Here's to nurturing gut health and reclaiming happiness...
Did you know that your gut health has a strong influence on your mental health? The gut is like the happiness factory of the body. It's responsible for much of the bodies production of serotonin, dopamine and glutamine - key neurotransmitters required for optimal function of our nervous system and for your overall wellbeing.
Some symptoms of poor gut health include: brain fog, emotional fragility, anxiety, chronic fatigue, weight gain, lack of ambition, low mood, sugar cravings, skin conditions and food sensitivities.
There are two major contributors to poor gut health: stress and diet... I’m talking sugar. Sweet, sweet, sugar.
Most of the population suffers from a bad gut, an estimated 70 million in US alone! Over the past few weeks I’ve definitely been feeling the affects myself. So I’ve set out to nurse it back to health and me back to the bright little being I am. The is the first time I’ve attempted a cleanse, I’m heading into week three of a 6 week candida cleanse and so far, so good. It takes me getting creative in the kitchen, reading ingredients and planning. For any of you looking to increase your gut health, cleanse or no cleanse, I’m sharing tips, hints, recipes that I've been given and researched.
Starting with the supplements I'm taking daily:
- Holy Basil is an adaptogen that helps to increase energy, aids in resistance to stress. Its' a digestive aid and a heart tonic.
- St. John's Wort acts as a natural anti-depressant, good for nervousness relief.
- L-Tyrosine (free form amino acid) was described to me to have the same affects as going out for a run. *NOTE: this is not a substitute for exercise!
- Vitamin B Complex helps ward off the affects of stress
- Vitamin D = liquid sunshine
- Garlic Concentrate. This one is specific for fighting candida (yeast) over growth. I'm dosing for 4 weeks, then I'll take a 5 day break, then I'll dose for another 4 weeks. The break is important for letting the yeastie-beastie eggs to hatch into beastie babies before tackling them again. It's a generational thing. Gross hey?
Now, here foods that feed the yeastie-beasties, aka foods to avoid:
- alcohol - I'm pretty sure craft beer is the major culprit for me. Bummer huh?
- refined sugars
- vinegars + mustards - this includes vignette salad dressings, ketchup, a lot of dressing and sauces :(
- strawberries - sadly
- meat - unless it's wild or grass-fed
- cow dairy. I've been told goat dairy is okay in moderation
- processed foods
- peanuts and peanut butter - very susceptible to mould
- uncooked mushrooms
- ripe bananas
- red apples
- most fruits - but berries are okay!
- most flours
Watch for recipes and tips in future posts!