Being bloated is one of those things that we try not to talk about, hoping that if we don’t mention it, maybe it will just go away. Bloating does not discriminate. The truth of the matter is that it can crop up more often than just during that time of the month and, left untreated, can make us irritable and pretty darn uncomfortable. For men, bloating could be caused by many factors.

Bloat is a buildup of gas in our abdomen, often caused by poor digestion or swallowed air. “Feeling bloated can result from an overgrowth of bacteria in the small  intestine,” says celebrity nutritionist, registered dietitian, healthy cooking expert, Keri Glassman.

 Well, the dreaded bloated stomach is usually caused by drinking carbonated beverages and eating beans, legumes and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Beside this, there are also many some other foods that we eat daily which leads to bloating.

Here are some foods that can cause bloating:

Wheat
Avoid eating wheat-based foods including bread and rotis, if you are suffering from gluten sensitivity, as it can lead to indigestion and bloating.

Onions
Onions are gas-producing foods which cause bloating. Moreover, onions are not properly digested if not cooked properly making the condition worse.

Garlic
Garlic also belongs to FODMAPs, which are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed and rapidly fermented by bacteria causing gas and bloating.

Processed foods
Avoid eating common processed foods, especially those loaded with salt as it can cause bloating due to fluid buildup in the stomach.

Milk and milk products
The intake of milk and milk products increases the risk of suffering from bloating if you are lactose intolerant. It is mainly because milk is not digested by the body which in turn leads to bloating and indigestion.

Here’s a list of foods that will help prevent bloating

YOGURT

You likely already know that the probiotics—or the good bacteria—in yogurt are good for your gut. Because the “good bacteria” keeps your digestive process efficient, it helps to eliminate bloat. Just make sure that the yogurt you eat is plain and doesn’t contain sweeteners of any kind.

PINEAPPLE

This tropical fruit contains bromelain, an enzyme that is believed to help with the digestion of protein. Supplements with bromelain are thought to treat ailments related to inflammation, which is why it’s no surprise that people tout its bloat-busting properties.

ASPARAGUS

“This veggie contains certain compounds that actually act like probiotics,” says Glassman. Plus, it’s super high in fiber, which helps your digestive system stay on track.

FENNEL AND CELERY

These vegetables act as diuretics, helping you flush out the excess water in your body that’s causing you to feel bloated. Plus, fennel seeds contain essential oils that help with the digestion of nutrients.

BANANAS

The potassium in bananas helps get rid of excess water by managing the levels of salt in your body (too much salt leads to bloating). Just remember that when eating this fruit, it should be ripe. “Ripe bananas are full of fiber and are helpful in draining the water out of your cells,” Glassman says. The fiber in the fruit also helps you stay regulated and beat constipation.

KIMCHI

Fermented foods are super high in probiotics, which are essential to healthy gut function. During the fermentation process, lactic acid, omega-3, and healthy probiotics are created, all of which help beat bloating. Kimchi is a traditional fermented side dish usually comprised of cabbage, scallion, radish, cucumber, and chili paste.

Papaya contains an enzyme that aids digestion by speeding up the breakdown of proteins. Add this to your meal to make sure everything is running smoothly and efficiently.

GINGER APAYA

As Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, explains, ginger is a natural diuretic. That means it promotes increased urine production and helps you flush out excess fluids to beat water retention and bloating.

Bloating is going to happen no matter what we do but you now have some ideas to prevent it!

What are your thoughts on bloating?

 

 

Even though Hippocrates said more than 2000 years ago that all disease begins in the gut researchers still must prove that it does.

The majority of the informed populace are aware of how important it is for our well-being to have a healthy gut.  The health of which depends on healthy gut microbiota. In actually, it’s at the top of the list of things that disturb our daily routines, social events or even travel experiences as the worry, pain and embarrassment of a malfunctioning intestinal system.

There are many common sayings that describe how the gut can affect us.  We often use our “gut feeling” to make difficult decisions and when we are nervous of an upcoming job interview or a big event we have “butterflies” in our stomachs that may put the fear in us that we’ll need to make a sudden dash to the bathroom.

Researchers are increasingly discovering and recognizing that other organ systems are influenced by the gut environment.  These links are gaining attention as possible factors in a number of diseases, such as depression and lung disease.

This is just the beginning of the discoveries of the many ways in which a healthy or unhealthy gut can impact our lives.  We already know a lot about the important little bacteria and how they impact our immune system.

These Bacteria Teach Our Immune System How to Behave

The immune system is the main link between our gut bacteria and their influence on our health and disease.  We now know that this education begins even before we are born.

Previously, it was assumed that the prenatal environment in the womb was free from bacteria, but thanks to increasingly sophisticated analytical methods, we now know that bacteria are already present in the placenta. We are born with a naïve immune system and are at first protected by antibodies from our mother. However, the immune cells need to be educated further in order to learn how to protect the body from harm when the maternal antibodies are gone. This education is essential for our future health.

Bacteria Educate Our Immune System from the Moment we are Born

We also know how important bacteria are for maintaining a normal immune system from experiments with germ free laboratory mice born without any bacteria at all.

These mice have an immature immune system lacking important types of immune cells. But when they are provided with even a restricted bacterial flora, the immune system matures and develops more diverse cells. These experiments have provided extensive knowledge on the function of the immune system, and of the effects of single bacteria or specific groups of bacteria.

Research conducted in both animals and humans has helped us to understand the early life factors of disease development. For example, we know that children born from caesarean section have a higher risk of developing certain diseases – some studies show as much as 20 percent higher risk of type 1 diabetes, asthma, and an increased risk of obesity, compared to vaginally born children.

This is probably due to the cleaner method of delivery, which delays the colonisation of gut bacteria and the education of the immune system. It is also known that extensive treatment with certain antibiotics at a young age increases the risk of allergy and asthma. The hygiene hypothesis has led the way to this line of thinking, but other factors such as antibiotics use of the mother and pre-term planning of caesarean sections with immature maternal milk may also influence these increased risks of disease.

Gut Bacteria Maintain a Balanced Immune System

Throughout life, we are constantly exposed to new things in our gut, nose and lungs, via our food and environment, such as food additives, pollen in the air or non-pathogenic microorganisms in dust or dirt. But thankfully, most people have healthy immune systems that handle all of these invading objects with ease.

If it didn’t, it would elicit an inflammatory response every time you tried a new food or visited a new country with different types of trees. This would be a highly ineffective and unnecessary use of energy.

The essential task of the immune system is to maintain a balance between reaction and tolerance. It is essential that this tolerance, called oral tolerance, is established. And a diverse gut flora established in early life with many types of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms, is crucial for this, as it teaches the cells of the immune system that not everything is bad.

Since balance of bacteria in our gut influences the balance of our immune system, an unbalanced bacterial flora with for instance too many opportunistic pathogens can shift the immune system to an increased inflammatory state with a so-called “leaky gut”. This inflammatory state may then affect other body systems and increase the risk of obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes and even depression.

Bad Gut Bacteria Can Lead to Disease

Most bacteria are beneficial, but some are responsible for the progression of disease.

It is perhaps common sense that gut bacteria play a significant role in diseases directly related to the gut, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. This has been studied for years and today, treatments are available to correct skewed bacterial compositions and aid recovery of beneficial bacteria via faecal transplantation in some colitis patients. Most people are also familiar with the use of over-the-counter probiotics especially during exotic vacations.

Bacteria are survivors in the best Darwinian style, and they will to some extent adjust to the environment they are in. This is, for instance why resistance to antibiotics occurs. This also means that if good bacteria are removed due to for example diet or medication, some of the opportunistic commensals, or pathogens, will immediately move in and try to fill the gap.

A Diverse Gut Flora is the Healthiest

It is not so easy to permanently change an established gut flora, good or bad. Once disturbed, the flora will return to normal within a short time frame, just like when you return home after a vacation and eat your usual diet.

But an imbalanced gut is able to loop in a bad cycle, whereby harmful functions are reinforced. In laboratory mice, researchers have shown that a certain bacterial composition is associated with type 1 diabetes and obesity – in fact, researchers were able to transfer obesity to lean mice by transplantation of the gut microbiota.

Such skewed microbiotas all have one thing in common: a lack of diversity. A diverse microbiota is more likely to bounce back from unhealthy fluctuations in diet and withstand outside intruders, and this means a much more tolerant and well-regulated immune system.  The colon contains more than 10,000,000,000,000 cells per gram of intestinal content and between 300 to 1000 different bacterial species.

Gut Bacteria Could Lead to Personalized Microbiota Transfer Therapy

So how can we use all of this knowledge in the future?

We know that presence or absence of bacteria is important in the development of several diseases. We also know that it is rarely just one or two bacterial strains that make a difference, but more likely a whole group of certain bacteria influencing other bacteria.

This is all very challenging to study in humans—especially in complicated scenarios, where these skewed bacterial communities cause trouble elsewhere in the body.

Until now, scientists have focused on understanding the presence or absence of certain bacteria, but what really interests us today, is what these bacteria produce and what signals they send to the rest of the body. Luckily we now have advanced tools at our fingertips to figure this out.

Systems biology with whole genomic, whole proteomic, and whole metabolomics analyses are revealing new details about these bacteria and might even lead to personalised diagnosis and treatment. For instance, it is likely that in the near future, the examination of patients will include a full assessment of the microbiota or its products just like a routine blood sample, leading to precise interventions in diet or administration of bacteria.

Let Your Kids get Dirty

In addition, these methods help explain other mechanisms in the body related to bacteria. For example, a 2017 Nature paper showed that some of the beneficial effects of the type 2-diabetes medicine “Metformin” that enhance insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients, are due to its effect on gut microbiota and their products. In particular due to the promotion of the good bacteria Akkermansia Muciniphila.

Using these methods, we can establish clearer cause and effect relationships between bacteria and outcomes, which have previously been difficult. In other words, we are a step closer to tracking down exactly which part of the gut microbiome is different in a disease state, improve it with diet, medicine or bacterial transplants, and follow the change in bacterial products and messengers.

Researchers will probably soon be able to buy their laboratory mice with a “diabetes – or obesity” inducing gut microbiota or even with a humanized microbiota. This could improve our disease models and make them more effective. It might even help us understand what circumstances are necessary to really permanently change a person’s gut microbiota to the better.

Research in nanotechnology is producing new ways of delivering medicine, vaccinations, and bacteria to the body. Imagine a nano-sized container with a specific bacterial mix meant for the distant part of the gut,designed to protect the bacteria and only open when they meet the appropriate “key” at the right location, for instance an enzyme or a specific pH value.

Clinical studies of microbiota transfer therapy in humans are already taking place and probiotic use is increasing (autism spectrum disorder improved with faecal therapy) and there is no doubt that new and more specialized probiotics will be presented in the near future (for example, the NxtGenProbio project is expected to yield interesting results).

Personalised bacterial “diagnosis” and treatment would certainly be a valuable tool for health professionals, but it is unlikely to become a commonly used tool any time soon since there are still many unknown factors and risks. For instance, should a faecal “donation” come from your own gut, or from a different part of the intestines? How do we prevent transfer of bad bacteria along with the good ones? Are family members more compatible donors compared to a standard foreign donor?

Until then: Let your kids get dirty with a good conscience… you are priming their gut flora into being balanced and healthy.

The Many Axes of Gut Bacteria

Signals run along axes from the gut to other parts of our bodies via neurons, hormones, and perhaps most importantly via the immune system. We call these “axes” and they help describe the connection between gut bacteria and disease else-where in the body.

1. The gut-brain axis

The most studied axis so far is the connection between gut and brain, since it is documented and well-known among health professionals that patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases often also suffer from depression.

The gut is able to alter the brain chemistry via neuronal pathways and through messengers of the immune system, called cytokines – and these messengers depend on the state of the gut microbiota.

Stress is a good example: stress changes the gut microbiota, and the signals running to the brain may impact how we behave. For instance, early life stress changes the gut microbiota of monkeys, and rat pups which are stressed by separating them from their mothers prematurely. Their gut microbiota is disturbed as a result, and they have increased levels of stress hormone and a different immune response.

2. The gut-liver axis

Another axis is the gut-liver axis, which is studied widely in liver research, since 70% of the blood flow to the liver is directly flowing from the gut.

Gut bacteria are a vital source of fat components and of circulating antigens, and may impact the risk of fatty liver disease.

3. The gut-lung and gut-kidney axes

The gut-lung axis is of interest in respiratory disease research, where the gut microbiota influences both asthma, COPD, pneumonia and even development of cancer.

Scientists have also proposed a gut-kidney axis where the bad toxic products of a diseased kidney affect the microbiota and a bad microbiota increase the amount of toxins released as a disease mechanism in chronic kidney disease.

So, can an Unhealthy Gut Have a Negative Effect on a Person?

What do you think?

 

Thank you Medical Express and ScienceNordic for your contribution to the Eat Healthy Everyday mission

 

Healthy Bowel Movements (BM) are a fact of life.  The subject doesn’t make for the best table conversations but (no pun intended) it is a constant in everyone’s everyday life.

The number of times a day, or week, varies from person to person. Some people might go up to three times a day, while others only have a bowel movement a few times a week.  Some researchers indicate that anywhere from three bowel movements a day to three a week can be normal. It’s also important to remember that sometimes the consistency of a person’s stool can be a more significant indicator of bowel health than frequency. However, if a person doesn’t poop often enough or too frequently, both can cause severe health problems.

Constipation happens when your colon absorbs too much water or the muscles contract too slowly or poorly, which means stool moves through your digestive system too slowly. When the stool loses too much water, it hardens. If feces sit in your colon for three days or longer, the mass becomes even harder and more difficult to pass.

There are a number of different causes of constipation and vary from person to person.  Here is a list of fourteen possible reasons for your constipation.

1. Hypothyroidism

An underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, can cause your metabolic processes to slow down. According to Dr Catherine Ngo, a board-certified gastroenterologist at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in California, “The slower the system, the longer the digestive contents have to be reabsorbed by the colon, resulting not only in decreased frequency of stools, but harder stools.”

Although constipation is not always related to thyroid problems, Dr Carla H Ginsburg, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, says, “When I see a young person who’s constipated more than normal and really complaining, I do tend to get a thyroid level.”

Woman with painful neck

2. Medications

Medications come with side effects and many list constipation. Common offenders include antidepressants (especially SSRIs like Prozac), anti-anxiety drugs, heartburn drugs and blood pressure medication.

“There is always an alternative medication you can try,” Dr Atif Iqbal, a gastroenterologist and medical director of the Digestive Care Center at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, told Reader’s Digest. “You just need to be clear with your doctor about what problems you’re experiencing.” If your heartburn medication contains calcium, for example, you can try one that contains magnesium.

Painkillers – prescription or over the counter – can also cause constipation. “These medications bind to the same receptors in the stomach, blunting the whole digestive system as well as your pain,” explains Dr Iqbal. Don’t use painkillers continuously for longer than 30 days. Dr Iqbal says you should address the underlying injury or find alternative ways to treat your pain.

Man taking medication

3. Bad bathroom habits

If the need to go strikes while you’re at the office or mall, do you hold it in? Experts say you shouldn’t, and doing it too often can lead to constipation. “You eventually confuse the muscles in the rectum and anal sphincter and develop constipation,” said Dr Gina Sam, assistant professor of gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

In addition, the longer stool remains in your colon, the more water it absorbs which will make it even more difficult to pass when you eventually get home to your toilet.

“Some research suggests that people who use the bathroom at timed intervals and don’t fight the urge to have a bowel movement tend to have more regular bowel movements,” Dr David Poppers, a clinical associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at NYU School of Medicine and NYU Langone Health, told Women’s Health.

“Butt Shyness” is a real problem for so many people!!

Public bathroom

4. Diabetes

According to a 2014 study, about one in three diabetics suffer from constipation. When you have diabetes, nerve damage  affects your entire your entire body over time.

When this damage affects your gut, you may experience “slow transit time in your intestines, as well as problems with rectal sensation”, Dr Ron Schey, an associate professor of medicine in the gastroenterology department at Temple School of Medicine, told Men’s Health. And that results in constipation.

Man testing glucose levels

5. Overusing laxatives

When you are constipated, it’s natural to reach for laxatives. But don’t rely on them for long-term use – over long periods of time nerve cells that release chemicals that tell your colon it’s time to move a stool become depleted. Eventually you’ll need to use more laxatives for them to work, until they no longer work.

“More of a problem is that when they stop working, the other simple measures that we might try have less chance of working as well because those stimulatory neurons are now dead,” Dr Pradeep Kumar, a gastroenterologist, told Fox News.

Man using toilet

6. Vitamins

Generally, vitamins shouldn’t cause constipation but sometimes calcium or iron can cause your system to become backed up.

“I would tell a patient to stop taking the iron [or calcium] unless they really need it and, if they do need it, I would put them on a stool softener to counteract that,” said Dr Ginsburg, who is a spokesperson for the American Gastroenterological Association.

Woman taking vitamins

7. A lack of exercise (or too much)

Not exercising often enough can cause digestive problems that may lead to constipation. Exercise helps stimulate intestinal activity, which keeps food waste moving through your digestive system. In fact, exercises that focus on toning your abdominal muscles can even help with bowel movements.

On the other hand, however, too much exercise can also cause constipation. Exercising causes your body to sweat, which helps regulate body temperature. As a result, your body may need more water, which your intestines may try to recover from stool moving through your digestive system. Constipation can occur when the poop becomes hard and compact, and unable to pass easily through your rectum.

Make sure you are properly hydrated before, during and after exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Too much dairy

A diet high in cheese and other low-fiber/high-fat foods such as eggs and meat can slow down your digestion. The obvious solution? Cut down on your intake of such foods, and increase fiber intake to 20 to 35 grams a day.

“If you’re going to have cheeses and red meat and eggs, mix in some salads or other foods that have fiber,” Dr. Park advises. And avoid fast foods and processed foods, which are generally low in fiber.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Antidepressants

Constipation can be associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants such as Prozac (fluoxetine).

However, constipation is more of a problem with older tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil (amitriptyline), says Dr. Park. Why any of these drugs have this effect isn’t clear, though.

If you’re taking an antidepressant and have this side effect, think about using a gentle stool softener.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Depression

Ironically, the very condition that antidepressants are meant to treat – depression – can also cause constipation.

Like hypothyroidism, depression causes a general slowdown of the body’s normal processes, which can also affect the bowel.

People with irritable bowel syndrome, which can be closely linked to depression, are also prone to constipation, Dr. Park says.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Antacids

Antacids are great for fighting heartburn, but some can cause constipation, particularly those containing calcium or aluminum, Dr. Park says.

Fortunately, the drugstore aisles are crammed with options, so if one medication is a problem you can try something else.

You can also cut down on your risk of heartburn by not overstuffing at meals. And consuming fewer fatty foods and more fiber will help prevent both problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Childbirth

Constipation is common during and after pregnancy, but childbirth itself can be a problem, possibly due to sluggish abdominal muscles or perhaps the use of pain relievers or an anesthetic during the delivery.

Also, “there may be some perineal soreness right after the delivery, so the fear of causing more discomfort may be an important factor in the constipation,” says Dr. Park.

Although stretch injuries during childbirth can sometimes cause nerve damage that leads to constipation, this is less common.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Diabetes and neurological conditions

Diabetes can cause nerve damage that can affect a person’s ability to digest food, says Dr. Park.

Most people with advanced diabetes know they have it. Still, it’s reasonable to do a blood sugar test on someone who is regularly constipated, says Dr. Ginsburg.

Neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease can cause constipation. Usually, though, “this goes with another symptom such as trouble urinating, double vision, or a gait problem,” Dr. Ginsburg says.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 14. Anticonvulsants

AED’s (anti epileptic drugs)  are supposed to stop seizures but unfortunately they can also stop the bowels from operating properly.

The way I found to combat that is to drink water on a regular basis, a minimum of 32 ounces a day, and to follow a sensible diet with a minimum amount of dairy and sweets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all have BM issues to deal with.  The important thing is to know your body and adjust what’s necessary to improve and maintain the overall functioning of it.

Probiotics are the rage right now and they should be.  Long considered a superfood by many in the natural living and health conscious community they are now being noticed by the public.

Probiotics are food products fermented by lactic acid bacteria and they play a major role in modulating the gut flora, thereby managing many gut disorders. Yogurt, buttermilk, tempeh, miso, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and cheese are some probiotics that provide various health benefits.

Of course, in today’s world it’s hard to eat the right foods for various reasons so a supplement like Peak BioBoost can help.

What are some of the benefits of making Probiotics part of our daily diet?  Well, let’s see:

  • Improves immunity by boosting the good gut bacteria
  • Helps manage acute and chronic gut disorders1
  • Relieves lactose intolerance symptoms
  • Shortens diarrhea caused by rotavirus
  • Relieves ulcerative colitis and pouchitis (inflammation of an artificial rectum)
  • Improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

The human gut is a complex network of gastric acid, bile, intestinal microflora, and some good and bad bacteria. So you want to make sure that there’s more of the good bacteria that can help you maintain a balance. That’s where probiotics come in.

Probiotics comes from the fusion of two Greek words – “pro” meaning for and “biotics” meaning “life.”

Today, stores are flooded with probiotic products – we even have probiotic ice-cream. Live cultures are being added to a variety of foods to make them gut-friendly.  Here are 7 natural probiotics you can grab at the store and if you want, can make at home.

1. Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics, which are friendly bacteria that can improve your health.

It is made from milk that has been fermented by friendly bacteria, mainly lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria.

Eating yogurt is associated with many health benefits, including improved bone health. It is also beneficial for people with high blood pressure (

In children, yogurt may help reduce the diarrhea caused by antibiotics. It can even help relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Additionally, yogurt may be suitable for people with lactose intolerance. This is because the bacteria turn some of the lactose into lactic acid, which is also why yogurt tastes sour.

However, keep in mind that not all yogurt contains live probiotics. In some cases, the live bacteria have been killed during processing.

For this reason, make sure to choose yogurt with active or live cultures.

Also, make sure to always read the label on yogurt before you buy it. Even if it is labeled low-fat or fat-free, it may still be loaded with high amounts of added sugar.

2. Cheese

  • Boil full-fat milk.
  • While it is still hot, add enough lemon juice to curdle the milk.
  • Chunks of cottage cheese will appear.
  • Drain the leftover fluid and tie the cottage cheese tightly in a muslin cloth or cheesecloth to bind it.

There is good news for cheese lovers. Indulging in this food can give you a probiotic boost. Cheese is a great delivery vehicle for probiotic cultures. It is also loaded with conjugated linoleic acid and bioactive peptides that have health benefits.

But all cheeses might not do the trick. Aged cheeses like Gouda, mozzarella, and cheddar are good sources. Cottage cheese also packs in probiotics and can be easily made at home.

3. Sauerkraut

  • Mix 1.5 spoons of salt to shredded cabbage (medium-sized) and toss for a few minutes.
  • Leave it for about 10 minutes or till it starts leaving some water.
  • Flavor it with caraway seeds (optional).
  • Cram the cabbage tightly into mason jar along with the water it released.
  • Forget about it for 3 days and enjoy it afterward.

If you are vegan or have sworn off dairy products, sauerkraut might just be your thing. Another wonderful non-dairy source of probiotics is sauerkraut prepared from shredded cabbage fermented by lactic acid. Fermented products like sauerkraut can serve as carriers of probiotic microorganisms. It also carries a punch of vitamin C from the cabbage.

  4. Kefir

  • In 1 glass of whole milk add 1 tsp active kefir grains.
  • Cover the glass with a cheesecloth or paper napkin, and secure it with a rubber band.
  • Store it at room temperature away from sunlight for 12–48 hours.
  • Strain out the kefir grains (they can be reused) and drink up.

The word for the fermented drink comes from Turkish and means “pleasure” or “good feeling.” It’s quite good for the health too! Studies have shown that kefir has antimicrobial, antitumor, anticarcinogenic, and immunity-modulating activity. It also improves lactose digestion.

In postmenopausal rats, kefir has also shown improved bone mass and microarchitecture, which are key to bone quality.

  5. Pickles

Pickles (also known as gherkins) are cucumbers that have been pickled in a solution of salt and water.

They are left to ferment for some time, using their own naturally present lactic acid bacteria. This process makes them sour.

Pickled cucumbers are a great source of healthy probiotic bacteria which may improve digestive health.

They are low in calories and a good source of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for blood clotting.

Keep in mind that pickles also tend to be high in sodium.

It is important to note that pickles made with vinegar do not contain live probiotics.

  6. Traditional Butter Milk

The term buttermilk actually refers to a range of fermented dairy drinks.

However, there are two main types of buttermilk: traditional and cultured.

Traditional buttermilk is simply the leftover liquid from making butter. Only this version contains probiotics, and it is sometimes called “grandma’s probiotic.”

Traditional buttermilk is mainly consumed in India, Nepal and Pakistan.

Cultured buttermilk, commonly found in American supermarkets, generally does not have any probiotic benefits.

Buttermilk is low in fat and calories but contains several important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium and phosphorus.

7. Some Types of Cheese

Although most types of cheese are fermented, it does not mean that all of them contain probiotics.

Therefore, it is important to look for live and active cultures on the food labels.

The good bacteria survive the aging process in some cheeses, including Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar and cottage cheese

Cheese is highly nutritious and a very good source of protein. It is also rich in important vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium

Moderate consumption of dairy products such as cheese may even lower the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis

Probiotic Foods Are Incredibly Healthy

There are many very healthy probiotic foods you can eat. 8 of those are mentioned here, but there are many more out there.

This includes numerous varieties of fermented soybeans, dairy and vegetables.

If you can’t or won’t eat any of these foods, you can also take a probiotic supplement.

Shop for probiotic supplements online.

Probiotics, from both foods and supplements, can have powerful effects on health.

 

19 Constipation Myths and Facts

1.You Should Have a Bowel Movement Every Day

Myth. Everyone is different. Some people go three times a day; others, three times a week. It’s common to have a bowel movement once a day. But it’s OK to go a few days without one as long as you feel fine. If you have fewer than three  per week, you’re constipated. It’s severe if you have fewer than one a week.

 

2. It Creates Toxins

Myth. Some people believe that constipation causes the body to absorb poisonous substances in stools, leading to diseases such as arthritis, asthma, and colon cancer. There’s no evidence that the stools produce toxins or that colon cleansing, laxatives, or enemas can prevent cancer or other diseases. And constipation itself isn’t a disease.

 

3. You Just Need More Fiber

Myth. It’s true that most people fall short, so it’s probably a good idea to eat more veggies, fruits, whole grains, and other plant foods — and drink more water. Add fiber gradually, so your body gets used to it. If you’re still constipated after that, there could be other reasons, like a medical condition or a side effect from some medicines.

 

4. Swallowed Gum Can Get Stuck

Fact. It’s true, but only in rare cases, and mostly in little kids who don’t know better. Sometimes downing large amounts of gum or many pieces in a short time can form a mass that blocks the digestive tract, especially if you swallow it with other indigestible things like seeds. The blockage can cause constipation. But for most people, gum moves through, and out of, your body just like other foods do.

 

5. Your Vacation Could Be an Issue

Fact. Travel changes your daily routine and diet. While you’re away, drink plenty of water — bottled, if you can’t drink the tap water at your destination. Stay active, too. Walk while you wait for your flight, and stretch your legs on a road trip. Limit alcohol, and eat fruits and vegetables — cooked if you need to avoid salads or raw items in the area you visit.

 

6. Your Mood Matters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fact. Depression may trigger constipation or make it worse. Reducing stress through meditation, yoga, biofeedback, and relaxation techniques helps. Acupressure or shiatsu massage could, too. Massaging your belly relaxes the muscles that support the intestines, which could help you become more regular.

 

7. Holding It Won’t Hurt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myth. Do you feel too busy at work to go? Ignoring the urge may make you physically uncomfortable, and it can cause or worsen constipation. Some people find it helps to set aside time after breakfast or another meal for a bowel movement, when these signals are strongest. But no matter when nature calls, answer.

 

8. Your Meds Could Be a Cause

 

 

 

 

 


Fact.
Some drugs for pain, depression, high blood pressure, and Parkinson’s disease are linked to constipation. Tell your doctor what’s going on. You may be able to take something else. Calcium and iron supplements, especially if you also take something else that affects your stool, can also cause problems.

 

9. All Fiber Is the Same

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myth. There are two kinds. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool and helps it pass through your intestines faster. Good sources are whole-grain breads, pasta, and cereal. Soluble fiber dissolves in water. It’s in beans, peas, and some other plant foods.

 

10. Prunes Are Powerful

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fact. This small, dried fruit has earned a big reputation as “nature’s remedy” for constipation. Prunes (also called dried plums) are rich in insoluble fiber, as well as the natural laxative sorbitol. Children who don’t like them might eat prune juice ice pops or sip prune juice mixed with another juice to hide the taste.

 

11. More Water Helps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fact. Getting enough water keeps your stools soft and eases constipation. You can get it from drinks or water-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables.  Limit or avoid caffeine and alcohol.

 

12. Workouts Get You Going

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fact. Too much downtime makes constipation more likely. After you eat a big meal, wait at least an hour before you exercise so your body has  time to digest your food. Then get going! Take a 10-to-15-minute walk several times a day. Harder workouts are also fine to do. Your whole body will benefit.

 

13. Coffee Is a Good Fix

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myth. It’s true that the caffeine can stimulate the muscles in your digestive system to contract, causing a bowel movement. But because caffeine is dehydrating, it’s not recommended. So if you’re constipated, avoid it or choose decaf.

 

14. Colon Cleansing Helps

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myth. Enemas and colon irrigation (high colonics) remove body waste. But they’re not an effective way to prevent or cure constipation. Enemas can actually cause constipation for older people who get them regularly. Colonic irrigation, which is usually done by colonic hygienists or therapists, can damage the colon and lead to other problems. Talk to your doctor first.

 

15. Laxatives Work Immediately

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myth. It depends on the type. A suppository or enema might work within an hour. A bulk-forming product may take several days; a stimulant one, a few hours. Don’t use them for too long, or they could cause other digestive problems. Talk to your doctor if you need to use laxatives for more than 2 weeks.

 

16. Stool Softeners Are Laxatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fact. They prevent constipation by allowing stools to absorb more water from the colon. Softer stools are easier to pass. Like other laxatives, you should only use them for a short time unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.

 

17. Castor Oil Is a Cure-All

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myth. This powerful laxative is an old-school remedy. But ask your doctor first.  Like other laxatives, you shouldn’t use it for long, or it can make it harder for your body to absorb nutrients and some drugs. If you overdo it, that can damage your bowel muscles, nerves, and tissue — which can cause constipation.

 

18. It Naturally Happens With Age

 

 

 

 

 


Myth.
Older people are more likely to become constipated. But it’s not a normal part of aging, and it can also happen when you’re younger. It’s very common and usually doesn’t last long, and most cases aren’t serious. But tell your doctor if it doesn’t ease up when you eat more fiber, drink more water, and get more exercise.

 

19. It’s Normal to Have Bloody Stool

Myth. Blood in a bowel movement is not always serious. But you should call your doctor right away if it happens. Bright red blood is usually from hemorrhoids or tears in the anal lining called fissures. Constipation and straining during bowel movements can cause it. Maroon or tarry black blood or clots often means bleeding is coming from higher in your digestive system. Get emergency medical help if this happens

 

20. Flax Seeds Help Constipation

Fact.

It is true that flax seeds are a proven, natural remedy for constipation. Flax seeds are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. One tablespoon of whole flax seeds contains 2.8 grams of fiber. Flax seeds are also rich in an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid. These beneficial fats may help reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), heart disease, arthritis, and other medical conditions. Add ground flax seeds to your morning smoothie or sprinkle them over yogurt to reap the health benefits.

 

21. Tap into the Power of Probiotics

Fact.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that improve gut health, improve digestion, and affect immune function. There is some evidence that probiotics may improve constipation. Probiotics decrease the amount of time that stool takes to move through the bowel. They also improve the consistency of stool and lead to more frequent bowel movements. Studies suggest the probiotic species, Bifidobacterium lactis, are very beneficial for bowel health. Some strains of Bifidobacterium may be helpful for those who have abdominal pain and bloating due to irritable bowel syndrome, too. Eat yogurt with live active cultures, kefir, or kombucha to get your fill of beneficial bugs to help your belly.

 

22. Constipation Causes Colon Cancer

Myth.
There is no evidence that constipation increases the risk of colon cancer. Prior studies suggested a link between the two, supposedly because prolonged contact of stool with the bowel was thought to expose the body to carcinogenic substances in stool. A newer study has found that this just is not true. However, you should still see your doctor or gastroenterologist if you frequently suffer from abdominal pain, bloating, gas, chronic constipation, or other symptoms of gastrointestinal distress.

 

23. Your Period Causes Constipation

Fact.
This is true for some women. One study found that approximately 15 percent of women become constipated before their period. About 10 percent of women are constipated during their period. Changing levels of hormones are believed to be responsible for the effect. If you are prone to constipation before or during your period, drink more water, increase your intake of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, and add extra activity to your routine. Ask your doctor if it is a good idea to add a bulk-forming laxative to your diet.


 

 

 

So, the question is – is my poop normal?

It’s a subject that is probably not the best dinner conversation but it IS a subject that almost every person dealing with constant constipation, Irritable Bowel issues, or the myriad of other digestive ailments as asked themselves.

When you’re not having normal bowel movements on a daily basis, or when you do your feces is an unusual color and/or consistency, this can definitely indicate that something isn’t quite right.  . Maybe you ate too many dessert, didn’t drink enough water or are sick with a virus, or you possibly have a underlying digestive disease or illness, you’re not aware of, Jillian Levy, CHHC has information that you need to read!

If you’re curious about whether your pooping habits are considered healthy or not, then you are already thinking along the right path. The frequency, color, shape, size and consistency of your poop can actually tell you a lot about the health of your entire body.

For example, green poop — a common health problem among children and some adults who struggle with diarrhea — can indicate that something you ate isn’t agreeing with you. Constipation may be due to a poor diet that lacks fiber, high amounts of stress, or something hormone-related like your menstrual cycle or pregnancy.

Below we’ll cover in much more detail what a normal poop should look like, about how often you should be pooping, as well as what the smell and color of your stool can tell you.

What Is a Normal Poop?

Poop (feces) is defined as waste matter that is discharged/excreted from the bowels after food has been digested. In simplest terms, poop is the body’s natural way of expelling the leftover waste and toxins that it doesn’t need once it’s absorbed all of the usable nutrients you consume from the foods you eat. Defecation is another term for pooping, which means the discharge of feces from the body.

The process of digestion — eating a food, the food traveling through your stomach and intestines, it making its way down to your colon and anal canal, and then you pooping the digested waste out — involves many different aspects of your body. For example, digestive enzymes, hormones, blood flow, muscle contractions and more are all involved in the pooping process. So when just one of these is off, your digestion really suffers — and that shows up in your poop.

How many times per day should I poop?

Going too often or not often enough is not considered normal. Having trouble going to the bathroom more than a few times a week, or going too many times per day (more than three), is considered by most experts to be a sign of abnormal bowel movements.

The amount of bowel movements a day that someone should have varies from person to person, so there is not one specific number that is considered completely “normal”; however, most experts agree that it’s important to go to the bathroom at least three or more times per week at a minimum. Any less than this indicates that you are constipated. (1)

Generally, going once or twice a day is considered normal. Going every other day is also somewhat normal, as long as you feel comfortable and are not experiencing pain in your abdomen. It may be normal for one person to poop two times per day, and for another person to poop just once every other day. Above all else, you want to make sure things are pretty consistent from day to day; this shows you what is “normal” poop for your own body and clues you in to when something internally is off.

What should my poop look like?

When you do go to the bathroom, it’s ideal to have a poop that is all connected in one long, smooth “S” shape. Poops like this develop when you’re eating enough fiber and drinking plenty of water or other hydrating liquids which lubricates your bowels.

However, a smooth poop that is thin or broken up into a few smaller poops is not something to be concerned about according to digestive experts, as long as this is “normal” for you and does not cause you any discomfort.

In terms of color, the color of a normal poop should be a medium to dark brown. Sometimes you may have green poop if you consume green foods, such as lots of leafy green vegetables, and this is considered normal.

You may have heard of the The Bristol Stool Chart in the past, which was designed in the 1990s to be a medical aid that classifies poop into one of seven categories. When physicians meet with patients and discuss their digestive health, they can use the Bristol chart to locate the patient’s typical poop and learn what may be causing a problem.

The idea behind designing the scale was to classify how poop looks depending on the time that it takes for the poop to form in the colon, or the poop’s “transit time.” If a poop is considered abnormal, it usually falls into categories 1–2 (which are signs of constipation and poop being held too long in the body) or categories 6–7 (which are signs of diarrhea and the poop moving too quickly through the body).

According to The Bristol Stool Chart, the seven types of stool are: (2)

  • Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass)
  • Type 2: Sausage-shaped, but lumpy
  • Type 3: Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface
  • Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft
  • Type 5: Soft blobs with clear cut edges (passed easily)
  • Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool
  • Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid

Types 1–2: Indicates constipation. (3)

Types 3–5: Considered to be ideal (especially 4), normal poops.

Type 6–7: Considered abnormal and indicates diarrhea.

How long should a normal poop take?

A healthy poop doesn’t cause pain, break up into multiple little pieces, or take a very long time and lots of pushing to come out. It should feel pretty easy to produce a poop, and you should feel like you’ve emptied your intestines once you’re done going. The whole process should not take more than several minutes for most people, or ideally even shorter. In fact, one recent study found evidence that most mammals, regardless of their size, produce bowel movements in about 12 seconds (give or take about 7 seconds)! (4)

It’s not normal to experience lots of straining, pressure and pain while passing a bowel movement. Poop should not cause too much pressure or burning, cause you to bleed, or require a lot of pushing and effort on your part. If you have to push very hard to poop and notice blood, you are likely experiencing hemorrhoids. While these are usually not very serious and do not require medical attention, they can be painful.

You also shouldn’t experience too many changes in your poop’s consistency and how long it takes you to go. If your poop is either overly watery or very hard and difficult to push out, this is a sign that things are not going well in your digestive tract. Diarrhea produces overly soft or watery poops and can be dangerous if it persists because it dehydrates and weakens the body. It might also cause your poop to be green.

What does it mean when your stomach hurts and your poop is green? The causes of diarrhea and green poop vary, but often the reasons are dehydration, a viral stomach flu or infection, as a result of eating something with harmful parasites or bacteria, or even nerves (more on green poop can be found below).

Diarrhea and the sudden urge to poop can also be caused by certain medications or medical conditions, such as:

This is why its very important to see a physician if you experience diarrhea on an ongoing basis.

Constipation on the other hand is categorized by infrequent, usually painful poops that are caused by slow colonic transit or dysfunction in the pelvic floor. (6) Many people experience ongoing chronic constipation — in fact, this is one of the most reported problems at doctor’s visits every year.

Constipation can also be accompanied by other digestive symptoms like flatulence (gas), abdominal pain, stomach bloating and loss of appetite. It can be caused by many different factors depending on the individual, which we will go over in more detail in the next section.

How bad is it to hold in your poop?

Because you might not have access to a bathroom 24/7, or feel comfortable pooping in certain places, you might need to hold in your poop from time to time. Doing this occasionally isn’t a big deal, but you don’t want to make a habit of it.

Holding in your poop can put added pressure on your bowels and colon, potentially even leading them to change shape slightly if you do this often enough. It may also contribute to constipation and straining when you do finally poop because it causes your stools to further bulk up.

Over time, if you regularly ignore your urge to poop, you might stop responding to the urge as well. The muscles that control your bowels may stop working properly, leading to more constipation. Try to honor your body and poop when you need to, avoiding holding it in for more then several minutes if possible.

Dr. Axe made a great chart for recognizing what your poop is telling you.

Poop guide - Dr. Axe

Poop Color, Poop Smell & What It Means for Your Health

Facts About Poop Color:

Stool color is determined by what you eat and the amount of bile enzymes you produce. Bile is a yellow-green fluid that mostly helps you digest fats in your diet. It can change the color of your poop during the digestive process due to how enzymes impact pigments in your stool. (7)

As mentioned above, the color of a normal poop should usually be a medium to dark brown. However, occasionally having green poop is also common and not a problem. Experiencing poops that are black, gray, yellow, white or red in color can be a sign that something deeper is wrong. If you have green poop along with other symptoms like stomach aches and diarrhea, this is also problematic.

  • Green poop can sometimes be a common problem among both children and, to a lesser extent, adults. Why is your poop green, and what health problems can cause green poop? If you haven’t recently eaten anything green, green-colored poops might mean that food is making its way through your digestive tract very quickly, which can be a sign that you are starting to experience diarrhea or have not been consuming enough fiber to slow the transition down within your digestive tract.
  • What foods can give you green poop? These include green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale, vegetables juices, blueberries, pistachios, green food powders, foods that contain green food coloring, and also sometimes iron supplements.
  • In infants, the color and consistency of stool in differs according to the type of formula they are given, or if they are breast-fed. Babies fed formula may also deal with harder stools/more constipation compared to breast-fed babies. (8) When babies start eating solid foods, certain veggies or fruits might cause green poop in babies.

Other than green poops, there are also other reasons you might develop abnormal stool colors. For example, you may have blood in your stool or mucus in your poop.

  • Black poops usually a sign that you may be internally bleeding, so if this persists for more than 2–3 poops, you will want to consult a physician.
  • Red or purple poop can be somewhat common if you eat a lot of deeply colored vegetables like beets, but if you experience colors like this that you cannot associate with any food you recently ate, you will want to keep an eye on how many days it lasts and possibly see a doctor.
  • Blood in stool can result in black poop or bright red blood in poop, which may be a symptom of bleeding from the anus (also called rectal bleeding). Blood in stool is also referred to medically as hematochezia, which can be caused by: bleeding stomach ulcers, blood supply being cut off to part of the intestines, gastritis, anal fissures, bowel ischemia, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids (often the cause of bright red blood), infection in the intestines, inflammatory bowel diseases, and polyps or cancer in the colon or small intestine. (9)
  • Poop that is grayish or yellow in color is normally a sign that mucus is making its way into your stool. This shows that likely there is a problem with the liver or gallbladder, since the liver is responsible for producing bile that gives stool a grayish/yellow tint.
  • Mucous in your stools can cause you to pass “stringy poops” that appear to contain a jelly-like substance, which is made by the body to keep the lining of your colon moist and lubricated. (10) What are some causes of mucus in poop? These can include: Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and even colorectal cancer. A small amount of mucus in your poop is not a big deal or a sign of a problem, but a lot is not normal. If you notice mucus in your poop, blood, abdominal pain, and diarrhea happening at the same time, head to your doctor for an evaluation.

Facts About Poop Smell:

Although it may sound unpleasant, your poop smelling is actually not a bad thing or an indication of poor health. Poop smells because of the toxins it is helping to draw out of your body and because of the bacteria involved in the gut lining. There is not any specific poop smell that is considered “normal”; again, it’s just important to keep an eye on things being consistent and comfortable.

If you do notice a sudden change in the smell of your poop — from “not so great” to “very, very bad” — this could be a sign that something more serious is taking place within your gut. If the smell continues for several days, you may want to consult your doctor, who may recommend a colonoscopy if needed.

5 Common Causes of Abnormal Poop

1. High levels of stress

According to a report published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology,

Psychological stress is an important factor for the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) … psychological stresses have marked impact on intestinal sensitivity, motility, secretion and permeability, and the underlying mechanism has a close correlation with mucosal immune activation, alterations in central nervous system, peripheral neurons and gastrointestinal microbiota. (11)

Chronic stress makes it difficult for many people to relax their body and go to the bathroom properly. Your brain and our gut actually have a very close relationship; they communicate how you are feeling back and forth to each other, working to increase and decrease “stress hormones” depending on your moods, which play a big part in healthy digestion.

In fact, common digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are closely correlated with high levels of stress. When we are feeling stressed, our brain communicates these uneasy feelings to our digestive tract, making it very common for the gut wall to either constrict and tense up (causing constipation) or to work overtime and cramp up (causing diarrhea).

Stress can sometimes be a huge digestive obstacle to overcome, so much so that you may already eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water, but without also addressing high stress levels, you still can’t experience some digestive relief. While you may not be able to control things like a busy schedule, you can prioritize reducing your stress by making sure you get good sleep each night and by regularly exercising, both of which help to bring down stress hormones levels.

2. Diet Low in Fiber

Fiber is extremely important when it comes to healthy poops; fiber is the binding substance that gives poop its form and helps it to move through the digestive tract. There are two kinds of fiber, both of which play a role in creating healthy poops: insoluble and soluble fiber. The difference between the two is their ability to dissolve in water; soluble fiber is able to dissolve in water while insoluble fiber is not.

If you struggle with ongoing constipation, pay close attention to how much fiber you are consuming daily. Consider swapping some of the foods in your diet that lack fiber — like meat, cheese, refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated oils — for much healthier, whole foods that provide your body with a lot more benefits (you’ll find a list of these foods below).

3. Inflammatory and Autoimmune foods

Unfortunately, many people consume common inflammatory and allergen foods on a frequent basis, and these can really mess with the digestive system’s ability to produce normal poops, in addition to creating more serious conditions like leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune disease. If you’re struggling to go to the bathroom normally, try avoiding these inflammatory digestive “common culprits” that may be to blame:

  • conventional dairy foods (like cows’ milk, cheeses and yogurts that are not organic or pasteurized)
  • gluten (found in all wheat products, nearly all processed foods and anything containing rye and barley) that makes any digestive disorders worse
  • processed soy (used in foods like soy milk, soy meat replacements, packaged veggie burgers and many processed foods) that is a high allergen and autoimmune-causing food
  • high amounts of sugar, which unhealthy bacteria feeds off of in your gut
  • also keep an eye on different types of nuts, grains and shellfish since these are also high allergens and difficult for some people to digest

4. Alcohol & Caffeine

Stress and caffeine can create a range of negative reactions in the digestive tract that depend on the individual person. For example, some people experience an increased need and ability to poop after having caffeine, while others have the opposite problem.

Caffeine and alcohol can also both dehydrate the colon, and as you learned, a well hydrated digestive tract is crucial for creating healthy, normal poops.

5. Hormonal Changes

Women typically report dealing with more constipation, IBS and digestive issues than men do. Experts believe there are a number of reasons that contribute to women’s digestive issues, some of which include: changes in hormones throughout the menstrual cycle (period a woman menstruates she may be more constipated due to higher progesterone levels), pregnancy, hormonal medications, feeling more stressed, and rushing or leaving too little time for a healthy bathroom routine. (13)

Anther possible contributor is societal pressure and embarrassment that prevents women from going to the bathroom in public bathrooms or at friend’s houses.

6. Underlying Illnesses

As explained above, there are many health conditions that affect stool color and cause abnormal bowel movements. While you don’t want to jump to any conclusions right away and assume the worst when your poop changes color or you’re constipated, this is definitely something to see a doctor about and not wait out for too long.

Certain changes in your bowel habits can be pointing to possible serious conditions like gallbladder or liver disease, bleeding, gut parasites and so on. Other health conditions to rule out with your doctor include: inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, food allergies, or reactions from medications/supplements.

7 Steps to Get Your Poop Back to Normal

1. Increase Your Fiber Intake

A common cause of constipation is not eating enough dietary fiber. Fiber acts like a natural laxative in many ways because it add bulks to your stool and helps sweep your intestines clean.

Adults want to make sure they consume fiber from whole food sources as often as possible (as opposed to artificially created fibers that are found in things like “high fiber” diet products and pre-made, commercially sold shakes).

It’s best to aim to get between 25–40 grams of fiber per day, with bigger individuals and men usually need an amount on the higher end of the scale. Getting this much fiber shouldn’t be too difficult if your diet is made up of real, whole foods — including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables, fruits and beans are some of the best sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which will increase your ability to properly poop. However, each person reacts to these foods differently, and some have trouble digesting certain kinds of beans and fibrous vegetables that can actually worsen the problem. So always be mindful about how you react to foods and try to zero-in on any that specifically may cause you digestive distress so you can avoid them.

Assuming these foods do not cause you to experience digestive problems, work towards adding various types of high-fiber foods to your diet as often as you can. This helps ensure you’re eating plenty of gut-loving fiber, plus getting other important nutrients for your digestive system like vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and antioxidants.

  • eat all types of leafy greens (but don’t be alarmed if they wind up causing green poop)
  • cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage (try steaming these to make digestion easier)
  • artichokes
  • peas and other types of beans (which you can also pre-soak and sprout)
  • squash and potatoes
  • berries, apples and pears (which can be blended as well), figs and dates
  • chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds and various other nuts/seeds

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Aim to consume water every two hours at a minimum; drinking roughly eight ounces of water every couple of hours will prevent dehydration and set you up for a healthier poop the following morning.

Whenever you are eating a lot of fiber, you want to also make sure to drink plenty of water. A high amount of fiber, without enough hydrating liquids, can actually result in even more trouble going to the bathroom, unfortunately. Remember that fiber swells and expands in the digestive tract, so if it doesn’t have enough water to absorb and to move it through the gut lining, you can experience uncomfortable bloating, gas, pains and constipation.

3. Consume Probiotics

Probiotics help to create a healthy environment in your gut “micoflora.” Essentially this means that the amount of “good bacteria” in your gut is able to balance the amount of “bad bacteria,” helping you to stay free of digestive problems, including constipation or diarrhea.

Probiotic-rich foods includes kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and high-quality yogurts. Make sure that when buying dairy products, you always choose organic products as they are easier on digestion, such as goat milk products, organic kefir, raw dairy products or dairy that doesn’t contain A1 casein that can cause inflammation. You can also try supplementing with a good-quality probiotic as well.

4. Supplement with Magnesium

If you frequently deal with constipation, magnesium has the natural ability to safely soften poop. It works to draw water from your gut into the poop and helps it to easily move through your system. Magnesium is also a natural muscle relaxer, which can help to stop cramping in the gut and abdomen.

Since magnesium is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in adults, there are really no downsides to tying magnesium, as long as you stick within the recommended daily dosage carefully; if you start experiencing stools that are too loose and watery, you can adjust your intake until its comfortable and back to normal.

5. Support Your Liver

Did you know that your liver is responsible for producing the bile that digests fat? Without enough bile, your fats become something like soap in your gut!  This backs up and can lead to constipation and difficulty detoxing the body of toxins. One of the best ways to support your liver is with diet and exercise. You can also do a liver cleanse to clean everything out and get your body back to feeling its best!

6. Get Your Body Moving

Being active is a great way to get your poop cycle on a more regular schedule. Exercise stimulates the bowels and lymphatic system, which helps to push waste down to your colon, making it easier for you to go. On top of this, exercise also relaxes your mind and reduces stress, which as you now know is one of the biggest reasons for digestive troubles.

7. Manage Stress

Try natural stress relievers like meditation, prayer, exercise, using relaxing essential oils, deep breathing exercises, yoga and spending time in nature.

Final Thoughts

  • Every person is different when it comes to their bathroom habits. It’s considered “normal” to poop one to three times daily, or just once every other day. Ideally poop should be one long, smooth “S” shape and not require straining or painful pushing.
  • Poop color depends on what you eat, supplements you take and your production of bile. Poop should ideally be medium to dark brown, but you might have green poop occasionally if you eat green veggies, green juices or take iron supplements.
  • Some reasons that you might not be pooping normally include: stress, infection, autoimmune diseases, other underlying illnesses, lack of fiber, dehydration, alcohol and caffeine.
  • Ways that you can improve your pooping habits include: eating more fiber, drinking enough water, consuming probiotics, exercising, supporting your liver and managing stress.

Thank you Jillian Levy for your valuable information!!

What’s an Unhealthy Gut? How Gut Health Affects You

In a medically reviewed report by Saurabh Sethi, MD, MPH he details the incredible complexity of the gut and its importance to our overall health.  It’s another example of the increasing amount of research in the medical community on the subject. It adds to the numerous amount of studies in the past two decades that demonstrate the links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.

At one time, our digestive system was considered a relatively “simple” body system, comprised essentially of one long tube for our food to pass through, be absorbed and then excreted however, as the increasing amount of research and better technology are proving there is far greater importance of attaining and maintaining a healthy gut.

So, how can you tell if you have an unhealthy gut?

1. Constantly Having an Upset stomach

Stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. A balanced gut will have less difficulty processing food and eliminating waste.

2. Habitual high-sugar diet

A diet high in processed foods and added sugars can decrease the amount of good bacteria in your gut. This imbalance can cause increased sugar cravings, which can damage your gut still further. High amounts of refined sugars, particularly high-fructose corn syrup, have been linked to increased inflammation in the body. Inflammation can be the precursor to a number of diseases and even cancers.

3. Unexplained and unintentional weight changes

Gaining or losing weight without making changes to your diet or exercise habits may be a sign of an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat. Weight loss may be caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), while weight gain may be caused by insulin resistance or the urge to overeat due to decreased nutrient absorption.

4. Nightly sleep disturbances or constant fatigue

An unhealthy gut may contribute to sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep, and therefore lead to chronic fatigue. The majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut. So gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well. Some sleep disturbances have also been linked to risk for fibromyalgia.

5. Unexplained skin irritation

Skin conditions like eczema may be related to a damaged gut. Inflammation in the gut caused by a poor diet or food allergies may cause increased “leaking” of certain proteins out into the body, which can in turn irritate the skin and cause conditions such as eczema.

6. Autoimmune conditions

Medical researchers are continually finding new evidence of the impact of the gut on the immune systemTrusted Source. It’s thought that an unhealthy gut may increase systemic inflammation and alter the proper functioning of the immune system. This can lead to autoimmune diseases, where the body attacks itself rather than harmful invaders.

7. Food intolerances

Food intolerances are the result of difficulty digesting certain foods (this is different than a food allergy, which is caused by an immune system reaction to certain foods). It’s thought that food intolerances may be caused by poor quality of bacteria in the gut. This can lead to difficulty digesting the trigger foods and unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea. There is some evidence that food allergies may also be related to gut health.

8. Digestive issues like bloating, gas or diarrhea

These are the hallmark symptoms of gut dysfunction. This is largely due to the health; both number and diversity, of the bacteria living inside your gut, intestines, stomach and colon. These bacteria are called your microbiome and symptoms such as bowel irregularity or gas occur when the balance of bacteria is not right.”The number and diversity, of the bacteria living inside your gut impact your overall health and wellness.”

Gas in particular is a sign that food is fermenting in your gut as you have insufficient stomach acid or an imbalance of bacteria to break down the food you’ve eaten.

9. Sugar cravings

Scientists have found that gut bacteria actually secretes special proteins that are similar to hunger-regulating hormones; leptin and ghrelin. These proteins affect both our food cravings and mood.

To sum it up, the bacteria try to get us to eat foods that they thrive on. So, if you eat a lot of sugar you feed the unhelpful bacteria that love it and they secrete the proteins to make you crave sugar more. It’s a vicious cycle.

It’s also somewhat of a relief. It’s not a lack of willpower that contributes totally to your weakness for the sweet stuff. Fixing your gut can eradicate the bacteria that cause you to crave these foods in the first place.

Over time you can actually reduce these cravings.”

10. Bad breath

Chronic bad breath is called halitosis. In most circumstances, halitosis stems from odor-inducing microbes that reside in between your teeth and gums, and on your tongue. It can also be caused by bacteria linked to gum disease.

A healthy digestive system is crucial for optimal overall health. The ratio of good and bad bacteria is a crucial indicator of the condition of your health. “Bad breath is a sign your gut flora isn’t optimal.”

Having less-than-optimal gut flora can make you vulnerable to health conditions linked to bad breath such as kidney infections and poorly managed diabetes.

11. Food allergies or sensitivities

If you suffer from food in-tolerances such as gluten or dairy, this is almost always a result of leaky gut. The gut barrier is your gatekeeper that decides what gets in and what stays out.

When you think about it, our gut is a system that operates entirely on it’s own. It is a sealed passageway from our mouth to our bottom. Technically, the scope with which it interacts with other organs in our body is somewhat limited.

Anything goes in the mouth and isn’t digested will pass right out the other end. This is, in fact, one of the most important functions of the gut: to prevent foreign substances from entering the body.

When the intestinal barrier becomes permeable i.e. leaky gut syndrome, large protein molecules escape into the bloodstream. Since these proteins don’t belong outside of the gut, the body mounts an immune response and attacks them. This immune response shows up as food intolerance.

12. Moodiness, anxiety and depression

Part of the reason micro nutrient deficiencies affect mental health is because of compromised gut function. Even if a person with mental heath associated issues did have access to appropriate nutrition or levels of micro nutrients, a leaky gut may mean they are unable to absorb them.

A compromised gut will affect your ability to use serotonin and dopamine—your happy hormones—and vitamin D within your body.”

The majority of serotonin and about half of your dopamine is made in your gut. If you have leaky gut, your body will lose much of the serotonin and dopamine it produces. Treating any gut dysbiosis will be critical for supporting mental health.

The inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also guide your emotions.

13. Skin problems like eczema

A common sign of food intolerance is eczema. Take a look at this article on what’s driving your eczema which investigates the link between the health of your microbes and eczema conditions.

14. Diabetes

Research is now showing the health of your macrobiotics can give clues as to whether or not you have type two diabetes. Recently, four Russian researchers studied differences in the changes in the microbes of the large intestine, reporting their findings on the link between gut bacteria and type two diabetes in the journal of Endocrinology Connections.

In the study, gut microbial composition and glucose level were analyzed in 92 patients including 20 with type 2 diabetes and 48 healthy subjects without any chronic disease. An additional 24 subjects showed signs of per-diabetes.

Scientists compared the presentation of intestinal microbes among the groups in the study participants, as well as differences in diet. In doing so, they were able to link the level of glucose intolerance with the presence of three types of microbiota: Blautia, Serratia and Akkermansia bacteria. While all three are found in healthy people, their numbers are “greatly increased where diabetes is present.”

Research also concluded that one possible cause and effect between intestinal bacteria and diabetes is that certain bacteria incite an immune response. Within the intestinal bacteria population, there are microbes that form toxins that enter the gut and then cause inflammation throughout the body, including liver and fat cells that can affect overall metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

15. Autoimmune disease and suppressed immunity

The link between leaky gut and autoimmune conditions is huge. “There is growing evidence that increased intestinal permeability plays a pathogenic role in various autoimmune diseases including celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. Therefore, the hypothesis is that besides genetic and environmental factors, loss of intestinal barrier function is necessary to develop autoimmunity.”

You may also suffer from frequent illness or infections. Again the reason for this is due to a suppressed immune system. 

What can you do to help support a healthy gut?

Image result for What can you do to help support a healthy gut?
Ten 10 scientifically supported ways to improve the gut microbiome and enhance overall health.
  • Take probiotics and eat fermented foods
  • Eat prebiotic fiber
  • Eat less sugar and sweeteners.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.

We hope for you that you heed the importance of attaining and maintaining a healthy gut!

To Your Good Health and Prosperity!

 

The evidence is mounting that  the health of your gut microbiome is directly impacting your health, well-being, and risk for developing many serious and potentially debilitating chronic medical conditions and it is in our control if that is a negative or positive impact.

Kevin Devoto, has identified 5 steps that can help a person gain and maintain your gut Microbiome.

5 Tips to Gain and Maintain Healthy Gut Microbiome

1. Eat a Probiotic-Rich Diet

Fiber is perhaps the best friend of a healthy gut. It offers carbohydrates that your body cannot digest but hat makes an excellent food source for the beneficial probiotic bacteria that you want to encourage. It also helps encourage a healthy gut lining and may make gut bacteria more resistant to changing temperatures and environments.

In addition to traditional fiber-rich foods like beans and vegetables, try adding whole grains, bananas, chicory, and onions to your diet for their high levels of fructans.

 

 

2. Keep Sweetners to a Minimum or Use Natural Sweetners

While you want to increase fiber and overall carbohydrates, you’ll want to keep added sugars and artificial sweeteners to a minimum. Researchers are finding that these can lead to imbalances within the gut microbiome in animal studies, which may translate to higher increases of metabolic diseases in people.

Excess sweeteners can also negatively impact your blood glucose levels. This is linked to higher rates of disease and lower levels of and diversity within gut bacteria profiles.

Don’t worry too much about the sugars that naturally occur in fruits and vegetables. Instead, aim to keep added sweeteners to a minimum. The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugars to less than about six teaspoons (or around 100 calories) per day for women and nine teaspoons (150 calories) per day for men.

3. Increase Exercise

Exercise improves your circulation and helps encourage lean muscle mass and definition. Both of those help the digestive system perform at its best. It also can help you control your weight, which can impact gut health and bacterial diversity.

You don’t have to suddenly transform into an uber athlete to see results. Take up walking during your lunch break, or try the new yoga class at the local recreation center to ease into exercising.

No matter what activities you decide on, aim to get at least the recommended 150 hours of moderate to intense exercise each week. Breaking that up into about 30 minutes of exercise on most days make sit a manageable task. If that still seems like a lot, break it into smaller ten-minute chunks spread throughout each day to start out. Strength training exercises are also recommended for the most health benefits.

4. Reduce Stress

That yoga class may give your gut health a boost beyond adding exercise to your day. Stress has been linked to less diversity among gut bacteria as well as disruptions in digestive functions.

Stress isn’t purely psychological either. Environmental factors like extreme temperatures and sleep deprivation can also stress out your digestive system. Encourage a healthy gut by reducing your exposure and resistance to stressors.

Be proactive and use management strategies like meditation, progressive relaxation, or deep breathing exercises to minimize the effects. Taking care of yourself by eating right, exercising, and getting plenty of rest can also help.

5. Stay Hydrated

Increasing your water consumption is a simple and easy way to increase your gut (and overall) health. While the advice has long been eight glasses of water a day, you actually need about twice that much fluid each day. Of course, some of that comes from water in the foods you eat.

Dehydration affects your body in many negative ways, going far beyond gut health. It leads to listlessness and fatigue, confusion and memory loss, and can cause problems with organ functions.

A quick way to check if you are drinking enough water is to check the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow or clear. Anything darker and you may need to up your water intake.

 

 

Reap the Benefits of a Healthy Gut

There are many benefits to fostering a healthy gut. It is linked to a lower incidence of chronic disease and healthier weight levels. It also appears to reduce inflammation and boost your immune system, which may help you fight off illnesses. Take these simple steps toward a healthier gut microbiome today to see how it affects your life.

If you’re not suffering from any sort of health issue that would prevent it then you have no excuse not to exercise. But we’ve become such a sedentary society that the only time that most of us are not sitting is when you’re walking to and from your car.

Yes, we sit in front of the TV. We sit in front of the computer. We sit at the table…
And most people who go to the gym sit down on the gym equipment!  All that sitting has a negative effect on your digestion.

Few people stop to consider that exercise has a much bigger impact on your gut health then you might realize.

Below I’m going to cover just a few of the effects that exercise can have on your digestive health.

Exercise Improves Constipation

Weight bearing exercise has been shown to be a necessity for you to properly eliminate your bowels. When you perform weight bearing exercise on your feet, your abdominal area is forced to stabilize your spine which creates pressure within your abdominal cavity. And it’s this abdominal pressure that is responsible for simulating many of your internal organs to help you move the food you eat through your digestive tract. So without the right kind of exercise, you can easily become constipated!

Exercise Balances Blood Sugar and Hormone Production

This is because your blood sugar has such a drastic effect on your stress hormones and the production of cortisol in your body. And over-production of cortisol will turn off your body’s natural ability to heal, your gut included.

Exercise Improves Liver Function

We’ve discussed in the past that whenever the gut is impaired, then the liver becomes dysfunctional. And exercise can also help take some of the stress off the liver and to help it detoxify more efficiently.

For starters, exercise can help get blood moving throughout your body and to your liver more efficiently.
But aside from blood flow, your skin is actually one of your most important detoxification pathways in the body. So by working up a sweat, you are helping your body to eliminate toxins which can help take some stress off your liver.

Exercise Boosts Immune Function

Science is really only beginning to scratch the surface of understanding the complexity of the immune system because there are many different components involved.
But there have been plenty of studies on the direct effect of exercise and immune function. And it has been proven time and time again that moderate exercise can significantly improve your immune function and decrease inflammation within your body.

But the body is so complex in nature that these 4 simplified examples of how exercise can have a positive effect on gut healing is really just a small snapshot of what is really happening within your body when you exercise.

The key is to make sure that you’re taking advantage of the benefits of exercise because it’s not only a major contributing factor to your overall health but it can literally help accelerate the gut healing process.

 

CLICK HERE for a Free Report on an exercise program to help that can help

People need to understand how important gut health is AND how important it is to eat the right food AND make sure your body processes it correctly AND to keep the food moving all the way through the intestinal tract AND out of the intestinal tract.

 

Water and Walking

Two things I have found in my search to relive my chronic constipation have been to make sure I am properly hydrated and to get enough exercise to keep the bowels moving.  With me and others our eating habits, age, gender, and health status all affect the number of bowel movements we experience in a given day. While there is no set number of bowel movements a person should have, it’s abnormal, unhealthy, possibly dangerous and downright uncomfortable to go four or fewer times per week.

The causes of constipation vary.

The condition may simply be due to such as things as dehydration or eating foods with too little fiber. In other, more serious cases, constipation can be the result of stress, hormonal changes, spinal injuries, muscle problems, cancers, and other structural problems affecting the digestive tract.

Lifestyle changes that can help you poop.

There are several lifestyle changes that can also keep your constipation at bay more permanently. For regularity, try to make these tips part of your daily habit.

  • Add more fiber to your diet, with fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, beans, and whole grains. You should consume at least 14 grams of fiber per day for every 1,000 calories in your diet. If you need to take a fiber supplement for chronic constipation, start with a low dose and increase as tolerated. For some people, a large amount of fiber can lead to bloating.
  • Exercise most days of the week with a daily walk, jog, bike ride, swim, or other form of exercise. Light exercise helps maintain proper circulation and can keep the bowels healthy.
  • Consume plenty of liquids — mostly water and other clear liquids — every day. Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of clear liquids per day.
  • Manage your stress.
  • Never “hold in” your stool.

Prescription Drugs and Constipation

There are several lifestyle changes that can be made although in some cases there is one that can’t be changed.  For me, it is the medicine I take to help stop epileptic seizures.
For people who’s prescription medicine is partly to blame for constipation must drink even more water and make sure they get enough excercise or just keep active so the bowels keep moving.

The following is a list of the things I and others have used to help stay more regular.

1. Take a fiber supplement

Fiber supplements are readily available and effective at inducing bowel movements if a low-fiber diet is the cause of your constipation. They work by adding bulk, or volume, to your stool. This helps push stool through your intestines and out of your body.

You can buy fiber supplements:

  • calcium polycarvophil (FiberCon)
  • psyllium (Metamucil, Konsyl)
  • methylcellulose (Citrucel)

2. Eat a serving of high-fiber food

Try these foods that are high in fiber:

  • oats
  • whole-grain bread or cereal
  • fibrous veggies and fruits
  • rice and beans

Be sure to drink lots of water with these foods, as it will further help push your stool through your system.

3. Drink a glass of water

 

Proper hydration — typically at least eight 8-ounce glasses of clear liquid per day — is necessary for normal bowel movements. If you’re constipated and haven’t been drinking an adequate amount of water, consuming a large glass of water or other clear liquid may trigger a bowel movement.

 

4. Take a laxative stimulant

Laxative stimulants are designed to force a bowel movement by squeezing the intestines.  Here are a few I have tried that have been successful.
All of theses are OTC supplements.

  • bisacodyl (Dulcolax, Ducodyl, Correctol)
  • senna-sennosides (Senokot)

5. Take an osmotic

Osmotic laxatives work slightly differently than stimulant laxatives. They’re designed to help move fluids through the colon. Some examples include:

  • magnesium hydroxide (Phillips Milk of Magnesia)
  • polyethylene glycol (MiraLAX)
  • magnesium citrate
    Be careful you don’t take too much of this if you try it straight from the bottle
  • lactulose (Kristalose)

With a doctor’s prescription, you can obtain higher-strength polyethylene glycol, also called PEG (Golytely, Nulytely).

6. Try a lubricant laxative

Lubricant laxatives such as mineral oil add a slick coat to your intestine’s walls, allowing stool to move through your colon and out of your body more easily. Take mineral oil no more than two hours after your evening meal. Expect results within six to eight hours.

7. Use a stool softener

One common cause of constipation is dehydration, which can cause hard stool. Using a stool softener, such as docusate sodium (Colace) or docusate calcium (Surfak), can moisten the stool by pulling water from your intestines. This allows the stool to exit your body more easily.

8. Try an enema

There are several types of enemas that you can try. Enemas work by softening stool enough to produce a bowel movement. Some common types of enemas include sodium phosphate (Fleet), soapsuds, and tap water enemas. Learn about proper ways to administer an enema.

9. Try a suppository

Rectal suppositories also help encourage bowel movements by softening stool. Try a glycerin or bisacodyl suppository.  Both of which are OTC.

10. Get in a squat position to poop

Bring a small footstool into your bathroom the next time you need to poop. Placing your feet on a stool in front of the toilet while you poop — so your body is essentially in a squatting position instead of in a seated position —can help you pass stool without straining.  Squatty Potty makes an inexpensive one that has worked for me.

11. Get some exercise

Light exercise, such as walking or jogging, can encourage bowel movements by increasing blood flow throughout your abdomen.

When to see a doctor

Chronic constipation can make it challenging for a person to focus on their daily tasks and activities. If your constipation lasts more than a week and doesn’t respond to treatment, it’s time to see a doctor to rule out serious causes. See a doctor right away if your constipation is accompanied by dizziness, fatigue, cramping, or spasms.

It should be no surprise that constipation is a major problem among those who suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome. It is a common occurrence anytime that your digestive tract becomes dysfunctional. But the good news is that there are plenty of natural constipation remedies that can be very effective at helping you not only overcome constipation but to also help regulate your digestive tract and improve your health all at the same time.

Please Note: If you suffer from diarrhea which is also very common with Leaky Gut Syndrome, much of this still applies to you.

And most people seeking natural constipation remedies have been suffering from chronic constipation for many years. And this can have a significant impact on your health because if you are not removing your toxic waste then your body is reabsorbing it. You are also creating a breeding ground for bacterial infections, parasites, and Candida. And this is part of the process that is creating inflammation and holding you back from healing.

If you study the lifestyle habits of many different native cultures around the world that are without the influence of all of the Leaky Gut Syndrome causes, you’ll find that they have perfect digestion and do not suffer from Leaky Gut or any of the degenerative diseases that are common among us today.  And under these conditions, it is commonly found that they have multiple bowel movements each day and typically one within 12 hours after every meal they eat.

So if you’re not finding yourself moving your bowels at least one to two times per day then you need to pay special attention to these natural constipation remedies.

Test for Bowel Transit Time

It should also be noted that even if you are going one or more times per day, you can still be constipated. Constipation is also a factor of your transit time. So, if you eat a meal and it takes two or three days before that meal reaches your colon and is eliminated then you are still constipated.

But you can easily test your transit time to ensure that it is in the 12 to 24 hour time frame which is considered normal.

Just follow these instructions below before using any of the natural constipation remedies in order to get a baseline of your transit time so you can measure improvement.

  1. After your next bowel movement, you can either eat red beats or find an all natural food coloring and add it to your meal.
  1. Keep a lookout and see how long it takes before you notice the red coloring and note the number of hours between

The red coloring from the beats or food coloring will not be absorbed and will be noticeable in your stool.

Natural Constipation Remedies

There are plenty of natural constipation remedies out there but it only makes sense to start with the basics before you start adding fibers or other laxatives. These are probably the most common sources of constipation so they are the best place to begin.

Natural Constipation Remedies – Dehydration

Regardless of your level of health, the vast majority of constipated people in the world are chronically dehydrated. They drink all kinds of other liquids, many of which are diuretics and cause them to lose even more water.

A general rule is to make sure that you are drinking a minimum of half your body weight (lbs.) in ounces of water every day. If you weigh 200 lbs. then you should be drinking at least 100 ounces of water daily.

Natural Constipation Remedies – Sodium Chloride

It’s very common to avoid salt like the plague today. It’s been linked to heart disease amongst other health issues. And while this is somewhat true for highly processed and toxic salts, there’s another side of the story that you need to know.

We need salt in our diets in order to maintain the proper electrolyte ratios and to maintain our health. And most people need much more salt than they are getting.

And one of the functions of salt is to help your body to better absorb and utilize water which also helps with dehydration. If your body can’t absorb the water you drink then it sure can’t use it to relieve constipation.

Natural Constipation Remedies – Your Diet

Your diet has a big influence over your bowels, transit time, and constipation. Processed foods are a common cause of constipation because they disrupt the entire digestive tract as well as being low in natural fiber and void of essential nutrients. They also promote dysbiosis which greatly affects constipation more so than most people realize.

Food allergies are also something to take into consideration. A common symptom of food allergies is constipation so it’s best to determine and avoid the foods you are sensitive to.

Your diet should be focused around foods in their natural forms that are not processed and how Mother Nature intended them to be eaten.

While most people are stuck looking for a pill, powder, or miracle to fix their constipation, oftentimes the problem can be corrected with some simple lifestyle changes. So it’s important to rule out the obvious and put these natural constipation remedies to use before you jump ahead of yourself and introduce anything additional to your daily regime.

It should be no surprise that constipation is a major problem among those who suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome. It is a common occurrence anytime that your digestive tract becomes dysfunctional. But the good news is that there are plenty of natural constipation remedies that can be very effective at helping you not only overcome constipation but to also help regulate your digestive tract and improve your health all at the same time.

Please Note: If you suffer from diarrhea which is also very common with Leaky Gut Syndrome, much of this still applies to you.

And most people seeking natural constipation remedies have been suffering from chronic constipation for many years. And this can have a significant impact on your health because if you are not removing your toxic waste then your body is reabsorbing it. You are also creating a breeding ground for bacterial infections, parasites, and Candida. And this is part of the process that is creating inflammation and holding you back from healing.

If you study the lifestyle habits of many different native cultures around the world that are without the influence of all of the Leaky Gut Syndrome causes, you’ll find that they have perfect digestion and do not suffer from Leaky Gut or any of the degenerative diseases that are common among us today.  And under these conditions, it is commonly found that they have multiple bowel movements each day and typically one within 12 hours after every meal they eat.

So if you’re not finding yourself moving your bowels at least one to two times per day then you need to pay special attention to these natural constipation remedies.

Test for Bowel Transit Time

It should also be noted that even if you are going one or more times per day, you can still be constipated. Constipation is also a factor of your transit time. So, if you eat a meal and it takes two or three days before that meal reaches your colon and is eliminated then you are still constipated.

But you can easily test your transit time to ensure that it is in the 12 to 24 hour time frame which is considered normal.

Just follow these instructions below before using any of the natural constipation remedies in order to get a baseline of your transit time so you can measure improvement.

  1. After your next bowel movement, you can either eat red beats or find an all natural food coloring and add it to your meal.
  1. Keep a lookout and see how long it takes before you notice the red coloring and note the number of hours between

The red coloring from the beats or food coloring will not be absorbed and will be noticeable in your stool.

transit_time

Natural Constipation Remedies

There are plenty of natural constipation remedies out there but it only makes sense to start with the basics before you start adding fibers or other laxatives. These are probably the most common sources of constipation so they are the best place to begin.

Natural Constipation Remedies – Dehydration

Regardless of your level of health, the vast majority of constipated people in the world are chronically dehydrated. They drink all kinds of other liquids, many of which are diuretics and cause them to lose even more water.

A general rule is to make sure that you are drinking a minimum of half your body weight (lbs.) in ounces of water every day. If you weigh 200 lbs. then you should be drinking at least 100 ounces of water daily.

Natural Constipation Remedies – Sodium Chloride

It’s very common to avoid salt like the plague today. It’s been linked to heart disease amongst other health issues. And while this is somewhat true for highly processed and toxic salts, there’s another side of the story that you need to know.

We need salt in our diets in order to maintain the proper electrolyte ratios and to maintain our health. And most people need much more salt than they are getting.

And one of the functions of salt is to help your body to better absorb and utilize water which also helps with dehydration. If your body can’t absorb the water you drink then it sure can’t use it to relieve constipation.

rocksalt

Natural Constipation Remedies – Your Diet

Your diet has a big influence over your bowels, transit time, and constipation. Processed foods are a common cause of constipation because they disrupt the entire digestive tract as well as being low in natural fiber and void of essential nutrients. They also promote dysbiosis which greatly affects constipation more so than most people realize.

Food allergies are also something to take into consideration. A common symptom of food allergies is constipation so it’s best to determine and avoid the foods you are sensitive to.

Your diet should be focused around foods in their natural forms that are not processed and how Mother Nature intended them to be eaten.

Let Me Repeat This –  Dehydration

Regardless of your level of health, the vast majority of constipated people in the world are chronically dehydrated. They drink all kinds of other liquids, many of which are diuretics and cause them to lose even more water.

A general rule is to make sure that you are drinking a minimum of half your body weight (lbs.) in ounces of water every day. If you weigh 200 lbs. then you should be drinking at least 100 ounces of water daily.

Water – THE Best Place to Start When Fighting Constipation

While most people are stuck looking for a pill, powder, or miracle to fix their constipation, oftentimes the problem can be corrected with some simple lifestyle changes. So it’s important to rule out the obvious and put these natural constipation remedies to use before you jump ahead of yourself and introduce anything additional to your daily regime.

 

 

 

Leaky gut is a misunderstood ailment that has such a negative impact on your physical and mental well-being.  We wanted to bring you a report from By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS.

He starts by saying, “If you’ve been around the natural health world very long, you’ve probably heard of a condition known as leaky gut syndrome. It sounds pretty gross, but it’s an important enough problem to consider. There are several leaky gut symptoms to be aware of, which is particularly important since leaky gut is associated with dozens of related conditions and diseases.

As more Americans are affected by poor diet choices, chronic stress, toxic overload and bacterial imbalance, it appears that the prevalence of leaky gut has reached epidemic proportions. The medical profession is just now agreeing this condition may even exist, which is especially shocking to me because “intestinal permeability” (another name for leaky gut) has been discussed in the medical literature for over 100 years!

Why should leaky gut syndrome concern you? Recently leaky gut has been called a “danger signal for autoimmune disease.” (1) If you’re wondering if you may be experiencing leaky gut, the first thing to do is access your symptoms. Keep in mind that it’s very common for people on a Standard American Diet to struggle with poor gut function and high levels of inflammation — but just because digestive issues and autoimmune conditions are common doesn’t make them “normal”!

In this article, I’ve outlined a brief description of common leaky gut syndrome seen in people struggling with this condition. Can you heal leaky gut syndrome? As you’ll learn about below, there are four steps I recommend taking in order to repair leaky gut, which includes removing trigger foods from your diet, taking beneficial supplements and rebalancing your microflora with probiotics.

What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, said, “All disease begins in the gut.” More than two millennia after his death, scientific research has now proven he was onto something all those years ago. For over three decades, study after study has been published (several thousand articles exist to date) discussing our growing understanding of immunity, gut function and how modern diets and lifestyles negatively contribute to overall health by damaging our digestive system.

I (and many others in the medical field) refer to this particular phenomenon as leaky gut syndrome. In the medical literature, leaky gut is also referred to as “intestinal hyperpermeability.”

What Causes Leaky Gut?

The intestines are protected by a single layer of specialized epithelial cells that are linked together by tight junction (or TJ) proteins. Leaky gut symptoms are a consequence of intestinal tight-junction malfunction.

These tight junctions are the gateway between your intestines and your bloodstream. They control what is allowed to pass into the bloodstream from your digestive system. More than 40 different TJ proteins have now been recognized to play a role in gut health. Tight junctions have a very precise job — they have to maintain the delicate balance between allowing vital nutrients to enter your bloodstream, while remaining small enough to prevent xenobiotics (disease-causing compounds from your diet or lifestyle) from passing out of your digestive system into the rest of your body. (1)

Here’s how a report published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology describes the pathology of leaky gut: (2)

The intestinal epithelial lining, together with factors secreted from it, forms a barrier that separates the host from the environment. In pathologic conditions, the permeability of the epithelial lining may be compromised allowing the passage of toxins, antigens, and bacteria in the lumen to enter the bloodstream creating a ‘leaky gut.’

When you have leaky gut, certain tiny particles that should never be able to enter your bloodstream start to make their way through. There’s also commonly abnormalities in the gut stemming from antimicrobial molecules, immunoglobulins and cytokine activities. This presents a major problem, as the vast majority of your immune system is found inside the gut.

The result? A disruption of acute inflammation, and sometimes autoimmune reactions. A normal part of your immune response that serves to fight infections and diseases winds up over-performing, leading to chronic inflammation, which is at the root of most diseases.

Some of the underlying causes of leaky gut include:

  • Genetic predisposition — certain people may be more predisposed to developing leaky gut because they are sensitive to environmental factors that “trigger” their bodies into initiating autoimmune responses.
  • Poor diet — especially a diet that includes allergens and inflammatory foods such as un-sprouted grains, added sugar, GMOs, refined oils, synthetic food additives and conventional dairy products.
  • Chronic stress
  • Toxin overload — including high drug and alcohol consumption. We come into contact with over 80,000 chemicals and toxins every single year, but the worst offenders for causing leaky gut include antibiotics, pesticides, tap water, aspirin and NSAIDS. I recommend buying a high-quality water filter to eliminate chlorine and fluoride and look to natural plant-based herbs to reduce inflammation in your body.
  • Bacterial imbalance — also called dysbiosis, which means an imbalance between beneficial and harmful species of bacteria in your gut. A large body of evidence now shows that gut microbiota is important in supporting the epithelial barrier and preventing autoimmune reactions. At least 10 percent of all gene transcriptions found in intestinal epithelial cells that are related to immunity, cell proliferation and metabolism are regulated by gut microbiota.

How Serious Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Well, according to a 2014 review of the facts and research about intestinal permeability (among other sources), the chronic condition of hyperpermeability is linked to numerous symptoms and health conditions.

What are the symptoms of leaky gut? Some of the most prominent signs you may have leaky gut include: (3)

  • Gastric ulcers
  • Infectious diarrhea
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis)
  • Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Celiac disease
  • Esophageal and colorectal cancer
  • Allergies
  • Respiratory infections
  • Acute inflammation conditions (sepsis, SIRS, multiple organ failure)
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions (such as arthritis)
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Obesity-related metabolic diseases (fatty liver, Type II diabetes, heart disease)
  • Autoimmune disease (lupus, multiple sclerosis, Type I diabetes, Hashimoto’s, and more) (4)
  • Parkinson’s disease (5)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (6)
  • Propensity towards weight gain or obesity (7)

While these diseases are linked to leaky gut syndrome, it hasn’t been proven that there is a causal relationship; in other words, it’s not yet established that leaky gut causes any of these conditions, just that people who have leaky gut are more likely to have a number of other health problems. So while the scientific evidence has not yet proven that intestinal hyperpermiability (leaky gut syndrome) is actually responsible for these conditions, it strongly suggests that leaky gut and other dysfunctions tend to occur simultaneously. (8)

Symptoms and Signs

How do you know if you have leaky gut? Below you’ll find seven leaky gut symptoms and early occurring conditions that may point to an issue with your gut health.

1. Food Sensitivities

Because of the onslaught of toxins that enter the bloodstream, the immune systems of people with intestinal hyperpermeability are on overdrive mass-producing various antibodies, which may make their bodies more susceptible to antigens in certain foods (especially gluten and dairy). In studies involving rats and human children, leaky gut and food allergies have been linked. (910) Allergies are believed to be one of the most common leaky gut symptoms.

2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Researchers from Hungary uncovered in 2012 that elevated gut permeability is oftentimes localized to the colon in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. (11) As far back as 1988, scientists suggested that Crohn’s disease may be more of a risk for people with leaky gut. (12)

A small study (observing 12 patients) discovered that zinc supplementation may help resolve the tight junction dysfunction in these cases, although more research is required on a larger scale to confirm these results. (13)

3. Autoimmune Disease

The key to understanding how leaky gut can cause an autoimmune disease is through the research done on a protein known as “zonulin.” According to a 2011 article published in the journal Physiologic Reviews: (14)

Zonulin is the only physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions described so far that is involved in trafficking of macromolecules and, therefore, in tolerance/immune response balance. When the finely tuned zonulin pathway is deregulated in genetically susceptible individuals, both intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory, and neoplastic disorders can occur.

Eating gluten may trigger this dangerous cascade. University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers have uncovered that gluten “activates zonulin signaling irrespective of the genetic expression of autoimmunity, leading to increased intestinal permeability to macromolecules.” (15)

The good news is that, at least as far as leaky gut plays a role in autoimmune conditions, it is reversible and could potentially alleviate some of these problematic immune responses. (16)

4. Thyroid Problems

One of the autoimmune diseases that leaky gut syndrome may directly affect is Hashimoto’s disease. (17) Also known as “chronic thyroiditis,” this disorder is displayed with hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), impaired metabolism, fatigue, depression, weight gain and a host of other concerns.

5. Nutrient Malabsorption

In my patients I saw at my Nashville chiropractic clinic from 2007 to 2014, I observed various nutritional deficiencies resulting from leaky gut, including vitamin B12, magnesium and digestive enzymes. Those common nutrient deficiencies are one reason why many functional medicine practitioners prescribe a whole-food multivitamin in addition to probiotics for people suffering leaky gut problems.

6. Inflammatory Skin Conditions

First described over 70 years ago, the gut-skin connection theory has described how intestinal hyperpermeability can cause a slew of skin conditions, particularly acne and psoriasis. (18) Creams and drugs with endless lists of (sometimes dangerous) side effects are often prescribed for these skin disorders, yet there has been evidence for several decades that part of the root cause might exist in the gut.

7. Mood Issues and Autism

According to a study published in the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters, leaky gut has been shown to cause various neurocognitive disorders. For example, the inflammatory response characteristic of intestinal hyperpermeability triggers the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other chemicals that are thought to induce depression. (19)

A study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience described the “vicious circle between immune system impairment and increasing dysbiosis that leads to leaky gut and neurochemical compounds and/or neurotoxic xenobiotics production and absorption.”

The authors go on to describe findings from a number of studies that point to their theory that autism may be connected to problems in the gut microbiome, particularly within the first year of life. (20) It is actually a common hypothesis in modern science that leaky gut is strongly related to autism. (21)

What the Medical Community Has to Say About Leaky Gut Syndrome

Do most conventional doctors support the idea that leaky gut is real?

WebMD refers to leaky gut as “something of a medical mystery.” (22) This isn’t surprising, since it’s not a diagnosis that most doctors have been taught in medical school. “From an MD’s standpoint, it’s a very gray area,” says gastroenterologist Donald Kirby, MD – Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic. In his opinion, “Physicians don’t know enough about the gut, which is our biggest immune system organ.” (21)

To make matters worse, government agencies have also contributed to the confusion. According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), “There is currently little evidence to support the theory that a porous bowel is the direct cause of any significant, widespread problems.” (23)

Yet, not everyone agrees. A roundtable review quotes the researchers at seven different European universities in 2014 agreeing upon the following: (24)

Alteration of the gut barrier seems to have multiple consequences facilitating the onset of a variety of diseases depending on other hits and on genetic or epigenetic constellations, respectively. The growing significance of the gut barrier and bacterial translocation raises the questions of how we can improve gut barrier functions and gut microbiota.

So while it’s encouraging that science is coming around to leaky gut syndrome being a real problem, we are by no means at a point where there are standard diagnostic tools for testing and treating leaky gut.

In the Western/conventional medical world, if there are no standard diagnostic criteria for a disease, then there are no specific therapies or treatments available. Moreover, if there are no “proven” treatment models, then most MD’s are left with no other choice than to follow what they believe to be the “safe path” and prescribe drugs that only treat leaky gut symptoms. For example, medications (like proton pump inhibitors or antacids) can be used to manage symptoms like acid reflux medications but these drugs don’t solve the root problem.

Because much of the medical community denies leaky gut’s very existence, it’s critical that you understand what leaky gut is and what to look out for in case you or a loved one is affected by it. The good news is that many functional and integrative medicine practitioners have a greater understanding of this condition than they did even a decade ago. They are much more likely to help you determine if you are suffering from leaky gut syndrome and to give you tools to help repair your gut.

How Do You Get Rid of Leaky Gut?

Now that we’ve been talked about leaky gut symptoms, causes and opinions, let’s talk about how to test for and repair leaky gut.

How do you test for leaky gut?

Several leaky gut syndrome tests are available that can help confirm a diagnosis and point you in the right treatment direction. Tests are helpful for identifying specific sensitivities and uncovering which types of toxins or deficiencies are contributing to your symptoms. Leaky gut tests include:

  • Zonulin or Lactulose Tests
  • IgG Food Intolerance Test
  • Stools Tests
  • Organic Acid Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies Tests
  • Lactulose Mannitol Test

What leaky gut treatments are available?

After years of research and patient care, I developed a four-step process for helping to heal leaky gut. I cover this process in my article entitled the Leaky Gut Diet and Treatment Plan. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have leaky gut symptoms, I encourage you to read the detailed instructions, food suggestions and recommended leaky gut supplements listed in this article.

The basic steps to healing leaky gut are as follows:

  1. Remove foods and factors that damage the gut.
  2. Replace these with healing foods as you follow an anti-inflammatory leaky gut diet.
  3. Repair the gut with specific leaky gut supplements like butyric acid.
  4. Rebalance your microbiome with probiotics (beneficial bacteria). This is key because bacteria in your gut are a major component of the intestinal barrier. They help promote resistance to the colonization of harmful or pathogenic bacteria species by competing for nutrients. Gut microbiota also regulate the digestion and absorption of nutrients and help supply epithelial cells with energy.
Two of the most commons questions people ask are: “What can I eat if I have leaky gut syndrome? And what should I NOT eat when I have leaky gut?”
If you’re struggling with leaky gut or other GI issues, remove processed foods — including un-sprouted grains, added sugar, GMO’s, refined oils, synthetic additives and conventional dairy products. A healing leaky gut syndrome diet includes foods like:
  • Bone broth
  • Raw cultured dairy (like kefir, yogurt, amasai, butter and raw cheeses)
  • Fermented vegetables and other probiotics foods. Probiotics may help reverse leaky gut by enhancing the production of tight junction proteins that defend against intestinal permeability.
  • Coconut products
  • Sprouted seeds (like chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds)
  • Foods with omega-3 fatty acids, especially salmon and other wild-caught fish
  • Herbs and spices
  • Other nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods like grass-fed beef, lamb, other fresh veggies and most fruits, apple cider vinegar, sea veggies, and other superfoods

Final Thoughts

  • Leaky gut syndrome is classified by malfunction in the intestinal tight junctions in the digestive tract, allowing larger-than-usual particles to pass from the digestive system into the bloodstream. When this occurs, the balance of inflammatory immune responses is disrupted, leading to chronic inflammation and poor immunity.
  • Although no causal relationships have yet been officially established, leaky gut is correlated with a large number of issues and diseases, including digestive disorders, depression, autism, celiac disease, autoimmune disease and more.
  • Common leaky gut symptoms include: food sensitivities, digestive issues, autoimmune disease, thyroid dysfunction, nutrient malabsorption, inflammatory skin conditions and brain-related issues such as depression and autism.
  • Leaky gut syndrome is not a recognized diagnosis in the medical community yet — but I’m confident it will be recognized someday, due to the vast body of research that has already been conducted.
  • If you suffer from any leaky gut symptoms, I encourage you to consult with your naturopathic doctor about options for treatment. I’ve seen many people  improve when adjusting to a healing diet, rather than a disease and inflammation-causing one. In addition, there are helpful dietary supplements many people implement to support better gut health.

Were you refreshed and able to jump out of bed…

…or did it take a while to force yourself up and out of bed, after being rudely shaken out of your slumber by that stupid alarm clock buzz, buzz, buzzing in your ear?

Did your body feel “young” and energetic as you got up, or…

…Were you achy and groggy from another restless night’s sleep?

When you looked yourself in the mirror, did you see a fresh, young face, or…

…Did you stagger into the bathroom, ankles and knees creaking , hunched over from back pain and tightness, and see an old version of yourself staring back through the mirror ? With bags under your eyes, dry & graying hair, wrinkled & dry skin?

When you looked down as you got dressed did you see a fit, lean, and healthy body, or…

… Did you see an ever-growing stomach, soft, “flabby” fat, and a body that’s become weak, tired and soft?

What goes through your mind as you look at yourself?

Are you happy with the way you look and feel, or…

… Are you frustrated by your life , with your lack of health, and with your inability to lose weight and keep it off ?

Do you mumble to yourself, “What the hell? How did I get to look and feel like this?

Are you at ease and peaceful, or stressed as you get ready for your day?

Do you have to drink multiple cups of coffee before you can even think about being productive and nice?

Do you drink more throughout the day, or even worse, use energy drinks and soda, because you have wild energy swings where you go from feeling good and energetic… to crashing and feeling like you need a nap?

Do you get winded easy? Lose your breath after you’ve gone up a flight of stairs, or as you rush out the door to your car?

How’s your digestion? Do you have comfortable bowel movements, or is your life all about digestive issues like constipation, bloating, bouts of diarrhea, and indigestion?

How many times have you promised yourself you were going to lose weight, and maybe even did, but then put it all back on… and more?

How many times in the last couple years have you started a “diet” or workout program? Once, twice, 10 times?

How do your failures make you feel?

If you and I were sitting face-to-face, and I asked you point blank, after all you just read, “How do you feel?” What would you say?

Look, weight gain, and weight loss, are serious concerns of yours, and I get it…

… but these other issues are also very serious:

Joint pain, muscle weakness, digestive issues, “old” skin and hair, stubborn belly fat, zero energy, and an addiction to carbohydrates…

and they’re ALL connected.

You may be thinking this all sounds crazy, but let me ask you this…

How many of the following are you currently struggling with?

  • Stubborn belly fat that will NOT go awa y, regardless of the diets you try
  • Painful or uncomfortable bloating (especially after eating meals)
  • Fat gain in strange places (chest in men, belly in ladies, for example)
  • Painful joints
  • Digestive issues (IBS, gas, stomach discomfort, constipation and/or diarrhea)
  • Dry, aging skin & hair (looking older than you really are…)
  • Energy swings (low energy before eating, high after… then crash)
  • Constant craving of carbohydrates
  • Trouble sleeping (can’t fall asleep and/or stay asleep)
  • Moody and irritable if you get too hungry
  • Indigestion

Your gut & stubborn belly fat…

There is growing evidence showing the connection between a “leaky” gut and issues such as weight gain, thyroid problems, Type-2 Diabetes, a lack of energy, digestion problems (constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhea, indigestion, etc.).

Basically, your gut works like this…

Your entire digestive system, from your mouth to your hind end, is one long tube that’s actually outside your body… even though it’s inside.

This long tube has very strong barriers that keep toxic substances OUT of your body, and when these barriers are damaged, as in the case of leaky gut, then food particles and toxins that are not supposed to make it into your blood stream and lymph system, are there, which then makes organs like your liver have to work double time to get rid of this toxicity.

This heavy workload then makes your liver get sluggish and bogged down (imagine yourself having to do the job of 10 people in half the time and how that would make you feel)…

When your liver gets sluggish it makes it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to burn fat, because that’s where your fat gets processed…

… but it all starts in your gut.

Your intestines have small hair-like features that line their walls that help shuttle food along, aid in digestion, and help shuttle nutrients from your digestive system into your bloodstream to be used by your body.

Unfortunately the foods you eat, including many foods falsely labeled as “healthy”, as well as too much stress, a lack of sleep, too much alcohol, a lack of Vitamin D, and more can damage this delicate system…

… Causing toxins to be “leaked” into your body, leading to weight gain, an inability to LOSE weight, achy joints, constipation, bloating, rapidly aging skin, zero energy, hormone problems, etc.
What foods can lead to such a horrible situation?

The biggest culprits are the “health foods” you eat every day, and have been told are the healthiest by big food corporations, your doctor, health teachers, and even the government.

You often hear vague claims in the news that “sugar is bad for you” or that “wheat and gluten are bad for you”, but do you truly understand what these foods do to your insides?

Most people DON’T understand the reasons

…and the fact is that some of the foods you’re going to discover can not only DESTROY your digestive system, but also hormones and metabolism.

Not only that, but as you’ll see below, there’s a common plant-based food that you probably eat in restaurants frequently (I bet you ate this at least ONCE in the last week), and this common plant food is proven to CAUSE heart attacks!

You’ll also discover exactly what you need to understand to eat in a way that BOOSTS your metabolism, balances hormones, FIGHTS stubborn belly fat, heals your gut, and increases your energy, regardless of your “bad genetics”.

So let’s get right to it…

The 3 reasons you should NEVER eat wheat — Yes, even “whole wheat”

There are 3 main reasons why wheat is a terrible food for your body and does more harm than good…

Reason #1 — Wheat causes blood sugar disruption, Glycation of your cells, increases AGING, weight gain & boosts Diabetes risk

Before I tell you why wheat can actually speed up the aging process in your body, let’s clarify some simple biochemistry in your body…

This deals with “glycation” in your body, and substances called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). These nasty little compounds called AGEs speed up the aging process in your body including damage over time to your organs, your joints, and of course, wrinkled skin.

So with that said, what is one of the biggest factors that increase production of AGEs inside your body?

This may surprise you, but high blood sugar levels over time dramatically increase age-accelerating AGEs in your body.

This is why type 2 diabetics many times appear that they have not aged well and look older than their real age. But this age-increasing effect is NOT just limited to diabetics.

So, let’s get back to how “whole wheat” relates to this…

Here is a little-known fact that’s often covered up by the massive marketing campaigns by giant food companies that want you to believe that “whole wheat” is healthy for you…

… But the fact is that wheat contains a very unusual type of carbohydrate (not found in other foods) called Amylopectin-A , which has been found in some tests to spike your blood sugar HIGHER than even pure table sugar.

In fact, amylopectin-A (from wheat) raises your blood sugar MORE than almost any other carbohydrate source on earth based on blood sugar response testing that’s documented in studies.

This means that wheat-based foods such as breads, bagels, cereals, muffins, and other baked goods often cause MUCH higher blood sugar levels than most other carbohydrate sources.

If you don’t believe me, here’s something you should know… I ran personal blood sugar tests on myself using a blood glucometer about 45 minutes after eating 2 slices of wheat bread vs eating a bowl of oatmeal, with equivalent grams of carbohydrates.

The blood sugar test results of wheat vs oatmeal :

2 slices of whole wheat toast :
45 minutes after consumption: Blood sugar spiked from 86 fasting level to 155

1 Bowl of Oatmeal (equivalent grams of carbs to 2 slices wheat toast)
45 minutes after consumption: Blood sugar increased from 86 fasting level to 112

As you know now, the higher your average blood sugar levels are over time, the more AGEs are formed inside your body, which makes you age FASTER.

Clearly, the whole wheat spiked blood sugar MUCH higher than the oatmeal, and if you don’t know, 155 is a massive blood sugar reading that will certainly contribute to faster aging if you eat wheat frequently… and most people eat wheat without even thinking about it at almost EVERY meal…Yikes!

Not only that, but the high blood sugar spikes caused by wheat also makes your body pump out more insulin which makes you pack on more body fat … Not fun at all!

These massive blood sugar spikes from eating wheat daily also cause damage over time to your blood sugar regulation system, harming your pancreas, causing insulin resistance, and eventually causing type 2 Diabetes . I think we have a strong case against eating so-called “healthy” wheat!

Reason #2 — Gluten and other gut-damaging compounds

The topic of gluten is on fire in the media lately…

…But most people are confused as to whether there’s any real health risks with gluten for the average person that doesn’t have Celiac disease.

The truth is that even if you are not officially “gluten intolerant ” or “gluten sensitive “, there are hundreds of published studies that indicate that gluten can cause inflammation in your digestive system , and even cause “permeability” in your gut, which can lead to a health condition that’s on the rise lately called Leaky Gut , as well as other digestive issues and autoimmune problems .

Scientists theorize that the reason gluten is causing these digestive system problems is due to the excessive hybridization of wheat over the last 50 years, which has created newly modified gluten molecules that are foreign to the human digestive system compared to the ancient wheat that humans ate for several thousand years historically, and even compared to the wheat that your grandparents ate 50+ years ago.

Reason #3 — Antinutrients and mineral blockers in wheat

The third reason that wheat is terrible for you is that it contains what’s called “antinutrients “, which are naturally occurring compounds in the wheat plant, but can cause undesirable effects in humans that eat too much of them.

One of these antinutrients is called phytates , which blocks the absorption in your body of certain minerals like zinc, iron, manganese, and calcium if you eat wheat too often.

Again, most people eat wheat with almost every meal (cereal in the morning, bread on sandwich at lunch, and pasta or bread at dinner), so this can cause a mineral deficiency in your body over time that leads to many health conditions.

Wheat has other mineral blockers and antinutrients aside from phytates, such as lectins. Lectins are another constituent of wheat that causes gut irritation . Yet another reason to minimize or eliminate wheat from your diet.

There’s absolutely nothing “essential” about wheat in the human diet …It simply does more harm than good…period.

Many people often ask me… “But what about the FIBER in wheat? I thought that’s why it’s supposed to be healthy?”

Sorry, you can get ALL of the fiber you need from fruits, veggies, and nuts, without the digestive system damage and massive blood sugar issues that are caused by wheat.

 

Note: It’s important to keep reading this page because I’ll show you how to get access to ALL of my best secrets for AVOIDING wheat, but still eating amazingly delicious meals that BOOST your metabolism, BALANCE your hormones, FIGHT diabetes, and also help reduce abdominal fat. It’s easier than you think, so don’t think that eating healthy has to be “boring” like so many people foolishly believe.

 

The 3 reasons you should NEVER use Vegetable Oils…

Although vegetable oil has a healthy sounding name, it’s NOT made from vegetables…As you might already know, vegetable oil actually comes from any combination of corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil, safflower oil, and/or cottonseed oil, ALL of which are absolutely terrible for your health.

In fact, they are downright deadly , and I’m not exaggerating. Here’s why…

Reason #1 — Vegetable oils usually contain deadly trans fats, even if non-hydrogenated

You already KNOW that trans fats are deadly, so I won’t go into all of the science as to why trans fats kill you and DAMAGE your cell membranes in your body…leading to all sorts of scary health problems like cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s, heart disease , and more.

Knowing these facts, I’m sure you already know to stay away from foods that contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. You’ve heard that a million times before.

However, what you probably DON’T know is that even non-hydrogenated vegetable oils (all vegetable oils are refined) also contain some trans fats due to the extremely high heat, solvents, and pressure they are exposed to during the refining process. And yes, this includes so-called “expeller pressed” vegetable oils as well.

All of this high heat and high pressure processing along with the use of hexane solvents actually forces some of the polyunsaturated content of vegetable oils (yes, even so-called “healthy” canola oil) to be transformed into trans fats and something even worse that we’ll talk about in a minute called “MegaTrans “.

According to Dr. Mary Enig, PhD, and Nutritional Biochemist, “Although the Canadian government lists the trans fat content of canola at a minimal 0.2 percent, research at the University of Florida at Gainesville, found trans fat levels as high as 4.6 percent in commercial liquid canola oil “.

And this is the garbage that the government and giant food conglomerates are marketing to you as a “healthy oil”! Don’t fall for it.

Reason #2 — Vegetable oils contain oxidized “mutated fats” that are worse than trans fat & CAUSE heart attacks

All vegetable oils contain oxidized fats due to the refining process and chemical reactions with the polyunsaturated fat content of vegetable oils.

Expert Nutrition author, Catherine Shanahan, MD, calls the fats in vegetable oils “MegaTrans”, because they are similar in chemistry to trans fats, but even WORSE.

And MegaTrans from vegetable oils are found in almost ALL processed packaged foods, as well as virtually ALL restaurant fryers.

French Fries proven to immediately harm your arteries after eating them:

Free radicals formed during the refining of vegetable oils create these “mutant” fats, which damage your cell membranes & chromosomes, and create massive inflammation in your body .

The free radicals in vegetable oils also damage your arteries, which can directly lead to a heart attack . Please be aware that this isn’t just a long-term risk of eating vegetable oils daily.

There are also studies that show immediate dysfunction in your arteries, also called endothelial function.

Catherine Shanahan, MD, cites in her book Deep Nutrition a study from New Zealand that showed that subjects who ate french fries from a restaurant fryer displayed immediate harm to their endothelial function of their arteries, going from a normal 7% dilation before eating the french fries to almost NO dilation at all (only 1%) AFTER eating the french fries. This is one thing that can cause a heart attack.

If you think I’m exaggerating, think again…

Dr Shanahan also surveyed hundreds of patients that were admitted to the hospital for a heart attack, and discovered that every sing le patient that just had a heart attack had consumed foods made with vegetable oils with their last meal before the heart attack…Scary huh!

Think about THAT next time you order the fries with that sandwich on the menu! It really is THAT serious .

Always ask to replace french fries that come with most meals with side veggies, fruit, or a salad instead. That may very well be the difference between dying tomorrow or enjoying many more years on this beautiful planet.

Reason #3 — Vegetable oils cause massive imbalances with your Omega-6 to Omega-3 fats ratio

One of the other MAJOR reasons that vegetable oils are killing you is they are mostly made up of inflammatory omega-6 fats, while having very little anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

The healthiest ratio from the scientific literature appears to be a ratio of 2:1 or even 1:1 for your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. However, most vegetable oils skew your ratio as high as 20:1 or even 30:1 in favor of harmful inflammatory omega-6 fats.

And worse yet, these omega-6 fats are NOT the innocent type found in nuts, they are the “mutant” damaged MegaTrans type that harm the tissues of your body.

This Omega fat imbalance can be YET another reason why vegetable oils lead to heart disease, cancer, obesity, and many other degenerative diseases that WILL shorten your life significantly if you don’t cut out the vegetable oils ASAP.

As a quick note, the solution to all of these major problems with vegetable oils is to use healthy oils like coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, and grass-fed butter, all of which are MUCH healthier than vegetable oils and don’t cause any of the problems we’ve described in this section of the article.

The TRUTH about sugar… You can’t just “burn off” sugar…

You’ve heard a million times from health experts, bloggers, and on the news that sugar is terrible for you, but most people don’t truly understand WHY it’s so bad…

In fact, most people falsely think that if they eat sugar, they can just exercise a little bit harder that day or the next day so they can “burn it off”…

Unfortunately, that kind of thinking will lead you to an early grave.

It’s not as simple as just “burning off sugar”…

It’s about what sugar does internally to the cells of your body, and how sugar gums up your internal workings, causing disease.

Once again, I’m not exaggerating here, so pay close attention…

If you knew exactly why sugar is so bad for you and exactly what it does to your cells in your body, I promise that you would think twice about eating that piece of cake, candy, sugary soft drink, fruit juice, or ice cream, or feeding them to your children.

Here are just a few of the reasons that sugar is killing you…

  • Just like we talked about above with wheat, sugar also causes extreme fluctuations in your blood sugar, and excess blood sugar causes Glycation inside your body, which accelerates the rate of aging of your organs, skin, arteries, and joints .
  • Sugar also raises your triglycerides to dangerous levels, which can lead you to heart disease .
  • If that weren’t bad enough, eating sugar too frequently also causes type 2 diabetes in the long run because you wear out your pancreas and insulin sensitivity.
  • And if you need even MORE reasons why sugar will kill you, sugar also slows down your white blood cells , making infection more likely, and even allowing CANCER cells a better chance to form in your body.

Scary stuff huh!

Of course, you already know that sugar makes you fat, and gives you excess calories without any beneficial nutrients whatsoever.

To clarify , when we talk about how much damage sugar does to your body, we’re NOT talking about tiny amounts such as having 5 grams of sugar from a teaspoon of honey in your tea… Small amounts of natural sugar like that are not a problem.

The REAL damage occurs when you eat that piece of cake and ingest 40-50 grams of sugar in one sitting, or that bag of candy with 35+ grams of sugar, or that soft drink with 45 grams of sugar or more…

Or even that so-called “healthy” smoothie at the local smoothie shop that contains a whopping 80 grams of sugar because of all of the fruit syrups they use in them.

Now that you know why sugar, wheat, and vegetable oils are killing you and your family, maybe you’ll think twice about eating cereals, breads, bagels, muffins, candy, and processed foods or fried foods from restaurants that are cooked in vegetable oil.

Here are some examples of foods below that you might be eating and didn’t even realize they are making you fatter, and making your fat cells “sick”…

So-Called “Health Foods” That Are Causing You to GAIN More Body Fat?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into the kitchen of a client of mine that has hired me for nutritional counseling, and I’m shocked by what I see…

Almost every time, I see their kitchen cabinets and fridge LOADED with foods that they think are “healthy” (or have been deceived by clever food labels into believing are healthy), but in reality are fat-storing traps in disguise.

It’s not uncommon to see foods such as:

  • whole grain breads
  • whole grain cereals
  • whole grain crackers (more of that wheat that’s killing you)
  • soy milk
  • tofu or “veggie burgers” (non-fermented soy can be harmful to your hormones)
  • orange juice (loaded with too much fructose that raises your triglycerides)
  • apple juice
  • skim milk or homogenized milk
  • margarine (deadly trans fat or even “MegaTrans”)
  • pre-packaged “diet” dinners
  • sport drinks
  • protein bars (most are candy bars in disguise!)
  • overly processed meal replacements (with more junk than healthy ingredients)
  • rice cakes (massive blood sugar spike)
  • pasta (more wheat to age you faster)
  • diet ice cream or diet desserts
  • so-called “energy” drinks
  • low-fat foods (usually replaces fat with more sugar)
  • low-carb processed foods
  • soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil
  • etc, etc

I see this trend over and over again with almost every client when I first inspect their cabinets and the foods that they were buying that they thought were healthy.

What they don’t realize is that it’s these exact foods that are sabotaging their fat loss efforts, increasing their cravings, and throwing their hormones out of whack..

Here’s Your Simple Fat Loss Solution…

 

So how do you repair your damaged digestive system and start melting away your embarrassing belly fat , while also increasing your energy, & fighting joint pain?

The simplest way is to get rid of the foods you now KNOW are damaging your system.

Second, add “fermentable fibers” to your diet, which are also called prebiotics (sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.) and eat a lot of fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and certain types of yogurt (but most yogurts found in your grocery store are simply milk with sugar and are NOT healthy) You can also supplement with probiotics, but make sure to start slow and build up.

Third, better manage your stress through better sleep patterns, exercise, and breathing techniques. Stress is known to damage your gut , so the better you handle it, the healthier your gut will be.

The Fat Burning Kitchen ProgramFourth, start adding Turmeric to your diet, either with supplements or sprinkling the spice on your food. Turmeric aids your liver in flushing out the toxic substances that have been building there due to your damaged gut. It also fights dangerous inflammation

But, most importantly, you should get rid of those “health foods” causing you all those problems, and start consuming the ACTUAL foods that help you BURN stubborn belly fat , fix your hormones, fight against Diabetes, and help you look and feel YEARS younger…

Which is why I’ve teamed up with expert nutrition researcher, Catherine Ebeling, and we’ve co-authored this new program for you:

The Fat Burning Kitchen

Your 24-Hour Diet Transformation to Make Your Body a Fat-Burning Machine

Inside this brand new manual, you’ll discover:

  • The true secret to making calorie-counting obsolete … this is the same principle that will automatically eliminate your cravings and control your appetite permanently (it’s the same reason that I personally haven’t had a real “craving” in at least 7 years) — pg 1-2
  • The truth about polyunsaturated fats (omega-6’s and omega-3’s) that most food companies don’t want you to know — pg.18
  • Which protein bars or energy bars are actually candy bars in disguise and which bars are actually good for you — pg.50
  • The real deal on saturated fat and cholesterol, and why they are essential in your diet — pg.59 (Without enough saturated fats and cholesterol in your diet, you can actually HARM your hormone balance)
  • The “whole grain” deception and why whole grain crackers, breads, and cereals are packing more bodyfat on you — pg.9
  • Why that skim milk may not be so good for you after all, and the dirty truth about homogenized milk too — pg.29
  • The one time when tilapia and salmon are NOT health foods (plus the best alternatives) — pg.36
  • A healthy fat-burning burger option? Yes — pg.60
  • Why soymilk, tofu, and veggie burgers could be increasing your belly fat — pg.41
  • Are sports drinks stifling your fat-burning and making you AGE faster? — pg.46
  • The ONLY truly healthy options for sweeteners … even non-caloric sweeteners — pg.83
  • A surprisingly healthy fat in some animal products that actually helps you burn fat & build muscle (it even helps to fight cancer) — pg.60
  • Why egg whites are actually WORSE for you than whole eggs — pg.65
  • Do diet sodas and other diet drinks hurt your fat loss efforts? — pg.22
  • Is whole milk actually better for you than skim milk? There’s more to the story — pg.67
  • A type of saturated fat that actually helps to stimulate your metabolism — pg. 112
  • The one time when delicious creamy chocolate can even help to prevent your sweet tooth cravings (It even helps improve your blood pressure too!) — pg.88
  • Does green tea or oolong tea really increase your metabolism and help fat loss? The truth — pg.90
  • Which fruits & veggies are okay to choose non-organic — pg.94
  • …and TONS more secrets to help you permanently transform your diet to force your body to burn fat more effectively, while also preventing diabetes.

Did you know…

One of your body’s main fat-burning hormones DECREASES when you go on a diet?

Research has shown that this important hormone drops by as much as 50% after just 7 days of dieting!

The worst part is, the longer you try to diet, the worse it gets, which is why many “serial dieters” constantly struggle to keep the weight off (if they lose it at all…)

The good news is we’re going to share the nutrition tricks to INCREASE your body’s natural fat-burning hormones safely and naturally!

Imagine waking up every morning FULL of energy, heading to the bathroom and looking at your reflection in the mirror and actually LOVING what you see…

… Now imagine heading to your kitchen and actually feeling good about the food and drinks you see in your refrigerator and cupboard — no more struggling trying to understand what’s healthy, what’s unhealthy, what’s going to help you lose weight, what’s going to make you gain weight…

… whether a certain food fits in to the latest and greatest diet fad of the month (they seem to pop up every month, right?).

Imagine how great you’ll look and feel when you KNOW the foods that are actually good for you, that boost your metabolism , heal your joints, MELT away stubborn fat , and FIGHT aging are actually DELICIOUS, loaded with nutrition, and satisfy your appetite!

Not only are you going to finally discover the truth about the foods in your kitchen and grocery store, but you’re also going to:

  • Discover how protein from these specific types of animals, not ony HELP you burn fat and gain muscle, but are also high in heart-healthy fatty acids (I bet you didn’t know THIS)
  • Delicious, nutritious, and mouth-watering meal ideas that not only satisfy your appetite (which STOPS dangerous cravings), but also burn stomach fat and FIGHT aging
  • The 3 BEST types of wild-caught fish (a couple probably aren’t what you think), as well as a specific type of fish you should NEVER eat
  • The truth about EGGS – the media makes it very difficult to understand whether you should or should not eat eggs… and why. Discover the truth about eggs, and why you should begin eating them regularly (but you must discover WHY first)
  • Like cheese? You’re about to discover one of the BEST appetite-suppressants around… but you need to eat these specific types of cheese to get the benefit
  • Coconut oil and stomach fat? The truth about coconut oil may surprise you!
  • The best type of NUTS for fat loss – CAUTION: some of the most popular types of nuts found in grocery stores are NOT healthy, and actually CAUSE weight gain , but others are PROVEN in studies to reduce abdominal fat, balance blood sugar, and more!
  • Discover “nature’s vaso-dilator” and how this 1 nutrient can drastically improve blood flow and circulation, which not only helps your heart, but also boosts your energy levels
  • Discover how 1 very FATTY food actually helps your body burn MORE fat – very odd, but scientifically proven. This food is also GREAT for your brain, and makes a great snack for kids and toddlers.
  • The BEST sweeteners to add to your food and drinks. You know that sugar is horrible for your waistline and health, but do you know the best things to use instead that add mouth-watering sweetness to your morning coffee, cereals, and desserts? Yes, you CAN enjoy your morning coffee while getting incredible health benefits from it too! Coffee is a rich source of powerful anti-aging antioxidants, but most people make it WRONG.
  • Discover how chocolate can be enjoyed on a daily basis! This tip not only helps you LOSE fat, but also FIGHTS the aging process! Eat up and enjoy… but you must discover the very specific TYPE of chocolate first.

 

 

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But you must click the “Buy Now” button within the next 15-minutes if you want to get the special rate of only $10 , because once the timer expires, this offer disappears…

… so act NOW and click the button below to get your special price of only $10.

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I’m confident that you’ll LOVE the unique nutrition tips and ideas that you’ll gain through this program… You can say goodbye to cravings forever and start eating the right way to turn your body into a fat-burning machine 24/7!

By eating the foods in this program, you’ll also naturally prevent cancer from forming in your body, reduce your risk from ever developing deadly heart disease to almost zero , and keep your cholesterol ratios and blood pressure normalized!

Sincerely,

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author – Worldwide best seller: The Truth about Six Pack Abs (over 739,000 readers in 163 countries) & The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging

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Top 20 Stress-Busting Foods

“Stress is the trash of modern life – we all generate it, but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.” ― Danzae Pace

Did you know that deep in your gut lies a highly sophisticated network made up of hundreds of millions of nerve cells and neurons?

The stomach, as well as the small and large intestine, collectively form what’s known as the gut. And inside the layers of your gut, you’ll find that amazingly complex neural network.

What’s even more amazing is that this superhighway inside your gut directly connects to your central nervous system.

Structurally speaking, this network is roughly the same as a cat’s brain. And there’s enough neuron diversity to rival that of a pig’s brain.

This is what doctors call the enteric nervous system (ENS). While this “little brain” inside your gut shares a connection with your big brain, it also works independently.

The ENS quietly runs show the down below, telling your digestive system what to do. It’s in charge of crucial metabolic functions that help you break down food and utilize their energy.

Furthermore, this little brain also controls your gut barrier which is a layer of mucus, acid, enzymes, a protective cell wall and trillions of friendly bacteria. This layer is your first line of defense against unfriendly invaders like toxic substances or bacteria.

On a broader scale, most folks don’t realize nor appreciate the incredibly complicated processes happening in this crucial region.

For one thing, they don’t understand the effect of specific foods on their gut.

What we eat is ultimately absorbed in that region, creating a chain reaction in our body.

Certain types of food will set off a series of either positive or negative events which start at the gut. Soon enough, your brain and the rest of your body will feel the effects of your food choices.

Doctors previously thought that it was external stress that triggered gastrointestinal conditions like excessive gas, diarrhea and indigestion.

But recent research shows that the gut-brain connection is actually a two-way street.

So, whatevers going on in your gut can influence your entire physical being, along with your brain.

In fact, many experts believe that proper nutrition is the best way to address mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

Studies have confirmed this hidden connection between the gut and the brain…

…such as research by the Central Food Technological Research Institute in India, and the University of Bristol in the U.K.

According to them, changing the way you eat can have a profound effect on your mental well-being, and your life in general.

Happiness is a Gut Feeling

This has a lot to do with the fact that your gut produces a good chunk of happy chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.

These are called neurotransmitters which are chiefly responsible for fighting feelings of hopelessness and depression.

As such, your body needs high-quality food to improve your emotional state. Whole, unprocessed foods contain specific compounds that make up the secret recipe to make you feel better.

It feeds friendly bacteria in your gut, which in turn, allows them to do their job and flood your system with those feel-good neurotransmitters.

Not only that, a balanced gut means better immunity (i.e., a stronger gut barrier) which adds up to a happier, healthier you.

Here are the Top 20 Superfoods to Keep Your Gut and Brain Happy:

#1: Asparagus

 This vegetable is high in folic acid which can help relieve symptoms of depression.  Asparagus also contains protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium and copper.

#2: Avocado

This fruit is rich in heart-friendly monounsaturated fat. It also contains vitamin B which benefits your nerves and brain cells, and reduces stress. Potassium helps by lowering your blood pressure.

#3: Almonds

This brain food is big on vitamins B2 and E. They strengthen immunity which is handy when you’re having a crazy week. Vitamin E fights inflammation, takes care of your heart and protects your skin from sun damage. It’s also linked to preventing Alzheimer’s disease too!

#4: Berries

Whether you fancy blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, you can’t go wrong with these sweet treats. They fight stress with their antioxidants which slow down aging – and may even prevent cancer. They also promote good gut health and keep your blood sugar levels stable.

#5: Salmon

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of nature’s top antidepressants. They’re crucial for brain health and regulate stress-related hormones such as cortisol.

#6: Spinach

Leafy greens aren’t just great for dealing with oxidative stress, but also for making you feel like a million bucks. You have magnesium to thank for that – this mineral also keeps your stress hormones in check.

#7: Coconut

This superfood is rich in MCTs, or medium-chain triglycerides, which are an excellent fuel for your brain and body. It also has antioxidant properties which heal your immune system and protect your mind. Best of all, MCTs are excellent at improving your digestion and overall mood.

#8: Thyme

Thyme is a famous herb known for its healing effects, especially when it comes to respiratory conditions like bronchitis. It’s also known for fighting cancer because of its plant-based compound called carvacrol. Thyme is an excellent antidepressant as it promotes dopamine and serotonin production.

#9: Walnuts

Yet another omega 3-rich food, this brain-friendly nut is effective at fighting depression. Other benefits include lower risk of cancer, a healthier heart, and better weight control.

#10: Pumpkin Seeds

This one contains magnesium which reduces stress and anxiety by naturally decreasing muscle tension. It’s also rich in zinc, another mineral that keeps you cheerful and regulates your emotions.

#11: Eggs

Often labeled as “nature’s perfect food,” eggs are jam-packed with vitamins B12 and protein. They’re a great mood booster too, thanks to the L-Tryptophan and choline. These trigger the production of feel-good neurotransmitters like acetylcholine.

#12: Ghee

Also known as clarified butter, ghee is associated with ancient medicine. It can heal your gut and promote proper digestion, thanks mostly to butyric acid. Better digestion leads to a better emotional state – this makes ghee one of the top anti-depression foods.

#13: Kiwi Fruit

This is full of vitamin C which boosts immunity, along with zeaxanthin and lutein which are good for the eyes. It also improves digestion and helps you metabolize food more efficiently. Its antioxidants are great at reducing free radicals which accumulate from the stress from daily life.

#14: Turkey

Like the other amino acid-rich foods on this list, turkey promotes neurotransmitter production. This includes serotonin, which is a great mood-booster. If you’re wondering why everyone’s so chill after Thanksgiving, it just might be this famous holiday dish.

#15: Dark Chocolate

Chocolate in general is known to improve one’s emotional state, but the dark variety is healthier. It contains excellent antioxidants which fight cancer and help you feel better. Remember, the key is to consume this in moderate amounts to avoid spiking your blood sugar levels.

#16: Garlic

This is well-known cancer-fighting food, and it contains good stuff like phytonutrients and antioxidants. It’s also full of heart and brain-boosting minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc.

#17: Cashew Nuts

This makes for a tasty snack that does more than satisfy your taste buds. It also provides proper amounts of protein and zinc which reduces anxiety and stress.

#18: Yogurt

When it comes to good gut health, probiotics is the name of the game. This food is rich in friendly bacteria that benefits your gut. By having a serving of yogurt, you can replenish your all-important intestinal flora which is crucial to excellent digestion. Plus, a healthy gut allows your body to produce those neurotransmitters to keep you happy.

#19: Turmeric

This is an ancient spice that has potent healing properties. For instance, it’s effective at fighting free radicals which damage cells and cause cancer. It’s also rich in anti-inflammatory compounds – this is important in preventing anything from heart problems to brain disease like dementia.

Speaking of which, turmeric also slows down brain cell aging. This prevents conditions like Alzheimer’s as well as improve mental health.

#20: Cinnamon

The unique aroma from this spice has been known to reduce stress and anxiety. Not only that, a small amount of cinnamon packs a potent serving of antioxidants which lower the risk of cancer. Better yet, it’s also excellent at keeping your blood sugar levels stable. This, in turn, manages insulin production and prevent illnesses like diabetes and cancer.

Don’t let Stress (or Disease) Dictate Your Life

The sooner you make these foods a part of your regular diet, the easier you can manage your stress levels – especially during a crazy day.

However, it’s also crucial that you make changes to your general lifestyle, such as your eating habits.

And while eating these calming foods is the start of a healthier, low-stress lifestyle…

…it’s also vital to understand how our food choices affect us on a larger scale.

A reasonable, nourishing diet can provide you with the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Not only does this help you beat anxiety, depression and high levels of stress – it also keeps serious problems at bay, like chronic systemic inflammation, autoimmune disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Too often, we’re seduced by the allure of cheap, convenient processed food. They’re readily available and seem to fit our busy lives, but we’re overlooking its consequences.

Sugar-laden treats like donuts and soda, for instance, trigger conditions like insulin resistance which leads to obesity and other life-threatening issues.

Meanwhile, deep-fried fast food sends our triglyceride levels through the roof and pollute our bloodstream with harmful fats.

Most of us take these clear and present dangers for granted, and we’re paying a high price for it.