Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tips For Healing The Gut

In natural health terms, the "gut" usually means the entire digestive system, from beginning to end. Most people today have some kind of issue with their gut - from acid reflux to food sensitivities, to IBS, etc. Gut complaints are common.

I believe this is largely because of the typical American diet, which is full of processed foods containing all kinds of toxins like high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, chemicals, etc. Also this diet is void of vital nutrients and nourishment. So with unhealthy food plus normal stress of life today, plus other factors, it's not surprising that many people have some kind of problem with the gut.

Recently Dr. Josh Axe did a series of three short videos about leaky gut. I'm not sure how much longer the videos will be up, but it's definitely worth a few minutes to watch them.

In one of the videos he talks about the #1 food for healing the gut, which is bone broth. Here's the link to his video where he gives instructions on a simple way to make your own bone broth.

For many people not eating gluten improves digestion a lot. For others it doesn't seem to change symptoms. Some people feel better when eating raw fruits and veggies. Other people only improve when eating all their vegetables cooked.

So healing the gut involves some investigation, trial and error, and finding what works for you.

A few quick tips though, to help heal the gut:

1) Cut out refined sugars (they feed yeast, parasites and bad bacteria).

2) Drink more good quality water (hydration is essential to all functions).

3) Avoid processed, packaged and fast foods as much as possible.

4) Eat nourishing foods - such as the bone broth, healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, etc.), and cooked veggies (or raw, depending on what your body prefers).

5) Find a probiotic that works for you. This usually takes some trial as well, because there are hundreds of strains of probiotics and your gut flora is specific to you. Sometimes it takes a few tries to find the probiotic that your gut needs. Also, it's good to switch the kind you use every so often as your gut flora changes, you might need a different kind of probiotic.

6) Do deep breathing exercises daily. The more oxygen you have, the more your body can heal, fight inflammation, etc.

7) Think happy thoughts more often. =) It may sound funny, but anxiety, fear, anger and other negative emotions can wreak havoc in the gut.

Healing the gut is a process and that process is unique to each person, but I hope this information is helpful. And I hope you can take a few minutes to watch the videos from Dr. Axe. Let me know any other questions you have.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Top 3 Changes for A Healthier Life

As we start a new year, many people make resolutions about living healthier. Though I realize few people actually carry through on new year's resolutions, I still applaud any desire to make changes to improve health. I think it's important to set goals that are reachable and not too stressful. Start with small steps, and gradually add more changes as you're able.

For those who haven't already done the following, here are the top three simple changes I recommend for a healthier year:

1) Switch to a non-toxic laundry soap.

For all the scientific reasons why you should switch, please read this article about the dangerous chemicals found in most laundry detergents and what those ingredients are doing to your health.

Thankfully, switching to a non-toxic alternative is easy. We use Charlie's soap, but there are other brands or you can even make your own. (There are various recipes online, but the main ingredients are usually castile soap, borax, and washing soda.) Just do a little research and make sure any "natural" product you buy really is healthy, and not just more chemicals in disguise.

The kind of laundry soap you use is vital to your health because if it contains toxic chemicals, then you are keeping those chemicals on your skin 24/7. You are also breathing them in all day long. By switching to a non-toxic laundry soap, you can immediately reduce your overall chemical load. This should also help improve sleep, since you won't have the added chemical presence in sheets and bedding.

Also, this change includes not using fabric softener, or switching to a natural alternative, such as using Heinz vinegar in the rinse when you wash clothes.

If you have a hard time giving up "soft" clothes, please read these two articles that detail the toxic chemicals in fabric softener and why this product is so dangerous to your health! I cannot overstate how TOXIC (poisonous) fabric softeners are and how much you can help your body by making this simple change. The articles below give specific details, including the fact that fabric softeners contain known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), cause respiratory problems, nervous system disorders, and are an unregulated product - meaning manufacturers can fill them with all kinds of chemicals and chemical mixtures that have NOT been tested for safety.

Article 1 from Jordan Rubin - specifics on 9 of the toxic ingredients in fabric softener
Article 2 from Dr. Mercola - 600 toxic ingredients in fabric softener and what they're doing to your health

This simple change of switching to a natural laundry soap really will make a difference in your health and the health of your family! And it might even be cheaper as well. =)

2) Say goodbye to sodas/soft drinks.

Want to know what happens in your body when you drink a soda? Check out this explanation.

When I read the facts on sodas, I'm completely astounded that anyone would willingly drink one! Here are just a few of the dangers of sodas -
 *sodas increase your risk of cancer - it's been PROVEN repeatedly with long-term studies.
 *sodas increase your risk of diabetes - no wonder it's reaching epidemic levels today.
 *sodas are directly connected to weight gain and obesity.
 *sodas cause damage to DNA!
Not to mention that sodas are filled with toxic ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and chemical-laden tap water.

There is absolutely NO benefit to the body in a bottle of soda. And there are many dangers. This one change of saying goodbye to soda will have many positive results in your health.

3) Limit the amount of time you spend on electronic devices each day.

We live in an increasingly technological age. And while it has many advantages, there are dangers as well. A quick online search will reveal many harmful effects of electronic devices. Some of the dangers include increased risk of cancer (esp brain tumors from cell phone use), reduced fertility, damage to DNA, interfering with cellular communication, etc. These aren't things to take lightly.

Obviously, we're used to the advantages of having cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc. The important thing is to educate yourself on how to use them more safely and to limit the time you spend on them.

This is such a huge topic, I can't cover it all here. But here's a good basic article by Dr. Mercola on EMF's that includes links to other articles and helpful information. And here's my previous post on how to limit your EMF exposure. Also, remember that grounding is a good way to help your body combat the excessive EMF's (electromagnetic fields) you're exposed to in today's world.

Bonus Tip - Read your Bible every day.

Our thoughts really do impact our physical health. The more we read and think God's thoughts, the healthier our mind, brain and body can be. =)

"Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." -Jesus (Matthew 4:4)