When STRESS is ON – Digestion is OFF

Lavender and rosemary eye mask
Exhausted
Exhausted

Your gut health cannot be fully repaired if you fail to eliminate one of the biggest toxins from your life—stress. Stress is one of the most prevalent toxins in our modern world and leads to countless health conditions.
Adrenal fatigue, one of the most under-diagnosed health issues and is actually one of the main by-products of prolonged stress.

Your adrenals are the endocrine organs that sit on top of each of your kidneys. The adrenal cortex is the outer part of the gland that produces hormones that are essential to life, such as cortisol (which helps your body respond to stress). The adrenal medulla is the inner part of the gland that produces nonessential hormones, such as adrenaline (which helps your body react to stress). When you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, your adrenals are under a great amount of pressure and do not function properly, which can disrupt the entire functioning of your body.
 

SOME SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ADRENAL FATIGUE ARE

  • Waking up tired in the morning after a full night’s sleep
  • Frequent infections 
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Weight gain
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Hormonal issues
  • Cravings for sweet or salty foods
  • Lowered immune system
  • Long recovery time from illnesses
  • Recurrent yeast infections

To self care and reduce the stress that may be causing Adrenal fatigue try these:

On waking do 1 minute of deep breathing to get your oxygen pumping around your body.
Think for a few moments of the tasks ahead, write them down so you can clearly see your priorities. being able to visualise your days tasks is proven to reduce stress and improve your overall time management which in itself reduces stress too = Win Win situation.
Be a little be grateful for the day ahead. Attitude of gratitude is an excellent tonic. It allows you to become mindful of your actions.
Before you eat breakfast or drink your usual morning drink, drink water with freshly squeezed lemon and a dash f cayenne pepper. A super boost for your digestive system.
If you use probiotics to promote a healthy immune system now is the ideal time to take them before you eat your breakfast.
Do you body brush? It is a great stimulation for your lymphatic system to rid toxins, but also invigorating to your entire body.
Fill your reusable water bottle ready for your day ahead.
When eating sit down. Allow time to eat, chew your food, become mindful during eating and allow time for digestion to occur.
Eat organic produces as much as possible, reducing your intake of chemicals known to irritate your digestive system and be toxic to your health.
Be active, park the car a street away from your destination, take the stairs not the lift, walk whenever possible.
Start a journal one of reflection – look back at what you have achieved and be grateful for that. How did you feel during the day? what made you feel like that? If you felt alive and positive, aim to repeat that event or action that led to that feeling.
Find a space that can become your quiet zone. Sit rest your eyes, breath deeply and calmly. Meditate if you wish, just allow your body and mind to be still for a minimum of 20 minutes a day.


Benefits of Fermented Foods

Red and green cabbage fermenting with sea salt brine

Food that have undergone a process called ‘fermentation’ are referred to as ‘Fermented Foods’. This is where natural bacteria feed on starch and sugars that then creates lactic acid. This method preserves food and create a highly beneficial strain of probiotics.

IMPROVE DIGESTION AND BOWEL MOVEMENT 

Eating fermented foods and drinking fermented drinks benefits your digestive system, balancing bacteria essential for an efficient digestive system, also known to prevent disease, inflammation and improves your immunity.

BETTER AND EASIER FOOD ABSORPTION 

Balancing your gut bacteria helps absorption of the essential nutrients in your food. Eat healthy food and fermented foods and you will not require supplements to help digestive issues.

FERMENTED FOODS ARE BUDGET FRIENDLY 

We all know that eating a healthy diet can be on the more expensive side, but fermentation is not expensive and it’s fun to do. Sauerkraut is quick and easy.

BOOST IMMUNE SYSTEM 

The majority of your immune system reside in the gut. Healthy gut will provide a healthy immune system and fight off common infections. fermented foods are far better than taking antibiotics, though in some cases prescribed medication may be the only option. If that is the case, as soon as you complete the antibiotic course or better still during the course, eat plenty of fermented vegetables to boost those weakened good gut bacteria.

PROMOTE BETTER GUT HEALTH 

The lactic acid produced during fermentation boosts your gut bacteria, so keep eating the fermented foods.

IMPROVE FOOD FLAVOUR

Fermented foods taste delicious and are highly nutritious, adding quality to most meals,

REDUCE SUGAR CRAVINGS 

Fermented food due to their tangy flavour can reduce sugar cravings, possibly supporting weight management.

Cabbage shredding for Sauerkraut

Summing up……

The benefits of fermented foods for overall health and wellbeing are great. The power of reducing inflammation, aiding digestion, improving gut function are all essential for balance and function.

Follow and like the @NutritionBodySoul facebook page as we will be delivering Fermentation Workshops in the Southport area this summer.

Kimchi Ferment
Click the image above to purchase your own Vegan Cheese Kit

Stress can inflame your vagus nerve, along with fatigue and anxiety

The vagus nerve is the longest of you 12 cranial nerves and your diet controls its health.
Eating a high fat, high carb, high junk food diet lowers the sensitivity of your vagus nerve and can interfere with your emotions.

How?
because your gut instincts are real, they are signals that guide you in your daily activities.

Keeping your gut and vagus nerve healthy also influences mental health, it is proven in studies that our mood drops when we take antibiotics, all because they upset your gut health, the microbiome balance (bacteria). There are certain gut microbes that can control some mental health symptoms, supporting the nutrition view of introducing probiotics to your diet.

Probiotics and zinc promote vagus nerve health

Your vagus nerve can be toned and strengthen similar to your muscles, though repair takes time.

Vagus nerve health can influence mental health and wellbeing

Here are some methods to promote healthy vagus nerve activity and improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Mindful Meditation –

when you mindfully meditate you are calming your entire body including your vagus nerve, allowing time for healing. This actively reduces Interleukin-6  which can lower inflammation levels.

Yoga –

stimulates the GABA a neurotransmitter that relaxes you, by dampening the excitable neurons.

Fermented foods –

contain lactobacillus which is a good bacteria, boosts your microbiome and improves gut health and vagus nerve.

I have listed below some resources you might find help you to improve your gut health and wellbeing.

Liquid Chlorophyll: Liquid Sunshine

Health Food shops sometimes offer pH testing, your doctor will do it also. But if you eat a balanced rainbow plate every day, the odds are you are hovering around 7, which is good.

Chlorophyll is the liquid sunshine. Can you remember that photosynthesis experiment at school, where you covered up an area on a plants leave left it in daylight and the next day it was no longer green… well its the chlorophyll in the plants that makes it green, it takes in the suns energy and coverts it to carbohydrates. Chlorophyll also carries oxygen.

So eat as many dark green vegetables as you can to maximise your chlorophyll intake, improve your oxygenation and promote a balanced pH level in your blood.

Liquid Chlorophyll

Liquid Chlorophyll is a preservative-free nutritional drink containing chlorophyll extracted from alfalfa leaves and purified water.

Chlorophyll – the green pigment found in plants – absorbs light from the sun to provide energy for photosynthesis. It is notable for its molecular structure, which is almost identical to human haemoglobin.

We’re often advised to eat our greens, but thanks to Liquid Chlorophyll we can drink them too!

Juara’s Liquid Chlorophyll is completely free from preservatives and artificial colouring; as such, its nutritional content and natural taste are preserved.

Only the highest grade of alfalfa leaves are chosen for extraction.

Who is Liquid Chlorophyll for?

Due to its healthful properties, chlorophyll is a great addition to any nutritional cleanse or detox programme.

Key features:

• 100% natural

• Liquid form for easy absorption

• No preservatives or artificial colouring

• No sugar, salt or additives

• Suitable for vegans and certified Halal

• Stringently manufactured in a self-owned GMP compliance plant

• Supports natural cleansing
If you wish to augment your wellbeing with a nourishing nutritional drink, choose Juara’s Liquid Chlorophyll. The ultra-pure green drink is perfect for everyday use and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Sleep the best form of meditation

Sleep best healer

Sleep or lack of sleep can cause your entire body to collapse, resulting in chronic fatigue, exhaustion, irritability, anxiety and believe it or not aching joints and general feeling of ‘unwell’

Many of us dismiss a poor nights sleep, linking it to over-tiredness, too much going on, too many disturbances etc, yet few of us actually look deeper to find why we failed to achieve the recommended 8 hours sleep.

Sleep is the best meditation

Today’s technology and heavy work schedules often result in smart phones being the focus of our evening time, as opposed to relaxation and wind down in preparation for sleep. Sleep techniques are regularly sought by those who recognise that lack of sleep is causing them multiple health concerns.

With increased commuting distances, extended work hours we are decreasing the hours we have in our day; and by catching up on social media, checking the emails and playing games we continue to lose hours of vital sleep. Poor sleep can affect overall health and ability to effectively work, as an adult you should be getting 7 – 9 hours a night. However, quality is far more important, uninterrupted sleep is essential to allow your body and brain to reset. During sleep your brain stores memories, sorts information and allows your brain to appropriately respond.

If you are an employer be warned, asking your staff to fill in that extra uncovered shift may cause a negative outcome the following day as function is less effective.

Long term poor sleep quality can increase your risk of developing conditions caused by low immunity  such as eczema and also increase risk of elevated blood pressure and stress.

Your Growth Hormone is key to youth, and this is most active during sleep and exercise. Its role is primarily to increase new muscle cells. However growth hormone also promotes breakdown of fats, improves the function of your pancreas (releases insulin to metabolise carbohydrates), stimulates your immune system reducing your risk of infection. Being over stressed or over weight can result in poor sleep pattern which then impacts on your growth hormones.

Pause for thought: Your growth hormone is also responsible for the raging process of your skin. A good sleep routine helps to promote a youthful look.

Failing to sleep for a minimum of 6 hours every night may cause:

  • Weight gain.
  • Increase your cortisol levels which increases your appetite and fat storage.
  • Increase ghrelin an appetite stimulant
  • Decrease leptin leads to food craving

Tip: Create a bedroom for sleeping.

As identified earlier all elements work together, so imagine this. You use your bedroom as your escape room to complete work, read, write or watch TV. Your mind reacts to this and recognises the bedroom being a place of mental stimulation leaving you wide awake yet desperate to fall sleep.

Stop using your bedroom for any activity that requires focus or a high level of concentration.

  • Find another area in your home for you to use as your escape hole. Use it always, don’t fall back into old habits and use your bedroom for anything other than sleeping. You are reprogramming your mind, but like all changes you have to imprint this by acting out the mental behaviour too.
    So every time you are in your bedroom, say to yourself this is my bedroom, I sleep here and my sleep is powerful, cleansing and renewing.
  • Ensure the room is de-cluttered. A messy room causes a messy mind, as instead of relaxing to prepare for sleep, your mind is considering tiding the room. Ensure you clear the room in the morning, allowing your mind time to readjust for sleep later. It is also a good idea to make your bed properly. Fresh sheets, ironed and smelling welcoming, as opposed to creased week old bedding, all sooth the senses to prepare for sleep.
  • Decoration is important. Calming colour scheme, pictures that provoke calmness all work towards setting the scene for relaxing. There are specific colours that sooth the mind, relax the heart. Pale blues, muddy greens. pale yellows tend to promote calmness and lower the heart rate.You may want to consider redecoration if you do truly struggle with sleep.
  • Aroma is also a powerful tool. Aromatherapy has been practiced for centuries and brings amazing results, consider a natural oil burner. Try Lavender, chamomile, or even Ylang Ylang.
  • Clothing is also important, wear night clothes that allow your body to breathe, lose waist bands and comfortable. Bamboo fibre is soft to the skin, helping to maintain a steady temperature as it allows your skin to breath
  • Most importantly place a pen and note book beside your bed. Before you close your eyes, write down tasks to be completed when you wake. Also many find it beneficial writing down what they have achieved during that day.

You now have the tools to work with to improve your sleep pattern and in turn improve your overall health and wellbeing.

 

Here are some products you may be interested in to help you get tow work on improving your sleep.