An exciting new area of research is the connection between the gut and brain. Evidence suggests probiotics (beneficial flora) can be remarkably useful in improving our mood and treating depression and anxiety in three key ways.
The many species of microbes in our gut form a kind of ‘ecosystem’ which helps maintain healthy digestive and metabolic function. However, intestinal flora can become out of balance from antibiotic use, stress, illness or poor dietary choices and when this happens, it can affect our overall vitality and mood.
Being healthy doesn't have to mean missing out on treats but if you or your children have food intolerances or allergies, finding suitable and healthy ‘treat’ alternatives can be tricky.
One of my children has food intolerances and doesn’t do well on sugar either, so when I tried this chocolate ice-cream recipe, I was so impressed with the creaminess and taste, I just had to share it!
It is dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, egg-free, Paleo friendly and can be made low FODMAPS.
Our stress resilience helps us cope with everyday hectic situations like work deadlines, traffic and even loud noises. Magnesium is essential for healthy nerve function and is the most important mineral for coping with stress. Stress depletes our Magnesium levels and yet we need it for maintaining our stress resilience, so it becomes a vicious cycle.
How stress depletes your Magnesium levels
1. When you experience stress, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenalin. Adrenalin pushes Magnesium out of our cells. 99% of Magnesium is needed inside our cells and stress hormones deplete the cells Magnesium.
2. Research shows that people who have high stress levels, experience loss of Magnesium through their urine. Stress hormones cause our kidneys to excrete more Magnesium than usual, further depleting Magnesium.
3. When we become stressed, it also affects the digestion and absorption of nutrients from our food. When you are stressed you will have lower Magnesium absorption, so even if you are eating a wholefood diet rich in Magnesium, it may not be being absorbed.
Replenishing your Magnesium levels for better stress resilience
To break through the vicious cycle of stress and Magnesium depletion, it is important to supplement with a good bioavailable form of Magnesium. Because stress reduces Magnesium absorption, your diet may not be enough (at least initially) to replenish your Magnesium stores. Eating foods rich in Magnesium such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds can certainly help.
If left unchecked, chronic stress can cause our adrenal health and metabolism to crash. A naturopathic consultation can effectively address the underlying factors involved including correcting nutrient deficiencies or imbalances, which might be causing un-wellness.
By restoring your body’s Magnesium levels, you will cope better with everyday situations with a calmer and happier response, because your nervous system will be properly nourished.
Tired, fatigued, flat or just plain worn-out – however we describe it; many of us live hectic lives and particularly for women it can be a constant juggling act, leaving us with the kind of exhaustion that even a good night’s sleep won’t fix.
While lack of sleep is the most common cause of tiredness; sometimes there are hidden factors which drain our energy, deplete our stress resilience and leave us feeling flat and unmotivated.
A naturopathic consultation can reveal underlying imbalances which might be causing low energy and fatigue. Below are five of these hidden causes:
Many people suffer from fatigue, weight gain, poor memory and even depression, believing they have no choice but to live with it. Some have even been to their GP and told ‘you’re fine!’
Healthy energy levels depend on the thyroid gland, because it governs our metabolic rate and our core body temperature. Our metabolic rate is the rate at which we burn calories and turn it into energy.
If our thyroid function is low, it slows down energy production and all metabolic processes.
If you often have vague unexplained symptoms like tiredness, that ‘foggy’ feeling or bloating, indigestion or headaches; it could be because you are eating a food your body is intolerant to.
It is estimated that up to 45% of the population are affected by food intolerance
Food intolerance is the body’s abnormal immune reaction to certain foods. Unlike classical food allergies (such as to peanuts or shellfish) which have an immediate immune reaction; food intolerances are usually ‘delayed’ and symptoms may not occur for up to 2 days after eating the food.