Drinking Water and Hormones

Does drinking 8 glasses of water a day seem like a lot? What if you are not thirsty? Does any of this have anything to do anything do with your health, or is it just an health tip with no real meaning?

It turns out that you need about an 1oz of water for every 2 lbs of body weight. So for the average adult, this is about 75oz of water a day, or about 7.5 glasses of water. You can adjust this to best suit your needs.

So why is this necessary?

Water is something your body uses to maintain homeostasis (which means maintaining balance). Since the majority of the body is comprised of water, and regulation of kidneys and major functions need water, your body is constantly monitoring the amount of water in the body. When your water levels dips lower than it would like, your body goes into stress response and its emits a stress hormone (such as cortisol).

This process leads to your body holding onto onto weight and you feeling tired. You will likely also have trouble sleeping (due to elevated cortisol).

In addition to keeping your body regulated and metabolism running optimally, drinking sufficient water helps to “flush” out toxins such as excess estrogen, medications, pesticides and other substances your body views as an invader.

So drink up for optimal mood and weight loss!

water

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You Don’t Need to Have Yeast Infection to Have Candida

Candida is a topic that is rarely discussed but is quite often the cause of many less than optimal health issues such as low energy, low mood and joint pain. Probiotics help to combat Candida by “crowding out” bad bacteria with good bacteria.

Yeast can actually take over your gut, preventing adequate binding of key hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, making you feel low and demotivated. Probiotics can help to counter this. It’s important to look for probiotics that are dairy free, as many people develop Candida as a reaction to dairy (and the sugars in it).

Taking a probiotic on a regular basis consistently helps prevent Candida from occurring in the first place. It is also important to consume less sugar (even natural kinds…such as fruit and honey), as yeast thrives on all kinds of sugar.

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Fermented Foods For The Win

Eastern northern european and Asian cultures have long used fermented food to heal balance beneficial bacteria in the body and promote optimal health.

Sauerkraut and Kimchi are both finely chopped picked cabbage.

Bacteria occurs naturally on the cabbage surface. When bacteria eat the naturally occurring sugars in the cabbage, fermentation develops.  Both kimchi and sauerkraut have the same type of lactobacillus probiotic bacteria.

Both are great for your gut (though they are quite smelly to keep in the fridge!). While natural is always best… if pickled cabbage is not your thing, you can always look to a probiotic to help balance your gut bacteria.

kimchi

 

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Confused about Prebiotics? This will Help!

What is a Prebiotic?

You are likely seeing and hearing a lot about prebiotics. You may even see it on your probiotic label if you are purchasing a combination product. So what is a prebiotic, and do you need one?

The scientific definition of a prebiotic is a “selected fermented” ingredient that allows gastrointestinal flora to thrive. In basic English, prebiotics are “food” for beneficial bacteria in the gut that help them thrive. Most prebiotics are carbohydrate compounds –so they often end in –ose or –itol, meaning they are sugars or alcohols.

So no, prebiotics and probiotics are not the same thing.

Prebiotics help your existing gut bacteria to thrive, whereas probiotics introduce good bacteria to your gut. When these two forces are combined together, they are often referred to as a symbiotic, because they help each other do their job.

Do I Need One?

The answer to this really depends on your diet and lifestyle.

Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that are not digestible by your body. Lots of natural foods contain this fiber, and so you may not need to add another supplement or pill to your diet.

If you are getting lots of “undigestible” fiber in your diet from chicory root, the skin of many vegetables and fruits, or find that your probiotic alone is doing its job, you may not need to add a prebiotic.

However, if you are finding that a probiotic alone is not working, it may be wise to look into a combination product, or add more specific kinds of fiber to your diet.

What Do I Need to Do?  

The first thing you need to do is be cautious of “prebiotic” packaged foods.

Many companies are adding inulin to their crackers and cereals, and proclaiming that they are “prebiotic” foods.

The actual benefit to your body is questionable, as you would need to ingest boxes of the stuff to get any benefit. You will, however, get diarrhea from all the indigestible fiber, and you will outdo any benefit by eating crackers full of gluten that will only inflame your gut.

Outside of that, be sure to get lots of “indigestible” fiber in your diet, by trying to eat the skins of the vegetables you are already consuming. Chicory root can be added to smoothies or coffee.

Finally, you can choose to add a liquid or pill form prebiotic to your supplement regular routine. On their own, prebiotics have not been shown to have any real benefit, but you can always see for yourself and/or combine them with a probiotic.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to take prebiotic, it is essential to be consistent.

You are keeping up a level of “good bacteria” in your system. Like keeping a volleyball in the air, it is important to take a prebiotic daily, otherwise it is not able to do its job, and you are throwing money down the drain.

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Leaky Gut 101: Part II

In Part I of this series, I gave a quick overview of Leaky Gut, what it is, and why it is something to pay attention to. To recap, leaky gut is a “condition” caused when your intestinal lining has mini tears in it, causing food and bacteria to enter your bloodstream using the wrong “door”.

In a nutshell, it’s a barrier problem that causes a slew of health issues.

The interesting thing about all of these symptoms is that while leaky gut is the cause for stuff “escaping” your digestive system, it is not actually the cause for your symptoms. The actual cause for that is chronic inflammation.

Chronic Inflammation: One Culprit, Many Issues

When you think inflammation, you are probably picturing an injury or red, swollen bug bite. But that is acute inflammation, a condition caused by sickness or injury. It’s temporary, and it’s generally local to one area.

Chronic inflammation is a different ballgame. You won’t see it or feel it, but it’s  actually present throughout your body, wreaking havoc wherever it goes.

Immune Systems: Stop Being So Defensive

Chronic inflammation triggers your body’s defense system. It tells your body you are in trouble….all the time.

Areas such as your brain and gut swell up (in subtle ways you can’t see). When this happens, neurotransmitters and other chemicals can’t bind like they should. Your mood goes down, your digestive suffers, your hormone get out of whack.

In fairness to your body, it is doing its job. Your immune system is there to protect you against foreign invaders. But the problem is that when it is sensing attack, it’s also huts off all non-essential processes.

Your Body is Like a Cell Phone

When you are running low on cell phone battery, your priorities change. Watching a video on YouTube or checking Facebook goes out the window. It becomes about the basics – ensuring you have enough battery for urgent calls or directions to your destination.

Your body is no different. When it’s in defense mode, it shuts down anything non-essential. So in addition to  chronic inflammation causing issues such as acne, joint pain, bloating, and poor mood, it also causes your body to shut down, affecting processes such as sex drive, digestion, and metabolism (i.e. burning calories).

To add insult to injury, all of this wears your down and makes you age faster. Like any tool or electronic equipment, the more your run the processor, the less efficient it is, and the faster you wear it down.

cell phone

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