This is the NATURAL BALANCE that nature intended. Each type of fiber is important to your health. Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, helps to absorb intestinal and liver toxins. Insoluble fiber is the roughage that sweeps the colon free and promotes regular bowel movements. When you supplement your diet with a fiber supplement, it is very important to receive the natural balance you would receive through your diet. The easiest way to mimic the natural balance is by taking a flax-based fiber. The Right Fiber For You. Flax provides roughly the same natural balance (approximately 65-75% insoluble to 25-35% soluble fiber) of fiber found in healthy diet. Watch out, though, because most fiber supplements use psyllium which provides the opposite of the natural balance. When choosing your fiber supplement, look for a naturallybalanced, flax-based product.
Organic Fiber vs. Commercially Grown Fiber.
In all cases, it is better to consume organic foods. One of the chief benefits of taking fiber is that it helps remove toxins from the body. Taking fiber that has been grown with toxins, like pesticides, is self-defeating. Try to choose organic fiber sources, whether from fruits and vegetables, sprouted grains, or fiber supplements.
What are Essential Fatty Acids?
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are a form of polyunsaturated fats, the type of fats now called “good fats.” In fact, EFA’s aren’t just good, they’re essential to supporting optimum digestive and overall health. There are three types of Essential Fatty Acids: Omega-3’s, Omega-6’s, and Omega-9’s. Each is vital and needed, but it is the Omega-3’s that we are most deficient in, and we primarily focus on in the H.O.P.E. Formula.
Essential Fatty Acids:
• Support a healthy digestive tract* • Support healthy inflammatory response* • Nourish active tissues, such as the brain, heart, eyes and kidneys* • Support healthy immune function and nervous system* • Support circulatory health and healthy metabolism* • Support brain health and development* • Promote healthy hormone balance* • Promote a positive mood*
How Much Omega-3 Should You Receive Per Day?
The World Health Organization recommends you consume at least 2 grams of Omega-3 Oils per day, which is consistent with the H.O.P.E. Formula.
Where Do You Get Essential Fatty Acids?
The body does not produce essential fatty acids; the only way to get them is through your diet or a supplementation program, thus making outside sources of these fats “essential.”
The Different Types of Omega 3’s
There are three types of Omega-3 oils. The two you may be most familiar with are EPA’s (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA’s (docosahexanoic acid), both of which are found primarily in oily cold-water fish such as tuna, salmon, and mackerel. Other than fresh-picked seaweed (not a staple of the American diet), plant foods rarely contain EPA or DHA. By contrast, the third Omega-3, called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), is found primarily in dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed oils, and certain vegetable oils, and is easier to include in your diet.
To Increase the Omega-3’s in your Diet, Include the Following Foods:
• Fish: Not all fish are rich in Omega-3’s. Look for salmon and cold-water fish, including halibut, tuna, sardines, herring, and mackerel.
• Red Meat: While red meat is generally not rich in Omega-3’s (and carries the risks associated with too much saturated fat) there are two sources that are high in Omega-3’s, venison and buffalo. While venison is difficult to find, buffalo is becoming widely available in health food stores and supermarkets.
• Plant Sources: There are several Omega-3 sources in the plant world including flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts and some leafy green vegetables.
The Advantage of Omega-3 Supplementation
Eating oily fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel is considered to be beneficial because these fish contain EPA and DHA, the most important Omega-3 fatty acids. However, most people do not eat enough fish to receive their daily Omega-3 needs. According to the USDA Nutrient Database, a 3-ounce serving of salmon contains less than 1.7 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids. However, there is significant evidence showing that many fish are contaminated with mercury and should not be eaten regularly. One major advantage of fish oil supplementation is that purification techniques are used in some Omega-3 supplements to insure that they are free of detectable levels of mercury, PCBs and other contaminants. Make sure you choose a mercury free fish oil supplement. Another advantage of fish oil supplementation is cost; it is less expensive to consume a daily capsule of fish oil than it is to eat salmon every day! Lipase is the Most Important Thing to Look for in an Oil Supplement.
Lipase is an enzyme that helps digest fats. Make sure you find a fish oil supplement with lipase because it assists in digestion and therefore maximizes the absorption of the Omega-3’s you need.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Literally translated, the word probiotic means “FOR LIFE”. The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host” (that’s you). Maintaining a healthy balance of probiotics is critical to your good health, and not only your digestive health. The two most prevalent probiotics are Lactobacillus, which make up the majority of the probiotics living in your small intestine, and Bifidobacteria, the most prevalent probiotic living in your large intestine.
Probiotics Help You To:
• Maintain healthy colon cells* • Promote healthy immunity* • Promote regularity* • Promote detoxification of intestinal toxins* • Manufacture digestive enzymes which help you digest food* • Make use of nutrients, such as fiber, that would otherwise pass through the body undigested* • Create an unfriendly environment for potentially harmful bacteria and yeast*
Your Bacterial Balance Is the Key to Your Good Health
You have both good and bad bacteria in your digestive system. A healthy bacterial balance is 80% good to 20% bad bacteria. If bad bacteria increase past 20%, your health can suffer.
Consequences of Probiotic Imbalance
The consequences of too little probiotics can include diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, yeast overgrowth, vaginal yeast infections, weakened immune system, lactose intolerance, poor digestion, complex carbohydrate intolerance and even skin disruptions. Because 70% of our immune system lies in the digestive tract, the lack of adequate amounts of probiotics can result in many problems related to low immunity.
How Many Probiotics Should You Take Daily?
There is no exact science to answer this question, but generally, the more good bacteria you have, the better able you are to fight bad bacteria in the gut. The H.O.P.E. Formula recommends between 6 and 50 billion live cells per day, which corresponds with one’s age. As we age, our good bacteria decline. Researchers are currently studying the relationship between the decline in good bacteria and the aging process. While Vitamin C is measured in milligrams or grams, probiotics are measured in units called “live cultures” or “live cells”. Adults should take 6-15 billion live cultures per day, and those over 50 should take 30-50 billion live cultures per day. For critical needs, 50 billion or more is recommended.
How Do You Maintain The Right Probiotic Balance?
Eat foods rich in probiotics and high in fiber, and take a daily probiotic supplement. A diet rich in fermented dairy and vegetable foods, such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, will provide good bacteria. Also, eating foods high in fiber is beneficial because good bacteria love to “eat” soluble fiber which causes them to multiply. Lastly, take a BALANCED probiotic supplement. The right balance is a probiotic supplement high in both Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
1. Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus Balance
The two most prevalent probiotics in your digestive system are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Bifidobacterium is the most prevalent probiotic in you large intestine, and Lactobacillus are the most prevalent in the small intestine. Unfortunately, most probiotic supplements are high in Lactobacilli and low in Bifidobacteria. Make sure you choose a probiotic supplement that is high in both. This insures that the probiotic needs of the large and small intestine are both supported.
2. Age Specific
Research has proven that as we age, the probiotic population in our intestines decreases. Therefore, it is important to increase our probiotic intake by choosing an age specific supplement.
3. Proper Delivery Mechanism
Make sure that the probiotic you choose is either enteric coated or delivered through Bio-TractTM tableting. Both of these methods insure that the probiotics have the extra assistance needed to pass through the stomach enabling them to reach the small and large intestine where they are best utilized.
What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are protein-based substances that are essential for every function in the human body including good digestion. In the digestive system, enzymes are the key to breaking down the foods we eat into the nutrients that feed our bodies. Enzymes break down foods by breaking apart the bonds that hold the nutrients together. Once the bonds are broken, tiny molecules can pass into the bloodstream where they are used as energy. If you do not have enough enzymes, the digestion of your food suffers, along with your digestive and overall health. Getting enough enzymes is one of the most important parts of the H.O.P.E. Formula.
Where do I Get Enzymes?
Your body produces enzymes and, normally, enzymes are present in raw foods to assist with digestion. However, many foods are depleted of their natural enzymes through cooking and processing and, as we age, our enzyme production decreases. Without the essential enzymes needed for proper digestion, the body may not be able to efficiently break down those foods into the absorbable nutrients we all need to receive the benefit of the food we eat.
How Do I Know if I Do Not Have Enough Enzymes?
For starters, you notice that you have poor digestion. Poor digestion is experienced in a variety of ways including bloating, heartburn, gas, and fatigue after eating. If you experience this, it is likely that you have too few enzymes to properly digest the food you are eating.
How Do I Choose The Correct Enzyme Supplement?
1. Choose a Properly Balanced Enzyme A good digestive enzyme formula will contain a variety of enzymes to help digest every type of nutrient type we eat in our food including fats, starches, dairy, plant, vegetable material (cellulose) and sugar. Each nutrient type is digested best by specific enzymes that are designed to break that nutrient down. For example, dairy products require the enzyme lactase to break it down, while protein requires protease to break it down.
2. Choose a Plant Based Enzyme The ideal digestive enzyme supplement would be plant-based. Such enzymes are already activated as they enter the system and therefore start to work in the stomach, and continue to function throughout the body with a broad pH range from 2 to 14. pH range is the acid level required to break a particular nutrient type down. For example, dairy breaks down in a pH range of 6.0 - 8.0. A balanced plant based enzyme provides the proper pH range you need. When digestion is incomplete, plant enzymes act like “Pac Man” breaking down and cleaning up undigested food in the digestive tract. Plant enzymes are the best choice for indigestion or as a preventive measure to ensure complete digestion. Be sure to watch Brenda Watson's H.O.P.E. Formula for Optimum Digestive Care on PBS! Call 1-866-450-8111 for your local showtime!