Free Things to Upgrade Your Gut Health

Posted by Derek Van Atta on 1st Sep 2020

Ready to upgrade your energy, vibrancy and radiance? 

First let's jump into a refresher on what will enhance the well being of your "gut" and therefore your whole body! As you probably know, 80% of your health is directly tied to the health of your GI Tract. So let's take a close look at this list of awesome benefits from upgrading the condition of your digestive system:

  • More energy. - When your whole system is balanced, your energy can be spent on thriving instead of recovering!
  • Much more effective nutrient assimilation. - Happy bacteria in your gut means that you're digesting and absorbing nutrients in a healthy and efficient way. Since bacteria digest over 45% of your food for you, its easy to see why beneficial bacteria are so necessary to having good nutrition absorption.
  • Better sleep. - Energy spent on digesting can't be spent on repairing your body. Since sleep is when your body repairs, if your digestion is hogging all your spare energy, then you won't have the energy you need to repair when sleeping. This is a great reason why its best to eat your last meal at least three hours before you go to sleep.
  • More beautiful skin, hair, eyes and nails. - One of the clearest places to witness the quality of your nutrient assimilation is in the vibrancy of your hair, skin, eyes and nails. If these tissues are healthy then it's a good sign that you're absorbing nutrients in a healthy way.
  • A clearer and smarter brain for everything you do. - Brain fog is closely tied to the health of the gut. A balanced gut reduces inflammation and lowers the presence of brain fog. Remember, you have two brains. One in your head, and another around your digestive lining, and you benefit from keeping inflammation down, beneficial bacteria up, and keeping the two communicating smoothly.
  • Better stamina throughout your day. - Balanced digestion can help lower sugar cravings and prevent blood sugar spikes which can take away vital energy from your stamina. Combine balanced digestion to the better nutrient absorption you gain from a healthy gut and your stamina will feel steadier and more energized!
  • More ability to build strength & get in shape. - Proper nutrient absorption and better sleep combine to support your body in managing its weight, and developing and tonifying its muscles and tissues. 
  • Better mood and attitude towards the challenges of life. - A balanced gut balances cortisol and serotonin, reduces brain fog, and boosts your production of the all important Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) that make you happy and strong!
  • Eliminate inflammation. - Short Chain Fatty Acids not only fuel your cells and empower your gene expression, they are being discovered to help keep inflammation down and body and tissue pH more alkaline. Beneficial bacteria and healthy living habits combine to produce healthier SCFA's, reduce auto-immune responses, and lower inflammation in your body.
  • Better ability to avoid cancer and dozens of other diseases. - Reverse diseases by lowering inflammation and improving gene expression, improve and propagate your "fat-fed" mitochondria by moving away from creating metabolically inflexible cells (cancer cells), allow the friendly flora to ferment the fiber in your gut into fantastic nutrients. 
  • Reduce or completely get rid of allergy issues. - 80% of your ability to avoid allergies is actually a healthy gut! But most people overload their immune system with gut irritants and there's no capacity left for processing airborne allergens.
  • Much more graceful aging process. - Better cell hydration because of happy cell walls and electron motion in all your cells! You'll age more slowly because your mitochondria will stay hydrated, allowing you to feel more young and vibrant!
  • Eliminate Auto-immune issues. - Greatly reduce your tendency toward any kind of Auto-immune issues by taking great care of your gut lining and your friendly micro-flora.
  • Avoid Leaky Gut Syndrome.  - Your intestinal permeability is greatly reduced, your cell walls repair, your immune system frees up from endless aggravation from leaky gut problems.
  • Happy Liver - When you take good care of your gut health, your liver doesn't have to clean up the negative byproducts of a messed up gut and this cuts the workload of your liver by 1/3 or more.
  • Get rid of pesky food sensitivities. - Your immune system stops confusing good food particulates that are abnormally large in your bloodstream for pathogens and toxins.

"Studies show that simply removing a handful of things that are irritants to your gut lining, and also happen to inhibit the health of beneficial bacteria, ie the good micro-flora, should be your first approach to regaining optimal health" Dr. Nicolas MD

4 Free and Easy Ways to Improve Your Health and Vibrancy

Try these four techniques out this week and see how your feel!

1. Reduce as many of the GI Tract Offenders as possible.

A. Sugar. Period. You already know this in terms of being good to your pancreas, liver and kidneys. And you know to avoid sugar so that you stay off of the "Blood Sugar Roller Coaster" that make us all tired by early afternoon. But did you know that all the Sugar-fed bad bacteria and fungi are wearing you down and all your internal organs? So reducing sugar intake is one of the most important things to do as soon as possible!

B. Gluten. Even if you've gotten tested and your gluten sensitivity is low, it's still at least a minor gut irritant. And if you don't have any data on what level of sensitivity you have, then you better assume that you have the typical amount of gluten sensitivity since 95% of the population gets significant gut inflammation from even small amounts of gluten consumption.

C. Refined starches. All flour-based foods like bread and cookies can feed bad bacteria because anything that has been milled into flour turns into sugars very quickly and becomes fuel for negative bacteria and bad fungus like candida. There's a huge list of negative bacteria that are fed by refined carbs and it's best to reduce this to a minimum if you want to thrive.

D. Dairy products. As you may already know, you don't have to have a full-blown case of lactose intolerance to have dairy products be a potential gut lining irritant. Ghee is the best of the slew of dairy products, and pasture raised, grass fed, organic butter is the next least offensive to your gut. All the rest of the dairy case can best be avoided for a while during a process of re-building your health and well being.

E. Toxins. There are literally dozens of man-made chemicals that irritate the gut mucosa. And many of these toxins also kill off the delicate micro flora in your gut. Try to eat as little GMO foods as possible and as much organic or locally made clean food as possible so as to maintain the best microbiome you possibly can.

F. Drugs and Pharmaceuticals. This is just common sense. Even over-the-counter drugs can damage your gut lining and diminish the vitality of your beneficial bacteria.

2. Eat more prebiotic foods.

Eating delicious prebiotic foods is one of the most underestimated things your can do every day to enhance your health, improve your bowel movements, and reduce gas and bloating. And it's so easy and cheap! For example, here's a cheap easy hack that almost nobody uses because it's so counter-intuitive; under-ripe fruits. That's right. Not fully ripe! Before you say yuck, listen to the science. Your beneficial bacteria need to eat what is called R.S. It stands for Resistant Starch. This means starches that resist digestion in your stomach and small intestine just enough to arrive in your lower GI Tract where the majority of essential micro-flora live and need great food so they can thrive. 

Now don't worry, almost all veggies, and many grains prepared in certain ways, also contain some resistant starches (R.S.) that can survive intact and get to your lower intestine to feed your microbiome nicely. One more reason to eat lots of raw fruits and veggies.

Tip: Don't over cook your broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and yams. And don't be afraid to re-heat your brown rice or quinoa. This will actually enhance some of the R.S. and can be a really good source of food for your beneficial bacteria.

And remember that some of the less-sweet, more sour fruits like whole raw cranberries and wild berries are good sources of Resistant Starch.

Easiest and cheapest of all the Prebiotic tricks: Greenish bananas! If all you do is buy the greenest organic bananas on the shelf, and keep them in the fridge so that they don't ripen, you will be doing your self a big favor. Why? Because greener, under-ripe bananas are a great prebiotic. Especially added to smoothies that have some Probiotics included. Tip: don't buy very many bananas each time. Try to buy greenish bananas twice a week so you don't have to throw away the ones that get too yellow to eat.

3. Make some fermented veggies.

This may sound daunting, but it can be a fun a creative project. First off, you already know that the internet is loaded with recipes and how-to videos about how to do this. And since there are so many choices to make regarding what vegetables you might like to experiment with, we'll keep this section really short. 

One thing that many people do is use up whatever excess veggies they have in their fridge that they're having trouble using up. All vegetables are fermentable. However, there is a tiny bit of food science to know right off the bat. You need some of the veggies in your mix to contain a least a small amount of starches. So red leaf lettuce is not your best bet since it contains so little starch. And the other factor that most people consider is cost. Cabbage has been the most popular vegetable to ferment because it's relatively cheap and ferments better than some other veggies. 

And you don't want to put too many highly sweet veggies into your mix such as carrots. Why? Because you might find the carrots in your mix actually fermenting faster than your cabbage, fennel, broccoli, or Brussel sprouts.

The last thing to consider is whether you want to use a starter in your fermented vegetables. The cheapest and easiest is simply pour a few spoonfuls of the liquid from any other fermented veggies you may already have in your fridge such as sauerkraut or kimchi into your new batch. If you want to get fancy, you can buy some starter but this is often an unnecessary cost and step in your process. The other option is to use some probiotics you may already have at home. You can open up a couple of capsules and add it to you mix and you'll be doing great. And lastly, you can always pour a little coconut kefir water into your veggies to give them an extra boost and add several beneficial strains that you might not have gotten otherwise. We like the Inner-Eco brand of coconut kefir probiotic water because it's got a very high concentration of good bacteria per ounce. But really the any organic fermented veggie product you already have at home will do the trick nicely.

4. Reduce your stress levels

You've probably experienced moments without stress. In these moments, it's easy to see the monumental shift that occurs in your body by lowering your stress. All aspects of your health will benefit when you spend more minutes per day taking good care of your autonomic nervous system. The more time that your autonomic nervous system is in the good state know as Para-sympathetic mode the better off you'll be! Those around you will benefit also from a happier, healthier, more authentic you.

How does stress affect your gut specifically? Carried through your nervous system into your gut, stress can and will damage your tissues directly via an overstimulated autonomic nervous system, reduced levels of HCL and other essential digestive juices, excess cortisol levels, over-stimulated immune responses and negative hormone balance throughout your body. This over-stressing of the tissues also makes it hard for your beneficial bacteria to thrive. Therefore, stress directly alters your micro-biome and starts a cyclical slip away from good health. This is because stress-created hormones, and inflammation can literally kill the good bacteria in your gut. Further, stress encourages the bad bacteria to grow, which in turn can cause increased stress in your body. As with so many other aspects of our whole being, one thing effects not just one other, but all others!

But don't stress about stress! Really! The best news is that no matter what state of health you're in now, it can turn upward quickly towards vibrant health! Once you make space in your body, mind, and soul to implement helpful changes, your whole system can turn around quickly. Sleep more, eat better, worry less, all of these things will help your whole system to turn around quickly. Sleep more, eat better, worry less, all of these things will amplify everything good in life!

Sometimes reducing stress can seem impossible, because our personal needs appear to be less valuable than the other needs we are attempting to meet such as work, finances or family issues. But these are often unconscious agreements that we ourselves have made with the world, and these agreements can take precedence over our commitment to our own needs. So pause, and witness what you're doing when you're stressed, and see which of your needs you are putting aside. Is it worth it? If the answer is yes, then great. If the answer is no, then how can you shift your life so that your need is met and the unnecessary stress is avoided.

Lastly, regardless of circumstances, every moment you can choose to be grateful and optimistic about something. In fact studies show that you can improve your hormone balance in your bloodstream within a few minutes of thinking about anything you're grateful for. It can literally be the smallest thing in your immediate environment. You can pick anything, as long as you have any genuine appreciation for it. Make gratitude one of your hourly habits. Gratitude can be a true spiritual practice, and it's 100% backed by leading-edge science!

Conclusion Regardless of what you decide to implement in your life this weekend, this week, and this month, enjoy and celebrate some of the easy and free things you can do to upgrade your vitality.... and therefore upgrade every aspect of your life!

All the best to you!

Derek Van Atta

Love Your Body! ~ Love Everybody!