Colon health

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The Anatomy Of A Diet: How To Tailor Your Diet To Your Needs, Lifestyle, and Goals

A diet should be a lifestyle change if you want it to be effective. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Getting clear on your goals and working a nutrition plan into your lifestyle can help you get the best results.

Nutrition Physiology

Your body needs certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for optimal function. There are seven major nutrients required for survival. Other elements, like water and fiber, don’t give you energy but help to keep you alive.

One of the problems with modern foods is that they provide calories without delivering adequate nutrition. You’re probably familiar with the term “empty calories.” Foods with empty calories tend to contain added sugars and fats with minimal nutritional value. Making your diet easy to maintain for your lifestyle can help you stick with it and reach your health goals.

What Are Your Diet Goals?

Eating a healthy diet can help you reach any goal – whether that be weightloss or simply living a healthier lifestyle. Setting a goal also gives you a basis for evaluating your changes and determine whether it’s working or whether you need to tweak something. If you don’t see results, you’re not likely to continue to make lifestyle changes. However, you won’t know what results you desire if you don’t set goals first. Working with a health or nutritional professional can aid you in defining your diet mission and help you stay on track.

The Importance Of Changing Your Habits

Once you have set your diet goals, you can work towards establishing consistency in your diet. When a habit and an intention conflict with each other, the brain is more likely to direct your behavior based on the habit rather than the intention. Therefore, transforming your diet changes into a habit is one of the keys to making this work for your lifestyle.

Once you have established a habit, the decision-making part of your brain is dampened. That’s a good thing when it comes to your diet. Instead of talking yourself into choosing veggies over potato chips, it becomes a no-brainer. It also frees your mind and allows you to focus on more important things so that you’re not thinking about food all the time.

5 Tips For Making Your Diet Work For Your Lifestyle

The following tips will help you set healthy habits that you can stick with for life!

  1. Start Slow

Have you ever run headstrong into a new routine only to find yourself burning out shortly afterward? The key to designing a diet for your lifestyle is to start small. To make a diet part of your life, create a change that’s so miniscule that avoiding it seems impossible.

You can use this idea for eating healthier by consuming just one more vegetable than you normally would. Once you take the first step, your mind will start to let go of its resistance to the idea. Within a few days or weeks, you’ll begin to have a compulsion to build on the habit instead of giving up, which is what can happen if you make too many big changes too quickly.

  1. Give Yourself A Cue

Changing any habit requires planning. You don’t have to spend a lot of time preparing your diet routine though. Using a simple cue can help you automate your behavior change. This works even if you don’t do it every time or forget to do it periodically.

Some cues that you could use include:

  • While I cook, I’ll drink a full glass of water.
  • With each meal, I’ll eat some greens.
  • When I crave sugar, I’ll drink sparkling water instead.

The cues allow you to repeat the behavior in a consistent context, which is one way to solidify habit change. They also give you a chance to adapt to your diet in a way that works with your lifestyle.

  1. Write It Down

Writing down your cues and posting them in a prominent place can help you remember them so that the habits begin to stick. Keeping track of other aspects of your diet, such as daily calorie consumption, favorite quick and easy meals, and cravings, in a journal can also help you modify a diet based on your lifestyle.

You can’t change anything in your life if you’re not aware of it. Recording information about what you eat and how you feel can give you a clear picture of what works and doesn’t work when it comes to your diet. When you know what’s effective, you can focus on creating consistency around it so that you can maintain the healthy habit.

  1. Make It Enjoyable

No matter how effective a diet appears to be, if sticking to it is grueling, you’re not likely to continue. Be flexible, and focus on what you enjoy!

For example, if you’re trying to avoid dairy, you might crave cheese all day. Instead of inwardly complaining that you can’t eat the cheese, focus on the abundant variety of foods that you can eat. Choose fruits and vegetables that you absolutely love, and give yourself a chance to experiment with different ways of cooking and eating them to come up with delicious meals and snacks that you will eventually find yourself craving.

  1. Plan Ahead

Go into every day with a plan. Taking a few moments every evening to prepare for the next day can help you modify a diet for your lifestyle and avoid surprises that might otherwise make you fall off the wagon.

Prepping for a catered lunch meeting by packing your own lunch can prevent you from snacking on cheese cubes and fancy desserts. Knowing what vegetables are in your refrigerator can help you start the day with a healthy breakfast instead of waking up and relying on a sugary granola bar because your cupboards were empty.

You don’t have to meal plan for an entire week if that doesn’t work for you. Just spend a few moments to come up with a diet strategy for every day, and that planning will also become a habit that sets you up for long-term success!

The Anatomy Of A Diet: How To Tailor Your Diet To Your Needs, Lifestyle, and Goals 2018-11-27T08:26:37+00:00

Why Do I Need Probiotics?

There are several lifestyle and environmental factors that can lead to problems with your gut health. Stress, aging, modern American diet, exposure to toxins, and the use of antibiotics (both as medicine and within the food we eat) can all throw off the balance of our microbiome.

Everything from your energy levels and mood to your mental health, weight, and sleep, can be affected by the balance of good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. The effects of an unbalanced microbiome can be serious. When the gut becomes unbalanced with these unhealthy levels of bacteria, probiotics help to bring your gut back to balance.

Probiotics are the “good” bacteria in your gut that support your digestive health and your immune system. These microbes that are present in the lower intestinal tract help us to digest food. They help the body to absorb nutrients, making sure that your body is getting the vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids from the foods that you are eating. Probiotics also keep any harmful bacteria in check. Probiotics do this by crowding out the bad bacteria and preventing the bacteria from living in your gut.

Now that you can see how probiotics help the body, how do you know if your body needs them? Probiotics exist naturally in your gut, but lifestyle and environmental factors can deplete our natural levels. But how do we know if they have been depleted?

Take a look at these 6 signs that indicate you should be boosting your diet with these good guys!

  1. Antibiotic Use

Antibiotic means anti-life, which is the exact opposite of the meaning of probiotic or pro-life. Antibiotics were designed to remove bacteria from the body, including your good guys. Boosting your diet with probiotic rich foods after a round of antibiotics can help to reintroduce the healthy gut flora back into the body.

  1. Food Poisoning

If you have recently suffered from food poisoning or have eaten something that just didn’t agree with your system, these is a good chance that bad bacteria have started making a home in your body. Including probiotic rich foods in your diet can help to fight off these bad guys and get your digestion back to normal.

  1. Digestive Issues

If your gut has not been functioning like it normally does, boosting your diet with probiotic rich foods can be extremely helpful. Oftentimes the small addition of these healthy flora into your diet can put an end to uncomfortable symptoms like bloating and gas.

  1. Skin Conditions

If you are suffering from acne, eczema, rashes, or hives, it is most likely due to poor digestion and an imbalance in your gut bacteria. Start to include probiotic rich foods in your diet to help your skin clear up.

  1. Moody

Are you feeling stressed, anxious, irritable, or depressed? It could be because your intestinal flora is out of whack. Boost your diet with probiotic rich foods to help bring your gut back into balance.

  1. Weakened Immunity

If you feel like you get sick from the flu every year, you’ve used all your sick days at work, and seem to catch any bug that goes around, it’s time to include probiotic rich foods in your diet. Healthy bacteria in the gut supports your immune system, and helps to fight off any foreign microbes in your body.

The Best Food Sources of Probiotics

Are you wondering how and what probiotic rich foods you should add into your diet? You don’t always need supplements to get your daily dose of probiotics. There are so many natural foods loaded with cultures of the good gut flora. The top sources of probiotics include:

  1. Yogurt – especially plain Greek yogurt
  2. Kefir
  3. Fermented vegetables – such as pickles or sauerkraut
  4. Kombucha
  5. Kimchi
  6. Miso
  7. Tempeh
  8. Olives

Create A Healthier You

Including probiotic rich foods in your diet helps to keep up your levels of good flora and is a form of prevention. By incorporating these top eight natural sources of probiotics into your diet, your good bacteria will thrive and help you with living a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Why Do I Need Probiotics? 2018-11-12T12:27:13+00:00

Bring Your Gut Health Back To Balance

Have you been feeling not like yourself lately? With the coming changes in the weather as we transition, it is typical to feel a bit off. Maybe you’re not getting enough sleep, you have low energy, or you’re just feeling blue. Did you know that a huge portion of your gut microbiome is situated in the digestive tract, where nearly 80% of your immune system resides? Thusly, if your gut microbiome doesn’t contain enough probiotics, you may not be feeling like your best self.

The difficult part of your gut health is knowing the signs of an imbalance, because they aren’t limited to troubles with your tummy. Here are the top five signs that your gut and microbiome may be out of whack!

  1. Are you moody?

You may think that your brain is located far from your gut, but did you know that your gut is in constant communication with your brain? This has a huge influence over your mood and emotions. This is because your friendly gut flora work to produce and regulate important mood-enhancing chemicals, like dopamine, cortisol, and serotonin.

  1. Do you feel under the weather?

Since your immunity is reflected by your gut health, where the majority of your beneficial bacteria live, if there is an imbalance going on with your microbiome your immune function is generally compromised and cannot effectively protect you from harmful pathogens. So, if you’re constantly feeling out of it and not like yourself, the root problem may be an insufficient number of the friendly flora in your gut!

  1. Are you low in energy?

If your energy in the morning is gone, and you feel like you’re living in a haze, it is time to consider all that is going on in your gut (or lack thereof). A deficiency of your friendly gut flora makes it a lot harder for your body to properly digest food and absorb the nutrients your body needs. This can leave you feeling worn out and fatigued before you day has even begun! So, before you go to grab another cup of coffee to help get you through the day, think about supporting your gut microbiome first!

  1. Do you feel uncomfortable in your own skin?

Are you continuously experiencing breakouts, irritations, rashes, or itches? Keep in mind that your gut may be responsible for these skin issues! Undesirable bacteria lingering in your intestines can cause a less than optimal complexion. And it’s not just your skin that gets affected – your microbiome can play a big role in whether or not your maintaining a healthy body weight!

  1. Are you experiencing stomach sensitivities?

Although most of the common signs for an imbalance in your gut occur all throughout the body, some signs do actually show up in the gut itself! If you experience bouts of constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or gas, it may be due to a lack of the friendly flora that work to keep the bad guys in check!

Give Your Gut Some Extra Love

If you’re experiencing an imbalance in your guy, there’s no need to let it affect your life and performance. Follow these simple steps to help support your microbiome now!

Get Active

It’s time to get moving! Physically active people tend to have more healthy gut bacteria than those who do not exercise. Working out doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Find a way to move that brings joy to your being. That could be running, swimming, martial arts, hockey, or any other activity that’s fun and raises your heart rate.

Healthy Choices

Eating a diet consisting of natural, whole, raw food (and organic if possible) that is full of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables will keep your entire system strong and your microbiome happy. This is because many plant-based foods – like apples, bananas, asparagus, and oats – are excellent sources of prebiotics, which are fibers that support the growth of your friendly flora. Try your best to avoid sugars, GMOS, processed foods, alcohol, and foods with other artificial ingredients that all deplete your healthy gut flora.

Relax

When you’re stressed out, your healthy gut bacteria may be less helpful since your body goes into its “fight or flight” mode. This can also cause an imbalance within your intestinal bacteria and make you more susceptible to the unfriendly guys. So, find something that truly calms you down such as yoga, meditation, journaling, or any other relaxation techniques.

Support Your Gut Daily 

Strengthening the support of your friendly bacteria encourages a lifetime of vitality for your mind, body, and spirit. After all, a balanced, nourished gut can have you feeling like yourself again, so you can live a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Bring Your Gut Health Back To Balance 2018-10-30T23:26:54+00:00

Do You Need More Energy? Boost Your Vitality With Your Diet!

Do you want to feel energetic and vibrant throughout the day? If you’re like most of our readers, you live a fast-paced life. This can leave you feeling tired, worn out, and lethargic.

Fatigue doesn’t always mean that you are tired. Lack of energy can often be related to many health symptoms. Did you know that you can boost your energy and vitality with you diet? The main reason for low energy has to do with shortcomings in your diet and the fact that you are probably not getting enough of the nutrients that you need. Let’s take a look at which vitamins give you more energy and which foods offer them naturally!

The Four B’s

Key vitamins that boost energy include these four B vitamins: B1, B2, B6 and B12. Each of these B vitamins are important for the metabolism of your cells and the formation of red blood cells. They play a part with how your body processes the nutrients you eat and converts them into energy. B12 is especially important. A diet that doesn’t include a lot of B12 foods can result in noticeable fatigue and changes with mood. The good news is that we can get sources of these B vitamins naturally from leafy green vegetables, peas, lentils, beans, as well as from poultry, beef, seafood, dairy and whole grain products.

Iron

Iron is an essential nutrient and part of your hemoglobin that aids your body in transporting oxygen through the bloodstream. Iron plays a major role with creating energy from the nutrients that we consume. Fatigue is often associated with insufficient oxygenation. An Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States. You can get Iron from natural food sources from the foods mentioned above along with pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and even dark chocolate!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another essential vitamin for your health. Vitamin C helps to maintain our blood vessels, play a key role with energy production, mood, maintaining healthy skin, and bones. But did you know that your body needs Vitamin C to make L-carnitine, which helps your body burn fat for energy. Fatigue is often one of the first signs of vitamin C depletion! Natural sources of vitamin C can be found within citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes, as well as kiwis, mangos, papayas, pineapples, and berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries!

Folic Acid

As part of one of the eight B-Vitamins, folate helps the body with converting the food we eat into glucose, which provides our bodies with energy. When combined with vitamin B12, folic acid significantly boosts energy levels within all individuals. Natural sources of folate can be found in black eyed peas, asparagus, lentils, walnuts, spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, peanuts, as well as beef.

Calcium and Vitamin D

Are your calcium and vitamin D levels low? Calcium and Vitamin D are needed for energy production. Deficiencies of these both these vitamins are linked to symptoms of fatigue. Opt for natural foods high in calcium such as salmon and sardines, kale, collards, broccoli, turnips, bok choy, and sesame seeds.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is vital for energy production. Your body needs magnesium to create energy by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the fundamental unit of energy within the body’s cells. Without proper levels of this mineral, the nutrients that your takin in through food would not be metabolized into energy. Magnesium also supports increased muscle function, and bone quality (when taken with calcium and vitamin D). Natural sources of magnesium include avocados, nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, whole grains, fatty fish, and dark chocolate!

Zinc

Zinc is a vital part of keeping your metabolism running smoothly. Zinc helps to metabolize protein, carbs, as well as fats, and when you don’t have enough, you can experience reduced energy and sluggishness. You can get zinc through natural foods like oysters, which contain more zinc per serving than any other food, as well as poultry, seafood, beans, nuts, and whole grains.

Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral and antioxidant that is vital to good health and physical and mental energy. Unusual lethargy, tiredness, and a lack of energy over several days could all be symptoms of a selenium deficiency. Natural sources of selenium can be found within many natural food sources such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, lean meats, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Are you experiencing low energy? Your diet can help.

If you find that you are feeling sluggish, and it is hard for you to get through the day, it is time to take a look at your diet. Fatigue is often related to poor nutrition. Fight your fatigue by including fresh, whole foods, that are high in vitamins and minerals in order to boost your energy levels and vitality!

 

 

Do You Need More Energy? Boost Your Vitality With Your Diet! 2018-10-24T12:47:33+00:00

What Is Candida and How To Fight It Naturally

When there are balanced levels in the body, Candida is a fungus that aids with nutrient absorption and digestion. However, if Candida overproduces, it can become a serious concern that has the ability to cause a wide variety of negative and serious health problems. The best way to reduce and eliminate any symptoms is to change your diet, but what exactly do you need to do? Read on and learn exactly how to combat your Candida overgrowth naturally.

Candida is a fungal infection that can affect men and women of all ages and various parts of the body. It commonly occurs in the mouth, nose, ears, as well as your gut. Due to its many and varied symptoms, Candida is often ignored or misdiagnosed.

Level Up Your Diet – Remove Problem Foods

The good news is that there are many natural candida treatments. The main natural treatment is to make a change in your diet to reduce the overgrowth of yeast. This involves removing the foods from your diet that feed the candida and encourage it to flourish in your body. The top foods to remove include sugar, white flour, yeast, and alcohol. These top offenders are believed to promote the candida overgrowth.

Avoiding sugar in all of its various forms truly is the key to combatting candida naturally. The candida yeast cells need sugar to build their cell walls, expand their colonies, and switch into their more virulent, fungal form. This is why a diet low in sugar is absolutely necessary as part of treating a candida overgrowth.

Moving forward, you want your diet to be centered around vegetables, high-quality protein foods, and gluten-free gains like brown rice and quinoa. Avoiding fruit when beginning any Candida treatment is also recommended because even though fruit is very healthy, the natural fructose gets turned into sugar within your body. For vegetables, you also want to try to avoid these starchy variety: potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, and peas. These veggies have a high carbohydrate content and should be avoided during the start of your candida treatment.

Level Up Your Diet – Boost Your Immunity

You will also want to make sure that you include these top foods on a daily basis in your diet: apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut and other fermented veggies, leafy greens, coconut oil, garlic, chia and flaxseeds, and spices like turmeric and cinnamon!

In order to have success with combatting your candida naturally, you need to boost your immune system which can take anywhere from a week to several months. A strong immune system is crucial for removing excess candida cells. It all depends on you and how strict you are with your diet, and the severity of your candida.

Best Foods to Fight Candida:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

The acid and enzymes in apple cider vinegar help to kill and get rid of excess yeast in your body.

  • Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi contain microflora that help protect the intestines. Regular consumption will help improve the immune system and make your body less hospitable for candida.

  • Leafy Greens

Leafy green veggies help to alkalize the body, which fights against the acidic nature of yeast overgrowth. Greens contains zero sugar and high amounts of magnesium, that naturally detox the body, vitamin C to build the immune system, chlorophyll to cleanse the body, B vitamins to energize the body and iron to give the body full support.

  • Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil has antimicrobial properties that kill off harmful candida through ingestion and topical application.

  • Garlic

Garlic contains a number of Sulphur containing compounds that have extremely potent antifungal properties. Raw garlic benefits your fight against candida specifically.

  • Chia and Flaxseeds

Polyphenols found in flaxseeds and chia seeds support the growth of probiotics in the gut and support the elimination of yeast and candida in the body.

  • Turmeric and Cinnamon

Turmeric’s active compound curcumin fights the growth of candida in the body. Cinnamon also has similar properties, so it is best to include these two spices in your diet if you are suffering from a candida overgrowth!

Follow Up Care

Once you’re free of your candida symptoms and the candida itself, then what happens? As you guessed, going back to your old habits and ways of eating will likely just bring the candida back all over again. Sticking to a diet full of raw, fermented, and cooked vegetables is the best way to ensure that the overgrowth doesn’t come back. In general, it is always best to avoid sugary and processed foods. Real, whole, and natural foods are always your best bet!

What Is Candida and How To Fight It Naturally 2018-10-19T14:30:07+00:00

What are Prebiotics and Why Are They Important?

Just like how we exercise to keep our physique looking fit and strong, we must also pay attention to our gut to truly be healthy. Providing nutrients and healthy bacteria for your gut will help to create a foundation of health from the inside out, so you can live a happy and healthy lifestyle. A lot of research has been done lately on prebiotics and their crucial role on gut health.  While it is incredibly interesting to learn about how our gut health contributes to our overall health, it can also be overwhelming, especially if you are just learning!

What Are Prebiotics?

While probiotics often get all the attention, prebiotics deserve special recognition too. Prebiotics are to probiotics what sunlight is to a plant. Probiotics are living organisms and prebiotics are indigestible fibers that provide nourishment for the probiotics – like sunlight for a plant.

Our lovely microbes rely on specific nutrient, prebiotic fiber, to keep them going. These soluble fibers can be found in plant-based foods and are actually indigestible by us. This kind of fiber is an excellent prebiotic because of this reason, and its ability to pass through the upper gastrointestinal tract completely undigested. The prebiotic fiber then makes its way into the colon, where it ferments and is used as fuel. Pretty amazing right?

Why Are Prebiotics Important?

Since prebiotics nourish the probiotics in our body, they have a huge impact on our health and wellness. Here are a few benefits that prebiotics have on our health!

  1. Helps Lower Stress Hormone Cortisol

Higher levels of prebiotic in your gut are associated with lower levels of cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands which are located on top of each kidney. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone released at times of stress. Having high levels of the stress hormone can cause various problems, and lead to weight gain, increase in blood pressure, and low energy. Although stress isn’t the only reason that cortisol is secreted into the bloodstream, having sufficient prebiotic levels in the gut can help to naturally lower your cortisol levels.

  1. Helps Improve Nutrient Absorption

Prebiotics can help to enhance magnesium and calcium absorption in the body. These two vitamins are essential for boosting bone health and increasing bone density. Better nutrient absorption also leads to more energy and vitality!

  1. Helps Strengthen Immunity

Prebiotics naturally support immune function by increasing the number of protective microbiome in your gut. This is extremely beneficial because prebiotic help to support the gut barrier against harmful invaders.

Prebiotic Rich Foods

Incorporating foods that are high in prebiotic fibers into your diet is an essential part of the journey toward a balanced microbiome. Prebiotic foods are high in different types of fiber that support your digestive health! It is important to consume these foods raw in order to be effective. The fiber content of these foods can be altered when cooked.

  1. Chicory Root

Chicory root is a great source of prebiotics. Approximately 47% of chicory root fiber comes from the prebiotic fiber inulin. This helps to nourish your gut bacteria and improve digestion.

  1. Dandelion

Dandelion greens can be used in salads and are a great source of fiber. Dandelions also contain inulin fiber which increases friendly bacteria in the gut and helps strengthens the immune system.

  1. Garlic

The fiber content in garlic comes from inulin as well as another naturally occurring prebiotic called fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Garlic acts as a prebiotic by promotion the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria in the gut. It also helps to stop harmful bacteria from growing.

  1. Jerusalem Artichoke

Also known as the “earth apple” the Jerusalem artichoke supports the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon. Additionally, it helps to strengthen the immune system.

  1. Onions

Similar to garlic, the inulin and FOS content helps to strengthen gut flora, break down fats, and helps to boosts the immune system.

  1. Asparagus

Asparagus is another great source of prebiotics. The inulin content in this vegetable helps to promote friendly bacteria in the gut.

  1. Bananas

The prebiotic fiber in bananas has been shown to increase healthy gut bacteria and helps with reducing bloating! Unripe bananas are also high in resistant starch (meaning it is resistant to digestion and functions as a soluble fiber) which has prebiotic effects.

  1. Whole Grains

Whole grains like barley and oats contain high amounts of beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a prebiotic fiber that promotes healthy levels of gut bacteria in the digestive tract. As well, beta-glucan helps to slow down digestion and helps to control appetite, by providing a sense of fullness.

  1. Apples

Apples are a delicious fruit that contains the fiber called pectin. The pectin in apples has a prebiotic effect that feeds the beneficial gut bacteria and lowers the harmful bacteria in your gut.

  1. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are another great source of prebiotics. Flaxseeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which promotes healthy gut bacteria, regular bowel movements, and reduces the amount of dietary fat you digest and absorb.

Probiotics and Prebiotics Go Hand In Hand

So many factors in our world today deplete the good bacteria that we have in our gut – elements in the air, pesticides in the ground, cleaning supplies in our homes, processed foods, and even antibiotics. Fortunately, you can take care of your gut barrier by making a conscious effort to live a gut healthy life. This includes choosing organic whole foods, regular exercise, and swapping harsh antibacterial chemicals for natural products and cleaning supplies. As well, people who are have an exercise regime have healthier microbiomes than those that are non-active. However, even if we live a stress-free life, eat organic whole foods, and exercise regularly, our lifestyle in the fast-paced world today can inevitably lead to some depletion of our good bacteria. The good thing is that we are able to maintain and replenish our good bacteria through our diets and supplements.  Probiotics and prebiotics are uniquely different – they work together simultaneously to sustain a healthy gut. Although we can make lifestyle changes to improve our gut-health, we must continuously replenish our body with the good guys so that we can live a happy and healthy life!

What are Prebiotics and Why Are They Important? 2018-10-05T08:15:55+00:00

How Do Enzymes Aid In Digestion?

Making sure you have good gut health is essential, even if you don’t have any digestive symptoms. When gut health becomes compromised, it usually means your body isn’t digesting food properly or fully. Improper digestion can create a chain-reaction of imbalances in the body, resulting in many unrelated health issues. Digestive enzymes can give your body the support it needs to come back into balance.

How Is Our Food Digested?

Think of your intestines as tubes running through your body. In order for nutrients to get absorbed, food must be fully digested. This includes amino acids from protein, lipids from fat, glucose from carbohydrates, and other nutrients.

Beginning in our mouths, food is partially digested by enzymes. When this partially digested food reaches the stomach and small intestines, it is further digested in different ways. Proteins get digested by stomach acid and fats are digested by bile made by the liver. The carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are then further digested by pancreatic enzymes.

When your digestion is impaired, you may need support in some of these areas listed above. Including a digestive enzyme in your diet does not inhibit your body’s natural production of enzymes. Instead, they help to ensure that everything you are eating get digested.

There are three main types of digestive enzymes:

Proteases: Break down protein into small peptides and amino acids

Lipases: Break down fat into three fatty acids plus a glycerol molecule

Amylases: Break down carbs like starch into simple sugars

Enzymes are also made in the small intestine, including lactase, maltase and sucrase. If the body is unable to make enough digestive enzymes, food molecules cannot be digested properly. This can lead to digestive disorders like lactose intolerance.

What Can Digestive Enzymes Help With?

Many health issues can be affected by, and affect, your digestion. These health areas can respond positively when including a digestive enzyme in your routine.

  1. Stress

When stress becomes too much or too constant for your body to handle, your digestion will become impaired. Your body slows down and decreases the production of digestive enzymes when you are stressed, and instead triggers hormones like cortisol to deal with it, putting your digestive needs on hold until the stress has been resolved. If stress signals continue every day, your digestion becomes increasingly impaired. Takin a digestive enzyme when you are going through any kind of prolonged stress can help make up for reduced enzyme production, and provide your body with the support it needs.

  1. IBS

When your food is not getting digested completely, instead of nourishing you, your foods end up nourishing the bacteria in your gut. This causes a big imbalance in your gut microbiome. Overgrowing bacteria produces gas, bloating, diarrhea, and cramping – which are all classic symptoms of IBS. Taking a digestive enzyme can help you to fully absorb the nutrients from your food.

  1. Anxiety

Few people realize that most of our neurotransmitters come from the gut. All neurotransmitters, are made from amino acids, which come from protein. If you are not digesting your protein properly, your body will not have enough amino acids to create the neurotransmitters you need to stay alert, happy, and relaxed. To improve your mood and mind, you need to increase the production of neurotransmitters. Digestive enzymes can help you with this.

Foods With Natural Digestive Enzymes

  1. Pineapples

Pineapple are a delicious tropical fruit rich in digestive enzymes. Pineapples contain a group of digestive enzymes called bromelain. These enzymes are proteases, which break down protein into its building blocks, including amino acids. This aids the digestion and absorption of proteins.

  1. Papaya

Papayas also contain proteases that help digest proteins. However, they contain a different group of proteases known as papain. If you want to eat papayas, just make sure to eat them ripe and uncooked, as heat exposure can destroy their digestive enzymes.

  1. Mango

Mangos contain the digestive enzymes amylases — a group of enzymes that break down carbs from starch (a complex carb) into sugars like glucose and maltose. Amylase enzymes are also made by the pancreas and salivary glands. They help break down carbs so that they are easily absorbed by the body.

  1. Honey

The following are enzymes found in honey, particularly raw honey: Diastases, which helps to break down starch into maltose. Amylases, which helps to break down starch into sugars like glucose and maltose. Invertase, which break down sucrose into glucose and fructose. Proteases, which break down proteins into amino acids.

  1. Bananas

Bananas are another fruit that contain natural digestive enzymes. They contain amylases and glucosidases, two groups of enzymes that break down complex carbs like starch into smaller and more easily absorbed sugars.

  1. Avocados

Avocados contain the digestive enzyme lipase. This enzyme helps digest fat molecules into smaller molecules, such as fatty acids and glycerol, which are easier for the body to absorb.

  1. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that is popular in the natural health community. Kefir contains many digestive enzymes, including lipase, proteases and lactase.

  1. Kiwi

Kiwis are a great source of digestive enzymes, particularly a protease called actinidain. This enzyme helps digest proteins and is commercially used to tenderize tough meats.

  1. Ginger

Ginger contains the protease zingibain, which digests proteins into their building blocks

Make Your Gut Health Your Priority

Gut health and proper digestion is essential for your health, and a digestive enzyme can help support any digestive issue you are experiencing. Without sufficient digestive enzymes, the body is unable to digest food particles properly, which may lead to food intolerances.

How Do Enzymes Aid In Digestion? 2018-09-28T08:42:15+00:00

Feel Like Yourself Again!

Candida overgrowth is a difficult condition to diagnose because the symptoms can be felt in different areas of the body. It is a common condition that tends to affect individuals in different ways, and Candida issues are very often misdiagnosed. If a healthcare professional is unaware of the importance of gut health, they may treat the symptoms rather than the underlying cause – an imbalance in the gut flora.

What exactly is Candida?

Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast. Very small amounts actually live in your mouth and intestines. Candida in small amounts in the body is beneficial and helps with digestion and nutrient absorption. However, when it is overproduced in the body, it can break down the wall of the intestines, penetrate the bloodstream, and release toxins into your body.

Like many other conditions, Candida symptoms can flare up in different places. However, all symptoms can be linked to an imbalance in the gut flora. The changes in your digestive tract lead to all candida symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, and much more.

What causes a Candida overgrowth?

Whatever caused your Candida overgrowth, whether it was a high-sugar diet (which feeds the candida) or a course of antibiotics (which kills many of our good gut flora), an overgrowth of Candida will cause an imbalance in your gut flora. The good bacteria in your gut are an essential part of your digestive system required for processing the food you eat. If there is an imbalance in your gut flora, it may really affect the way that your body digests food, as well as weakening your immune system.

The healthy and good bacteria in your gut work to keep your Candida levels in check. When a healthy gut microbiome is overwhelmed by a pathogen like Candida, the small and large intestines will not function optimally. This can create symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, nausea, and cramps.

How to treat Candida overgrowth?

 When it comes to treating candida problems, there are three important factors to keep in mind. In order to treat the problem, it is important to follow these key points.

  1. Starve the Candida

Candida feeds on sugar, refined carbohydrates, and yeast containing foods. Thusly, you should remove all sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, dried fruit, fruit juices, and mushrooms from your diet.

  1. Overpower the Candida

Once you have made these changes to your diet, you want to overpower the Candida. You can do this with anti-fungal supplements and other natural remedies. See the list of foods that fight Candida below!

  1. Build up good bacteria

Lastly, you want to strengthen your body’s defenses against future candida problems. You can help restore the balance of good bacteria in your gut by following a natural, plant-based diet. Also important here, are foods that contain beneficial probiotics. These are fermented foods using natural processes, for example, plain yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Include these foods to help restore balance and strengthen your gut microbiome.

Foods that Fight Candida

Let’s explore the top foods that fight Candida.

  1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil naturally contains a fatty acid, called caprylic acid. This anti-fungal interferes with Candida growth and replication.

  1. Garlic

Garlic contains allicin, a sulphur-containing compound with natural antifungal properties, specific to Candida. When eaten raw, this little food is one of the best antifungals around.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar contains enzymes that help break down Candida.

  1. Ginger

Ginger contains gingerols and shogaols which provides significant liver support while your body is detoxifying the Candida overgrowth.

  1. Olive Oil

Olive, flax, avocado, and primrose oils contain polyphenols, which help your body fight Candida.

  1. Cloves

Cloves naturally contain eugenol, a powerful essential oil and extremely effective antifungal when taken internally. Clove oil can also be effective as a topical aid for fungal infections of the toe and fingernails.

  1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a powerful spice that contains anti-fungal properties. Cinnamon helps to damage yeast cells, and helps them eventually die off.

  1. Wild Salmon

Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are also known to help fight fungal infections.

  1. Lemon Juice

The essential oil of lemons contains mild anti-fungal properties.  Lemon’s main role in the diet is to help detoxify your liver as it tries to fight off the Candida. Try drinking a glass of lemon water before breakfast to increase and support your digestion.

  1. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, arugula, cabbage, and radishes, contain isothiocyanates, the sulphur- and nitrogen-containing compounds that attack Candida.

Take Action Now

Are you ready to take back your health? You have the power to naturally help overcome Candida overgrowth and find relief from chronic symptoms, like digestive issues, fatigue, brain fog, recurring fungal infections, skin problems, mood swings, and more.

Feel Like Yourself Again! 2018-09-20T07:26:40+00:00

It’s Time To Love Your Gut

Boost Your Energy and Improve Your Mood with Probiotics

Do you find yourself feeling sluggish and tired? The stress of our daily lives – from your career, family, school – along with the fast-paced, multitasking nature of today’s modern lifestyle, can often cause you to feel depleted. You are not alone.

While these changes in your energy can seem like no big deal, they can also be suggesting that something in your body needs attention. One important factor to give attention to is your gut microbiome, the communities of trillions of bacteria living in your digestive tract.

Did you know that the beneficial bacteria in our gut are responsible for coordinating many important functions in our bodies? Our gut bacteria help us with digesting foods, regulating and supporting our immune systems, and balancing blood sugar levels. The good bacteria in our gut can also affect our nervous system, which is a huge factor contributing to our mood and energy cycles.

Now, the great news is that you can improve your mood and boost your overall energy levels by bringing balance back to your gut.

Microbes and Mood

Many individuals believe that our brains are responsible for our moods, however our gut has more in common with our emotions than we think. Our gut is known as our “second brain” by many medical professionals because of its connection to the brain through the enteric nervous system (ENS), which actually resides in the gut.

The good microbes in our digestive tract, known as the probiotics, can communicate with and signal our brain due to the vagus nerve, which connects the brainstem with the gut. The good microbes in our gut can boost our mood by:

  1. Producing brain chemicals

The healthy gut flora produces and regulate neurotransmitters like GABA and serotonin that work to calm us down and make us feel good. Did you know that over 90% of all serotonin in our bodies are produced in the gut?

  1. Lowering cortisol

Probiotics can help to lower the hormone cortisol. This hormone, produced in the adrenal glands, spikes during stressful situations, and can be responsible for causing anxiety and stress.

  1. Supporting the immune system

Healthy gut flora supports your immune system, which has been linked to mood issues such as depression.

Microbes and Energy Levels

 After learning that a compromised and out-of-balance gut microbiome can lower mood, how exactly does your gut healthy affect your energy levels? In addition to increasing our mood, which can simultaneously boost energy levels, a balanced microbiome with healthy gut flora can help with:

  1. Nutrient Absorption

The intestinal bacteria in our bodies can help us digest everything we consume, which allows us to absorb vital nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. When there is a lack of good bacteria in our intestines, our bodies cannot fully absorb the vitamins and minerals in the foods we consume, causing our energy levels to suffer.

  1. Balanced Blood Sugar

Probiotics help to support and bring balance to our blood sugar levels, which is essential for establishing a steady supply of energy to our bodies.

  1. Improved Sleep

We need to get enough sleep every night otherwise we feel tired and fatigued. Taking a probiotic can help with sleep because they work to increase tryptophan levels in the body, which is crucial for melatonin production and improved quality of sleep.

How do we make sure our gut is healthy?

It’s not easy to keep everything in balance. There are a lot of factors in our modern lifestyles – from stress to unhealthy diet – that deplete the good gut flora in our bodies. So, what can you do to live a lifestyle that supports your gut health?

  1. Probiotic rich foods

Add to your diet probiotic rich fermented foods including kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, and plain yogurt.

  1. Natural diet

Natural whole foods not only boost your mood and energy levels, but they help to keep your microbes happy, too.

  1. Relax

Stress can affect your gut microbiome is so many ways. Stress can deplete vital bacteria and even effect digestion, both of which can contribute to low energy and unhappiness.

Our energy and mood levels have a huge impact on our lives. Thankfully if we support and take care of our body and give it what it needs, our microbes will be healthy and strong, keeping us happy, vibrant, and ready to take on the world!

It’s Time To Love Your Gut 2018-09-13T07:53:37+00:00

Improve Your Lifestyle – Your Digestive Health Will Follow

Digestive and colon problems affect millions of Americans daily. A typical western diet is rich in unhealthy fats, refined sugars, as well as processed and genetically modified foods.

The food you eat and the diet you follow are very important for the health of your digestive system. To function properly, the digestive system needs proper nutrients, fiber, and natural fats. If this is not what your diet currently looks like, you may be struggling with one or more of these digestive issues. Find out below how to avoid these and help improve your digestive health now!

  • Constipation

Your risk of constipation may increase if there is an absence of dietary fiber in your diet. You may experience a lack of bowel movements, straining, and difficulty when using the bathroom. Also, your chances of feeling bloated also increase.

That’s why it’s important to include a lot of dietary fiber in your diet. The fiber in your diet helps in moving the stool along the digestive tract. In the absence of it, stool moves slowly and the large intestine will absorb all the water content. If you include lots of fiber in your diet, exercise regularly, and drink plenty of water, you will begin to relieve your symptoms of constipation.

  • Gallstones

Your risk of gallstones increases if you do not include enough fiber in your diet and you consume a lot of high-cholesterol and high-fat food. In your right abdomen, the organ that sits below your liver is the gallbladder. Gallstones are small and solid substances that are formed here. They are composed mainly of undissolved cholesterol.

Your liver makes a certain kind of liquid, known as bile.Bile contains water, bilirubin, proteins, cholesterol, fats, and salts. This bile is stored in your gallbladder. It gets released when your body needs to break up fat.  Gallstones can also form when your bile contains too much bilirubin.

  • Diverticular disease

The risk of diverticular disease increases from experiencing constipation. Formed within the colon, diverticula are protruding pockets. When the muscles of the colon face difficulty passing your stool along the tract and require using more pressure, these pouches are formed. People who include high fiber in their diet have less risk of developing diverticula. If diverticula get infected, it may lead to inflammation of the diverticula or diverticulitis.

Follow these eight simple steps to overcome any digestive issues

  • Indulge In a High-Fiber Diet

According to nutritionists, if you want to improve your digestive health, you need to consume a diet that includes foods rich in fiber – like e.g. vegetables, legumes, and fruits.

If you have a high-fiber diet, the food you eat will move constantly through the digestive tract. This then lowers the chance of constipation. Also, different digestive conditions can be prevented or treated through a high-fiber diet such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulosis, and hemorrhoids.

Vegetables and fruits contain a lot of fiber. They also contain plenty of nutrients that help with preventing inflammation, removesubstances that have a harmful effect on your body, and act as antioxidants.

  • Consume Lean Protein

While protein is important for maintaining a healthy diet, fatty cuts of meat can result in having problematic digestion. Consider buying fish or skinless poultry as an alternative. And while buying meat, choose lean cuts of beef or lamb.

  • Reduce Saturated Fats

Your digestive process may slow down if you eat foods that are high in saturated fats, which will lead to constipation. According to studies, saturated fats (especially those of animal origin) have also been linked to higher chances of colorectal cancer.

  • Add a Probiotic

Like bacteria that are naturally present in your digestive tract, probiotics in food (like Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Yoghurt, Kefir, etc.) help keep your body healthy by fighting the ill effects of stress, antibiotics, and an unhealthy diet. There are also several other ways in which probiotics can help you, such as strengthening your immune system, breaking down lactose, giving nutrient absorption a boost, and treating IBS.

  • Include Soluble and Insoluble Fiber In Your Diet

As fiber is great for your digestive system, it is essential that you include both types of fiber in your diet. Soluble fiber prevents watery stools by drawing in water. Insoluble fiber helps in adding bulk to the stool, as it cannot be digested. You can get insoluble fiber from whole grains, vegetables, and wheat bran. Good sources of soluble fiber include legumes, seeds, nuts, and oat bran.

  • Stay Hydrated

It is important to drink plenty of water for the health of your digestive system.  Water is pulled by fiber into the colon so that it can create bulkier, softer stools, which enables them to pass through easily.

  • Eat On Time

Your digestive system benefits if you eat your daily meals at the same time each day. This includes your breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.

  • Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can help move food through the digestive system more easefully, therefore preventing constipation.  Exercising regularly can also help you with weight loss.

Improve Your Lifestyle – Your Digestive Health Will Follow

Along with exercise and staying hydrated,increasing your intake of fiber, eating lean protein, reducing saturated fats, and adding a probiotic to your diet are the easiest and healthiest ways you can improve your digestive and colon health.

Improve Your Lifestyle – Your Digestive Health Will Follow 2018-08-16T14:21:55+00:00