Let’s Talk Brain Health – Part 2

We can’t talk about brain health without looking into our gut and recognizing the relation between the brain and everything gut related.  What happens in your gut/GI tract is essentially what happens in your brain. This has scientists calling the gut the 2nd brain! The gut and the brain are in a big time romance. They are entwined and can effect all of our bodily health, including brain function and how we feel everyday.

You’ve heard the term “having a gut feeling,” and well, it’s definitely something you can pay attention to.  Our brains have hundreds of millions of neurons connected to our nervous system which control our gastrointestinal system.

What’s even more amazing is that within the GI tract, it is estimated this is where 80-90% of the body’s serotonin is made (that happy hormone!) So the brain operates our bodily functions, but the gut can also send messages to the brain.

Not convinced?  Think about how certain foods affect how you feel, like chocolate. Chocolate releases endorphins in our gut and sends that “feeling good” message to our brain.  Of course this can work the opposite way too. High fat processed foods for instance, can make us feel tired and sluggish.  There is so much going on in brain-gut connection that I really encourage everybody to take note of how foods make them feel and maybe even keep a journal for reflection and assessment. This is obviously such a complex system, so if you are keen to research more, you might like this research manuscript I found that really delves into exactly how food controls the brain and cognitive health.  It’s a big read but very interesting!

So to aid our gut health, which would also aid brain health is to not only eat healthy “rainbow foods”  that I spoke of in the first part of this series, but also by adding fermented foods and kombucha into your diet. Both of which are perfect for assisting in balancing the gut flora. We have billions of bacteria living in our body, so we want to be sure that there is enough strong, good bacteria in there to keep viruses and fungi away. Which also helps to prevent disease. Adding 1 or 2 servings of kombucha or fermented foods daily can have a huge impact on your overall well-being, especially, of course on your brain health!

If you are interested in learning more about kombucha and even how to make your own, we have two upcoming workshops with Wolseley Kombucha. You can register here. Or you can always purchase a growler from us and fill it up at our Wolseley Kombucha tap, in-store!

 

 

Natural Living Series – Source of Disease

Focus: The Source of Disease

When looking for ways to begin achieving optimal health, we believe  https://jansmith.com/custom-research-paper-help-6085/ master thesis in comparative literature cover page of phd thesis easybib the bible viagra gel aka james bond graduate school essay writing service here oversea viagra speech writer catabs cialis short essay on dashain festival follow prednisone taper dose http://writeinbk.com/students/summer-writing-programs-europe/24/ unimelb creative writing honours convincing a doctor to prescribe cialis http://mechajournal.com/alumni/help-with-college-admissions-essays/12/ http://naturesknockout.com/store.php?pill=can-you-buy-generic-viagra-over-the-counter-in-canada&es=40 source link can viagra hurt you forum viagra sans ordonnance en pharmacie how to write appoinment buy viagra direct from pfizer economic order quantity essay descriptive essay about music effective time for viagra see url title page for essay https://austinmusicfoundation.org/papers/autobiography-essay-examples-for-college/2020/ white paper copywriters https://secondhelpingsatlanta.org/thesis-statement-for-comparison-essay-16124/ avodart medicines.ie the number one thing you need is a really good probiotic! Let’s explain why…

 

If you have ever been to a naturopathic doctor, they will tell you that almost all disease can be traced back to our gut.  It is absolutely fascinating when you start looking into exactly what is going on in your body, in your digestive system to truly understand and believe this statement.

Adding a probiotic is like sending in the Calvary! Our intestines and colon are filled with so many types of bacteria that it’s impossible to know about them all (there is over 400 different species of bacteria) but we do know about how bad things can become when we don’t keep that army populated!  The goal is to keep more good than bad bacteria living in us (gut flora balance).  Our “good” bacteria can de destroyed by things like antibiotics, stress, alcohol/drugs and poor diet.  Two of the most common types of  bacteria that you can find in a probiotic are Acidophilus & Bifidus.  Acidophilus has the job of keeping things clear for these little hairs called Microvilli that are along the wall of the small intestine, and are assist in moving the food along.  Acidophilus bacteria is our number one defence of disease in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as the vagina.  Bifidus has the job of re-populating the friendly bacteria, lowers the PH level (an acidic environment is necessary in this area otherwise it would be a breeding ground for bad bacteria).  Bifidus will also prevent gas & bloating.

Now let’s get into which probiotic to choose.

Most people think they need to look at the total number of bacteria it shows on the bottle (for example: 10 billion active cells), but while that is important and something to consider, really we need to look at what the different strains of bacteria are included in the probiotic.  Now remember I mentioned there are over 400 different species of bacteria, but we are going to want to look for the most important known strains and what we personally are in need of:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus – these guys colonize on the walls of the small intestine, support nutrient absorption and help digest dairy if that’s part of your diet.
  • Bifidobacterium longumScavengers of toxins! Mostly found in adults digestive tract and have been said to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum – As we age this one is important for breaking down complex carbs, fat & protein but their most important job is protecting us from germs.
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus – known as the travellers best friend because they help with the dreaded diarrhea that can otherwise ruin a trip!  Also shown beneficial to women with urinary tract infections.
  • Lactobacillus fermentum – Promotes healthy levels of bacteria in the gut, can help with lowering cholesterol and another good one for women in minting a healthy vaginal flora.

Another important thing to look at when you are selecting a probiotic is the expiry date.  Remember these are live cultures you are ingesting and you want to be sure they stay that way!  Some of those live bacteria won’t make the journey past your stomach acid but you can help by taking the probiotic with a meal.  Food will temporally reduce the acidity level of your stomach giving better odds for survival.  Also making sure you are ingesting a good amount of bacteria (called CFU’s or Colony Forming Unit) starting at 10 million and then you can increase as needed.

We really like the probiotic options available from Natural Factors, but another favourite that is fairly new on the market is Wholy Biosa 10+ Artisan Probiotic Drink from Innotech NutritionThis triple fermented probiotic drink offers up 10 Billion bioactive cultures, and has a ph of 3.5 so it can survive stomach acid.

Another great habit to get into is adding in probiotic type foods like; cultured vegetables (think sauerkraut & kimchi), yogurt, kombucha (easy to make or a great Canadian brand we like is Tonica), kefir drinks and more!

So to sum up, our intestines have the huge job of not only assisting in breaking down the food but also absorbing the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fats.  Probiotic’s (our army) work at keeping the spaces clear to allow all those good things to pass through into our blood stream, which then carries off to our organs, tissues, brain, etc. Getting the picture here now?

In my next post, I am going to talk about dirty colon’s and how we can safely clean them out.

 

Green Carrot Juice Co. Detox!

Detox me please!

I had been feeling tired and a little sluggish no matter how much I slept, and basically not really myself, so I decided a juice cleanse sounded like a good idea! Not to mention, I have been taking an online nutrition course, and was having a real good understanding of what our body does for us, therefore thought I should show it some love!

I had attempted a juice cleanse only one other time, but found it very time-consuming as I was using my home juicer, and because I’m on the go (boys play hockey, need I say more!), not very convenient.

I had been wanting to visit the Green Carrot Juice Company, to try out their fresh pressed juices, then I saw the twitter feed that they were now offering juice cleanses, (you can do either a 1 day or a 3 day), it was kinda of like the universe telling me that is what I needed!  Since I’m an “all in” kind of person, I opted for the 3 day!

Green Carrot suggests you prepare yourself before the cleanse by eating lighter each day, eliminate starchy foods and adding in lots of veggies!

Morning Greens
Morning Greens

Received my juices (they deliver!), cracked open the “Morning Greens”, which is a combination of Kale, Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Apple, Ginger & Lemon.  Was expecting it to taste “greenie” so prepared myself, but was pleasantly surprised by how delicious, not to mention fresh it tasted! Slurped that down no problem, while I read through the little booklet of instructions and tips.

There are 6 juices for each day, so you want to spread them out, with the last one being 2 hours before bed.  Drink lots of water throughout the day, and be prepared for a headache!

Next up is the one they call “Amp”, Apple, Mint and Pineapple! A refreshing blend that had me envisioning warm tropics, sitting in a law chair with an umbrella drink! Love it!skd187377sdc

juicing
Beet It! Beautiful Color!

Mid afternoon is another “Morning Greens”, followed by a “Beet It” which is made up of  Beet, Carrot, Orange & Ginger.  The “Beet It” was probably my least favorite but not in bad way, it was just a strong beet taste, that overpowered the other ingredients.

Dinner, early eve I was able to enjoy “Hardcore Greens”  loaded with Apple, Celery, Cucumber, Parsley, Spinach, Kale, Romaine Lettuce, Ginger, Lemon, Lime,  Flax oil and Aloe Vera! Were talking loaded here!  Taste was okay, you know this one just has to be good for you!

Finally, finishing off with “Bliss”, which is basically your little treat for making it through the whole day!  Bliss contains a delightful combination of, Almond milk, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Organic Cane Sugar & Medjool Dates! YUM is all I can say!

I also started taking a probiotic to help repopulate the good flora and keep the ol’ bod in balance!

A couple other recommendations from Green Carrot are to Dry Brush (we have wonderful Merben dry body brushes available at Generation Green), as well they suggest sweating either with sauna or steam room, or even light exercise will help flush the toxins out, just remember to rinse off otherwise it’s being reabsorbed into your body.  Also, massage! Speaking my language here! Apparently if you let your massage therapist know you’re doing a cleanse, they can massage the liver and that could increase the effects of the cleanse.

The little booklet that you get with your cleanse, also gives you great tips for post cleanse, and easing back into eating.self_care_tips_women_entrepreneurs

So how did I do?  Well, I did start getting a headache mid afternoon on day 1, but since I was expecting it I managed through, even while working a 12 hour shift! I wasn’t hungry at all actually, which was very surprising!  Just needed lots of bathroom breaks 😉

body-is-a-machine
Our bodies our machines!

Day 2 I woke with a bad headache, that just kept getting worse, but I still really thought I could manage with it. Especially after a visit to my store from Obby (owner of Green Carrot).  Unfortunately, by late afternoon I was in pretty rough shape and needed to eat 🙁  I did continue drinking the juices for the day as well as the next, as they really are quite delicious, but added in some light meals as well.

I had originally thought that doing the cleanse while at work would be a great distraction, but maybe with my next attempt I will opt for the cozy confines of home, really making the whole process a nurturing, self-care event.

I really do support the idea of giving your body a break once in awhile by doing a cleanse like this one, but I also think it’s important that everyday we think about what we are putting into our bodies, as most disease and health issues start within your gut. Although each of our organs has a specific function, they also function as part of a group, very much like a machine that we need to maintain, service and keep well fueled!