Play hard & Stay healthy

shutterstock_290576897 it takes guts family at play

Today’s lifestyle keeps the entire family active from youngsters to their hard-working parents. A strong immune system helps us fight off seasonal illness and maintain healthy energy levels. Like your mother’s advice, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” the best way to deal with the common cold is to avoid it entirely!

It is not just germs that cause kids and grown-ups to get sick. A big factor is the strength of their immune response that, believe it or not, starts in the digestive tract where over 70-80 percent of immune system cells reside. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut, help support the function of these crucial immune cells.

An important aspect of health is how successfully your immune system recognizes and destroys bad bacteria and other pathogens. According to Ross Pelton, pharmacist, author and holistic health expert, one study indicated that people who ingested probiotics for three weeks were shown to have immune cells that were twice as effective as those who did not.

The friendly bacteria help support the function of immune system cells by, among other things, crowding out unfriendly guests like bad bacteria. Probiotics also enhance digestion, which means the body better absorbs all the nutrients it needs from food and supplements. That alone equips the body to stay healthy and more efficiently fight off any bad bugs that come along.

“Unfortunately, due to overuse of antibiotics, stress, and other modern environmental and dietary issues, most people of all ages have a compromised probiotic population,” Dr. Fred Pescatore, author of the best seller Feed Your Kids Well, said. To maintain good health, the ratio of good to bad bacteria needs to stay at 85 to 15. This ratio is almost impossible to maintain without supplementing with a high-quality probiotic. Dr. Pescatore encourages his patients to look for a supplement that encapsulates both the probiotic and its nutritious culture medium.

“A probiotic alone will not necessarily be successful. The friendly bacteria need what is called prebiotic support,” explained Dr. Pescatore who noted that a certain Japanese probiotic, available in the U.S. as Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics®, fits the bill. The probiotic formula is encapsulated with its culture medium. The culture medium provides nutritious vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and pH-balancing organic acids and postbiotics. “This prebiotic support ensures that the probiotics take root and thrive in the digestive tract,” said Dr. Pescatore.

With both prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic supplementation in place, the body’s immune system can see some real benefit, which translates into fewer sick days. That’s great news for the whole family.

When relying on probiotics to help support immune response, it is vital to pick the right supplement. There are products that claim to contain “billions and billions” of bacteria. That’s not always a good thing though. Providing too much of a single bacteria strain can actually trigger an immune response; the body treats the supplemented bacteria as a threat. Consumers should also look out for probiotic products that may have undergone manufacturing processes or shipping conditions that render them useless. Avoid some of these pitfalls by finding a brand that has had studies conducted on its own finished product.

Yes, it’s not just germs that make people sick. Poor digestive tract balance can lead to a compromised immune response, making the body especially vulnerable to daily germ exposure. A high-quality probiotic supplement can be a big step toward sound health for the whole family throughout the year.

As healthy micro-ecology is restored, digestion improves and all the body’s organs and cells are able to receive nutrition more efficiently. That can have an incredible effect on whole health and energy helping the entire family to manage a demanding lifestyle.

It Takes Guts… to play hard!

 

Avoiding Digestive Distress This Thanksgiving

Gobble, Gobble + Gulp, Gulp = Gastric Distress!

Tips to avoid indigestion, bloating and other tummy troubles this Thanksgiving

Every year on Thanksgiving, Americans come together to celebrate a centuries old tradition. We give thanks for all that we have, visit with family and friends, watch football, and feast on the harvest foods of the season. The turkey is tempting, that ham is enticing, and did that pumpkin pie just call your name? Self control often flies out the window! While Thanksgiving festivities commence with merriment, for many of us, the day will end with digestive woes.

“Trying to eat healthy amidst such an array of indulgence presents some challenges and a test of will power to be sure,” said Martie Whittekin, CCN and author of Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosic and Other Acid Blockers. “But taking a few steps before and during holiday parties may help you control overeating and avoid the discomfort of indigestion, bloating and even diarrhea and constipation.”

Why the Bountiful Banquet May Entice a Belly Ache

Many conventionally prepared Thanksgiving menus, albeit delicious, are hard on your stomach. Greasy ham, fried turkey, mashed potatoes loaded with milk and butter, yams with sugary marshmallows, decadent desserts, not to mention the increased alcohol intake. Even if you eat healthy the rest of the year, sometimes your digestive system just isn’t prepared for the onslaught of rich fare. 

Causes of an upset stomach include smoking, anxiety, too much caffeine and overeating, especially fatty or spicy foods. Bloating is not only triggered by how much you eat, but also by eating certain foods that are difficult to digest.  These undigested substances then pass into your colon producing the gas bubbles that make your stomach swell up and create uncomfortable gas.

Fortunately, there is a way to have a delicious and digestively healthy Thanksgiving. Ms. Whittekin has helped us put together tips for healthier holiday eating.

Tips For a Healthier Thanksgiving

  • Use Lean meat – opt for a roasted turkey instead of ham or fried turkey. To maintain moist meat, be sure to baste with broth every hour or so.
  • Eat Your Vegetables – veggies should be a staple of Thanksgiving side dishes, but some are loaded with unhealthy ingredients. Green beans do not have to be topped with friend onions. Instead try a sauté of fresh green beans, garlic, dairy-free butter, and slivered almonds.
  • Monitor Sweets – when you do eat dessert, savor smaller portions as eating sugar can cause bloating and indigestion.
  • Homemade – Bring your own dish to a Thanksgiving potluck — healthy alternatives like Sweet Potato Casserole and Corn Bread Stuffing taste as good (or better) than the real thing.
  • Chew Slow! – Did you know you can reduce bloating simply by chewing your food well and eating slowly? Overloading your stomach, on the other hand, can lead to gas. Simply slowing down your meal may also help you to savor your food – an indulgence so many of us miss these days – and will help you avoid indigestion or gas caused by eating too quickly.
  • Probiotics – A probiotics supplement may help support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption, along with promoting healthy intestinal flora. Taking a high-quality, fermented probiotic such as Ohhira’s Probiotics  has been shown to help regulate the movement of food through the intestine and facilitate digestion.  As a result, the space that the food occupies is decreased, and there is less indigestion, gas and bloating. Up your dose of probiotics a few days before the feast for even better digestion.*

Foods to Limit in your Menu:

  • High-fat and fried food – both of these can distress the stomach resulting in heartburn and indigestion. As we note above, roast your turkey instead of fry and limit the oil you use to sauté your side dishes.
  • Dairy – too much milk or cheese has been known to cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Instead of mixing BOTH milk and butter in your mashed potatoes, pick just one.
  • Alcohol – relaxes the body, but can also inflame the stomach lining and prevent certain digestive enzymes from doing their job. Try to limit to 1-2 drinks.
  • Sugar – too much sugar can lead to a host of digestive inefficiencies. Try subbing honey on your yams instead of marshmallows.

If you make wise choices regarding which foods to eat, you will be rewarded with a sense of physical well-being. In general, avoid anything that is fatty, creamy or fried, as foods with a high fat content may result in unpleasant digestive symptoms. In addition, be cautious about your choice of drink; as alcohol and caffeine can both be irritating to your system.

Most importantly enjoy the time with family, friends and good conversation.  If you are talking, you are less likely to be overeating! Click on Thanksgiving Discount for 20% off your order of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics, Original Formula.

REFERENCES

http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20551987,00.html/view-all

http://allergyfreemenuplanners.com/2013/02/14/how-sugar-throws-off-your-digestive-and-hormonal-balance/

http://bodyecology.com/articles/making-thanksgiving-healthy-is-one-day-of-overeating-really-a-big-deal

http://www.everydayhealth.com/digestive-health/heartburn-and-indigestion-whats-the-difference.aspx

http://www.cancerfightersthrive.com/9-tips-avoid-holiday-induced-digestive-distress/

Do you have any healthy menu planning tips that you like to stick to during Thanksgiving? Share with us in the comments below!

 

 

Why this ‘Gut-Wrenching’ Presidential Election Can Make You SICK!

Are you sick and tired of the 2016 election? Political scandals, name-calling, protests, bad behavior are all stressors that can make you physically ill. And with Election Day  https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote) fast approaching, tempers are flaring and anxiety abounds regarding which candidate will be chosen to lead our great nation.  All this worry and angst, as well as modern living, an ‘iffy’ diet, and lack of sleep can lead to major digestive distress and disturb your body’s entire bacterial balance, leading to a myriad of health issues. Fortunately for you, there is a safe and natural approach that can minimize the damage and actually help you body recover from the negative onslaught of this election.

“So many of our body’s functions depend on a healthy digestive system.  Science has proven that proper amounts and strains of probiotics directly affect not only healthy digestion, but a healthy immune system, thyroid function, brain function, efficient detoxification, and mood,” said Dr. Natalie J. Engelbart, DC, and a Fellow of the American College of Functional Neurology.

Every person on the planet has their own ecosystem of good bacteria that lives in their intestines and gut. You probably know that these colonies of good bacteria can help breakdown food, support your immune system and promote good digestive health. But what is very interesting, is that recent studies have shown that there is an undeniable link between a person’s mental health and their gut bacteria.[1], [2]*

A University in Ireland conducted a study where a group of men were given probiotics (specifically Bifidobacterium longum) for a month and then unknowingly switched to a placebo for a second month. During the time frame that the men were taking the probiotic capsules, they reported less stress and anxiety AND they actually had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than when they took the placebo pills.[3]

So why is this? Well, other research has found that probiotics have a significant effect on GABA levels (the main inhibitory neurotransmitter for your central nervous system). It is also important to understand that neurons exist in your brain, but ALSO in your gut. Amazingly, the largest concentration of serotonin (which helps control mood) is actually found, not in your brain, but in your intestines! [4]

So… load up on probiotics to help ease your 2016 Election Day woes! Here’s how:

1.) Yogurt or kefir – fermented dairy products that normally include probiotics  Here is a recipe to make coconut yogurt if you are game.

2.) Sauerkraut and Kimchi – fermented cabbage and other vegetables that help support the growth of your good bacteria and if you love the spicy Korean cabbage C & J Nutrition has a great recipe for Kimchi.  For great sauerkraut you will love The Prairie Homesteads version.

3.) Kombucha – fermented black tea with a host of probiotic benefits.  This is a great bubbly alternative to soda and the best video to show you how to make it at home.

4.) Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics® – while probiotic support would ideally be maintained through a natural diet, most of us do not include a large selection of fermented foods in our typically menus. In fact, the current Western diet – full of sugars, carbs and fats – actually prohibits the growth of good bacteria. So the majority of the population really needs to take a probiotic supplement.

[1] http://www.sciencealert.com/taking-probiotics-could-make-you-less-stressed-and-boost-your-memory

[2] http://www.livescience.com/49248-gut-bacteria-mental-health.html

[3] https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/oct/18/probiotic-bacteria-bifidobacterium-longum-1714-anxiety-memory-study

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Proceedings+of+the+National+Academy+of+Sciences+of+the+United+States+of+America%5bJour%5d+AND+2011%5bpdat%5d+AND+Bravo%5bauthor%5d&cmd=detailssearch

Is Your Yogurt on the Naughty List?

I don’t know about you, but I feel really good about myself when I start my day off with a bowl of  yogurt. I considered my bowl of Greek yogurt as my “healthy meal” of the day, and didn’t worry about what I consumed for my other meals, because my yogurt made up for the other bad stuff I ate throughout the day! However, my scale begged to differ.shutterstock_154277930 I was shocked when I stepped on the scale for the first time, a few months after I began my yogurt “diet” and saw that I had gained weight! Quite a bit of it! I thought I was being healthy! However, like most foods, there is a right way and a wrong way to do yogurt. I came to the sad realization that one “good” meal a day doesn’t mean that the rest of my meals can be Happy-Meals.

While yogurt can be a great snack for weight loss due to its high protein content, here are 6 mistakes you can make while eating yogurt that can thwart your progress:

1. Not Measuring Portions- Previously, when I bought yogurt, I assumed that one container was one serving size and never thought to double-check this with the label. Even when I bought the larger containers to save money, I never stopped to check how much of it I should actually be eating per serving. Its important not to assume a serving size based on gauging portions with your eyes, especially if you’re eating from a large container. Aim for 6 ounces to 1 cup per serving size.

2. Counting Calories vs. Counting Protein- While counting calories is essential when trying to lose weight, doing so with yogurt could be misleading you. Rather than only focusing on the amount of calories per serving, make sure you’re getting around 12-15 grams of protein. For example, rather than choosing the 100 calorie yogurt with 6 grams of protein, go for the one that has more calories, but also more protein, so you feel full longer.

shutterstock_2211729343. Parfait Does Not Equal Yogurt- “It has yogurt, so its healthy… right?” Not necessarily. In fact, parfaits with full-fat yogurt and lots of granola can do more harm than good. For one thing, the granola breaks up the yogurt, leading you to believe you are eating less yogurt than you actually are. Also, a lot of packaged parfaits have artificial flavors and contain fruit that is far from fresh. I know the parfait looks much more appetizing than a regular packaged yogurt, but in the long run the parfait isn’t doing your weight-loss efforts any favors.

4. Adding Too Many  Extras- So you’ve got your yogurt serving size down, but are you accounting for the cereal, honey, or fruit you are adding to it? All of these things can be great, healthy additions, just make sure you are adding them in modest amounts. It’s important to clarify whether you want your yogurt to be a snack, or a full-on meal. If it’s just a snack, make sure it is 200 calories or less.

5. Using Yogurt as Your Probiotic Source- While getting your daily dose of probiotics is important, make sure you aren’t choosing a yogurt just based on its probiotic claims. There are other lower calorie and fat sources for getting your daily probiotic intake, like supplements. There is no need to start loading your diet with yogurt just to get your probiotic fill.shutterstock_98051684

6.  Making Fat-Free a Priority-  Usually, a fat-free yogurt will overcompensate in other areas, like sugar. Yogurt is a healthy fat, however, the added sugars are not. Go for a yogurt with less than 18 grams of sugar, and make sure that it is not the first ingredient listed on the label! Overall, you want to be sure you’re getting enough protein and not too much sugar.

Stocking Stuffers You’ll Want to Give and Receive

Although it is not yet Thanksgiving, many people have completed most of their Christmas shopping. Others, like me, haven’t started ticking off their Christmas list obligations yet. Whether you finished your shopping before Halloween or you’re waiting until Christmas Eve night to begin, check out EFI’s favorite stocking stuffers for 2014. Each gift was hand-picked with care and experience by a member of the EFI team, creating a comprehensive stocking stuffer list for every member of your family.

 

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For The Body:

  • Nutrex Spriulina Pacifica– As one of the most nutritious, concentrated whole foods known to humankind, one 3 gram serving of Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica provides 60% protein and an excellent source of Vitamins A, K1, K2, B12, Iron, Manganese, and Chromium as well as a rich source of health-giving phytonutrients such as carotenoids, GLA, SOD, and phycocyanin

 

 

  •  Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics- Modern lifestyles are hard on the body. In addition to supporting digestion, Probiotics are essential for immune system function, and your gut is your first line of immune defense. Keep your family and yourself healthy over the holidays!

 

 

  • Oxylent– A 5-in-1 daily multivitamin and  refreshing drink. Instead of swallowing pills or tablets, add a packet of Oxylent to water and enjoy a sparkling drink that delivers vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, amino acids, and antioxidants with easy absorption and great taste.

 

 

  • Soverign Silver– Topically, colloidal silver is the instant choice for use on minor cuts, scrapes, burns, abrasions and anything that you don’t want to get infected. It can be used in place of almost any antibiotic, both for topical use and internal use. Another great way to make sure your family stays well throughout the stressful holidays.

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  • Chia Omega– The pioneering product line that stands out by combining Chia Seed Oil with synergistic ingredients for specific health goals. Providing support for cardiovascular health and healthy cognition plus additional benefits, CHIA OMEGA is the plant-based Omega-3 supplement people are searching for. Try one or all four of the CHIA OMEGA formulas.

 

For The Skin:

  •  Pacific Shaving Company– Using safe, natural and organic ingredients, these shaving products have you covered before, during and after your shave.

 

 

  • Dr. Ohhira’s Kampuku Beauty Bar– The Beauty Bar merges the revitalizing power of natural ingredients, ancient Japanese fermentation skills, and modern science to create a clarifying, balancing, and rejuvenating beauty bar gentle enough for the entire family. With no scent and no detergents, this soap works wonderfully on all skin types.

 

 

  • Hyalogic Episilk Facial Mist– This light mist with Hyaluronic Acid refreshes and lightly moisturizes the skin while not clogging pores or leaving oily residues. A perfect “pick-me-up” for your skin!

 

 

  • Eco Lips– Organic, Gluten-free, Non-GMO, Cruelty-free, smooth & soothing lip balm for your dry, winterized lips.

 

 

For The Treat-Filled Tummy:

 

  •  Vega Maca Chocolate Bars– A chocolate indulgence you can actually feel good about! Dark chocolate combined with 4,000 mg of maca, renowned for its ability to balance, invigorate and energize.

 

 

 

For Your Pets:shutterstock_215720035

 

  • Leashes by Liz– A family owned small business that makes handmade leashes, collars and pet accessories perfect for the furry friend in your life! The brightly colored, braided leashes are sure to make a statement on your next walk or trip to the dog park!

 

 

 

For Your Wardrobe:

  • Izzie and Olin– Gorgeous jewelry and accessories that are handmade with quality pieces, many of which are reclaimed finds from vintage pieces. This one of a kind jewelry line will make you and your loved ones look like a million bucks, without having to spend it!

 

 

 

How to Avoid Holiday Traffic… In Your Gut

With all of the traveling, eating, drinking, and celebrating that comes with the summer holidays, chances are you’re going to get stuck in more than one kind of traffic jam this weekend. While I can’t offer you any tips about how to stay out of traffic on the highway, I can give you some advice on how to avoid jam-ups in your digestive system. 3flg010USASo, if you prefer to experience fireworks and explosions from afar, not inside your belly, try the following tips for a happy and healthy Fourth of July:

  • Drink lots of water: It is easy to get dehydrated in the summer heat without even realizing it, and dehydration is one of the leading causes of constipation. Your goal should be to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink at least 80 ounces of water per day.

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  •   Keep your body moving: Exercise stimulates the natural contraction of intestinal muscles, thus aiding in elimination and detoxification. Try going for a 10 minute walk immediately after finishing a meal to assist the natural flow of digestion.

 

 

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  • Invest in a high-quality probiotic: Look for a non-freeze-dried probiotic that is dairy, gluten, soy, and egg free. shutterstock_193048010

 

 

 

  • Chew your food thoroughly: Rather than swallowing your Fourth of July hot dog or burger whole, take the time to completely chew your food. This will make for an easier digestion process and allow you to enjoy your food in the meantime.

 

 

  • Take a Epson salt bath: After wrapping up the day’s activities, give your body a chance to relax. A warm bath will relax your body (watch out for sunburns!) and the Epson salt will aid in a gentle detoxification. Soak for about 20 minutes.shutterstock_121099396

3 Ways To Seal a Leaky Gut

After reading an article from Balanced Body Wellness Center, I learned that leaky gut is much more than an inconvenience issue. The condition can lead to allergies, fatigue, depression, joint pain, and many other issues that I was previously unaware were related to leaky gut.

 

Leaky gut, also known as intestine permeability, allows things that shouldn’t be able to pass through the “net” in your digestive tract to get through. For example, proteins (like gluten), bad bacteria, undigested food particles, and toxic waste are able to pass through your digestive net and into your blood stream, which can cause an immune reaction. As inflammation throughout your body rises, the following symptoms can occur:

  • Bloating
  • Food sensitivities
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Skin issues
  • Digestive problems
  • Weight gain

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, how can you know that it is a result of leaky gut and not something else? A common indicator of leaky gut is multiple food sensitivities. This is due to partially digested fats and proteins that leak through your intestinal lining and into your bloodstream, causing an allergic response. If left untreated, this can lead to more serious health conditions such as IBS, arthritis, eczema, depression, anxiety, migraines, fatigue, and muscle pain can also occur, usually due to malabsorption of vital minerals and nutrients.

Beyond these symptoms that can occur throughout your body, leaky gut can also have an effect on the brain. shutterstock_195280496Intestinal permeability has been linked to several psychological disorders including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Since the gut is often referred to as the “second brain,” in many cases, if you can maintain a healthy gut, you can maintain a healthy brain. It takes guts ® to have a healthy brain!

Now that you know some issues that can result from the condition, how do you know if your gut is leaking? There are 2 important functional medicine tests that are used to confirm and identify the cause of leaky gut. These include the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis and the Intestinal Permeability Test. The CDSA™ is a non-invasive evaluation of the gastrointestinal function that looks at your digestion, absorption, bacterial balance, and yeast. The Intestinal Permeability Assessment is also a non-invasive procedure which assesses the absorption of the small intestine and the barrier function of the bowel.

3 Ways to Help Seal Your Leaky Gut

If one of these tests confirms that your gut is in fact leaking, here are some steps you can take to heal your gut:

  1. Remove foods that damage the gut. Seek medical advice in discovering your specific food allergies and remove those foods from your diet.
  2. Replenish your system with healthy, nutritious foods that won’t cause further damage to your digestive net.
  3. Repair and heal your gut with probiotics. Choose a probiotic that not only supplies your body with good bacteria, but also adjusts the environment of your GI tract by creating organic acids, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.

 

 

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

**These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.