Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nutrition

I haven't spoken on this in a while and for some reason I have been getting lots of questions about it lately...and it could be because swimsuit and wedding season is right around the corner. All the sudden we can't hide under baggy shirts and loose-fitting boyfriend-style jeans...

What we have been doing or not doing over the past 5 months will be dictated by our appearance in only a few short weeks...as the sun warms up the land and we break out the shorts and tanks.

Anyway, a few things I want to suggest and then I'll link articles from the true experts with the scientific data behind the why/how...
1. Most people suffering from acid reflux have TOO LITTLE stomach acid in their stomach to digest the food properly.  YES!  Either we aren't chewing our food enough.  We have a bad gut to begin with due to eating highly processed foods, dairy, legumes, or grains for most meals.  We've been on antibiotics for a length of time.  We have a food allergy that is triggering inflammation.  And on and on...
Here are a few of the symptoms related to having too little stomach acid:
  • Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
  • Heartburn (often thought to be caused by too much stomach acid)
  • Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Undigested food in stools
  • Acne
  • Rectal itching
  • Chronic candida
  • Hair loss in women
  • Multiple food allergies
  • Iron deficiency
  • Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Various autoimmune diseases

Read these articles for ways to help: Repairing GutYour Stomach Acid is a Good Thing, Really,
How to Supplement for Low Stomach Acid

2. Suffer from anxiety? Kids act depressed, unmotivated?  It may be a gut issue.  The brain and the gut are connected via the vagus nerve.  The gut is made out of a plethora of neurons that make up the enteric nervous system, which scientists call the Second Brain.  So guess what, one effects the other!  Think about if you get nervous or anxious, what do you feel?  Butterflies in your stomach, right?  See...they are connected.  Think of it this way:     

"Stress, anxiety, depression and strong negative emotions decrease your brain activity, which decreases activation of the vagus nerve.  This will reduce pancreatic enzyme secretion and cause poor gallbladder function, thereby reducing stomach acid production, as well as decrease gut motility, decrease intestinal blood flow, and suppress the intestinal immune system."
--How Mood and Gut Health are Linked
What I'm getting at is, stress, anxiety, fatigue, overworking all effect your digestion.  And vice versa..if your digestive system isn't working properly you aren't feeling well.  (and you may not even know it)

"Actually, about 90 percent of the fibers in the vagus nerve carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around.  There is scientific evidence to suggest that the gut can communicate directly with the brain, perhaps having a direct impact on emotions and moods via the nervous system."

"Now, for the vicious circle part:  an inflamed brain has decreased nerve conductance which manifests as stress, depression and/or anxiety."
        --How Mood and Gut Health are Linked
3. Most people in the United States are malnourished.  As crazy as that sounds, its true.  What we picture and assume to be malnourishment is starvation.  And that's exactly what it is...for several reasons.  One being, our bodies are 'starving' for good wholesome, non-chemical foods.  We keep filling our mouths with chemicals that our body does not process or recognize as food--this produces a histamine response (aka inflammation) and then we begin a trickle down effect of all kinds of issues.  Congestion, yeast infections, candida build up, 'allergies'...etc.  But also, because many of us undereat.  Seriously, how many of us 'diet?'  In our minds, diets mean deprivation. Unfortunately that's the last thing we need to be doing.  When we eat in a calorie deprivation, we get brain fog, we lose energy, we can't sleep, we are hungry, we set ourselves up for a metabolism shut down, which means fat storage, which leads to cortisol spikes, which leads to more stress...and on and on...NOT what we want.  We need to think of feeding ourselves in terms of performance.  We want to have more energy to exercise, we want to think straight, we want to sleep well, we want to avoid getting sick...we NEED calories.  We need to be eating at or near the daily suggested caloric intake for our body type.  This means MORE fats, eating protein per pound of lean body mass, and lots of fibrous vegetables!  Fruit post-workout--because yes, now you will have energy to push yourself in the gym.  Read more here:
Dialing Things in a Bit 

Those are just a few of the things I want to throw out there right now...I will share more specifics about my kids experience, etc. later on.



2 comments:

  1. Great post!
    We just got registration information today for a training coming to Wichita May 13 - "Understanding the Gut Brain: Stress, Appetite, Digestion & Mood". Your blog post is the perfect training overview.
    It's a 6 hour training and I can pass on the registration info if you would be interested in going. I don't know for sure yet if any of my staff will be going yet.

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