Digestion and Diet

According to Dr. Bernard Jensen, the digestive system is the first system in the body to be developed in the womb, and its importance cannot be underestimated. At The Other Option, we believe that digestive problems impact other areas in our bodies causing a wide range of health issues. Ensuring sound digestive health should be a priority for everyone, and it is one of our goals to help educate and inform our customers, friends and families about good digestive health.

We have put together some “food for thought”.

These principals are based on information gathered from renowned nutritionists and doctors including Dr Gillian McKeith, Mary-Ann Shearer, Patrick Holford and Dr Bernard Jenson. We recommend these dietary tips for people with stomach problems, particularly those suffering from acid reflux, gastritis, hiatus hernia, IBS, peptic ulcers and colitis.

Adding Siberian Pine Nut Oil to food

Pine Nut Oil has a low smoke point and should NOT be used for cooking purposes. To preserve its high levels of antioxidant properties, use The Other Option’s DIGESTIVE REMEDY™ Siberian Pine Nut Oil for “finishing” or adding flavour to a meal. It is best drizzled over salads, pasta or muesli, and can also be added to a delicious smoothie.

Combining foods to promote good digestion

Combining food is dictated by timing and chemistry. Very simply, different food groups digest at different times, and require either an acid or alkaline environment for optimal digestion. When acids and alkaline juices come in contact, they neutralize each other causing indigestion, bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort and poor absorption of nutrients.

To promote good digestion, combine or eat foods that have roughly the same digestion time and do not neutralize each other. Protein-rich foods require a highly acidic environment for digestion, while carbohydrates (fruit, starches and sugars) and fats require a more alkaline environment. In addition, fruit ferments very quickly, and also digests rapidly. It is recommended that you eat fruit by itself and allow a timeframe of 30 – 60 minutes before you eat other foods.

Tips on combining foods:


PROTEINS produce acid juices and digest slowly, and CARBOHYDRATES and starchy vegetables produce alkaline juices and digest faster than proteins. Eat non-starch vegetables, salads and seeds with either PROTEINS or CARBS. Eat FRUIT by itself.

Eat stress reducing foods

The body produces cortisol in reaction to stress. This is what is commonly termed the “natural fight or flight” reaction. Extreme stress causes the body to over-produce cortisol to counter these higher stress levels. Excessive cortisol hinders sleep patterns, digestion and metabolism, resulting in stomach disorders and weight gain.

Foods that help in stress reduction include Carbohydrates, fibres, vegetables and foods rich in omega 3.

  • Carbohydrates do not put pressure on the pancreas and they trigger the brain into releasing “feel good”serotonin. Sources of carbohydrates include potatoes, rice and pasta. At The Other Option, we recommend sweet potatoes, brown rice and gluten-free pasta.
  • Fibre helps to fight constipation issues, which is often brought about by stress. Fruits, vegetables and whole grain are a good source of fibre. We recommend apples, avocado, bananas, berries, sweet potatoes, mushroom, spinach and bran.
  • Vegetables include a natural form of the amino acid, L- Tryptophan. The production of serotonin which is soothing for the body, is increased with high absorption L- Tryptophan.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help in the treatment of depression and stress. The BEST Omega-3 fatty acid is obtained through foods such as fish oils. At The Other Option, we HIGHLY recommend you further supplement your diet with good omega 3 cold fish oils ONLY! Take a look at our Omega-UP product for more details.
Avoid these foods
  • Alcohol (excessive), Carbonated and Caffeinated Coldrinks, Citrus Juices, Coffee, Tea and Tomato Juice.
  • An excessive intake of caffeine increases the production of stress hormones. Stress hormones cause your heart to beat faster and boost your energy by redirecting the blood supply away from the digestive system to the muscles. This process slows down digestion and results in the fermentation of food which leads to the build-up of gases and damaging alcohols.
  • Caffeine also acts as a diuretic which can lead to dehydration, which in turn can contribute to constipation.
  • Junk foods
  • Cake, Cheese, Chocolates, Fried and Greasy Foods
  • Starch “baddies”
Recommendations for effective digestion
  • Eat slowly
  • Eat sitting down
  • Avoid stress when eating
  • Chew your food thoroughly
  • Avoid extremely hot or cold foods
  • Eat 6-8 small frequent meals a day
  • Do not drink with meals
  • Do not exercise immediately after a meal