Heather’s bi-weekly column on all things plant-based health related - Exclusively in the daily mirror.

Heather Mills - Founder & Director, VBites Foods

Heather Mills - Founder & Director, VBites Foods

In the first of a fabulous new series of fortnightly columns, campaigner and food writer Heather Mills on why taking care of our gut could be the secret behind feeling more healthy and happy.

Time and time again I am asked I a number of questions.

How do you stay fit and healthy at 50? How do you overcome living with a disability? How do you stay strong when life throws everything at you?

Over the coming weeks, I hope to help by sharing my life experiences - to let you know how I have found solutions for illnesses that conventional medicine has been unable to help me with. So, I am writing this column in the hope I can save you the suffering I've had to endure. What I have come to realise is that we are all unique and there is not one cure for all. There is, however, a common thread of easy non-medicated solutions for severe digestive disorders other than antacids. The saying "you are what you eat" is 100% true, but if you can't digest the best food in the world, it all ends up a rotten stinking compost. Many people suffer from acid reflux due to an inefficient digestive system, and are either unaware of it, as in secret reflux, or embarrassed to talk about it. If you suffer from heartburn or keep losing your voice, or bloat and cramp within 30 minutes of eating you may have acid reflux or SIBO (visit mindbodygreen.com and search SIBO for more information). A safe and easy test is to squeeze a lemon in a 1/4 glass of water and drink it within five minutes of eating your meal. If it feels soothing and warm and you do not get reflux, lemon is enough. But if like me your digestive system is a mess from life's stress, try a hydrochloric acid capsule (like Holland & Barrett MultiDigestive Enzyme £8.49 for 90 Tablets) to break down the proteins in your food. These also contain a digestive enzyme to break down carbs. You can also pick these up at most natural health food stores, and for me, and so many I have advised, it has been life-changing. When you eat and you have very little hydrochloric acid available, the food, no matter how healthy, can't digest and ferments, creating gas, bloating, diarrhoea and then constipation. So to find out why you're suffering, try the lemon and water first and then a hydrochloric acid capsule. Let me know how you get on, and I hope you'll soon be feeling pain free.

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