A few months ago a friend shared with me a book, called the Microbiome Diet, that she promised would correct and rebalance my inner microbiome. Honestly, I wasn’t familiar with the word microbiome and as I leafed through the book I could see that the Microbiome Diet equates in most ways to the Pro-Terrain pH Balancing and Longevity Diet-eating program that Conscious Planet has been teaching over the years. I got very excited because I knew that with the more recent developments in scientific research and studies regarding the importance of maintaining a healthy microbiome, that I was going to learn a whole lot more about our inner world of microorganisms and how to keep them in balance. "I was ready to up my game.” I immediately went on Amazon.ca and ordered my own hardcopy. The Microbiome Diet – A Scienticfically Proven Way to Restore Your Gut Health. By Raphael Kellman, MD This book has been a Godsend in helping me repair my leaky gut which I have struggled with for years and has helped me restore and balance my inner terrain, my microbiome. As a result, I would like to share some key excerpts and important information from this book that may transform the health of your inner world by paying more attention to these tiny minescule organisms. What is the microbiome? The microbiome is a minature world made up of trillions of microscopic, non-human organisms that flourish within your gatrointestinal tract. These intestinal organisms digest your food, govern your appetite, control your metabolism, orchestrate your immune system, influence your mood, and even help determine how your genes are expressed. They have a major impact on whether your heart is healthy, whether your bones develop properly, and whether your brain feels sharp and clear or fuzzy and unfocused. They sustain the gatrointestinal tract so your food is properly digested delivering all the nourishment you need. They produce crucial vitamins and other nutrients. They even manufacture natural antibiotics. Most amazing of all, these non-human organisms make up a whopping 90 percent of your cells. Think about that. The vast majority of the cells within your body are not human. Within your intestinal tract lies a whole separate ecology that is inextricably involved with yours. When these microscopic organisms flourish, you flourish. When they struggle, you struggle. When they crave sugar, so do you. And when they operate at peak efficiency, so does your metabolism. That is why balancing your microbiome is the key to maintaining proper digestion and elimination. Balancing your microbiome is also the key to preventing and even reversing major illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disorders, autism and other developmental diseases. If you have a healthy microbiome and good intestinal health, your metabolism automatically keeps you at a healthy weight. If you have an unbalanced microbiome and poor intestinal health, you are virtually guaranteed to gain weight and suffer with leaky gut syndrome. As we are now understanding leaky gut can be repaired by creating and maintaining a healthy microbiome. Hippocrates, founder of Western Medicine, taught that all disease begins in the gut thus the obvious answer is taking care of our gut and intestinal health. A balanced microbiome regulates your immune system, three quarters of which is located within your intestines. It nourishes and sustains your gastrointestinal tract. It produces crucial vitamins and nutrients, including various B vitamins and vitamin K. It lays the groundwork for optimal mood and brain function by influencing the production of your neurotransmitters, the hormones and biochemicals your brain needs to process thought and emotion. And as mentioned before, it keeps you at your ideal weight by helping you digest your food, maintain an appropriate appetite, regulating the calories that enter your system, and keeping your metabolism working at optimal speed. So how do I know I have leaky gut, an imbalanced microbiome? Some of the common symptoms are: allergies, bloating & gas, slow metabolism, over weight and underweight, constipation, brain fog, depressed mood, difficulty focusing, fatigue, chronic inflammation, feeling too full, like food is just sitting in your stomach and not being digested, headaches, joint pain, infections, muscle pain, hair loss, swelling of ankles, tingling/numbing in hands and feet. Some of the less obvious though more serious are an overreactive immune system which leads to autoimmune diseases. So how does leaky gut happen and how can I repair it? An imbalanced microbiome will contribute to weakness in the intestinal walls. Partially digested food begins to leak through the permeable intestine walls dispersing loose into the blood stream and setting off an immune system reaction. The immune system perceives these undigested food particles as invaders and starts to make antibodies to combat some of the foods that are leaking through. Thus every time these certain foods are eaten, the immune system will create a reaction eventually causing inflammation throughout the body, insulin resistance follows along with a fat-storing metabolism cuing the body to gain weight with the threat of diabetes, disrupting hormones, digestion, elimination and nervous system as well as immune system. All of these symptoms are the result of leaky intestinal walls. To heal leaky gut firstly you will need to remove all the reactive foods from your diet, even the seemingly healthy foods that you have consistently been eating for a long time and now is seen by the immune system as a reactive food. A list will look something like this: all gluten foods, soy products, all unhealthy fats: trans fats, hydrogenated fats All inflammatory, allergenic, or reactive foods: no sugar, no eggs, no dairy all artificial sweeteners, preservatives or additives, remove from the gut parasites and the disproportionate growth of the wrong types of bacteria, known as dysbiosis, and break through the protective biofilm that protects yeast and the wrong types of bacteria. You may say, "well I’ve already done all of that and I still feel bloated and swollen and still seem to gain weight." The answer to your exclammations is to start adding foods to your diet that will support your microbiome such as friendly bacteria found in cultured and fermented foods containing live bacteria: raw sauerkraut, kimchee, fermented vegetables, goat’s or sheep’s milk kefir and fermented yogurt and for the first while you may want to supplement with a wide spectrum probiotic. Remember that the probiotic good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract will also need support from prebiotic food in order for the beneficial bacteria to flourish. Probiotics nourish the healthy bacteria in our microbiome so they can begin to outnumber the disruptive bacteria. A well-fed healthy microbiome are able to force the bad bacteria to leave to neighborhood. Consuming probiotics means microbial balance is restored. Inflammation subsides, endotoxins are averted, no more insulin resistance and no more weight gain. Good health, a healthy weight and happiness are the result. Some of the probiotic foods are the oligosaccharides – soluble plant fibers found in onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus, jicama, and Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, radishes and tomato. In Dr. Raphael Kellman’s book he describes in extensive detail what kind of foods and supplements are needed to restore and maintain a healthy microbiome. He lays out a brilliant plan he calls the four R’s - Remove, Replace, Reinoculate and Repair. He provides a daily eating plan and many delicious recipes to achieve your optimun healthy life style. But in order to have success with this program you actually have to make a commitment to get started. We wish you every success in your healthy endeavors.
This is an amazing article on improving your gut health from Naturally Living Ideas. 1. Eat Probiotic Rich Foods Since ancient timespeople have usedprobiotic rich foods, which have been naturally fermented, to provide the good bacteria needed for a healthy gut and overall health. Kimchi, kombucha, kefir, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, natural yogurt andapple cider vinegarare all examples of fermented foods you can eat for a healthier gut. In fact, some of these couldn’t be simpler to make – here’show to get started fermenting your own foods. 2. Don’t Forget The Prebiotics You can elevate the effectiveness of your probiotic rich foods by consuming some prebiotic foods too. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that ‘feed’ the probiotics, encouraging them grow and multiply in your gut. Prebiotic rich foods include artichoke, asparagus, bananas, chicory,garlic, onions, tomatoes and whole grains. 3. Use Probiotic Supplements While fermented foods are the best and most natural way to get a healthy dose of probiotic bacteria, some people simply can’t stand the thought of consuming these cultures. In this case, probiotic supplements can be a good alternative. It’s very important to choose ahigh-quality supplement from a reputable brand. Conscious Planet has a premium blend of probiotics. Make sure it contains live strains of bacteria – which need to be kept refrigerated. 4. Cut Out Sugar & Processed Foods The bad bacteria in our guts go into overdrive when we eat too much sugar! They are also quite partial to the fats found in processed foods – including cookies, cakes, chips, fries and pastries. In 2010, researcherscomparedItalian children who ate a diet high in fat, sugar and starch with tribal African children who ate high fiber, plant based foods. They found that the African children had more beneficial bugs in their gut. 5. Go Vegetarian Cutting out meat from your diet has a huge number ofhealth benefits– from lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and diabetes to helping you shed pounds, improve mood and boost nutrient intake. Research now shows that a vegetarian diet can also alter the composition of your gut microbiome for the better. It’s so effective that these changes can be seen in a matter of days! A2014 study, published in the journal Nature, reports that the gut microbiome of subjects changed dramatically within four days of switching from a diet of animal products to a vegetarian one, and vice versa. The microbiota of omnivores, compared to that of vegetarians and vegans, produces more of a chemical that is associated with heart disease, inflammation and intestinal diseases. 6. Open the Windows We now spend more time indoors than ever before. Some surveys estimate that we’re indoors 90% of the time! Fresh air is so important to both the mind and body,as is sunlight, so spending time outdoors is important. But given how much of our day and night is spent inside, we need to be aware of the air qualityindoors too– and the effect this can have on the microbiome of our homes. It's important to open windows and increase natural airflow. This can improve the diversity and health of the microbes in the home, which in turn benefits our bodily microbes. 7. Stress Less While stress is an unavoidable consequence of our busy lives, how we manage that stress matters. The gut isespecially vulnerableto stress, which can affect gastric secretion, gut motility, sensitivity, blood flow and more. Our stress hormones can also influence how gut bacteria affects the production of hormones and the neurochemicals that communicate with the brain, including ones that influence appetite. Shifts in gut microflora induced by stress can alsoleave us opento infection. Long-term stress maylead tothe development of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach ulcers, IBD, IBS, and even food allergies. 8. Laugh! Whoever said that laughter is the best medicine was on to something! There has even beena studyto show that laughter can improve gut health. Researchers studied both healthy people and patients with atopic dermatitis – a disease typically associated with imbalances in gut bacteria. After watching funny movies daily for one week, the patients’ gut flora had actually changed and was becoming more in line with the flora of the healthy participants. 9. Consider if Antibiotics are Always Necessary Some estimate that half of the antibiotics we are prescribed are unnecessary. We already know that this over-prescription leads to drug resistant bacteria, but it may also beseriously impactingthe health of our guts in the long-term. Following a course of broad-spectrum antibiotics, itcan take weeks, months or even years for the gut’s microbes to get back into balance. Shockingly, some researchersbelievethat antibiotics may even be causing permanent changes to the microflora of all people from generation to generation – passed on from mother to child. While antibiotics are obviously very necessary in some cases, quiz your doctor before accepting them without question. According tothe Mayo Clinic, common viral infections that do not benefit from antibiotic treatment include cold and flu, most coughs, most sore throats, some ear infections, some sinus infections and stomach flu. 10. Exercise Regularly Exercise has an important influence on gut flora. It not only increasesspecies diversityand reverses gutmicrobiota changesassociated with obesity, but it also works to reduce stress and the impact that has on the bugs in your digestive system. The earlier you start exercising, the better.New researchhas demonstrated that exercise in the early years of development has a significant impact on the diversity of the gut microbiome. That said, your intestinal bacterial continues to be influenced by your behavior as an adult so cycle, run, swim,start squatting or invest in a kettle bell– it all makes a difference! 11. Get Enough Sleep Getting enough sleep isn’t always easy – in fact,one third of US adult don’t sleep for as long as they should, something which could lead to an unhealthy gut. A2014 study demonstrated that sleep disturbances and irregular sleeping patterns can negatively impact intestinal microbiota, which may lead to inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, the disordered breathing associated with the common condition of sleep apnea has been shown in studies to disrupt the health of the microbiome. Mice subjected to conditions which mimicked the effects of sleep apnea for six weeks showed significant changes to the diversity and makeup of their microbiota. This sleep-gut connection is a two-way street. Scientists believe the bugs in our gut can affect sleep in a number of ways: shifting circadian rhythms and affecting the hormones that regulate our sleeping and waking patterns. Get into a healthy sleeping pattern by letting go of these bad habits, filling your room with sleep promoting plants and establishing a healthy night time routine. 12. Don’t Be A Clean Freak Much like antibiotics alter the gut microbiome by indiscriminately killing all bacteria (even the good), so does our obsession with cleanliness. For example,researchshows that parents who cleaned their child’s pacifier by sucking on it instead of boiling it in water were doing their children a big favor in terms of gut health. These kids were less likely to develop allergies, thanks to immune stimulation by microbes transferred from the parent’s saliva. Children who grow up with a dog also have alower riskof allergies because dogs are associated with a type of house dust that exposes us to important strains of bacteria, like L. johnsonii – an essential species within the gastrointestinal tract. Household cleaners that are marked as antibacterial have got to go – as do mostother chemical laden products. Less toxic cleaners like vinegar,baking soda, lemon juice andcastile soapare much better options. 13. Start Gardening Finally, getting your hands dirty in fresh soil will introduce your immune system to the trillions of microorganisms on the plants and in the ground. Gardening also eases stress and gets you outside in the fresh air – two important factors in a healthy gut. Here are some great tips to help youstart your own organic garden. Ready to improve your gut health? Conscious Planet has a special on Colonyze Probiotics until July 31st or while supplies last. Two bottles for $100. Again, thank you toNaturally Living Ideasfor organizing this research so well.
At Conscous Planet we've been saying for years... decades actually, how important enzymes are for our healthy. We have around 3000 unique enzymes in our bodies that are involved in over 7000 enzymatic reactions. Without enzymes we would not be able to function. For many enzyme depleted people in the world, they literally struggle to function on a day-to-day basis. The modern human diet is almost completely void of enzymes. Processed and cooked foods often completely destroy the enzyme content, leaving your body starving for this nutrient that is a key component in your livelihood. If you have any health complaints, chances are you could use more enzymes in your diet, and these 5 will cover that requirement in spades. Papaya You may wanna move to the tropics because Papaya fruit is a rich source of proteolytic enzymes such as papain, which can greatly aid the digestive process. Papain has been deemed as one of the most effective at breaking down meat and other proteins, and it works by cleaving the peptide bonds of complex proteins, breaking them down to their individual amino acids so they can be ready for us in the growth and repair of the body. Since papaya is rich in natural sugars, it's a good idea to eat it on its own (not with a heavy, animal protein based meal), preferably 15-30 minutes before a meal. Pineapple Yup, should definitely move somewhere more tropical because Pineapple is #2 on our list. Bromelain is a complex mixture of substances that can be extracted from the stem and core fruit of the pineapple. Among dozens of components known to exist in this crude extract, the best-studied components are protein-digesting enzymes called cysteine proteinases. Theseenzymesare not limited to just digestive benefits; however, as research has shown, they also help with excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth.Since pineapple is also rich in natural sugars, it is a good idea to eat it on its own, preferable 15-30 minutes before a meal. Bee pollen Phew, because of the good work of organizations like the Suzuki Foundation, bees should be here to stay! Bee pollen is often considered one of nature's most complete foods. It contains nearly all the nutrients required by humans and has abroad spectrum of beneficial enzymes including amylase, catalase, cozymase, cytochrome, dehydrogenase, diaphorase, diastase, pectase, and phosphatase.Bee pollen can be eaten on its own or put in trail mixes, oatmeal, superfood snacks, and smoothies. Bee pollen can cause allergic type reactions, so be mindful of that when trying it for the first time. Fermented vegetables Better call Grandma Betsy, because #4 is an old world specialty! The fermentation process used to make sauerkraut and kimchi was developed centuries ago as a means of preserving vegetables for consumption through the winter months. The Roman army was said to have traveled with barrels of sauerkraut, using it to prevent intestinal infections among the troops during long excursions.Fermented vegetables are an excellent dietary source of many nutrients, including LIVE enzymes (provided they have not been pasteurized in any way). These live enzymes are accompanied by beneficial probiotics, which makes an exceptional combination for an effective digestive process. Fermented vegetables can be eaten on their own, but they also go great with any meal as a side. In fact, if you want to improve thedigestionof any meal, you should strongly consider a side of fermented vegetables. Other enzyme rich foods you can consider include melons, mango, kiwi, grapes, avocado, raw honey, kefir, wheat grass juice, and coconut water. If you're looking for an incredible source of Enzymes, then you'll be pleased to know Consciosu Planet is having a summer special on our Catalyze Enzymes until July 31st. Buy two bottles for $100 CAD.
October has been our cleansing month and now that we are squeaky clean, we need to replenish our bodies with lots of strong healthy microflora to build up our inner ecosystem. Besides taking Conscious Planet's Colonyze (probiotic) nightly, you'll also want increase your inner immunity by making your own homemade Coconut Water Kefir. The benefits of adding kefir to your diet helps to maintain a healthy inner ecosystem which greatly aids digestion and healthy regular elimination; keeps the immune system strong; gives shiny hair, clear skin, bright eyes and a flat abdomen. Equipment you'll need: Mason glass jars and plastic lids (sold in the canning section of Save-On-Foods, health food stores) Do not use metal lids as metal has been known to react with kefir in a way that yields unhealthful elements in your kefir and besides, the kefir will not ferment properly. Make sure you sterilize all materials that will be coming in contact with the kefir or at the very least, wash and rinse in very hot water. The last thing you want is to cultivate a fresh batch of kefir in a container that has traces of bad bacteria. Plastic or wooden spoon Recipe: In a glass bowl add: 1 liter bottle of thawed, unpasteurized organic young Thai Coconut Water - found in most health food stores in the frozen section. Do not use store varieties of coconut water that has been pasteurized. Best brand to purchase is 'Feeding Change'. The coconut water and coconut meat is frozen until ready to use, then thaw. Kefir Starter pack - you can find these in Choices Markets or other health food stores in the refrigerated sections. 1 single starter package 1 probiotic capsule - open cap and add to bowl of coconut water. Colonyze as a probiotic works great. In fact, you can also get consistent results with less work and expense by using a simple quality probiotic capsule without the starter pack if you have difficulty finding a kefir starter pack. Then you would add two capsules of probiotic instead of one. Try both ways and see which is favorable to you. Mix well with a plastic spoon until the starter and probiotic are dissolved. Pour into mason jars as in the picture below, put the plastic lid on jars. Wrap a towel around jars to keep dark. Place jars in your oven. Close oven door. Turn oven light on and the warmth from the oven light is perfect for helping the fermentation process. Its takes about 36 to 48 hour at most. During this time, the probiotics will feed on the sugar in coconut water and leave a slightly fizzy, sour, exlixir. When completed, store in fridge. Take 1/4 cup with meals which greatly aids digestion. Also 1/2 cup at bedtime will establish a healthy inner ecosystem. Studies show that during sleep overnight, the microflora reproduce faster. In the morning, combine a 1/2 cup of kefir with unsweetened cherry juice or black current juice as a great wake-up tonic. Be healthy, be happy, be smart...make kefir.
Did you know that the intestinal tract amounts for 80% of our immune system and is responsible for taking in food, turning it into primary energy-supplying and cell building nutritional elements, recycling fluids and discharging waste. This amazing factory contains trillions of bacteria, some friendly, some not, and in order to have optimum health they need to exist in a symbiotic and balanced relationship. However, stress, diet deficiencies, drugs, toxins, acidosis and other adverse environmental factors weaken the friendly bacteria that keep the pathogens in check. This means our poor intestinal tract isn't necessarily sitting in a place of harmony anymore, and our bodies will eventually begin to show signs and symptoms that reflect that. So why not hire an entire army of 'warrior like' transient strains of powerful probiotic bacteria, who are just dying to get inside those bowels of yours and clean house! But don't worry, these "good-guys" are still gentle and will inhabit and support the entire intestinal system, protect the bowel wall, synthesize nutrients, and remove waste, all on your behalf… well that's what we like to think, but really it's the other way around! These friendly strains of bacteria including the all-mighty L. acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidum have been around helping us out since the beginning of time (well the dawning of human existence since they've been around much, much longer than we have) and have formed a mutualistic relationshipwith us, as in they receive a place to live and food to feed on in exchange for keeping harmful bacterium and microbes out. A good deal in my opinion. And not only do they keep these other unwanted strains of bacteria from taking up residence in our bodies, but they also aid in digesting micro nutrients, synthesize key nutrients, reduce bad cholesterol, form a protective barrier, and their by-products of oxygen, B-Vitamins and amino acids that stimulate our immune system and scavenge free radicals inhibits pathogenic growth and keeps our bodies healthy and squeaky clean on the inside. They have also been shown to prevent and treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions such as yeast infections, urinary infections, IBS, diarrhea, lactose intolerance, as well as skin disorders such as eczema and acne. The tenants every landlord dreams Did you know the number of bacteria in your body outnumber your cells by about 10 to 1? This doesn't mean we're any less human than we thought we were before reading this, but it does mean we must start paying attention to these little guys and keeping the important ideal balance of 85% good bacteria to 15% bad bacteria in check. But how you might ask? Well, there are many ways to begin repopulating your intestinal tract with these wonderful warriors. The traditional route in which man-kind historically received their probiotics is by consuming large amounts of fermented and cultured foods including yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, milk or water kefir, sourdough bread… just about everything was turned into a fermented food because we're talking about a time without refrigeration! But, unfortunately the art of fermenting our foods has largely been lost in the sands of time, mainly due to our fast-paced lifestyles. Although this is definitely changing as families begin to learn the incredible value of fermented and cultured foods and how much fun it is to make (kids love it!), many of us are still in need of a healthy daily dose of these probiotic warriors to keep us living at optimal levels. This is why one of our most important and best selling products is our Probiotic Flora Blend "Colonyze" which contains a full balance of powerful probiotic bacteria including bifidobacterium infantis, bifidobacterium longum, lactobacillus brevis, lactobacillus casei, lactobacillus lactis, DDS-1 strain of L. acidophilus, bifidobacterium bifidum, lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus bulgaricus, streptococcus thermophilus, and lactobacillus salivarius. It also includes Spirulina (a blue-green algae superfood revered for it's long list of health benefits), yucca root (a tuberous root loaded with healthy phytonutrients including steroidal saponins and resveratrol), hemp protein powder, and MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides known to have tremendous health benefits). If we're cleaning out our bodies of unwanted pathogens, microbes, and bacteria we must be filling it back up with the good-guys or else we will find ourselves back in the same place as before the cleanse… out of bacterial balance, and we wouldn't want to do all this hard work for nothing!