It is not entirely true what they say – you are what you eat. An unhealthy gut is not only caused by processed food & too much sugar it can be caused but by other factors. Bacteria in the gut is determined by a mix of genetics, lifestyle factors, diet, exercise, stress and toxin exposure which all play a huge role in the gut’s bacterial makeup. The more I delve into brain health the more I am excited to discover that so many neurological diseases could possibly be prevented by having a healthy tummy. Researchers are busy investigating ways to prevent Alzheimers Disease and delay its onset by targeting gut bacteria early on before people are aware of it.
In the meantime there are so many ways we can obtain a healthy gut for a Beautiful Mind. Here’s my week on what I discovered.
Day 1 – Kombucha
I decided to start at what is hot and trendy right now. The very talented cook and food blogger, Katrina Horton, came to the rescue with a freshly made batch of Ginger & Kaffir Lime Kombucha. Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with huge possibilities. Ultimately, this cocktail of good bacteria interact together in a unique way to produce some unbelievable health benefits for those who drink it.
Kombucha contains folic acid, an important B vitamin that works with vitamin B12 to reduce risk factor for heart disease. B vitamins may prevent and correct deficiencies caused by aging, cancer, Crohn’s disease, heart disease, immunodepression (including AIDS & CFIDS), memory loss (including Alzheimer’s disease), osteoporosis, and periodontal disease.
I am now hooked. I had a crazy thought that I could add some vodka to make a delishes cocktail, but quickly slapped myself. The benefits are enormous so this will definitely be a daily drink of choice and hey it may even take over my love of Gin & Tonic as it almost tastes alcoholic!
Day 2 – Temple Powders
I have been slightly obsessed learning about Korean Temple Food where fermenting is key. What I really adore is that the fact that the food prepared by buddhist monks comes from the heart with love and awakens your mind and calms. This has inspired me to create my own well being powders that I bespoke to what the body needs – clear skin, energy, sleep? Here is one I have created for my daughter Jasmin and I for anxiety and stress, made with compassion and love for a Beautiful Mind
Charlottes Temple Powder for a Beautiful Mind
Kiwi Fruit Powder
Fermented Grape Extract
Lime Kaffir Powder
Kiwi Fruit Powder
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that helps to reduce the effects of stress on the nervous system, which cuts back on the adrenaline, ‘fight or flight,’ response, leaving us with more energy.
Matcha green tea has more antioxidants, EGCG, and l-theanine than any superfood or drink; relieves stress, increases mental energy and lowers disease risk.
Chlorella is a superfood that we can all benefit from, being high in plant protein, fiber and healthy fats which are all important nutrients needed for gut and digestive health. It also helps to eliminate heavy metals from your body which can cause distress to the central nervous system and could also cause neuro diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Grape Seed Extract contains a vast array of health-giving ingredients, such as protein, lipids, carbohydrates and is loaded with antioxidants, more powerful than vitamin e and 50 times greater than vitamin c.
I blended my Temple Powder with spinach, kale, a frozen banana and coconut water. It tastes a bit earthy but it is worth it knowing all the goodness it will be creating. As we will be taking my Temple powder over a one month period I will keep you posted
Day 3 – Get Dirty
Don’t be afraid of a little dirt. Over the last century we have been told to keep everything meticulously clean and people have become a bit obsessed with hand sanitising gel. Now we are discovering that we actually benefit from exposure to dirt and bacteria. The microbes from the soil train our immune system to work properly. So, get outside and garden, play with your dog, or just simply roll around in a lush garden of grass for the pure fun of it. When you are having a wash up make sure you use natural soap and water, rather than antibacterial products that wipe out all your good bacteria. Oh and don’t forget to try and avoid taking anti biotics unless you are desperate
Day 4 – De Stress
Stress can lead to so many digestive issues and sadly my mother had experienced terrible irritable bowel which may be a contributor to Alzheimer’s. The problem might not be what you’re eating, but how you feel when you’re eating it. Women typically are more stressed out than men and it presents itself in the stomach.
Our gut contains some crazy critters called microbes which include things like bacteria, fungi, protists and viruses. Basically, it’s the ecosystem of microbes that live on you and within you – some good and bad. The good news is that we can do things to reduce the bad to help in turn get rid of unhealthy stress.
There are many ways to cut back on stress – my favourite is meditation, yoga, breathing through your tummy and spending time in nature – to name a few. I decided to try a new approach called the The Body Scan which was developed by a clinical psychologist and long-time Buddhist practitioner Jon-Kabat Zinn to cultivate greater awareness of the ways the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can undermine emotional, physical, and spiritual health. It has been clinically proven to not only reduce stress but relieve chronic pain and illness. You can download a free audio recording of the Body Scan here.
In the afternoon when I put my mother to bed to give her a massage and body a break from her wheel chair it is the perfect time to do a body scan. I snuggled up next to her as I felt she would benifit through my relaxation too. This will now definitely be a part of our afternoon routine.
A wonderful week I have had with a new appreciation for gut health. Bringing in fermented food into my diet, de stressing more and my Temple powders will now be a regular occurrence for a Beautiful Mind