Did you know that the relationship between your gut and your brain is bi-directional? The gut sends messages to the brain and the brain sends messages to the gut. This is one reason why when we feel stressed, we can have an upset stomach, or why digestive issues can cause us to feel stressed. If you are middle aged like me, you have probably also figured out an important connection between a poor attitude and poor health – “Stinking Thinking” is what this is typically called!
When you eat something and feel anything less than perfect, your body is talking to you. It is telling you that some type of reaction is occurring and you need to pay attention. Are you feeling tired? Do you have a headache? What is on the end of your fork can be connected to any health complaint. Every system of your body improves when your gut functions more normally. And when you fix your body, you’ll fix your brain.
We each host a completely unique microbiome (gut bacteria) that is influenced by our genetics, our antecedents (how we’ve lived our life), our environment, and our diet. Your immune cells in the gut sit on the same surface as your microbiome, and are heavily influenced by it. It takes many different parts to make your car drive down the road, but the primary control is your hands on the steering wheel right? The microbiome is the hands on the steering wheel of every body function. What foods or bacteria in your microbiome would you like to be driving your car? This next section is for my mom, who I love more and more every day and thank g-d for giving me such an amazing mother! She asks me…. What is so wrong about eating bread or wheat? Eating lots of bread products every day – toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner – you are getting large amounts of exorphins. Exorphins trigger the same response on the opiod receptors as morphine, which is highly addictive, and are capable of causing mental derangement if they make it to the brain. Over time, you eat more and more bread products and now you can begin to understand why depression is so prevalent in the United States. We are ranked third in the world for depressive disorders, just after India and China. About one in five adults in the United States experiences some form of mental illness each year according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. (1)
Interestingly enough, there are no reported enzymes in humans that can fully digest the gluten proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. These grains will cause inflammation and intestinal permeability every time they are eaten. Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD conducted his research at Harvard University and published a paper that showed that the gluten in wheat causes intestinal permeability in every human. (2) Since wheat and gluten can not be fully digested, they travel to places including the brain and prompt the immune system to attack them causing inflammation. So… feeding your gut constantly with wheat products, may cause your car to some day crash. Do you want to put wheat behind the wheel? Love you mom!!
(2) Hollon J, Puppa EL, Greenwald B, Goldberg E, Guerrerio A, Fasano A. Effect of gliadin on permeability of intestinal biopsy explants from celiac disease patients and patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Nutrients 2015 Feb 27, 7(3)1565-76.
Did you know that probiotics and probiotic rich food have a definite connection to your heart health? Specifically our Beet Kvass, which is known for its vascular health and lowering of blood pressure. The microbes from these foods not only provide signaling for healthy lining of your coronary arteries, but they also have a more direct effect of lowering your blood pressure by decreasing inflammatory processes in your gut and throughout your entire body. It is interesting to drink Beet Kvass and feel the energy of the microbes exploding inside your body. Peripheral edema or swelling of your ankles can most definitely be attributed to very poor interstitial tissue and vascular breakdown in your extremeties or your legs. Making a good habit of drinking Beet Kvass on a daily basis as your morning or evening cocktail can turn this ugly breakdown around.
What about the salt used to make Beet Kvass? Isn't this bad for my heart? The answer to this question is a simple "no!" The salt used in making the Beet Kvass is effective in breaking down the beet fibers to allow for microbial growth. The microbes overpower the salt content of your Beet Kvass to provide probiotic richness and microbial energy to work in your body. The healthy tissues of your body do need an appropriate amount of sodium in order to work properly and not shut down. When your cells shut down, the result is inflammation and cell wall breakdown which can present itself as edema or swelling of your legs,
Give Beet Kvass a try! It is absolutely delicious, better for you than a glass of wine,.......although it looks exactly the same and surprisingly more refreshing...... and it has the added benefit of being heart protective and vascular protective for all the arteries and veins in your body. Serve your next Beet Kvass in your favorite cocktail glass and know you are doing your heart a big favor!
We are still in the middle of the winter season, which means cooler temperatures, harsh winds, blasting heat, and an ongoing battle with dry skin. As the temperatures continue to drop, the humidity in the air also decreases. The lack of moisture and the constant change from a hot to cold environment takes a serious toll on your skin. Tightness, redness, flaking, itchiness—we've all been there. Now is the time to call in the reinforcements and get back our healthy glow. Probiotics 101!
One of the best ways to defeat dry, stressed-out skin is by working probiotics into our skin care routine and diet. We have both "good" and "bad" bacteria in and on our bodies. Probiotics are the "good" kind that help maintain total body wellness, including keeping the gut healthy and improving our skin health.
Just as oral probiotics help balance the microflora in our digestive system, scientific studies have shown that applying topical probiotics can be hugely beneficial too. A yogurt facial once monthly will let you know the power of active bacteria! No fruit, no sweetners, just plain probiotic homemade yogurt!
Surprised? One of the ways probiotics repair and moisturize our skin is by helping produce hyaluronic acid (HA), which is a natural substance our body produces and is a major contributor to the elasticity, tightness, and strength of our skin. When the production of HA increases, our skin becomes more hydrated. In addition to preventing the loss of hydration, probiotics strengthen our skin so that it can act as a physical barrier to the negative effects of winter by keeping out pathogens, bad bacteria, pollution, and other toxins. This ALSO helps keep hydration in our skin so it doesn't evaporate. All of these benefits from probiotics will reduce the inflammation and redness that appear as a result of dry winter skin.
Want to keep that skin glowing? Keep the probiotics coming.
For those of you with high cholesterol levels, the LDL partical count is the most important number you want to know about yourself. High LDL partical counts can be the most important factor in determining heart health and heart disease prevention. Unfortunately, not all providers have received the most recent education on testing or how to decrease LDL-particle counts. Below is the new standard that is being discussed in medical school today and important knowledge to know about sooner than later.
The average adult is carrying between 3-5 pounds of microbes or bacteria! This makes your microbiome (or your gut) one of the largest organs in your body. In our entire body the microbial cells outnumber the human cells by up to 10:1. If we measure by DNA cells, each of us has about 20 thousand human genes but we are carrying some 100 trillion microbial genes.... so we are at least 99 -100% microbe!
Scientists are still sniffing out the productive purpose all of these 100 trillion microbes. For example, those on our skin don't necessarily exist for our benefit, but by taking up residence on us, they make it harder for other, nastier microbes to infect us.
We believe the intestines to be the largest and most important microbial community in the body. This is where most of the nutrients from your food are absorbed into the bloodstream. Because microbes work alongside your digestive system, intestinal microbes are the gatekeepers of our metabolism. They have the potential to influence what we eat, how many calories we derive from it, what nutrients and toxins we are exposed to, and how drugs affect us. Eventually, our microbes just slough off and pass right on out with our morning cup of coffee. But the more probiotic rich our diet, the better our body will work.
Confused about making Kombucha and how long it takes to make? It is quite interesting that in the summer months I can brew a gallon of Kombucha in 5 days but in the winter months it often takes me 3 weeks! The room temperature has everything to do with it. I have an area in my house that averages 85-90 degrees in the summer and the microbes in my brew eat like crazy and my SCOBY grows big in 3-5 days! It is really amazing to see and to taste the difference a few days make.
In the winter months I just make more Kombucha with each brew. I usually do a gallon and a half or 2 gallons while in the summer I keep to 3/4 gallon. This way I always have enough brew to take with me to work whenever I want. If my brew takes too long, I know I can always supplement with some store bought brew as needed and sometimes this is refreshing too.
The brand I typically supplement with is GTs Gingerade Kombucha and I find it at Costco. GTs has extra, extra fizz which is not really why I like to drink Kombucha but every once in awhile I enjoy a change. My homemade brew is much more tame in the fizz department which allows me to appreciated the delicious taste and tartness which makes me happy.