Like it or not, ours is a “quick fix” type of society.
So many people are in search of that one simple answer that will solve their problem…and the faster and easier it is, the better.
Believe me, when you’re in the health and nutrition field like me that can make for some pretty entertaining discussions!
I remember once talking to a woman who had never exercised a day in her life, but she had turned 40 and wanted to get in shape, so I suggested she start by working in some brisk walking on her lunch hour three to four days a week.
She said to me, “How long do I have to do that?” and I responded, “Well, for as long as you want to be in shape.”
Another thing that tickles my funny bone is when people ask me what supplement or vitamin they should take for XYZ concern, and the first thing I say without even answering their question is, “How’s your diet?”
I either get the deer in the headlights look, the blush-and-giggle, or the I can’t face you Sherry because I’m too embarrassed so I’ll just look at the floor and say, “Not that bad” reaction.
Now, listen up, all you seekers of the quick fix.
Today I will try to indulge all of you who are hoping to find that magic answer to better health.
I can’t promise it will work overnight, but I bet you’ll see some nice improvements much quicker than you thought.
And it will take some effort on your part, but believe me, that will be quickly overshadowed by your excitement over how much better you can feel.
Here it is.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR GUT
Here’s why your gut is where it’s at in terms of helping you have optimal health from head to toe.
Your first line of defense
Your gut is like a sentinel—in other words, it’s your primary line of defense against the outside world. It lets the good stuff (food and nutrients) IN while keeping the bad stuff (wastes, toxins, carcinogens, dangerous bacteria and viruses) OUT.
And if your gut is not able to carry out its sentinel duties, it’s not a matter of if but merely when will you suffer the consequences.
First and foremost, if your gut was not able to carry out digestion, you’d start suffering nutrient deficiencies pretty quickly.
That can mean things like anemia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, imbalanced hormones, low energy, brain fog, and inflammation can be a part of your future.
Plus if your digestion isn’t so great, that also means that your foods will not be broken down like they should be. Poorly digested food molecules can irritate and burrow through your gut wall and into your bloodstream. Once they’re in there, they can taunt your immune system and cause it to overreact as if the food is a dangerous invader—also known as a food sensitivity.
Most people don’t realize this, but your gut is also where most of your immune system resides.
The vast majority of your immune cells are produced in your bone marrow. From there your T-cells move on to the thymus gland (in your chest) to mature, and eventually all of your immune cells travel to various areas of your body to “take up their post.”
Although immune cells are found in your lymph nodes, bloodstream, and virtually all areas of your body, about 70 percent of them live in your gut.
So it only follows that the health and strength of your immune system is largely dependent on a healthy, strong gut environment.
Unfortunately, many of us are not good houses for our immune systems.
Things like smoking, having a poor diet, eating lots of refined carbs, being under stress, excess alcohol consumption and constipation can all throw off your intestinal flora balance, making it an unhealthy environment for your immune system.
And when you consider that your immune system not only protects you against bugs, infections and viruses but also diseases like cancer, that’s not a good thing.
Mental health in “both brains”
There is a series of chemical and electrical signals that continuously pass back and forth between the central nervous system (your brain) and the gastrointestinal system (your gut). What affects one directly affects the other.
Many experts even call your gut your “second brain.” It’s so efficient that if the nerve communication between your brain and your gut was ever severed, your gut could still function independently to carry out digestion.
The brain-gut axis is the reason why you feel butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous, or get diarrhea when you’re worried or upset.
It’s also the reason conditions like anxiety and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) frequently go hand in hand.
So if the health of your gut is challenged, in addition to the obvious stomach aches and digestive problems, it can very well manifest itself as anxiety or depression too.
Inflammation and heart disease
When your gut wall becomes too leaky due to poor digestion, toxins and disease-causing bacteria can have an “open door” to seep into your bloodstream.
Then a dreadful, inflammation and disease-causing cycle begins:
- First, your immune system reacts strongly to toxins in your system, seeing them as dangerous invaders. When it detects them, it sends out an SOS to your repair team (cholesterol and white blood cells) to get the inflammation cycle going.
- Toxins can also sail through your bloodstream, become lodged in your tissues and remain there for YEARS, all the while continually igniting an inflammatory immune response.
- Toxins can also generate oxidative damage to your cells (similar to the damage caused by trans-fats) which keeps the inflammation cycle going.
This is the perfect recipe for chronic inflammation in your blood vessels and sadly, many a case of heart disease.
The inflammation can also manifest itself as conditions like arthritis, migraines, asthma, thyroid goiter, eczema, psoriasis, low back pain, fibromyalgia and more.
Take good care of yours and it will take care of YOU
Hopefully you’ve gotten the idea by now that your MUST take care of your gut if you ever want any measure of decent health.
The good news is, that’s not hard to do!
All you need to do is use the “4 R’s to a healthier gut” approach:
Here’s the scoop on each of those:
This involves removal and avoidance of things that can greatly harm your gut flora. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Foods that you are sensitive or allergic to
- Cigarette smoke
- Excessive alcohol (especially beer)
- Refined carbs–including sugar, flour, donuts, bagels, hamburger and hot dog buns, white rice, cookies, pastries, cakes, snack chips, pretzels, candy, etc.
- Antibiotics and acid reducing medications (both OTC and prescription)—talk to your doctor about alternatives, or see if having a better diet can help you wean off them altogether (more on that below)
- Regularly lacking adequate sleep
Step 2 is to help reverse an unhealthy gut environment by replacing and rebuilding your supply of beneficial bacteria, and this is done with a probiotic supplement.
Now as far as probiotics go, Super Shield multi-strain formula is your ticket for helping to restore a good flora balance.
Research studies have shown that it is important to use more than one strain of probiotic bacteria when tackling dysbiosis (harmful bacteria overgrowth).
Two of the powerhouse strains in Super Shield probiotic formula, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been shown to be extremely effective in fighting dangerous gut microbes.
And Super Shield’s 11 other potent strains support L. rhamnosus and L. acidophilus in keeping your intestinal flora in a healthy balance, ready and able to “keep the upper hand” over harmful bacteria, and help strengthen your intestinal wall.
Reinforcing a healthy gut environment means nourishing your friendly bacteria (while starving the bad guys!) and having more smooth digestion to help keep your intestinal tract squeaky clean and avoid waste and harmful bacteria buildup.
This involves eating foods that naturally nourish your friendly flora like fresh vegetables and fiber-rich foods, plus keeping ALL of your meals easier for your system to digest.
The Great Taste No Pain system
can guide you on how to construct easy tasty meals that are much easier for your body to digest and help encourage more regular BMs.
Plus the recipe book gives you loads of ideas for preparing delicious foods that help nourish you AND your intestinal flora!
And if you’re gluten sensitive, no problem–Great Taste No Gluten is for you instead.
The final step of the 4 R approach to a healthy gut is to help repair any intestinal damage that you may have from harmful bacteria and medications.
In addition to a healthy diet like I mentioned in number 3 above, Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been shown to help enhance intestinal health.
Omega-3 EFAs are abundant in fatty fish, but since many people are not fish fans, and still many more are concerned about pollution and contamination in large fish, fish oil supplements are a convenient way to get the Omega-3 EFAs you want.
And if you’re looking for a high quality fish oil formula, VitalMega-3 is here for you.
VitalMega-3 gives your body a healthy daily dose of the Omega-3 EFAs EPA and DHA that are highly recommended by most experts, in the 3:2 ratio that is typically suggested.
Not only can it help enhance your gut health by counteracting inflammation, but studies show Omega-3 EFAs are also helpful against joint aches and pains, brain health and even high blood pressure!
It’s your gold
When it comes to helping to create and maintain great health, your gut is your GOLD—so treat it like the precious gift it is and it will return the favor many times over.
Believe me, you couldn’t do anything nicer for yourself in 2015.