Get Rid of Constipation With a Nourished Gut

What is fiber?

Fiber is one good place to start. For many increasing fiber intake can help to promote healthier bowel movements.

Dietary fiber is the portion of food that comes from plants (grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) that the body cannot digest. There are 2 types of dietary fiber – soluble and insoluble. Most foods that are good sources of fiber contain some of both insoluble and soluble fiber, though some are better sources than others. In general, fiber is beneficial for your gut and reducing constipation because it makes stool larger and softer – therefore easier to pass.

Soluble fiber is good at absorbing water. The increase in water in your gastrointestinal tract helps your stool to pass more smoothly. In addition, soluble fiber may also ferment causing an increase in healthy bacteria in your gut. Foods that are rich in soluble fiber include oats, fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Insoluble fiber passes through your digestive system in close to its original form, adding bulk to your stool. Bulkier stool acts like a brush sweeping through your colon to keep everything moving properly. Foods that are rich in insoluble fiber include whole wheat and other whole grains and vegetables.

Increasing dietary fiber may not be the best solution for everyone. Some foods that are high in fiber are also high in FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols). FODMAP rich foods can be fermented by gut bacteria and can make symptoms of digestive health worse for some individuals.

When addressing your symptoms make note of the foods you are eating and your symptoms and you can begin to see where problems may exist. I understand, it can sometimes be very difficult to find those answers. If you are struggling to find the right answers for you, ask for help.

Drink adequate water

Constipation can be related to dehydration in the colon so drinking adequate water is important. But you should drink water consistently rather than suddenly drinking considerably more water when you feel constipated. For many drinking water between meals works best. Aim for around eight 8 ounce glasses of water each day. Don’t overdo it, but find the right balance of water that helps you to keep your bowels moving smoothly.

Feed the good bugs

The right balance of bacteria in your gut is important for its functioning. The intestinal microbiota aids in the breakdown of food, stimulates your immune system, prevents growth of pathogenic bacteria and can help to produce important compounds like short-chain fatty acids. Studies have shown that changes in the composition of the gut bacteria in constipated individuals varies from that of healthy control subjects. Research supports the importance of a healthy gut microbiota in preventing gut dysbiosis which can include constipation. Extensive research is being done in this area.

How do you feed the good bugs? We can go back to the fiber story. Consuming foods rich in fiber can provide fuel to support the best balance of bacteria in your gut.

Heal your gut

I believe that when your life is out of balance, poor health will result. And when your gut is out of balance, poor health will result too. So what can you do to ensure that you have a healthy gut?

1. Remove foods that aren’t working well for you. Many individuals are sensitive to foods that may be damaging the GI tract. Whether that be highly processed foods that are not providing nutrients or foods that you would consider to be “healthy” but don’t work well for your body.

2. Add foods that are rich in prebiotics including apples, bananas, pears, asparagus, leeks and onions.

3. Add foods that are good sources of both soluble and insoluble fibers.

4. Add foods that provide polyphenols and vitamin C including berries, oranges and kiwi.

5. Add foods that are rich in zinc and glutamine including bone/meat broths, eggs, fish and poultry.

6. Add omega-3 rich fats including wild caught salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, chia seeds, flax seeds and walnuts.

Take one step at a time to incorporate gut-nourishing foods to your meals. And continue to investigate what works best for you to end occasional or chronic constipation. If you are struggling with finding the answers for you, ask for help. It will be worth it to feel great again!

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Choose Beneficial Fermented Foods

Many vegetables are grown in a fertile valley far away. Almost as soon as they are harvested, they are flash-frozen and transported on refrigerated trucks to a supermarket near you. You have a freezer at home, and the delivery of healthy nutritious vegetables from farm to consumer is completed easily. Refrigerated trucks keep fresh-picked vegetables viable long enough that your green grocer’s shelves remain well-stocked throughout the year.

Go back just a few decades, and you will find that this was not the case. Winter produced very sparsely populated shelves in the green grocery section of the market. Go back just a few more decades and you will discover that people had to find creative ways to sustain themselves through harsh winters and on long journeys. For thousands of years, people have fermented foods to preserve them for when supplies of fresh foods were not available.

The Romans preserved cabbages with salt, and Genghis Khan fed his armies fermented cabbage to sustain them on their campaigns through Europe. This use of preserved, fermented foods was a common practice for travelers as a source of nutrients. As late as World War I, allied forces relied on fermented cabbage, or sauerkraut as we now know it, to supply nutrients to soldiers on the battlefields of Europe.

The process of fermentation helps to preserve the food for use many months later. Fermentation also generates many health benefits for the consumer. The essential nutrients and vitamins are preserved. Sugars are broken down so they are more easily absorbed with far less insulin or allergy reaction, in the case of lactose intolerance to dairy products. The process also generates enzymes that are essential to supporting the digestion of foods that we eat. Finally, they are natural probiotics, jam-packed with beneficial microorganisms.

A healthy gut, supported by a strong population of beneficial bacteria, serves as a powerful booster for your immune system. The digestive tract is where nutrients are extracted from food and absorbed by the body. Enzyme and microbial activity accelerates digestion and generates enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants that are essential to health. They also protect us from pathogens and flush out toxins from our bodies.

You can find a variety of ready-to-use fermented products at your local supermarket. They include yoghurt, which is fermented milk (usually cow’s milk). The fermentation process breaks down the milk lactose to make it easier to digest and the yoghurt supplies billions of helpful bacteria. Be careful of brands with large amounts of sugar added, as that will create other problems. Another healthy fermented product from milk is kefir, a drink often found in the supermarket refrigerator.

Kombucha tea is another good source of enzymes and beneficial microbes. Kombucha is made from fermenting black tea. Other products you may find in the supermarket include kimchi, a Korean version of fermented cabbage and a mixture of other vegetables. Raw apple cider vinegar is also loaded with beneficial bacteria and has many different uses apart from supporting a healthy digestive system. You may find Japanese products like miso, and natto, both loaded with microbes and used in cooking soups, marinades and sauces.

If you feel adventurous, the processes for making your own fermented yoghurt, kefir, pickles and kimchi are relatively easy and they require no special equipment. Select healthy organic ingredients and you will be able to rely on the process for creating your own healthy, nutritious probiotic foods.

Improve Your Overall Health With This One Addition

There are so many benefits; you will soon decide to buy chia seeds! This one change can be a tremendous step towards improving your overall health. It can be hard to give your body all it needs every day from diet alone. It is encouraging to try something to help you stay on track and to reduce the risk of health concerns. Your quality of life should be a top priority!

Omega 3

Many people who used to take flaxseed for Omega 3 now buy chia seeds. They have discovered it offers more benefits than the flaxseed was able to provide. Not only does this reduce the risk of heart disease, it can also help to boost your mental focus. Vegetarians like this alternative and just about everyone loves the way it helps their hair to grow and be very shiny.

Amino Acids

The body needs a variety of amino acids every day to be strong, to have energy, and to repair from exercise and sports activities. When you buy chia seeds and take them daily, you give your body an amazing supplement. These tiny seeds contain all nine of the amino acids your body thrives on. They also help your body to generate new blood cells and to heal cuts or bruises.

Fibre

A lack of fibre in the diet can lead to issues such as constipation and fatigue. You can buy chia seeds to help regulate your bowel movements and to make sure you have enough of this important element in your body. It is a great way to flush toxins out of your body too which is going to boost your immune system.

Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

When you buy chia seeds for your daily intake, you encourage the regulation of your blood sugar levels. When you consume foods high in starches or sugars, then your blood sugar can spike. You will get a surge of energy from this, but then you will feel sluggish as you come down from that and the blood sugar dips.

Your goal should be to keep it balanced and regulated as much as possible. A well balanced meal as well as portion control plays a vital role in doing so. Yet adding the seeds can also give you a boost for control as well. You don’t want to get to the point where you have health problems such as diabetes due to insulin concerns.

You want to avoid daily prescription medications to aid with blood sugar levels too. They can be expensive to purchase. They can also come with an array of side effects that aren’t pleasant to contend with. Do all you can to control it on your own so you don’t have to go down that path. Many people find the seeds also reduce their cravings for sugary drinks and snacks.

30 Day Challenge

If you are still sceptical about if you should buy chia seeds, what do you have to lose by giving it a shot? They aren’t expensive and they offer plenty of proven benefits. Give yourself the 30 day challenge to see how it goes. Add one tablespoon of the seeds to your dietary intake each day for the next month. If you don’t notice significantly improvements, you don’t have to continue.

You have nothing to lose but plenty to gain by giving it a chance to work for you. Keep the seeds in your kitchen so you don’t forget to use them. For the best results, add to your food in the morning to see the benefits all day long.

Finding the Best Locations for Healthy Foods

Eating right is an important part of a lifestyle that encourages overall benefits. It can help you to look and feel your best. It can provide your body with the energy it needs and assist with weight management. It also reduces the risk of serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Making positive changes can start with a plan of action and health food stores.

Selection

Eating better doesn’t mean you are limited to just a few food items that you will quickly become bored with. It doesn’t mean you can’t have any of the items you love – but you need to consume those in moderation. Selection is important for you to gain from health food stores. This allows you to try new foods, to create new meal ideas, and to avoid feeling limited.

Most health food stores strive to offer plenty of great products all the time. Some of the items they offer such as fresh fruits and vegetables may rotate due to the season. Some of them are grown all year long and others are only available during certain times of the year. They make sure you have access to what you need to eat better than before.

Look for a provider offering brands of healthy food items that have a great reputation. The best results come from foods you prepare from a raw state. However, that isn’t always practical or possible. There are times when you need packaged food items, but they can still be a healthy choice. Take the time to read labels and find out what the ingredients are before you buy.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you eat food that is tasteless or that doesn’t taste good. Instead, you should be excited about what you are going to consume. Select food items that are full of good nutrients but also pleasing to your taste buds. Be creative, experiment with new foods to see what you like, and find recipe books that give you some great ideas.

Convenience

One of the reasons people don’t eat well is they are in a hurry. There are fast food joints everywhere you turn where you can get greasy fries and burgers. Thankfully, there are more health food stores than before. Thanks to the demand for them by consumers, they are becoming more common. Find those conveniently located close to where you live and work.

If you travel often for work or for fun, use your smart phone or computer to find out where health food stores are located. Stocking up on food items from such a location rather than dining out will save you money. It will also help you to stay on track with your eating habits and goals. Find a hotel offering a kitchenette and refrigerator if you would like to prepare some meals.

Affordable

Not all health food stores charge you a fortune to eat better. In fact, many of them strive to keep the prices affordable so you can budget for them. Comparison shop so you can get an idea of the prices and where you find the best deals. You can also save money by planning meals based on what is in season or what is on sale at that point in time.

You can’t put a price tag though on feeling better physically and mentally. Eating foods that reduce fat intake and reducing the amount of unhealthy carbs you consume all adds up. It can be hard at first to make those changes but planning meals, planning snacks, and staying focused can help you make it a lifestyle change and ongoing habit.

Dirty Cell Phones: Cold Season & How Microfiber Sticky Screen Cleaners Can Help

Everyone knows the usual ways to avoid spreading germs in preparation for this upcoming cold season. Wash your hands, disinfect surfaces, cover your mouth when sneezing and avoid touching common public places like doorknobs and elevator buttons. The more you keep your germs to yourself and shy away from the germs of others, the less likely you will be to fall prey to the flu and other pesky illnesses, right?

While all of those steps can contribute to the prevention of the flu, there’s one significant flaw, one sneaky exception: your cell phone!

That’s right, the item you keep closest to your mouth and ever at hand or in your pocket could be aiding and abetting all those flu and flu-like bacterium. In fact, studies have revealed that the cell phone is one of the dirtiest items that people use every single day, most every hour.

Think about it. You wash your hands, but never the phone your hands touch constantly. You disinfect counters, but never the phone that sits on those counters. You cover your mouth when you sneeze but don’t cover your phone while breathing, spitting and talking right into it. While your phone may not be a place for public contact, it is a hub for germs collected from every handshake, cough and one dollar bill that you bring to the next phone call.

Not only are cell phones one of the dirtiest items you touch in a given day, they hold on to all of the germs and actually prevent you from being successful in any other preventative sterilizing act. Cleaned surfaces become contaminated once again after the briefest contact with your phone.

Sterilizing Your Phone

Most people have never really cleaned their phone, beyond the swipe of a sleeve or cloth that can help with removing fingerprints and dust. Some worry that the equipment necessary to really deep clean a phone, or other device, is expensive, cumbersome, time consuming or all of the above.

Did you know that microfiber sticky screen cleaners from a few fledgling promo product companies are actually none of the above? Cost effective and compact, these cell phone cleaners stick right to the back of your phone or other electronic device. Sticking and re-sticking thousands of times without ever leaving residue, the patch is always ready for your phone sterilizing needs. Made of a patented microfiber blend, the split end technology actually attracts dust and dirt, pulling it away rather than simply moving it around your screen.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and most of us would try any way to avoid the trials of the flu. If that path to a healthier season comes in the form of a microfiber sticky screen cleaner to make your cell phone pristine clean, well then all the better!