Glow Girls always want to feel their best so today I am posting an interesting article on how to achieve a happy, healthy gut by my friend and renowned LA holistic nutritionist, Elissa Goodman. Elissa has an incredible story of overcoming cancer by altering her lifestyle choices and has helped so many others do the same. Her book, Cancer Hacks offers a comprehensive plan that includes a natural and holistic approach for those dealing with this terrible disease. I've been on Elissa's S.O.U.P cleanse (Superfoods.Organic.Uniquely Designed.Prepared with Love) for the past week now and am feeling extremely energetic and alert. Read on for some informative tips that will have a positive effect on your entire well-being!
HAPPY, HEALTHY GUT GUIDE
by Elissa Goodman
Do you want to feel happier and healthier? Then, you have to mind your gut! Your gut comes in continuous contact with important nutrients your body needs, but also toxins, food additives, microbes, and drugs that regularly pass through your digestive tract. Your gut has a huge task to not only serve as a filter for the building blocks of life but also to keep out all the detrimental substances you may be exposed to.
Gut health affects migraines, allergies, autoimmunity, weight gain, acne, skin rashes, yeast infections, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, immune challenges, and even the way you sense pain can be linked to your gut health.
Did you know your gut health also plays a large role in depression and happiness? Along with about 30 other neurotransmitters, your gut manufactures about 95 percent of your serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that antidepressants circulate. While many of my clients associate their lifestyle (food choices/stress) with their gut health issues, they’re not so quick to link their mental health concerns with their gut, when they should be!
The biggest threats to your gut health:
If you want to get to the root causes of what goes on inside your gut, look at what you’re putting at the end of your fork. If you consume chicken nuggets, ice cream, hamburgers, and french fries, for example, you turn on genes that promote inflammation in your gut and your body. On the other hand, if you eat steamed broccoli and have a green juice, you turn on anticancer and anti-inflammatory gene pathways. The foods you eat control your state of health, and the gut is the gateway to the rest of the body. Gluten, dairy, sugar, GMO soy and corn and processed foods are inflammatory and can make your gut sick. When you eliminate these foods, you will notice a difference in as little as 5-7 days.
Your stress response can alter the natural balance of healthy bacteria in your gut, causing the bacteria in your gut to be unhealthy. When clients with gut issues visit me, I ask what they do to relieve and manage their stress, and often they say, "nothing." Many clients are majorly lacking in the self-care department. They believe they don’t have the time or that stress management is a luxury, but incorporating meditation and a few yoga stretches as part of a daily routine can take as little as 10 minutes. Those few minutes will pay off with big rewards for your gut and general sense of well-being.
Poor sleep creates a vicious cycle that damages your gut. Insufficient or poor-quality sleep also makes you crave something sweet or starchy because your body is tired and demands quick energy to keep it going. By the next morning, your digestive system is out of sync, and eating can actually make you feel sick to your stomach. Regular sleep patterns and at least seven hours of uninterrupted nightly sleep are crucial for gut and overall health.
Antibiotics are simply overprescribed. Most of the time, rest and immune support are enough to resolve infections for which doctors often prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotic overuse is leading to more antibiotic-resistant bugs that are difficult to treat. Each time you take antibiotics, you also alter your gut flora. If you don’t take a probiotic and eat the right foods, including cultured or fermented foods, you’ll inevitably suffer from an imbalance between favorable and unfavorable bacteria in the gut.
Everything from the air you breathe to the food and water you consume to the pharmaceutical drugs you use create toxicity in the body. Preservatives, pesticides, and environmental toxins are among the culprits that can damage your gut lining, creating leaky gut and other issues.
Between antibiotics, eating the wrong foods, getting bad sleep, stressing out, and exposing yourself to toxins, you can begin to understand how a gut imbalance occur, creating chronic inflammation and leading to a weak gut.
Health tips for better digestion and optimal gut health:
1. Eat a gut-supporting diet.
Focus on clean ingredients with foods that are easy to digest, low processed/added sugars, and gluten and dairy free options. Choose foods that are organic, pesticide-free, non-genetically modified (GMO), and full of healthy fats. Those include nuts and seeds, high-fiber and low-glycemic carbs, non-starchy vegetablees, and clean proteins like wild-caught cold-water fish.
When you fill your plate with food, imagine that it's divided into quarters. Fill one-quarter of your plate with protein and healthy, omega-3-rich fats (like wild-caught fatty fish or avocado), and fill the other three-quarters with raw, baked, or steamed greens and veggies. This rule will ensure that you get the right balance of proteins, fats, and carbs without the stress of having to weigh your food or count calories.
2. Focus on fiber.
Dietary fiber comes in two forms (soluble and insoluble) and they each play a different role in gut health. Soluble fiber helps you feel full longer and slows the rate at sugar enters your bloodstream. Soluble fiber also doubles as a prebiotic to feed your good gut flora. Good soluble fiber sources include apples, beans, blueberries, and freshly ground flaxseed.
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is found in vegetables and whole grains and provides bulk to your stool and prevents constipation. Because it doesn’t dissolve in water, insoluble fiber passes through your gut relatively intact, promoting the passage of food and waste. Most foods contain a blend of soluble and insoluble fiber. You can also supplement with things like flax, chia and physillium husk
3. Support your good bacteria.
The trillions of bacteria in your gut play many roles including encouraging proper intestinal permeability (keeping things within your gut that shouldn’t slip out) and keeping out unfavorable bacteria, yeast, and parasites. You’ll always have some bad guys, but you want to keep your gut predominantly filled with good bacteria. To do that, eat plenty of fermented food like unpasteurized sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and coconut yogurt kefir. You probably will want to supplement with a professional-quality probiotic. Look for dairy-free probiotics that contain a minimum of 50 billion CFUs. Take on an empty stomach at least once a day.
4. Feed your beneficial gut flora.
Your probiotic flora feed on non-digestible fibers called prebiotics that promote the growth of beneficial flora. The best way to get your prebiotics is to eat them. Incorporate more prebiotic-rich foods like onions, raw asparagus, sun chokes and dandelion greens.
5. Reduce inflammation.
Chronic inflammation contributes to nearly every disease imaginable, and it doesn’t do your gut any favors. Studies connect inflammation with everything from IBS to weight gain. Those are among the many reasons to add cold-water fish and other omega-3-rich foods to your diet. The two primary omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are important anti-inflammatory promoters in the body often deficient in the American diet. Along with these foods, take one to four 1,000-milligram softgels daily with meals to enhance their absorption.
6. Consider digestive enzymes.
If you struggle with post-meal gas, bloating, and other problems, your body might not be making sufficient digestive enzymes. Gut imbalances, stress, and age are among the factors that inhibit the digestive process. For many patients, supplements that replenish digestive enzymes can reduce or eliminate those problems, especially while you’re healing your gut. I recommend Enzymedica Digest Gold with ATPro enzymes and take 1-3 before meals.
7. Be mindful when you eat.
How you eat is just as important as what you eat. Your eating philosophy not only factors into your food choices but also into how your body digests and assimilates foods. Slow down when you eat, really taste your food, chew thoroughly, breathe deeply, and be present with your company. Many people have a no-technology rule during family meals. A good rule of thumb is if you need to have a drink to help you swallow your food, you’re probably eating too fast, swallowing air, and not chewing enough.
Elissa Goodman is a holistic nutritionist and lifestyle cleanse expert who believes that proper nourishment, healing by listening to your gut, and a daily renewal practice are essential for optimal living. Elissa’s mission is to educate and encourage healthy, mindful living, helping others embrace the concept that we are a product of what we eat and how we treat ourselves. Based in Los Angeles , Elissa works privately with professionals and celebrity clients to develop personalized wellness programs that encourage true health from the inside out. Creator of the food delivery program in Los Angeles, the “S.O.U.P” Cleanse and her online program “Cleanse Your Body, Cleanse Your Life,” Elissa's approach to cleansing is gentle and accessible for those looking to renew, recharge, rejuvenate and maintain their healthy lifestyle. Elissa collaborates with health and wellness partners throughout Los Angeles and is the creator of M Cafés macrobiotic RESET Cleanse, signature juice blends at Erewhon Market and multiple food creations that can be found at Earth Bar. Elissa’s International Bestseller book, “Cancer Hacks” is available on Amazon. For more information visit www.elissagoodman.com.
If you are interested in seeing more from Elissa Goodman, check out her website and sign up for her newsletter here. Stay tuned for future collaborations with this fab Glow Girl!