3 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health Through Your Gut

Many of you already know your gut is home to countless bacteria and there’s about 1,000 different species living inside your intestinal tract? All these bacteria help make up what’s called the microbiome. It’s well documented that maintaining your gut’s flora can go a long way in improving your overall physical health and, now, more and more research suggests there might even be a link to mental health. 1. Take a Probiotic In one study, researchers fed probiotics—strains of good bacteria—to mice and suggested the resulting changes in the gut’s microbe colonies could ease feelings of anxiety. [1] A more recent study looked at prebiotics—carbohydrates that serve as “food” for that good bacteria—noting after three weeks, those who took a daily prebiotic supplement had an easier time sorting through anxious and depressed feelings. [2] And still, other reports suggested those out-of-whack bacteria levels could also be a cause of autism, suggesting probiotics as a therapeutic approach for autistic children. [3] [4] 2. Use Curcumin to Modulate Cytokines And so while probiotics and prebiotics could improve the condition of your gut, there’s also recent evidence suggesting internal irritation plays a strong role in your mental health. [5] There are many things that could cause irritation in the gut—unhealthy diets and obesity are just two of many. The body, then, sends cells and proteins to the site of the problem. Recent research suggests people with depression are loaded with cytokines—one of the proteins in question. Taking turmeric may show some relief in reducing gut irritation as well as environmental damage to the brain. 3. Incorporate More Omega-3s Into Your Diet At the same time there’s evidence suggesting depression could be an allergic reaction to internal irritation, other studies suggest that supplementing with omega-3 and curcumin (an extract from the spice turmeric) could ease issues in the gut in much the same way as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). [6] [7] More and more doctors are looking at approaching irritation in depression protocols, rather than simply addressing the neurological aspect. [8] Maintaining a Healthy Gut There are quite a few people out there who never even felt anxious or depressed until they experienced gut issues, furthering the idea that the intestine–brain connection is very real. [9] IBS, for instance, can cause depressive-like symptoms in people, [10] as can gluten intolerance. Performing a colon cleanse routinely and supplementing with probiotics can help you maintain a healthy gut. I recommend my Colon Cleanse Kit, which helps you cleanse your digestive tract of toxins while supporting your gut’s colonies of beneficial bacteria. So, will you try improving your gut health to better your mental well being? Tell us what you think in the comments below. If you’re looking for a supplement that can improve your gut health, check out FLORATREX and TUMERIC at the AlrightStore.   References (10) Bravo, J. et al. Ingestion of Lactobacillus strain regulates emotional behavior and central GABA receptor expression in a mouse via the vagus nerve. Proceedings [...]

2018-04-04T21:49:10-07:00By |

What’s the Best Probiotic Sources for Vegans?

Your gut is home to good and bad bacteria, and maintaining that balance is more important than you think. Sure, maybe you already know taking probiotics (the “good” bacteria) can promote healthy digestion, but did you know recent studies suggest even more positives, like an immune system boost and mental health support? [1] [2] If you’re feeling a little rundown and you’re not sure why, maybe probiotics could help. Vegan Probiotic Sources But how can you get those probiotics from a vegan diet? Because veganism cuts out all animal products, proper nutrition—especially for the new vegan—can be tricky. [3] If you’re planning on getting your probiotics from food sources, there are some options out there that aren’t exactly vegan-friendly. For example, dairy-based yogurt is no longer an option; however, you can always make or buy your own live-cultured non-dairy yogurt. Coconut milk yogurt is becoming more common in the grocery stores today, and are a much better option (health-wise) than soy-based yogurts. Here are some vegan foods that you can try right now that are also high in naturally-occurring probiotics: Pickled/Fermented Vegetables A well-known choice is certainly the traditional pickle, but any vegetable that’s been pickled or fermented with bacterial cultures (in addition to salt and spices) can be a great probiotic source. Kimchi, for example, is an excellent probiotic choice for this reason. Always keep in mind, though, pickled and fermented vegetables can contain high levels of sodium. Kombucha Tea Fermented from black tea, kombucha also has sugar, yeast, and—you guessed it—probiotics. It’s a popular item in stores right now, but always be sure you’re looking for a product that’s been tested; this helps rule out the presence of “bad” bacteria. Fermented Soy Products Most of you have probably heard of fermented soy products like miso and tempeh. And as many sources of B-12 are in non-plant based foods, many vegans might find it difficult to get enough of the vitamin. [4] Tempeh, an excellent substitute for tofu, is also a reliable source of B12. [5] [6] One Final Thought As one of the healthiest diet options, veganism can be extremely rewarding for your health. A poorly planned vegan diet, however, can definitely be nutritionally deficient. Finding reliable probiotic sources—like the ones listed above—can help with that, as can a good vegan supplement. A daily probiotic supplement is a reliable way to get consistent probiotic support. Currently, I recommend and use two different products: Latero-Flora™ which is the B.O.D. Bacillus Laterosporus strain and a more advanced formula, Floratrex™, which contains active cultures from 23 different probiotic strains. Either of these are a solid choice and I’ve been extremely satisfied with them both. Have you considered taking probiotics or switching to a vegan diet for your health? Tell us about it in the comments. If you’re looking for a supplement that can improve your gut health, check out FLORATREX at the AlrightStore.     References (6) Behnsen, J. et al. Probiotics: Properties, Examples, and Specific [...]

2018-04-27T03:42:13-07:00By |

7 Exercise Tools Everyone Should Have

Among their many benefits, exercise tools such as foam rollers are useful for releasing tension points, improving range of motion and supporting muscle recovery. Most serious athletes, bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts own one or more of these handy, inexpensive tools, which continue to grow in popularity. Like the foam roller, most of these tools are designed to be self-administered for the purpose of myofascial release, but you can use them with a partner if desired. Your fascia is a band or sheath of connective tissue, primarily collagen, that provides support and protection for your muscles and internal organs. Fascia also can become tight due to inactivity, overuse or trauma caused by your job activities or workouts, or sometimes due to an accident, poor posture, repetitive stress injury or surgery. When your fascia constricts, you may experience inflammation, which can result in a thickening of the connective tissue, as well as pain and irritation. By breaking down fibrous tissue, you boost your body's blood circulation, which, in turn, promotes healing and helps relieve painful symptoms. Besides a foam roller, Prevention magazine1 suggests six other "must have" exercise tools to help you target problem areas and achieve relief in a matter of minutes. Foot Massager: Bringing Relief to Your Hardworking Feet Caring for your feet is an important consideration no matter what you do for a living, but most especially if your job or other activities involve a lot of walking or standing. After carrying you around all day, your feet deserve special attention. Unfortunately, frequent neglect of your feet can result in serious aches and pains. For example, it's vitally important you wear high-quality, supportive footwear. If you don't, you may end up with plantar fasciitis, which occurs when the tendon running along your arch, from your toes to your heel, becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis is extremely painful and may involve weeks or months of treatment and recovery. The pain is often at its worst when you take your first steps in the morning or after long periods of rest. Whether or not you have plantar fasciitis, using a foot massager to roll out aches and pains is an effective way to release tension in your feet and promote blood circulation. Golf, lacrosse or tennis balls can be used on your feet but they can easily slide out or roll away unless used on thick carpet. Foot-specific rollers, which are generally slightly larger than a golf ball, can be used on any surface. Check out the video below for simple instructions on how to use a foot massage ball to address pain such as that caused by plantar fasciitis. Lacrosse Ball: Dig Into Tight Muscles Alone or With a Partner If you've ever had a massage therapist dig into one or more tension points on your back or shoulders, you may be happy to know you can use a lacrosse ball to achieve a similar effect. Due to its compact size, a lacrosse [...]

2018-08-23T17:47:21-07:00By |