How You Prep Your Veggies Can Boost Nutrients

How You Prep Your Veggies Can Boost Nutrients

Did you know that how you prepare your vegetables determines how available the nutrients in them are to your body?


 
It’s true! This is due to the way sulforaphane is formed.
 
But what is sulforaphane?
 
Sulforaphane is a sulfur-rich compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, arugula, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts. It has powerful health benefits–one of which is to help detoxify the body and even help in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
 
Sulforaphane, however, is only formed when its precursor–glucoraphanin–mixes with the enzyme myrosinase.
 
Myrosinase is released from the vegetable when you chew, chop, or cut it. The only thing is–myrosinase is destroyed by heat, and without myrosinase, there is no sulforaphane.
 
The good news is that glucoraphanin, the precursor, and sulforaphane itself are resistant to heat so they are not destroyed in the process of cooking.
 
Now, we can do a few things to help boost sulforaphane before myrosinase is formed.
 

Have you heard of the “hack and hold” technique?

This is how you do it: Just cut or chop the veggies first and wait for about 40 minutes before cooking them. Cutting or chopping releases the myrosinase and 40 minutes is enough time to mix it with glucoraphanin and form sulforaphane.
 
Since sulforaphane is already formed, you no longer need myrosinase, thus you can cook the veggies the way you want it or how long you want it.
 
But what if you’re using frozen veggies? Well, frozen ones, such as frozen broccoli, no longer have their myrosinase enzyme. This is because the vegetables are blanched first before they are frozen to destroy the enzymes and prolong their shelf life. Good thing, though, that they still have the precursor (since the precursor is heat resistant).
 
So what can you do to boost the nutrients in frozen veggies?
 
Since myrosinase is found in all cruciferous vegetables, we can use the enzyme to add to frozen veggies. One of the best sources of the enzyme is mustard seed powder. Researchers found out that it significantly increases the amount of sulforaphane in boiled broccoli so that it’s like eating the broccoli raw!
 
So whenever you prepare your cruciferous vegetables, don’t forget to help form sulforaphane: Do the “hack and hold” or add some mustard seed powder.
 
It’s nice to enjoy your food knowing that you’re getting all the health benefits it can give.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

Is Calcium Supplementation Safe?

Is Calcium Supplementation Safe? 

Did you know that 54 million U.S. adults age 50 and older have osteoporosis and bone loss? Women are more likely than men to experience bone loss. When a woman reaches menopause, she becomes at risk of developing osteoporosis due to the rapid bone loss during and about 5-10 years after menopause.
 
Given this, many women have resorted to taking calcium supplements, not knowing that this may do more harm than good.


 
Estrogen enhances calcium absorption in the bones and prevents the excessive breakdown of bone tissues (bone resorption), so when the production of estrogen stops, as in during menopause, bone loss occurs.
 
So, it’s really not the lack of calcium that is the problem, rather its absorption and bone resorption due to low estrogen levels.
 
This is an important point that not many practitioners are talking about. Calcium supplementation is one of the main recommendations given to people, especially women, if they show bone loss on a scan.
 
However, studies support that calcium supplements increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases, being associated with cases of heart attack, stroke, and risk of death. Moreover, cancer and kidney stones were reported to develop among men and women who took calcium supplements.

Calcium supplements are not universally safe. They may even increase your risk of developing, instead of preventing, osteoporosis. And since calcium from supplements gets absorbed easily, it can be deposited in your soft tissues, not in your bones. So it’s actually not doing what you’re thinking it’s supposed to do.

Diet & Lifestyle Tips for Strong Bones

 The good news is that dietary calcium, calcium from food rather than a pill, does increase bone density and prevent osteoporosis. It turns out that since food is absorbed gradually, unlike calcium supplements, it is a more bioavailable form.
 
Here are some calcium-rich foods:

  • Dairy products
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Seeds and almonds
  • Sardines and canned salmon (with the bones)

 
Aside from food, make sure to do weight-bearing exercises or activities at least twice a week to increase your bone density. These are activities that force you to work against gravity, such as walking, jogging, and climbing. Tai chi and yoga also benefit bone density.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

How to Support Respiratory Health with Smoky Air

We’re living in a tough time, especially here in California where we are dealing with horrendous wildfires.
 
But although the wildfires originated in California, the smoke has reached far and wide in the United States and the Pacific Ocean, so everyone must take precautions to protect our respiratory health.

Why is wildfire smoke dangerous?

Well, wildfire smoke contains very tiny liquid and solid particles known as aerosols that can degrade the quality of air that we breathe. And because they are microscopic in size, they can penetrate deep into the lungs. This causes trouble and can even create breathing problems for anyone, particularly people who have asthma. Everyone is at risk for heart disease and cancer if exposed to this kind of air pollution continuously.
 
If you are up-to-date about the wildfire, you can see that unhealthy levels of air pollution have affected Northern California and some parts of Southern California. Black carbon, or soot, not only is a factor for global warming but also is a direct harm to humans and animals when they enter the lungs and bloodstream.

So how do we support respiratory health during this time?

First things first: Whenever possible, avoid breathing smoke. If not, limit your exposure by following the guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Pay attention to public health messages. Always be updated with the news about the wildfire status and public health warnings. If you are instructed to evacuate your area, do so speedily.
  • Stay indoors and keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep your doors and windows closed to prevent outdoor smoke from entering and keep your air filter clean. Once the outdoor air quality improves, open the windows to air out the house. In case you don’t have an air conditioner and the temperature goes up, consider going someplace temporarily that has cleaner air. 
  • Also, don’t add more pollution in your home. Avoid burning candles, incense, air fresheners, and smoking. It’s also good if you have some indoor plants that could filter air pollution and give off oxygen into your home.
  • Avoid vacuuming during this time (unless you have a built in vac) because it stirs up the air pollutants already in your home.
  • Properly wear an N95 mask or P-100 mask. Dust masks or cloth masks can only filter large particles so they can’t protect you from the aerosols in wildfire smoke. However, you should make sure that you wear the N95 or P-100 respirators correctly to be properly protected.
  • If you have asthma, lung disease, or cardiovascular disease, make sure to follow your healthcare provider’s advice and continue taking your medicines as directed. If your symptoms worsen or if you think you are going to have a heart attack, dial 9-1-1.

Sending safe and healthy wishes to you during this vulnerable time!  
 
~Rebecca

Calendula: The Herb For Digestion, Immunity & More!

Hi there!

Today I’d like to share with you how calendula is an all-around health-boosting herb.
 
Well, calendula officinalis or the common pot marigold is appreciated not only for its bright beautiful addition to the garden but also because of its culinary and medicinal benefits.
 
Calendula is native to the Mediterranean but is now found almost everywhere. Composed of bright petals in orange or yellow, calendula grows up to 1-2 feet tall.


 
But this flower isn’t just pretty–it has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.  No wonder it has long been made into oils, creams, and ointment to be used to heal wounds and skin problems.
 
The FDA has actually approved the use of calendula both as a spice and as an ingredient for cosmetics, body creams, soaps, and shampoos as well as wound treatment.
 
Let’s look more closely at some of its benefits!
 

Calendula is good for your skin

  1. Calendula hydrates dry skin. If you are suffering from dry, itchy, or irritated skin, relieve it by applying cream or ointment with calendula as an ingredient. It promotes the production of collagen, which is an essential protein that keeps the skin tissues strong and elastic. If you have eczema, dermatitis, or dandruff, calendula will soothe your skin and keep it hydrated. For babies, who have the most sensitive and delicate skin, calendula prevents and heals diaper rash and other skin irritations.
  2. Calendula heals wounds. This is why calendula or a cream or ointment made from it is a must in the medicine cabinet. Otherwise known as a healing plant, calendula promotes wound healing when applied topically to the affected area. This really comes in handy for insect bites, bruises, blisters, cuts, sunburns, burns, and so on. Its anti-inflammatory properties, antimicrobial components, and collagen formation ability really work wonders.
  3. Calendula reduces scarring. When you use calendula to treat your wound, it reduces scar tissue formation. By speeding up wound healing and encouraging a healthy healing process, calendula allows the growth of healthy new tissue (so your wound heals cleanly).
  4. Calendula prolongs onset of wrinkles. Protect your cells from oxidative stress with the aid of calendula. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds help with this. Oxidative stress plays a big role in the aging process and disease development. So, by protecting your cells from this kind of damage, calendula helps your skin stay healthier.

Calendula assists with digestion

Calendula’s healing powers not only apply to external wounds, but also internal ones. People with ulcers, heartburn or even irritable bowel syndrome can benefit from calendula because it protects the stomach lining and repairs the gut wall. This results in improved digestion and temporary relief of discomfort.

 
Calendula boosts the immune system

Calendula has the ability to fight infection because of its antimicrobial properties. This is why it is attributed to strengthening the immune system.
 
Calendula tea can be used for relief from coughs or nasal congestion.
 
Next week, I’ll discuss further how calendula is used so stay tuned!
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

Phytate–Friend or Anti-Nutrient?

Hi there!
This week, we’re going to talk about phytate or phytic acid and whether it’s healthful or harmful.
 
Phytate is a unique natural compound found in seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes. This compound stores phosphorus.  Once the seed sprouts, that phosphorus is released and used by the young plant for survival.


 
Phytic acid has been labeled as an anti-nutrient because it hinders the absorption of some minerals such iron, zinc, and calcium. It’s possible that this can cause mineral deficiencies among people who don’t eat a balanced diet.
 
So is it really an anti-nutrient?
 
Yes.
 
Is it totally bad for your health?
 
No, it’s not. In fact, it has a number of benefits!

Phytate Benefits

Phytate only blocks the absorption of the aforementioned minerals at the time it is ingested and doesn’t affect the absorption of minerals in subsequent meals.
 
And besides, the benefits of high-phytate foods far outweigh its anti-nutrient ability. The following are some of the health benefits of phytate:

  1. Phytate is anti-cancer. Not only does phytic acid stop the growth of cancer cells, but it also boosts the immune system so that the natural killer cells are able to get rid of cancer cells without hurting the normal cells. They cut down blood supply to tumors so that the tumor is starved and not able to thrive. What’s better news is that phytate allows cancer cells to go back into normal cells. It’s that fascinating?!
  2. Phytate protects from osteoporosis. In a study, women who had high phytate levels had the lowest levels of bone loss in the hips and spine.
  3. Phytate prevents kidney stones. The presence of phytate inhibits or stops the crystallization of calcium salts and thus prevents the formation of renal or kidney stones.

So generally, phytic acid isn’t bad for your health just because it is an anti-nutrient. Unless, of course, you don’t eat a balanced diet.

For example, meat is a heme source of iron and is more efficiently absorbed by the body in contrast to non-heme iron which is derived from plants. It’s the same with zinc.

So it’s ideal if your diet consists of both plant and meat sources of these minerals to avoid having problems with mineral deficiencies. Plus, you can try these 3 strategies to lessen or degrade phytate in your plant sources:

  1. Soaking. Legumes and cereals can be soaked in water overnight so that their phytate content can be reduced. 
  2. Sprouting. Also known as germination, sprouting degrades the phytic acid in seeds, nuts, and legumes.
  3. Fermentation. This process allows the formation of organic acids that break down phytate.

 Overall, your body receives more benefits than harm from phytate. It only becomes significantly a problem if your mineral sources are not varied. However, there are techniques that can reduce the phytate content of your food, such as soaking, sprouting, and fermentation.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!


~Rebecca

7 Herbs and Spices that Boost Gut Health

Your gut microbiome plays an important role in keeping your immune system healthy as well as in managing your mood.

Eating the right diet is essential for keeping the microorganisms that make up your microbiome healthy and happy. Foods that keep the gut lining intact and help in the proper movement of food through your digestive tract are necessary to keep your gut healthy.

Today I’ll share with you 7 herbs and spices that boost gut health.

Ginger

Ginger is famous for its culinary value and use in folk medicine. Ginger stimulates the migrating motor complex, the movement of the smooth muscles of the digestive tract that propels residual food forward. Without the migrating motor complex, food sits in your gut and ferments…and eventually causes bloating, gas, and stomach aches.

Ginger also promotes tissue repair in the gut lining and prevents symptoms of inflammatory conditions. In addition, ginger protects the liver from alcohol-induced damage. Most importantly, ginger feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut!

Try this yummy recipe of ginger beef to help you kickstart a diet with more ginger (can substitute for other proteins if you don’t eat beef).
 
Turmeric


Turmeric is a natural carminative–meaning, it relieves flatulence. As early as 600BC, people already used turmeric for its medicinal properties. It helps in preventing indigestion and inflammation so that incorporating turmeric in your diet can be part of an approach to preventing leaky gut from happening.

Check out the 37 turmeric recipes for vegetables, meats, and more. Turmeric supplements can be hard to digest so using the spice in your cooking is a great way to access its health benefits.

Dandelion

Dandelion is not your ordinary flower. This plant is considered as an herb because all of its parts are used for medicinal purposes. The roots are rich in a soluble fiber and prebiotic called inulin–making it suitable to ease constipation and to nourish the gut microbiome.

Dried dandelion roots make a great tea. You can also mix dandelion greens with other greens for an even healthier salad.

Parsley

Parsley also holds a lot of powerful health benefits for the gut. Adding some parsley in your daily meals could help prevent indigestion and gas. Parsley is pretty versatile. Use it in your salad, soup, stews, garnish, and more to give your gut a health boost.

Basil

Basil leaves, interestingly, have a lot of gut benefits. It has been actually used in traditional medicine to treat indigestion, bloating, and water retention. But above all, basil leaves feed the healthy bacteria in your gut.

Chamomile

Aside from the calming effect of chamomile tea, it is also good for the gut. It has been used to comfort upset stomachs, indigestion, and abdominal gas.

Chamomile tea comes from the dried chamomile flowers and contains flavanoids and antioxidants that make it an ideal herbal remedy.
 
Bay Leaf


Bay leaf is an aromatic leaf famous in the culinary world, but it is also effective in the relief of indigestion. It also helps in decreasing our bodies’ level of toxicity and soothes symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

You can use bay leaf in pickling, marinating, and adding flavor to your dishes. I love to use it in soups, chili, and spaghetti sauce! Check out different bay leaf recipes here.

So I hope you will use this information to make your meals both delicious and gut healing.

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca


How to protect your cells & boost immunity!

Glutathione is your body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier of cells. This means glutathione prevents damage to your cells brought by free radicals (unstable molecules that damage healthy cells). Glutathione also boosts your immune system.  Having the right amount of glutathione helps protect you from disease and infection.
 
Luckily, your body actually produces its own glutathione supply. Your cells produce glutathione from protein building blocks, namely cysteine, glutamine, and glycine.


 
Every cell of your body has glutathione, but it is much more concentrated in the liver because this is where most of the detoxification process occurs.
 
Unfortunately, your glutathione supply can be depleted by poor diet, pollution, toxins from the products we use, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections, and radiation.
 
If you are prone to infections or anemia and feel sluggish and tired, chances are you have low glutathione levels. 

So how do we amp up glutathione in our body?

 Here are some tips:

  • Get enough sleep – Oftentimes we ignore getting enough sleep but it always backfires on your health. Lack of sleep leads to oxidative stress (cell aging and damage), hormonal imbalance and depleted glutathione levels.
  • Exercise regularly – Exercise is no surprise tip as we have been talking about its health benefits countless times, but a combination of cardio and circuit weight training has been proven effective to increase the body’s glutathione levels. Find that “Goldilock’s spot” for you when it comes to working out so that you aren’t overdoing it and causing fatigue.
  • Use milk thistle oil – Milk thistle is an herb that has been known as a natural remedy for problems in the liver. There are other food and food supplements that can be taken to increase glutathione levels but milk thistle stands out. According to The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, milk thistle is able to increase glutathione levels in the liver up to 35%! The higher the glutathione in the liver is, the greater the ability of the liver to detoxify your body!
  • Unfortunately, though, the body has a hard time absorbing milk thistle supplements. Alternatively, you can eat the plant itself, use it for tea, or take milk thistle oil.
  • Eat foods that boost glutathione production – So in addition to milk thistle, you can add to your diet foods that are high in selenium, sulfur, vitamin C, vitamin E, and alpha-lipoic acid. Eggs and dairy, especially whey protein, and spices like turmeric are also great.

 It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

How to Manage Anxiety through Gut Health

It’s normal to become anxious when there is something you fear or when you face an unfamiliar situation (like this pandemic!). Your fight-or-flight response gets activated and so your breathing quickens and gets more shallow, your heart rate increases…these 2 reactions alone can lead to feeling anxious!

While this anxiety response is normal every now and then, anxiety disorder is a whole other story. It happens when a person stays in fight-flight and fails to go back to the rest-and-digest response. When this happens, the feeling of anxiety interferes with a person’s daily life so much that it feels very challenging to maintain even basic well-being and productivity.


 
There are a lot of things that can trigger anxiety: A traumatic experience, health problems, work or personal relationships, financial stress, or school challenges are common triggers. When we experience anxiety, inside your brain, a chemical imbalance occurs. The hormones that are responsible for mood, energy, and how we handle stress (neurotransmitters) can get thrown out of balance.
 
Cutting-edge research tells us another culprit plays a role in anxiety: Your gut microbiome.
 
Yes, your gut and nervous system are interconnected.
 
Have you experienced “butterflies in your stomach” during a presentation?
 
A “gut-wrenching” experience?
 
A “knot in your stomach” when facing an uncomfortable situation?
 
Well, your gut and brain are in constant communication.
 
In fact, the gut has this mesh-like network of neurons along its walls, called the enteric nervous system (ENS). It receives and sends signals from and to both the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). It sends signals to the brain via the vagus nerve.
 
So how does your gut microbiome cause anxiety?
 
Consider your ENS as your second brain.  It has profound influence on your emotions. How? It produces and moves serotonin, the neurotransmitter that maintains mood balance.
 
95% of serotonin is produced by the gut microbiome.
 
The health of your gut microbiome definitely influences your mood, how you deal with stress, and in the development of anxiety disorder.
 
So how do you keep your gut microbiome healthy so that it becomes a source of happiness and ease?

Boosting Your Gut Health

The goal is to increase the good microorganisms in your gut while decreasing the bad ones. Your diet plays a key role in helping you achieve this.
 
Your diet is not only a source of nutrition for your body: It also feeds the trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes in your gut.
 
Here are some changes you can apply to your diet to improve your gut health:

  1. Eat varied foods with plenty of good quality protein and plants at each meal.
  2. Reduce or totally get rid of highly processed food.
  3. Eat fiber (because your gut bugs eat it too!).

Please note that an abrupt switch to fiber-rich foods can make your stomach bloated, so just take it easy by doing it gradually and drink more water.
 
Since antibiotics are hard on your gut microbiome, make sure to compensate by eating more plant-based food if you are on antibiotic therapy.
 
Taking probiotics is also important for gut health, especially ones containing Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus. Studies show that this particular strain of probiotic greatly lessened anxiety on test subjects. This bacteria is naturally occurring in Parmesan cheese.
 
Your gut is at the root of your health. Today we focused on the gut/mental health connection and I hope what I shared here is helpful for you.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

Do You Know the Symptoms of Low Stomach Acid?

For many of you, the answer is no.
 
Stomach acid or gastric juice is vital in digestion, particularly in breaking down proteins. An average adult produces 1.5 liters of stomach acid every day.
 
But, as we grow older, our body tends to produce less stomach acid.
 
Here are the results of several studies correlating age to decreased production of stomach acid:

  • More than 30% of men and women over 60 secrete little to no stomach acid.
  • 40% of postmenopausal women were not secreting stomach acid at all.
  • Close to 40% of women over 80 were not producing hydrochloric acid during digestion.
  • Researchers in Japan found that 60% of men and women over 50 were not producing stomach acid during digestion. 

This is telling us that when we reach a certain age, our body stops producing stomach acid. This condition is called achlorhydria. But you can also suffer from low stomach acid, hypochlorhydria, at any age.


 
So what does this mean for you?
 
Even if you eat a healthy meal, your body won’t receive its benefits because you don’t have the gastric juice to properly digest it and absorb the nutrients, especially Vitamin B-12.
 
In addition to age, risk factors to hypochlorhydria include taking antacids, chronic stress, a diet that is poor in zinc, a bacterial infection called H. pylori, and having undergone stomach surgery.
 
If you are exposed to these risk factors or experience some of the symptoms below, you may have low stomach acid.

Symptoms

Symptoms of low stomach acid are far-reaching. At first they may start with indigestion and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. That creates havoc to your overall system as every organ of your body depends on these vitamins and minerals to function well. You may experience the following:

  • Weak fingernails and thinning of hair
  • Heartburn
  • Paleness
  • Weakness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Vision loss
  • Undigested food in stool
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Frequent burping
  • Nausea while taking supplements
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Poor sleep
  • Muscle cramps
  • Blood sugar imbalance or diabetes

Prevention and Support

Understanding the causes and symptoms of hypochlorhydria is already half the battle. You can now create ways to support your gut for the prevention and improvement of hypochlorhydria. Your diet is a good start.
 
A diet that mostly consists of processed foods, sugar, and chemicals won’t do your gut any good, so avoid or limit these “foods”.
 
The following strategies will help your gut, but it is important to work with a practitioner so that it is individualized and appropriate for you:

  • Taking 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar with water before meals improves digestion and stomach pH in the long run (be sure to have ruled out H. pylori, ulcers, etc. first as certain conditions can worsen with ACV!!).
  • Taking probiotics may support your gut to heal. The increase in helpful gut bacteria aids the gut to function properly, producing the right amount of digestive enzymes and gastric juice. (If you have diarrhea or SIBO, speak with your practitioner to pick the right probiotic formula).
  • Increasing fermented foods gives your gut a wide variety of probiotic strains that help your gut to run smoothly. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha are examples, and you can find more here.
  • Eating slowly and making sure you’ve chewed your food thoroughly before swallowing allows your gut to produce/secrete the gastric juice and digestive enzymes as well as supports the entire digestive system.

Your gut is at the root of your overall health, and I’m here to help you learn how to take care of it.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health, so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully. I hope that today’s suggestions are helpful to you.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
 
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca 

How Gut Health & Weight Are Connected

How Gut Health & Weight Are Connected

Maintaining a healthy level of muscle and body fat (which is what most of us actually want when we refer to our weight) is one of the most impactful toggles on your overall health, longevity, and medical expenses. In the U.S. alone, in the U.S., 2 out 3 people are either overweight or obese. Furthermore, obese individuals spend 42% more of direct healthcare costs than normal-weight adults!

And guess what?  Your chances of gaining or losing weight can be determined by the health and diversity of your gut microbes.
 
Let’s explore some links between your gut microbes and your ability to gain or lose weight.

But first I’d just like to remind you that there is still time to sign up for my free online class tomorrow (details here. Hope you will join me!).

Dysbiosis

The bacteria in your gut have more essential functions to your health than you know. We discussed in the past how your gut plays a role in strengthening your immune system and in keeping your mood in check. But basically, your gut microbes regulate your metabolism, help in the absorption of nutrients, and even manage your weight.
 
Gut bacteria are essential in breaking down complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
 
But, there’s a problem when the environment in your gut is not healthy.  Dysbiosis happens when there is an imbalance in your gut’s microbial community, in which the beneficial bacteria are outnumbered by the disease-causing organisms (aka pathogens).
 
And what causes dysbiosis?
 
Every one of us is born with a different combination of gut microbes, but your lifestyle plays a big part in your gut health.
 
What you eat and what you do influences your gut microbes. According to studies, the gut microbiome of overweight and obese individuals have patterns of dysbiosis that are different than the gut microbiome patterns of healthy individuals.
 
There are 3 main contributors to dysbiosis:

  • Inflammation
  • High sugar levels in the blood
  • Antibiotics

The typical Western diet is high in both fat and sugar, which is both inflammatory and really harmful to your gut microbes. And we’re not talking about good quality fats from olives, avocados, wild/pastures meats/seafood, nuts and seeds or natural sugars from fruit and starchy veggies–but poor quality, processed versions that we simply wouldn’t have access to in nature. Speaking of low quality food sources, animals raised in feedlots receive low doses of antibiotics to gain weight faster. When we ingest those animals and their byproducts (like dairy), those antibiotics effect our microbiome and contribute to unhealthy patterns. So, the foods you eat regularly play a significant role in whether or not you have dysbiosis.
 
Bacteria Present in Slim Individual
 
In addition to dysbiosis, there are gut bacteria that actually prevent gaining weight and are found in slim individuals: Akkermansia muciniphila and Christensenella minuta.
 
While Christensenella depends on your genes, the presence of Akkermansia can be boosted by eating prebiotic foods.
 
Here’s a list of foods that boost Akkermansia.

  • Fish oil
  • Rhubarb extract
  • Flaxseeds
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Cranberries
  • Concord grapes
  • Black tea

Butyrate-Producing Gut Microbes
 
A healthy and diverse gut microbiome produces butyrate which breaks down dietary fiber into short-chain fatty acids that fight inflammation. Butyrate also produces hormones that tell the brain you are full. So less or no butyrate makes your brain think that you are still hungry even though you’ve had enough.

As you can see, diet and lifestyle matters.  I prepared some tips for you in the next newsletter  to further explore how you can boost your gut bacteria for weight loss. Stay tuned!
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth
(subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca