6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Gut Health

Gut health, gut bacteria , gut flora, microbiome. Bacteria inside the small

Bacteria is not always your enemy, in fact when it comes to digestion and gut health, the “good bacteria” is your best friend, so you should treat it as such!

Here’s why…

Your digestive system is home to the largest part of your body’s immune system and determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens and microbes are kept out. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to what goes in there.

Your Gut Health Depends On What You Eat

I know it can be challenging to make conscious choices, considering our modern, fast-paced lifestyles and the abundance of convenient fast foods that are easy to reach for.

The problem is, when we don’t take the time to figure out what healthy eating means for us, and plan for healthy meals, we can end up with chronic health issues and diseases that can be directly correlated to what’s happening in our gut.

healthy gut

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Finding The Optimal Gut Bacteria Balance Is Key

Did you know that your body contains around 100 trillion bacteria and that these bacteria make up an estimated 3 -5 pounds of your body weight? Of the 100 trillion bacteria some are “Good and some are “Bad”. When these bacterial colonies become out of balance it can lead to what is called gut dysbiosis, which is one of the main causes of digestive health issues. The good news is, small lifestyle changes can go a long way to helping your gut and you feel better.

You have the power to create good health that begins in your gut!

Here Are 6 Simple Ways To Get Started:

1. Eat well. There’s really no rocket science to it!
Choose from these prebiotic-rich foods as and example; garlic, onions, asparagus and bananas. Try to avoid processed sugar of any kind. Remember that bad bacteria thrive on sugar, so it’s important to avoid the sweet stuff wherever you can. Don’t forget about hydration. Your body, your gut and your brain needs a lot of water on a daily basis in order to function well.

2. Boost your food choices! Take a probiotic supplement.
Consider introducing a high-quality probiotic supplement into your daily health routine. This will help improve the health of your gut and your immune system. Probiotics come in a variety of formulations. My recommendation is to look for supplements that are kept refrigerated (or on the shelf but deemed “stable”), originally come from a human source, and contain both acidophilus and bifidobacterial (big words for the good stuff!).

3. Digestive Enzymes
Consider taking digestive enzymes with your meals. Digestive enzymes help your body break down food into nutrients that can easily be absorbed. Besides breaking down food, enzymes can help heal your gut and support your immune system. Lifestyle choices affect our body’s ability to produce enzymes. Processed, sugary foods, use of antibiotics, and other prescription medications can contribute to a decrease in digestive enzyme production and can cause a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms.

4. Reduce stress. Beware of your cortisol.
The effect of ongoing stress is literally is like a car going 100 miles an hour with the brake pedal on! That’s because our digestion function shut down in order to divert blood to other parts of the body to ward off the threat. This compromises your digestive and immune systems, so you need to do whatever you can to reduce your stress load. For instance, doing some deep breathing exercises is just one way to start putting a buffer in between you and high levels of stress.

5. Get your sleep right. It’s essential for good overall health!
Have you ever noticed when you’re tired that you’re prone to reach for coffee and other stimulants to keep you going? Get some rest! The trick again, is to start with something small like going to bed an hour earlier every night and turning off all electronics before you do. Sleep is truly important to help our bodies reset, recharge and rebalance.

6. Regular Chiropractic Adjustments
Your nervous system controls every function in your body including digestion. Misalignments or subluxations in your spine can compromise digestive function. Reg- ular chiropractic adjustments realign your spine, restore nerve function, and help your body to work optimally

Building a healthy relationship with good gut bacteria also means building a healthy relationship with your entire body. As you can see what we eat, our environment and our physical and mental health all contribute to a healthier better functioning gut! Start today in small ways to make changes, and you’ll soon find you really can improve your gut health!

The Brain in Your Gut

You live your life through your nervous system. Every sound, sight and touch is filtered through your brain so you can make sense of the world. Your perceptions – filtered through your nervous system – are your reality. We hear a lot of talk about your central nervous system – your brain and your spinal cord. But think about the last time you felt sick to your stomach because you were nervous, scared or anxious. This is evidence of a whole other division of your nervous system at work, called your enteric nervous system, which is intrinsic to your gastrointestinal tract. Research is now bringing to light the critical role this system plays in pretty much every aspect of our health and well-being.

Just as we have nerve cells in our brain and spinal cord, we have nerve cells in our intestinal lining as well. In fact, the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system were created from the same tissue during fetal development and they remain connected through the vagus nerve. There are actually over 100 million neurons that line the intestinal walls, which have led scientists to label the totality of them as “the second brain”. Not only is this second brain regulating muscles, immune cells, and hormones, but it is manufacturing 80-90% of the serotonin in our bodies, which is our “master happiness molecule”.

The connection between your gut and your brain is bidirectional. Just as your brain is telling your gut how quickly to digest the food or when to secrete acid in the stomach, the neurons in your gut are also communicating to your brain about the environment they are encountering. When your body is faced with a substance or an ingredient it doesn’t like, it will experience an immune response. Chronic immune activation and resulting inflammation from these stresses can lead to chronic disease, including brain diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.

We cannot talk about the brain in your gut without mentioning the role of the complex internal ecosystem that exists inside of us, called the microbiome. It turns out that your microbiome is just as vital to your health as your heart, lungs, liver and brain. It is responsible for multiple tasks, such as aiding in digestion and absorption of nutrients, acting as a detoxification machine, and producing important enzymes, vitamins and neurotransmitters. Perhaps the largest role the microbiome plays is in your immune response. Your gut represents 70-80% of the body’s total immune system. This supports what we have known for a long time: your food choices have a tremendous impact on the state of your microbiome and, therefore, the state of your health.

So what can you do to improve the health of your gut?

1) Choose foods rich in probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, tempeh, sauerkraut or pickles

2) Avoid sugar, embrace high-quality fat

3) Enjoy wine, tea, coffee, and chocolate

4) Choose foods rich in prebiotics, such as raw garlic, raw leek, raw or cooked onion, raw asparagus

When looking at our health, it is important take a holistic approach. We know our body parts don’t work in isolation. All parts of our nervous system work together to determine how well we function. Taking care of yourself through proper nutrition, regular exercise, stress management, and regular chiropractic care is fundamental to living a healthy life.

_______________________________

Blog by Guest Author:

Dr. Lesley EvansDr. Lesley Evans is a chiropractor in Kitchener, Ontario. She is the co-owner of Bruce Street Family Chiropractic, alongside Dr. Adam Brookes. She graduated from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, located in Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Lesley is passionate about helping others live the best quality of life that they can through chiropractic care and lifestyle choices.

Website: www.brucestreetfamilychiropractic.com

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brucestreetfamilychiropractic 

phone: 519 743 6339 

References:

1) Perlmutter, David (2015). Brain Maker. Little, Brown and Company.

2) Round, June & Mazmanian, Sarkis (2009). The gut microbiome shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease. Nat Rev Immunology (May 9 (5): 313-323.

I Can’t Believe I’m Sick AGAIN. 5 Things You Need to Do to Stop the Cycle

Annndddd…. you’re sick again. How many times has it been this winter? Oh? You’ve lost count.

Well, between your children bringing who-knows-what kind of germs home from school, your colleague sneezing down the hall and your mother in law stopping in on her way home from the mall, you’ve caught something again. Or it’s just continually circulated through your home for the last 2 weeks.

Either way, it’s time to boost up your immune system and arm yourself with some seriously powerful natural remedies to help heal your cold / flu / sore throat / as-of-yet unidentified virus.

Here are the basics:

Your body wants to be 100% healthy all the time!! You just need to provide it with the means to do so.

1. What are you eating?

Put down the bagel with cream cheese and reach for some fruit and vegetables. Specifically, oranges, grapefruit, apples, clementines, kiwi, cantaloupe and strawberries. And reach for dark leafy greens, bell peppers and and tomatoes!

For example, 1 medium orange has 70mg of Vitamin C, or 116% of your daily recommended intake. So load up. Every day!! Especially considering that the “daily recommended intake” suggestions for vitamin C tend to be just high enough to keep you from getting scurvy!

According to Dr. Andrew Saul, editor of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, if everyone were to take 500 mg of vitamin C per day — the dose required to reach a healthy level of 80 µmol/L — an estimated 216,000 lives could be spared of heart failure each year.

So, eat more fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C – and protect your heart while preventing another cold from circling back to you!

2. What are you popping?

Put down the antibiotics. Antibiotics are scientifically unable to help at all with killing viruses.
Put down the Robitussin. Put down the Advil Cold & Sinus.

Antibiotics destroy the very fragile bacterial ecosystem living in your gut, that actually functions as 90% of your immune system. So while you think you’re killing the virus, you are actually damaging your entire system for many years to come. Just one round of antibiotics kills many of your beneficial bacteria living in your intestines and makes you much more susceptible to getting sick more often.

Every time you take a pharmaceutical, you do damage to your body. Your body must first heal from the illness and then it must heal from the pharmaceutical you ingested.

(Yes there is a time and place for life-saving interventions that require pharmaceuticals, but that time and place, for the great majority of the population, is not from a cold or flu).

3. What should you pop instead?

Nature has created many natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal agents that we can use with much less side effects, if any at all. Colloidal silver can be sprayed under the tongue a few times a day and literally wipes out nasty germs in record time. Oregano oil can be taken as a capsule to kill bacteria and viruses. And you should also supplement with probiotics that have a count into the high billions to help rebalance the immune system promoting bacteria in your gut.

4. I need a miracle remedy now!

Essential oils are that miracle. Get your hands on some therapeutic grade peppermint oil, and mix a couple of drops with a carrier oil (coconut oil) and massage it into your throat, over your sinuses, your chest and under your nose. You will be breathing clearly in seconds!!

5. Sleep, tea and time

Yep, you’ve heard it before. Stay rested and drink a lot of warm liquids to stay hydrated. It takes time for your body to kick the virus and bounce back, but it will be much quicker if you follow these natural steps.

BONUS – Stay healthy!

What are you doing to stay healthy and prevent future illness? Try these tips:
1 – Eat a whole-foods, plant based diet with a great variety of colourful fruits and vegetables.
2 – Exercise every day. Even a little bit of joyful movement – your body was made to move!
3 – Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated and enjoy some fresh lemon in your water.
4 – Get enough sleep.
5 – Take a high quality probiotic every day.
6 – Get adjusted regularly! Your spine needs to be free of interference so that your body can heal and function at 100%!

With Sources From:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/21/vitamin-c-heart-health.aspx