Archive for April, 2018

The Importance of Gut Health

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illustration-fruits-vegetables-grains_0What is considered as “The Gut?”

It is typically considered your digestive tract – which includes a muscular tube that starts at your mouth and ends at your anus.  The food and drink journey is about 30 feet long and works with other parts of your digestive system to break down food and drink down into smaller molecules of nutrients. The blood absorbs these and carries them throughout the body for cells to use for energy, growth, and repair.

Why your Gut is Important

The gut is referred to as the “second brain” a lot because of its many important functions in the body. It is responsible for the immune system, digestive system, how well your body absorbs minerals/vitamins, capacity to remove toxins from your body, and well-being of your mental health.

Many are surprised to find out gut health can affect mood, and mental health.  Hence it is important to maintain a healthy gut.

The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) is what lines the gastrointestinal tracts, and this is important because the ENS is not only responsible for the immune system, but also for communicating with the brain regarding the body’s gut. There are certain types of bacteria that are helpful for your gut and types that are harmful, and when there is an imbalance of these, it damages the mucosal layer in your gut. In turn this leaves you susceptible for the food you consume to enter your bloodstream, thus triggering your immune system, and causing food sensitivity, inflammation, and other symptoms. The ENS also sends messages to your Central Nervous System (CNS), which can affect mood, memory and cognitive function. Lastly, most of the body’s serotonin is cultivated by a certain bacteria in the gut, which can also affect your mood.

Ways to Heal your Gut

There are a few things you can do to heal your gut naturally. First you need to figure out what is damaging your gut, like food sensitivity, too much consumption of processed fatty foods, or if you’ve taken antibiotics recently as these are damaging to the gut. You should also make sure you are getting enough prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics are helpful bacteria for your gut and prebiotics induce the growth of these helpful bacteria. Good sources of probiotics are kombucha, sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir. Prebiotics can be found in bananas, onion, garlics, jicama, and oats. If you believe you have a leaky gut, or any other type of gut issue speak to a physician first.


How to Protect your Skin this Summer

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sun raysWhen you think of summer, one of the first things that may pop into your head is tanning. Sure, it is good to go outside to get some vitamin D from the sun, but it is important that you take the precautions necessary to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen. Studies show that only about 30% of American women and 14% of American men wear sunscreen, which are incredibly low numbers. Many cases of cancer could have been prevented by simply wearing sunscreen before going outside. The following are some tips you should follow to make sure your skin is protected this summer:

  1. A very common misconception is that just because it is cloudy outside, you don’t need to wear sunscreen. Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, which is why people sometimes get sunburned on cloudy days.
  2. Wear sunscreen under your makeup. There are foundations and powders that contain SPF(sun protection factor), but you would need about 10 times the normal amount of foundation/powder to get the right protection from the sun. You should opt for a moisturizer with broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15, and apply foundation over it.
  3. If you are planning to go in the water, be sure to wear water resistant SPF
  4. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or 1 hour if you are in water or sweating
  5. Limit your time directly under the sun under sand or water. These surfaces reflect the damaging rays from the sun, which increases the likelihood of you getting sunburned
  6. Don’t spend too much time under the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm because the sun’s rays are most intense during these times

Take Control of Your Health –


How to Prepare for Spring Allergies

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As spring is soon approaching, so are the spring allergies. If you suffer from allergies you may want to take some preventative steps, so that instead of having to suffer through the symptoms of your allergies you can actually enjoy the spring season. The following are some ways you can prepare for allergies:

  1. You should see an allergist before your allergies actually start.Typically, the best time to go before the pollen peaks and is visible on the trees is in February. The allergist may start you on antihistamines that  were successful in previous years.
  2. Pollen is the most known culprit for spring allergies, but mold can actually worsen your allergy symptoms. Be sure to check your basement, kitchen and bathrooms for mold. Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with water and detergent.
  3. Keep your doors and windows closed. As beautiful spring can be, keeping your windows and doors open to let the breeze in will also bring the pollen into your house.
  4. If possible, try to not go outside when the pollen count is at its highest, which is around 5 am and 10 am.
  5. You may want to consider nasal irrigation. Studies have shown that using nasal irrigation twice a day for 3 to 6 weeks help wash the spring allergens out of your sinuses.

For more information, visit this website that answers some FAQ.