Tag Archives: #digestion

Your Gut Health, Part 4: Probiotics, Prebiotics & Synbiotics

Before moving on to Part 4 of Your Gut Health, please refer to my recent posts for a refresher…

Your Gut Health, Part 1: How the Bacteria in your Gut could be Used to Treat Mental Illness

Picture3Your Gut Health, Part 2: Healing & Optimizing Digestion

Your Gut Health, Part 3: Optimizing your Gut Flora

Talk about PREbiotics is on the rise but not many of us really understand what they are. Well, prebiotics beneficially nourish the probiotics that are already in your gut. They are specialized plant fibers that help your good bacteria grow and flourish.

Prebiotics include: (in order of prebiotic fiber content by weight)

Raw, Chicory Root 64.6%, Raw, Jerusalem Artichoke 31.5%, Raw, Dandelion Greens 24.3%, Raw, Garlic 17.5%, Raw, Leek 11.7%, Raw, Onion 8.6%, Raw Asparagus 5%, Raw Wheat bran 5%

Another good article about prebiotics: http://www.umassmed.edu/nutrition/ibd/ask-Nutritionist/prebiotics-what-where-and-how-to-get-them/

Many of us are familiar with PRObiotics (also called live cultures) and their importance. For those of you who could use a refresher, probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gut. They are essential for a functional digestive system, functional brain chemistry and good health in general.  Probiotics can be taken in capsule form or consumed in any or all of the foods mentioned in this article.

Note: probiotics in capsule form should have various genus’, species and strains of bacteria (Lactobacillus (genus) reuteri (species) ATCC55730 (strain) ) and at least 5-8 billion microorganisms.

A good article on how to choose a probiotic: http://dailyburn.com/life/health/choose-best-probiotic/

Synbiotics are a combination of prebiotics and probiotics. They are found in fermented foods such as pickles and pickled foods, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt and kefir. Eating a variety of these foods gives you a great variety of probiotics species and strains.

Studies have shown that prebiotics and good gut bacteria, together, play a significant role in mental health, digestive health and overall health. Many individuals who consume prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics on a daily basis have fewer issues with anxiety, depression, stress, digestive disorders and have a stronger immune system.

*See part 5 – next week – to learn more about the genus, species and strains of probiotics helpful for optimal health.

*Feel free to contact me for any guidance or recommendations when choosing a probiotic or prebiotic.

 

Your Gut Health, Part 3: Optimizing your Gut Flora

Last post we talked about some general things to remember in aiding optimal digestion. Some of these things included chewing well, eating smaller portions, choosing local & organic, and exercising to reduce stress. This week I’d like to touch on how to optimize your gut flora or gut microbiome:Unknown

1. Cut back on refined foods and especially sugar. Fruits are ok in small quantities.

2. Eat fermented foods, e.g. kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles (salt-cured only), coconut yogurt, miso, kimchi. The process of fermentation
creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics.

3. Reduce inflammation by avoiding excess Omega-6 and getting plenty of Omega-3s.

4. Take acid resistant probiotics – at least 10 billion per day if you have a healthy digestive system. And it is recommended that one switches brands regularly – or alternates between brands to get a good variety.

5. Get plenty of rest. Studies have shown that sleep disturbances such as sleep deprivation have been shown to increase inflammatory cytokines (proteins secreted by certain cells of the immune system & affect the behavior of other cells).

6. Adjust your fiber intake to a level that works for you. Some people do better with more, some people do better with less.

7. Eating plenty of gut-healing bone broth. Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen (heals gut lining), glutamine, glycine and proline.

8. Are you gluten sensitive? Try excluding gluten from your diet for 30 days and then slowly reintroduce it to see if you have a reaction.

Next week, we’ll we’ll go into more detail about probiotics and fermented foods…Keep tuned in!

Here are some good sources of additional information:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/ways-cultivate-good-gut-bacteria-reduce-depression/

http://www.drdavidwilliams.com/restore-and-improve-gut-bacteria/

 

Your Gut Health, Part 2: Healing & Optimizing Digestion

Two weeks ago we started talking about our gut health and how it can be the root of so many diseases, including mental illness. This week we’re going to touch on healing ygood&bad gut floraour gut and optimizing your digestive system for improved physical and emotional well-being.

There is so much to say about gut health. I will simply touch on some of the most important aspects in this week’s post. If you would like to come in for a one-on-one consult, please contact me. I LOVE helping people heal their gut!

There are some general things to remember in aiding optimal digestion. You’ve heard it all before, yet are you actually doing it??:

  1. Digestion begins in your mouth. Chew your food well and slowly to begin the process of digestion so that your gut doesn’t have to work so hard.
  2. Do not eat too much at one time. Your digestive system will be sluggish and will not work optimally for you. It is better for digestion (and energy) to eat smaller portions more frequently.
  3. Drink small amounts of room temp or warm drinks. Do not drink icy cold drinks while eating. Cold slows things down and warm moves.
  4. Sugar and refined/processed food is detrimental to your health and digestive system. If you must indulge, then eat small amounts of refined treats a few times a week. Just enough to be happy and stay healthy.
  5. Eat predominantly whole foods. Foods that come out of the ground or off a tree, for example.
  6. Eat a little raw food with your cooked food. Cooked food digests more easily and raw adds some good enzymes to aid in digestion. Just remember to chew it well!
  7. Eat locally grown organic food if that is possible for you.
  8. MOVE your body every day even if it is jumping in place or swinging your arms and legs. Circulation is a key to healthy digestion.
  9. Improve the state of your gut flora*…
  10. Remove as much stress from your life as you possibly can by simplifying and doing what is truly important. Let go of energy wasting people and events. Stress is detrimental to the health of every single cell in our bodies.
  11. POOP!! Good digestive health ends with letting go of what is not needed. There is a strong emotional component to this as well. You are not only letting go physically, yet emotionally letting go of anything that is not serving you.

*Tune in next week for the next part in the series that will go further into how to improve the state of your gut flora…

Your Gut Health, Part 1: How the Bacteria in your Gut could be Used to Treat Mental Illness

There’s a lot of speculation about the origins of so many diseases such as ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety, depression and multiple sclerosis. And why are we seeing it now more than ever? A lot of research is going into the study of the gut’s microbiome, its healthy and unhealthy gut flora, and the possible contribution of the unhealthy gut flora to the increase of these diseases. But how?

 
gut brain relationshipAccording to new research published recently in the journal eLife, scientists with New York City’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai propose that altering the gut bacteria has a direct impact on the myelin in the body. Myelin is an insulating layer, or sheath, that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. It allows electrical impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells. If myelin is damaged, neural communication is impaired and these impulses slow down. This type of damage results in diseases such as multiple sclerosis and mental illness.

In the study, facilitated by NYC’s Icahn School of Medicine, it showed that when the unhealthy gut flora taken from depressed mice was transferred into the healthy mice, there where changes to the myelin sheath of the healthy mice. These mice even began to “engage in social avoidance behaviors” that are similar to depression.

There are many studies found in PubMed that show similar results between the gut-brain axis and the illnesses mentioned above. I am a firm believer of the influential relationship between the gut and the brain and I look forward to studying the ongoing research on this topic. I also agree that our gut, widely referenced as our second brain, is a root of so many of these diseases.  

 

Acupuncture is of great support with any digestive discomforts you may be experiencing. We work closely with the Spleen, Stomach and Liver organs. By supporting these organs and/or moving any excess energy among them, we reach and support the root of many gastrointestinal diseases. A healthy gut is the first stage of overall health.

 

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