06/09/2007

Gut Reaction (by Gudrun Jonsson)

I've always been interested in nutritional remedies for any kind of illness, and have picked up quite a few relevant books over the years. Gudrun Jonsson, who was born in Sweden, is a biopath.

'Gut Reactions' has been sitting on my shelves for a couple of years now, but I decided to read it recently after feeling a bit bloated a couple of mornings. The premise of this book is that digestive disturbances, and many other illnesses are related not just to what we eat, but to how we eat it. There's a fair amount of biological explanation in the book, which was a little beyond me although I assume it's accurate. But what interested me was the recommendations.

I was surprised to find that the most important thing of all, according to this book, is to chew food well so that it begins the digestive process in the mouth. The author recommends chewing everything fifty times. I don't think I can manage that, but thirty is more than I would normally do, and it's easy enough to implement.

She also recommends smaller meals than most people eat, and - in general - a form of 'food combining' - or rather, not combining proteins with starches at the same meal. This rather goes against some nutritional advice, but apparently it's much easier to digest if they're not eaten together. Most vegetables and salads can be eaten with either, and fruit is in the list with proteins, although it's a little more complicated. But in a nutshell, the author recommends breakfast as mainly fruit, with added nuts, yogurt, and perhaps oats. Then one meal based on starch - potatoes, or rice, or pasta, or possibly bread (although apparently gluten is not recommended for anyone with digestive disorders) plus salads, and the other meal protein-based with lightly cooked veggies, and perhaps some fruit, but no potatoes, pasta, bread or rice.

Then there are individual recommendations for various conditions which, it is claimed, are related to faulty digestion: from migraine to ME. Other alternative remedies are suggested in addition to dietary requirements. And there are several anecdotes showing remarkable improvements in patients who have followed these ideas.

I liked the book - it was written in a very readable style, without the hype that can sometimes be found in nutritional guides. It also had a sort of general overview for people who didn't want to follow every recommendation: basically, people need to give up cigarettes, most caffeine and sugar, and junk or over-processed foods. Then they need to concentrate more on vegetables, and ensure everything is thoroughly chewed. All of which seems eminently sensible, and relatively easy to implement.

Sadly out of print in both the UK and USA, but relatively easy to find second-hand.

I have no idea how much success these methods would have, but would suggest that anyone suffering from any kind of digestive problems should read this book, and perhaps try out the suggested dietary recommendations. They certainly won't do any harm.

1 comment:

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Popping in to see what you are reading! :)