How can drinking raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) help you become firm and cute? By re-adjusting your microbiome. Read on to see how.
Benefits of raw ACV
I regularly tell my clients to start their day off with a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) for weight loss and/or gut issues. Why? Because Drinking ACV, daily, has not only been found to help with weight loss but it also helps regulate blood sugar, treat ulcers and reflux, is detoxifying, lowers blood pressure, and much more!
Raw ACV contains high amounts of enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics, minerals AND polyphenols making it an overall super tonic!
Prebiotic Super Powers
Amazingly, the polyphenols found in raw ACV have been found to actually help readjust your microbiome for the better. How? They seem to suppress “fat loving bacteria” called Firmicutes (fir-MIH-cue-tees) and allow for growth of better “weight managing” bacteria called Bacteroidetes (BAC-teer-OY-deh-tees) (1).
Research has found that overweight individuals have higher amounts of Firmicutes bacteria in their gut compared to slender individuals. Slender individuals seems to have higher amounts of Bacteroidetes when compared to overweight individuals.
Firmicutes bacteria are built to digest complex carbs and actually increase fat absorption. Firmicutes bacteria may even stimulate you to eat more of these types of foods so that they can be fed. Higher levels of firmicutes have also been found to turn on genes that increase your risk for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (1)! It’s obvious that an overabundance of the bacteria from the “firm and cute family” want you to be anything BUT firm and cute!
However, the polyphenols, found in raw ACV, feed the Bacteroidetes found in your gut, acting as an effective prebiotic. As your amounts of Bacteroidetes improve, your levels of Firmicutes go down.
Repetitive ingestion of prebiotic foods like raw ACV, can help readjust your microbiome, and eventually tip the scales (both internally and externally) for the better.
But I Hate the Stuff!
Struggling with drinking it? Dilute with water (remember use a straw as it’s acidic and overtime will effect teeth enamel) and/or add honey to it. Still struggling with drinking it? Make an active effort to add it into your meals. Use it in your salad dressing, drizzle some on meat and/or soups or mix it in dips. Remember to not heat it, as many of its beneficial properties will be lost if exposed to high heat.
Adding raw ACV to your daily diet is one of the easiest ways to not only help improve your gut bacteria but help improve your overall health as well.
Just another super simple step that you can implement TODAY for better health.
Image Credit: Google Images
Inspiration and Source: Brain Maker: David Perlmutter, MD
Check out my FREE Guide: Mastering the Art of Whole Food Living! It's a 3 month guide that provides over 40 pages of jam packed information, tools and tips on how to start eating and living a whole food lifestyle. Click here for download.
Interested in finding out more about gut health and how it relates to you? Contact me for a free initial session!
Did you know that impaired brain function can affect digestive health? Yes! It’s true! If you suffer from unexplained gastrointestinal issues, even AFTER changing and or cleaning up your diet, the health of your brain may be the missing link!
When our brain ages, degenerates or becomes impaired our brains overall activation decreases and this decrease affects our digestion!
There is an intimate relationship between the gut and the brain and it’s called the gut brain axis. This axis is how the gut and the brain communicate with each other. If this is surprising to you, you’re not alone!
Most people are not aware that the two are interrelated and “talk” to each other. However, current research is exploding with new discoveries on how they do exactly just that! For example, many gastrointestinal disorders are now being attributed to disturbed neural function along this gut-brain axis.
The brain communicates with your digestions nervous system (called the esoteric system and or “second brain”) through a large nerve called the vagus nerve. This pathway emerges from the brainstem and wanders to all the organs of the body, including those in your digestive tract.
It looks something like this:
Image Credit: Google Images
…and the overall process happens sort of like this:
1. The brain activates the brainstem.
2. The brainstem activates the vagus nerve.
3. The vagus nerve stimulates your digestion.
How exactly does it simulate your digestion?
So, how can you tell if your brain is impaired and hence, your vagus nerve is impaired?
Poor memory, inability to find words, or difficulty learning new things are just a few examples of impaired brain function. While many of these symptoms are many times attributed to normal aging, they are anything but normal!
While the causes of brain impairment and or what constitutes an aging brain and it's health are beyond the scope of this post, the good news is that brain function and more specifically, vagus nerve function can be restored!
By exercising it. The same way you’d exercise a muscle into shape is the same way you can maintain or restore your gut brain axis into shape.
There are several exercises you can do that can help activate this pathway but my personal favorite and one I’ll suggest for now, is singing!
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Singing, LOUDLY, works the muscles in the back of the throat and this working, helps activate your vagus nerve.
Perform this exercise daily for several weeks and you’ll start noticing a difference in your digestion!
Keep in mind that loss of vagal tone is almost always secondary to loss of brain function. So finding a new favorite song, and taking the time to learn the lyrics will ALSO help indirectly strengthen your vagus nerve by strengthening your brain. Learning something new is just one of many ways to help strengthen brain activity.
This is just one small exercise that you can do daily that will lead to BIG results!
As always, if you’re ready to finally rid yourself of your digestive discomfort once and for all, contact me today!
Why Isn’t My Brain Working? Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS
Are you finding yourself lacking the ability to stick to your health related goals? Do depressive thoughts such as “what’s the point” seem to take over after a few days of following a diet or plan of some sorts and then you stop? Instead of praising yourself for your accomplishments, after a few days of sticking to your plan you instead start experiencing feelings of worthlessness and discouragement?
Lack of motivation, commitment and discipline are usually what we tell ourselves are the reasons as to why we can’t stick to a specific plan. But what if I told you that while the above reasons may play a role with your inability of following through, an underlying reason may be a lack of dopamine?
Dopamine is associated with the pleasure system in our brain and people with low dopamine experience hopelessness, worthlessness, and self-destructive thoughts. One of the defining characteristics of low dopamine in the brain is lack of motivation.
Some symptoms of low dopamine:
It’s not just about taking dopamine pre cursor supplements or eating dopamine enhancing rich foods. The transport of individual components and the synthesis of these components in the brain, that finally form dopamine, are many.
One key factor for the synthesis of dopamine in the brain is THB. While you don’t need to remember its full name (tetrahydrobiopterin) what IS important to know is that it is a byproduct of folic acid.
Folic acid is a b vitamin found in sources such as leafy greens and liver and since it cannot be produced by our bodies, we must supplement through diet.
This byproduct of folic acid, THB is produced only by healthy gut bacteria in our stomachs.
Healthy gut bacteria occur when we consume a diet rich in fermented foods and probiotics. So while you may be consuming ample amounts of folic acid in your diet and or taking all the additional supplements supporting it, if your gut is lacking in healthy bacteria and THB is NOT being produced, you’re brain lacks the ability to synthesize dopamine. Leaving you struggling with many symptoms, including the inability to follow through on your goals.
This is just one of the many benefits that a diet rich in fermented foods and drinks benefits not only our bodies but our minds too. Another easy way to eat, in a way, to feel your best!
One item that I try to avoid buying when grocery shopping for the family is fruit juice. When I DO buy it it has to be organic (to avoid excess pecticide exposure and gmos) but like so many other products, organic does NOT necessarily mean healthy.
Drinking juice, especially on an empty stomach, can totally contribute to long term health issues, particularly for children! *
When consumed on an empty stomach, fruit juice may cause what's called a "spike and crash syndrome." Juice is rated high on the glycemic index (measurement of the effect food and drink have on blood sugar levels) and will induce a quick rise on blood sugar levels, causing it to "spike." Followed by this short term spike there is a corresponding quick drop or "crash." Sometimes, this crash results in an even lower blood sugar level than before drinking it.
Children are especially vulnerable to this phenomenon! We've probably all witnessed this syndrome. Our child guzzles down a glass of juice and within a few minutes, sometimes seconds, they're bouncing off the walls. A few minutes later, they're fatigued, clumsy, grumpy, sometimes even shaky.
Why is this such an unhealthy pattern?
Because glucose spikes produce a surge in insulin and repetitive surges of insulin may set your child up for possible future health issues.
So while I try to not purchase fruit juice, I DO have to pick and choose my battles when it comes to what my kids get to buy at the grocery store. So with that said, this is how I make it "better than."
I add gelatin to it.
This is the brand I use.*
Hydrolysate Collagen is a minimally processed form of gelatin. It is a form of gelatin/protein that has been produced in a way so that the clumping nature found in gelatin is removed. It's tasteless, super easy to digest and completely dissolves without changing the texture or color of the liquid it's been added to. It is a clean source of protein (from grass fed cows) and this added protein blocks and prevents the spike and crash syndrome from occurring within the body.
By slowing down the absorption of fruit juice sugars into the blood stream. By adding this protein in, you're also benefiting growing bones, assisting in better absorption of other types of protein, and providing gut healing nutrition! Best of all, your kids will never be able to tell that it's there!
So while serving juice to my children is not one of my favorite activities (if they know we've bought it, they ask for it till it's gone) I can feel a little bit better about serving it if it has added gelatin to it.
*This does not include cold pressed fresh juices served for short term "medicinal" like purposes.
*This is NOT an affiliate link. Just sharing the product I love.
*Moderation matters. There is such thing as too much of a good thing. See here for more.
Photo Credit: Google Images
If your kids drink fruit juice or sodas they'll love tepache! Tepache is a wonderful fermented pineapple drink that tastes just like pineapple soda. It contains no unhealthy unknown soda ingredients and it's bubbly evervesance quality is due to beneficial healthy probiotics! Use this easy to follow recipe, below, to make your own today! Just another way to add probiotics into your families diet in a super economical and effortless way!
What you’ll need to make ½ gallon of tepache:
TEPACHE DOs and DON'Ts
What is Kefir?
Kefir is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, but contains many more beneficial probiotics than what is found in yogurt. The naturally occurring bacteria in kefir combine to form a beverage that has superior health benefits when consumed regularly! It's loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals and is an extremely efficient and inexpensive way to consume your probiotics.
What you’ll need:
KEFIR DOs and DON'Ts
You've all heard this repeatedly throughout your lives. As parents you've most likely said it many times to your older kids. But do you actually do it?! And while it goes without saying that chewing your food prevents you from choking, are there additional benefits to it? Absolutely, and significant ones too!
These are just a few example of the benefits of chewing your food. Now, how can you REMEMBER to chew your food?
Eating fast and not chewing your food is a HABIT and takes intention and action to learn to slow down. As children we start off chewing our food very well, keeping it in our mouths as long as needed, swallowing and moving on to the next bite when were ready. My children chew their food slowly and sometimes keep it in their mouths for up to 5 minutes! But as we develop and mature within a fast paced society, our eating habits also become faster and we lose the ability to naturally and instinctively chew and eat slowly. Here are a few tips to help...
Proper chewing is the FIRST step for optimal digestive health AND one of the EASIEST ones to implement into your daily routine! The various benefits acquired from fully chewing your food and practicing mindful eating techniques, make it well worth the time and effort!