Have you ever wondered why doctors put such importance on nutrition? Now, for those of you who know me, you know that I am a firm believer in what you put into your body directly determining what you can get out of it. There is a reason for the madness I swear. When it comes to your health your digestive system is right at the root of everything. From your mood level, immunity, ability to process stress, heck even to slowing the aging process. Your digestive system helps regulate all of it. At the end of the day, your digestive system can make or break your health goals. That’s why it is imperative that we all do everything within our ability to ensure our digestive system is working to the best of its ability.
Listen to Your Gut!
By now, if you have read through any of my blogs over the years you know just how critical your digestive system is. For example, it makes up over half of your immune system. When your stomach acidity levels drop you end up not being able to eliminate the majority of bacterial or viral invaders. Or the fact that over 70% of Serotonin and Dopamine (happiness hormones) are produced and regulated within your digestive system. Heck, even our Cortisol and Progesterone levels are regulated largely in part thanks to our digestion. Your gut matters and taking care of it is more than just feeding it the right combinations of foods.
How to Stack The Deck
While taking care of your digestive system may consist of more than just providing it with the right foods a great deal of it depends on this. Everything we put into our bodies serves a purpose whether we choose to acknowledge that or not. Unfortunately, most of us are unaware of who or what is driving us to make those choices. More often than not we crave foods or substances that do more harm than good. One of the most common cravings is sugar. Don’t get me wrong there is a lot of amazing things sugar can do. For example, it has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier with ease and contains high levels of readily available energy. Unfortunately, it is also more addictive than cocaine and pushes zinc and magnesium out of our bodies. Not to mention that it is also bacteria’s number one favorite food source.
Who Is Behind The Wheel?
With so many of us reaching for more and more sugar fixes throughout our day it is clear to see that the majority of us are no longer behind the wheel. How our bodies work is that we all contain bacteria naturally within our digestive systems. There is a balancing act constantly going on within our digestive systems between good and bad bacteria. These bacteria are pivotal in helping us break food down into the building blocks we need to build and repair our bodies. When the bad bacteria start to overpower the good bacteria we start to get mixed signals. The end result is often more sugar cravings than before. That is because those bad bacteria are now in charge and want you to help them grow by providing them with their main food source.
Friend From Foe
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that benefit the digestive system. People generally think of bacteria and other microorganisms as the causative factors of various diseases. The fact is, that the human body is occupied by bacteria, both good and bad for health. These bacteria, called probiotics, however, are involved in many natural, essential bodily processes. There are many foods that can replace and replenish these healthy bacteria in our digestive tract that may have been lost due to illness or high doses of medicines, like antibiotics.
Probiotics are effective in treating many gut-related problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and bloating. Probiotics are important for urinary, vaginal, and oral health. Probiotics have external benefits, too; they can help minimize the side effects of many skin problems, such as eczema.
There are several ways to incorporate probiotics into your diet.
Yogurt is a great source of probiotics. Make sure you choose yogurt that is labeled as having “live and active cultures.” Yogurt is also loaded with vitamins like B5 and B12, which are important for blood and nerve cells. It also contains major and minor minerals such as potassium, zinc, iodine, and phosphorus, all of which take part in various important body processes like maintaining healthy blood pressure and slowing the aging process.
Pickles made through Lacto-fermentation—a pickling technique that does not use vinegar—are rich in probiotics. (Vinegar contains acetic acid, which has an impact on probiotics, making traditional pickles less effective for probiotic purposes.) Pickles containing sea salt and water are more beneficial because this mixture feeds the growth of good bacteria, helping maintain a good digestive system.
Take a probiotic supplement such as Renew Life50 billion, Kepro, or Pb Assist. Make sure to look for a probiotic that can survive stomach acid and one that has a variety of different strains. You can find probiotics at your local health food store.
Some other good sources of probiotics include Sauerkraut; miso soup, a fermented soybean paste that is also rich in vitamin B and antioxidants; kefir; sourdough bread; tempeh, which is also made of fermented soybeans and packed with proteins. Take your pick, and do your body some good!
Strengthen Your Digestion
Keeping in mind that sugar has a nasty habit of pushing out key vitamins and minerals such as Zinc and Magnesium. I would highly suggest taking a regular vitamin that contains both or you could always increase your foods that are high in both Magnesium and Zinc. To do this you will want to increase your vegetable intake and try to stick with dark green vegetables as they contain higher concentrations of both. If you are unsure of which foods to gravitate to try to focus on the foods that are naturally better for your immune system and stress reduction. They also tend to overlap into repairing your digestion.
Coconut Lime Cauliflower Tacos
Gluten Free Vegan Serves 4
- 1 Medium Cauliflower Cut into Steaks
- 1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
- Zest & Juice 1 Lime
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 Cup Cornmeal
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
Whisk together milk, zest, and juice of 1 lime, 1/2 tsp salt, and set aside. In another bowl combine breadcrumbs, cornmeal, coconut, and remaining seasoning. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and line up your breading station: cauliflower, wet batter, dry breading, baking sheet. Place cauliflower into the milk coating completely then breading. Transfer to sheet and repeat until all have been breaded. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 400 flipping halfway. Once done assemble tacos. I like to pair it with a spicy slaw and fresh avocados. It also is great with kimchi!
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!