It turns out that the trillions of bacteria in your gut do more than just help you digest food and produce vitamins. They have strong connections to obesity and metabolism, and may even be the key to whether you are depressed or happy, healthy, or sick.
Dysbiosis is an excess of pathogenic or ‘bad bacteria’ in our gut. Because one of the roles of our good bacteria is to crowd out the bad guys it’s important to ensure we make a conscious effort to promote healthy levels.
1. Oestrogen Metabolism…
An imbalance in our gut flora can influence the level of oestrogen that we re-absorb from the gut back into circulation. A certain amount is normal but in excess we can start to experience oestrogen dominant symptoms. Oestrogen is the hormone that gives us our soft feminine form and it can promote weight gain especially around the hips and waist if not in balance. Other symptoms that may indicate oestrogen dominance include heavy periods, PMS, breast tenderness and low thyroid function.
Pathogenic or bad bacteria have the potential to increase inflammatory molecules that have been show to increase risk of disease and disorders such as insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease. These disorders directly impact our potential to gain weight. Inflammation is an attempt by immune system to clear out potential threats from the body and the immune uses a huge amount of energy leaving us feeling tired and unmotivated. In fact a paper just came out in June 2019 in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences linking the reduced release of dopamine in the brain, the motivation to do things, and the presence of an inflammatory reaction in the body. If we feel tired and unmotivated the likelihood is that we won’t feel like exercising!
It’s not all dreary though your good bacteria produce anti inflammatory compounds called short chained fatty acids when you consume fibre. These compounds act as a source of energy for the cells lining the colon and help reduce the risk of the diseases I have listed above; insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease! Bottom line need to make sure we are feeding our good guys!!
3. Antibiotic use….
We know from studies on livestock that chronic use of antibiotics can promote weight gain and now more research on rats also shows antibiotic exposure disrupts gut microbiota and increases body fat.
Could this transfer over to humans? It’s entirely possible as research shows children who regularly take antibiotics gain weight faster, demonstrating their is a link… However this effect seems to be cumulative, so instead of never taking antibiotics at all – just use them when they are absolutely needed.
4. Firmicutes versus bacteroidetes…
Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes are two major phyla of bacteria in human gut microbiota. The ratio between these 2 bacteria groups is correlated with obesity and other diseases. Most studies have shown that the more Bacteroidetes you have (compared to your Firmicutes), the leaner you will be. Firmicutes are not bad per se but they work by helping to increase the amount of energy we extract from our food. This can then lead to weight gain if that extra energy is not used up. To shift the ratio more in favour of bacteroidetes increase your intake of plant fibre especially beans and vegetables.
Can a simple shift in gut bacteria be enough to kick off the weight loss process you might be asking!?? Animals studies say it may be possible… By transplanting bacteria from the intestines of obese humans into mice we can see it can actually trigger obesity in normal-weight mice. In a study, Dr. Gewirtz at Cornell University showed that the weight of mice could be changed by over 15 percent just by shifting their intestinal bacteria. This has also been demonstrated in humans where people who have gotten a faecal transplant from someone over weight, the person receiving the transplant gained weight without any change in their diet. So what would a 15% increase look like… well in a female weighing 9stone it would equate to a 1 stone and 5lb increase; pushing them into an over weight category.
Unfortunately, several features of the modern lifestyle can contribute to deminished gut flora:
I hope you enjoyed reading my article and enjoy adding in some gut loving foods into your diet 🙂
There’s almost an emotional response to giving up something we love so much!! Even thinking about it can cause anxiety because of its addictive nature!!!
But it doesn’t have to be difficult… First of all it’s important to change your way of thinking… instead of thinking about giving up sugar think about including more healthy and enjoyable foods into your diet this will naturally reduce cravings! This way you don’t have to battle with your will power too much!!!
Healthy fats are easily damaged at high cooking temperatures. That’s why it’s always better to bake nuts and seeds at a lower temperature for longer instead of blasting them at high heat for a shorter period. Soaking nuts activates the plant enzymes making them easier for the body to digest them and extract the nutrients. Like grains, raw nuts (and especially raw seeds), contain moderate levels of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Soaking the nuts and adding a little salt to the water helps break down these problematic substances that bind to minerals and can cause problems in the gut.
I really like the nuts in Lidl because they taste so fresh and they come in a resealable pack. Nuts so be crunchy and not withered and chewy and you can keep them fresh by storing them in the fridge once opened. Polyunsaturated fats are not heat stable so even the temperature in your kitchen can cause them to spoil and go rancid!
Start by soaking your nuts over night in some water and a good pinch of salt. For some reason my cashews turned pink when I soaked them!
Once your nuts are rinse and dry them and place them into a blender and blitz for no longer than 10 seconds. If you don’t have a blender then you can place the nuts in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin.
Add the blended nuts to the bowl with your granola ingredients and mis well…
(All available in these pack sizes in Lidl!)
I can’t believe I waited so long to taste Golden Milk! Reminiscent of a chai latte, golden milk is a healing drink made turmeric, cinnamon and ginger which all have strong anti aging and anti cancer properties! This drink would be super for anyone with hormonal, pain or skin issues!
Ingredients: (double ingredients if making for 2)
**Note be careful with your hands and clothes because turmeric stains!!!
Bone broth has some amazing health benefits ranging from getting rid of wrinkles, easing arthritic pain to even healing leaky gut!! The source of these benefits can attributed to the high quantities of collagen that are so healing for the entire body. Collagen is the basis of all tissue; bone, teeth, skin, muscle and joints making bone broth the perfect drink for everyone ranging from toddlers to athletes!!! It has become the latest trend in healthy living!
Bones are the mineral store of the body and bone stock is packed full of these healthy minerals and collagen which help to keep our own bones and teeth in optimum condition as well skin elasticity. There is no comparison to the store bought versions which lack gelatin and often contain MSG. The gelatin contains fat-soluble vitamins and it helps the body to absorb the minerals. In times of sickness a cup of stock is useful for any colds, flues or tummy problems… it also helps repair a leaky gut! J
I recommend investing in a slow cooker if you’re going to start making your own broth. You can pick one up for between €30 -€50 and they can be left on over night without worrying!
I wanted to share my experience with you having a Colonic Hydrotherapy treatment! As a Nutritional Therapist I like to try out things myself before recommending them to a client… I was feeling very nervous because I really didn’t know what to expect! Taking the unknown factor out of it will hopefully encourage more people to avail of this wonderful treatment… Being a nutritional therapist I am very comfortable talking about bowel movements daily with clients so I thought I would be the perfect candidate to write a blog post on the whole experience!
After arriving to clinic I was welcomed into the waiting area and invited to fill out a consultation form; while listening to some soothing music in the background. Antoinette was my therapist, she is a fully qualified nurse and very professional and reassuring. She explained all utensils were disposable and hospital grade and detailed everything that would happen during the treatment.
She directed me to the bathroom where I was given disposable undies, Velcro towel wrap and some cosy socks so my feet wouldn’t get cold! I thought this was a lovely touch!!
I returned to the room where I was directed onto the bed and she began to work her magic. The most uncomfortable part was getting the tube inserted but once it’s in you can’t really feel it. She flushes the bowel with warm water and you let her know when you’re feeling an urge to pass a movement; at that point she releases the water again and this relieves the urge to go!! She repeated this several times changing the water temperature. During the treatment I was giving the option of having a toilet break which I gladly accepted… This gave me the opportunity to empty my bowel while I read one of her little books on positive affirmations!
When I was done I returned to the bed for the rest of my treatment. I was curious to know what was actually coming through the tube but she said not much at all as I had cleared most of it out during my toilet break (which I was kind of relieved about)!!
She massaged and palpated my abdomen and found tender areas of inflammation, which she informed me was around my gall bladder and liver. This is very interesting to me because I have suffered from hormonal issues for many years. As a nutritional therapist I understand the liver and bile is what removes excess hormones, if this system is not functioning optimally it can cause a build up excess hormones in the system!
She finished off my treatment with a coffee enema and explained the amazing benefits! She informed me she was using the Gerson Therapy brand of coffee; this is used in the protocol for the Gerson Cancer treatment. Amazingly a coffee enema can speed up liver function by up to a massive 600% (according to Dr Gerson). It helps eliminate toxins and bile by stimulating the liver and gall bladder. During the coffee enema I felt an amazing feeling of Euphoria – I don’t usually drink coffee but if that’s what people are experiencing then no wonder it’s addictive!!
After the coffee enema she flushed out my colon for the last time to help remove any bile residue. She felt my tummy again and it didn’t feel as tender as before – this hopefully indicates some of the pressure was relieved from my gall bladder!
Once the treatment was finished I sat down with Antoinette and she gave me a cup of warm herbal tea and we discussed my follow up recommendations. I must say it was lovely to be getting advice for change from giving it!! She recommended magnesium, a probiotic and a castor oil wrap which I’m really excited about trying out!!
I was really happy with the treatment and couldn’t recommend Antoinette more highly! You can book a consultation with her in her clinic in Westside Galway.
I paid for my session and I did not receive any gratuities for writing this blog it was just a record of my own experience for anyone who is interested!
This Dessert is full of healthy fats, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and iron. All amazing nutrients for your hormones making this perfect for ladies when they are craving chocolate at a certain time of the month!!
One cup of plain kefir contains around 11 grams of high-quality protein, including all eight essential amino acids, along with 30 percent of the daily value for calcium and a blast of tummy-friendly probiotics. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Plus, it’s low in lactose, which means it’s generally a safe dairy option for people with lactose intolerance.
These additional ingredients stop the sugar entering the blood stream too fast and causing weight gain! After exercise all glucose is used to restore muscle glycogen so it’s never stored as fat!
Hope you enjoy it!
These little crisps are bursting with nutrients, low in fat and so easy to make!