everything you want to know about gut health

*this information is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner.

WHATS UP WITH MY GUT


So pretty much everything positive or negative you might be experiencing, involves your gut.

 

Gut is such an unsexy word, so is bowel, but what it does is amazing and so I want to rename gut to like “muffin” hahaha. Like could you imagine, we’d be like “my muffin feels weird”. Hahah. Nah we’ll stick with gut.

 

Gut health is integral to optimal health and everyone needs to stop shying away from talking about it, because it’s such an awesome indicator of what’s going on in your body. Everything from allergies, to eczema / psoriasis, to autoimmune diseases, to energy production, its all to do with the gut.

 

When we talk about the gut, we’re talking about both the small intestine and large intestine. Our small intestine is where the magic happen; the food we digest is broken down and most nutrients are absorbed here, with wastes and toxins travelling into the large intestine and we poop it out (YAY). In the large intestine, nutrients are re-absorbed, water’s absorbed, and our bacteria happily live here, doing their job of keeping us health or not so healthy. (moral of the story is; we love out gut bacteria).

 

PART 1

bloating – what’s up with it, what causes it, ways to overcome it

 

Bloating is weird, its like both a good thing sometimes and a bad thing. When we eat foods, predominantly carbohydrates, the bugs in our gut called Bacteroids, break it down into fatty acids, and in this process, cause gas. Other foods are more gas producing than others, because of the type of carbohydrate/starch/enzymes and phytates (plant nutrients) that they’re made of.

 

We’re talking about all them good goods; carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, capsicum, legumes and beans, grains, carby fruits like banana, apples, dates, figs, etc.

And all your shit processed foods that are also really carby, like pasta, cakes, biscuits, bread et cetera. 

 

Also dairy, as 60-90% of the WORLDS population lack the ability to properly break down and utilise dairy, so consuming dairy will also contribute to bloating (and heaps of other problems...)

 

Also, as we'll explore in the upcoming blogs, FODMAP foods (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols) cause bloating also, as the bugs aren't able to digest the short-chain carbohydrates that they're made up of. This includes for some people; garlic & onion (RIP). 

 

How to avoid? COOK your veggies properly.

 

Whether thats steaming, roasting, boiling, BBQ'in, grilln', whatever way you love to cook. 


Our bodies do better when food is already partially broken down, ready for our lubly bugs and body to extract the nutrients, without having to deal with the phytates and anti-nutrients. Of course, there’s the raw activists out there, and if you feel awesome on a raw diet, go you, do you boo boo.

BUT biologically, we found fire, utilised it to… cook our food and became the dominant species on the planet!!! All because we could extract more goodness out of it, plus fire destroys any anti-nutrients and poisons that can harm us. WOO FIYA 

In defence of raw biddies, when you cook foods you do kill / lose some enzymes and nutrients.

If you’re eating lots of legumes, beans and grains, again, our gut isn’t able to properly digest heaps of them because of the lectin's that they have (check out our blog bout it). So the bugs not being able to break them down properly, ferment them, creating gas, bloating and discomfort. So if you do want to munch on legumes, beans and grains, just make sure they’re really soaked (overnight ideally, with some sea salt) and cooked through so it’s easier for your gut and lubly bugs to digest.


On a side note, which is what makes us so awesome, is that our bodies adapt. So you might not even notice your experience gas, bloating, or pain if you eat something on a regular basis, but when you give your body a break and reintroduce it you might experience it, so just heads up and stay conscious of what’s going on.

 

Oh and even like chewing gum or eating your food quickly causing you to gulp air also causes bloating, also if you have heaps of salt (but again, everyone is different)

 

Also, in regards to going from 0-100 real quick, in the sense that you’re like “yep, I’m gonna up my veggie intake, HEADS UP, all this added fibre can cause everything to get backed up, thus you’re gonna bloat and be a balloon. This happens because if you’ve been consuming a low fibre / plant diet, your GI tract’s gotten lazy and hasn’t had to work so hard, and this sudden influx of fibre and starch causes constipation. So if you’re already there, don’t fear, it sucks, but your body will eventually get used to all the fibre and be killa killa bomb dilla, or option 2, ease your gut into it and just increase your plant foods and fibre slowly. And drink heaps of water, even some magnesium will help

 

So in a nutshell, bloating is caused by our gut bugs breaking down carbohydrates. To decrease bloating, cook your veggies properly, soak your legumes, beans and grains, sit down to eat your food, notice and be conscious of foods that cause you to bloat, and either change the way you prepared consume them, or swap them out for something equally or more nutritious.


PART 2

IBS, foods that irritate the gut, FODMAP

 

Let’s kick it off with IBS aka irritable bowel syndrome. IBS is one of those things that everyones like… what even is IBS? It can be medically categorised into 3 types; IBS-D (diarrhoea), IBS-C (constipation) and IBS-M (mixed, bit of column A and B). In the real world, we’re talking about constant/regular gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain, infrequent stool consistency (lol at me even writing that, how profesh do I sound), and you’ll also just probably feel like shit, because as we talked bout in the intro, the gut is responsible for immune function, energy production, hormone balancing, errythangggg yo.

 

IBS is of course, like everything, positively or negatively impacted by nutrition, movement and meditation, aka what we eat, what we do, and what we think. But in this case, food plays da #1 role, which is awesome (as usual). As we touched on in previous blogs, certain foods are more inflammatory within the gut than others – grains (even wholegrains), legumes, beans, processed foods aka it has ingredients, nightshades (we’ll dive into these), certain foods you might be sensitive / allergic too e.g FODMAP (also, because of how food is produced these days, with all the chemicals, plastics, GMO, dominant species etc), and if you’re going through periods in your life of stress whether it be emotional, financial, spiritual, physical, psychological, whatever, that all impacts the gut, its integrity, and its ability to digest and bounce back from bad bugs.

 

So step 1 is being aware. Whats going on, on a day to day basis digestion wise. Do you feel bloated, yucky, daddy gasolina, not pooping awesomely? Do certain foods make it worse/more noticeable? If you answered yes to any of these questions, YOU CAN PROCEED TO STEP 2 (you can pass go, and you can totally collect $200)

 

Like shit, how bad do you feel when you eat something and it fucks up your gut/muffin. You’re like instantly in a bad mood, and you feel uncomfortable and so not sexy, and ain’t no body got time for that. We wanna be bootylicious & biceplicious? 24/7 (boys and gals can be both bootylicious and biceplicious simultaneously ja feel).

 

So, write a list or keep a note in your phone bout what these are, and then cross reference whether they’re FODMAP related, intolerance related, or hey theyre probably just you related. We’re all different, like I can’t fucking handle capsicum. At all. I like die. And capsicum is delicious, but my body says no no, yet my sista beb @kate_hedley is g with capsi, good for her haha.

 

So step 3, is to cut out these foods for a period of time, ideally lets go like 3-4 weeks (minimum), and see if you notice changes. And lets be realistic, taking out like 1 food when say 5 irritate you, you aint gonna notice much/any changes, coz yo inflammation and shit still gon be going on. So be brave, swap them out and swap in awesome foods that agree with you. If you get stuck /overwhelmed and are like wtf where do I even start / what are you even saying, holla at ya girl and we’ll devise a plan / suss out what is irritating you 

 

Oh and like bubbi step 4, is look at what you might be missing which is exacerbating (what a great word hey), bad gut health. Like are we drinking enough H2O (around 1L for every 25kg of body weight), fibre? Where we getting that from? Are we getting enough? Are we stressing and causing everything to tighten up and need more magnesium and other supplements? Are we moving our bodies in a way we love? Are we getting good sleep? (studies have shown individuals who are sleep deprived & jet lagged have the same gut microbiome as an obese person….)

 

So moving right along. Certain foods are more inflammatory than others, as we’ve explored in previous blogs, so lets chit chat bout nightshades.

 

Nightshades are foods that essentially cause an immune response, and are linked to autoimmune disease & chronic pain, because of their plant defence systems - so they don’t get eaten by bugs. THEY JUS WANNA SURVIVE. Nightshade family include; eggplant, capsicum, chilli’s, paprika, cayenne pepper, tomatoes and potatoes.

 

This isn’t to say all nightshades are problematic, they also trigger a beneficial mild immune response, like cayenne pepper for example, AWESOME for triggering your immune system when you're sick to come out and play and beat the bad bugs. And the nutrients within nightshades are also dope, everyone’s different so suss out if you react / feel weird after eating nightshades / hey you might not even notice you even react anymore because you're bodies become adapted and down regulated it. but if you have auto immune/chronic pain/alzheimers (hopefully none of you do), then i'd look at swapping out your nightshades, theres so many other cool herbs and spices and veggies to munch on

 

So FODMAPS;

 

F is for fermentable, which just kind of like introduces you to what happens to the ODMAPS; aka theyre fermented in the gut/muffin.

O is for oligosaccharides, which are sugar chains

D is disaccharides which means 2 sugar molecules,

M for monosaccharide which is 1 sugar molecule, and then

And (lol)

P for polyols which are sugar alcohols (the ‘ol’ gives it away). So now what we know what these mean, we can start to apply them to foods.

 

Check out the FODMAP table from fodmap.com. It provides some key foods that can irritate the gut and cause the effects of FODMAP; which is IBS!!!

IT ALL LINKS TOGETHER FRIENDS. (insert the hand shaking emoji)


PART 3

bacteria balance, good vs bad, foods that promote good / bad balances and what this means

 

So we know that we are literally what we eat. What you put into your mouth is what builds our body; our muscle cells, our skin cells, our immune system, everything. So if we feed ourselves poor quality, basic bitch processed, refined shit – then that’s what our body has to utilise and build our tissues out of; and 10/10 you’re gonna feel like that poor quality, basic bitch, bad shit. And our gut health is a fine indicator of what’s going on inside.

 

When we’re in dysbiosis – which just means when out gut microbiome isn’t in balance, we feel all types of ways – not only directly – bloated, irregular, daddy gasolina, heavy, sluggish and just yuck, but indirectly, with dysbiosis linked again to all inflammatory states, IBS, neurotransmitter production, sleep quality, mental focus, the list is endless. Moral of the story is; we all know about the GBA (gut-brain axis) aka the vagus nerve aka the enteric nervous system, which is the nerve that runs from out gut to our brain, and send signals to our brain telling us all kinds of things. Things like – I’m craving chocolate, sugar, bread, release hormones, release neurotransmitters, and fun fact; 90% of our serotonin is made in our gut, and 70% of our immune system is located in our gut. YAAAS so you know see why everyones banging on about how crucially important having a good gut is – it controls your happiness and health (literally).

 

The two main types of bacteria we’re gonna chat about are Bacteroidetes and Fermicutes. These two families are like Montague and Capulet, and they’re balance determines your ability to lose weight or gain weight.

Bacteroidetes > Fermicutes = lean person metabolism, Fermicutes > Bacteroidetes = fat person metabolism.

 

So I know we’re all like “so how do we throw this balance in our favour” the answer is to eat foods that feed Bacteroidetes and starve off Fermicutes (in a very simplistic sense, as theres heaps of strains of bacteria, most which we have zero idea about). And this equals, all your veggies, lean proteins, good healthy fats, and plenty of fibre. Fibre is fermented in the gut to product SCFA (short chain fatty acids), in which the bugs do, and thus deliver energy to your cells - this in a nutshell is the whole bacteria/human symbiotic relationship, they break down our food for us and give our cells energy.

 

Theres a bit of evidence about polyphenols and their role in balancing the microbiome – polyphenols are plant compunds that have antioxidant properties and are what give plants their flavour and colour. (coffee’s super high in polyphenols.. jus saying), so eating brightly coloured and flavoured plant foods are ultimate - think veggies, herbs & spices, fruits.

Also ATP Science have brought out GutRight, which packs so many polyphenols and resistant starch into a delicious powder, to help us get our gut right in 10 days 

Fasting is also an awesome tool to utilise to restore gut health. Fasting, whether intermittent (my personal fave), or prolonger dry fasts are able to starve off the bad bugs and increase favourable bacteria. But its important that when you do break your fast, you eat a nutritious wholefood meal, like downing some Nando’s or some shit aint gonna help you coz it's just going to revive those devil bacteria.

Intermittent fasting is around 16-18 hrs, and the way I do my daily fast is I eat dinner, and then just skip breakfast, and push lunch till like 2pm. Within that time, I do train, so depending how fucking starving I am it might be more like a 12-14hr fast (but I also drink black coffee in that mean time coz polyphenols come to mumma). Moral of my story is; aim for 16 hours, but don’t fuck yourself up (which i definitely have done). You can do it the opposite way too, and just skip dinner and then eat breakfast, it’s easier either way because the majority of your fasting time you are asleep, so its like a cheeky cheat haha.

Unwanted bacteria not only causing candida overgrowth, but it also literally causes you to lose control of your “will power”. Along with our hormones, which are signalled by the bacteria, these bugs literally make you crave sugar, as sugar is their food, so hey don’t feel defeated if you’re unable to control your cravings, you now have an insight into why, and can address this through switching up your diet, and/or (even cooler) get your microbiome mapped to see the species that are living there and work with me or a practitioner to develop a plan to conquer the imbalance (uBiome is the main reliable one available in AUS, otherwise go through your practitioner).

So not eating sugar – in all its forms – fructose, glucose, sucrose, carbohydrates, refined and processed carbs, will help to rebalance your biome – aka a paleo / pegan / keto type diet for depending on your circumstance, anywhere from a few days to a few weeks until balance has been restored.

So its not about “more is better” when it comes to pre & probiotics and fermented foods, but is more about the ideal ratio. And what you choose to consume is the direct result of that. Prebiotics are all our veggies and fibre. There’s also cool things like resistant starch and inulin, which are also prebiotic.

Probiotic foods of course, yoghurt, coconut yoghurt, keffir, and your fermented foods like tempeh, miso, tamari, sauerkraut, kimchi, apple cider vinegar, etc.

 

And saying all this, every single person’s gut biome differs in species, because of environmental exposure, genetics, diet, geography, and everything else in between (bacteria run the world). So if you’re feeling anything from fatigue, to brain fog, cravings, sluggish digestion, the gut is the key source of your solution and problem. So work with someone, or do the homework and the experimentation and get that good balance of bacteria. 


PART 4

rebuilding the gutprotocols/tools/foods/supps for magical gut health

 

*this information is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner.

 

The first initial step in establishing and creating amazing gut health is to be aware. Do you eat certain foods and then feel tired, sluggish, bloated, pain, and gross after? Ding ding ding, that’s a sign. Pay attention to that, and either write a list on your iphone/paper, or make a mental note that when you eat that food/foods it causes you to have GI upset (gastrointestinal). Then avoid that food. Don’t try to like “push it” and just make your body have it thinking it’ll be okay in a few hours. Like if you eat something and it makes you feel not good, bruh don’t fucking eat it. You’re not gonna die or have FOMO, theres so many alternatives to literally any and every food, we live in the dopest time where foods from the entire world are available to us in like a google search and 3 clicks.

 

So not eating foods that hurt us is the obvious first step. Second step, is rebuilding your microbiome, which based upon the previous 3 blogs, you should have taken some good notes away from on how to do that.

 

-       eat wholefoods and anti-inflammatory foods

-       avoid processed/refined carbs and sugars

-       good fats

-       a happy protein source

-       consuming fibre and prebiotics through our wholefoods

-       avoiding/decreasing alcohol (especialllllyyyyyyy beer and all those cruisers and shit filled with sugar)

-       consuming probiotic foods or a probiotic supplement (I’ll recommend a few below), esp. SB (saccharomyces boulardii)

-       consuming polyphenol rich and antimicrobial herbs, like oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic (if you’re not FODMAP), ginger, cinnamon.

 

Those key activities ensure you’re starving off and killing bad bugs, and the nutritious foods ensuring you’re feedin the goodies. And then we look to rebuild, its like the lawn analogy that the @ATPscience legends use; you need to “weed, seed & feed” the microbiome. (weed the baddies, seed the goodies and then feed the goodies). Rebuilding requires utilising a few supplements.

 

-       l- glutamine – helps to rebuild the gut lining, preventing leaky gut and acting as a buffer to inflammation that causes gaps between the tight junctions

-       slippery elm powder – soothes and acts as a “mucilage” to coat the inner lining OR

-       aloe vera – the real stuff, also soothes and provides so many key vitamins and minerals to the gut lining, helping to rebuild and support

-       SB (saccharomyces boulardii) acts like a broom and brushes out the bad bugs and prevents them from nesting

-      collagen - (not vegan), helps to rebuild and support the gut lining as well as consuming

-      bone broth - also has super beneficial properties in healing the gut, delivering a plethora of nutrients and minerals, as well as collage which are the building blocks for all connective tissue. i feel drinking bone broth ON ITS OWN, is best. not in conjunction with meals. 

-      zinc carnosine - also has some research for helping the gut to heal, as its not destroyed by the digestive process and can get to the small intestine and large.

-      good fats - coconut oil, ghee, BHB, as it's anti-inflammatory, along with other potent anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, liquorice, peppermint, fennel - all healing and soothing

-      pectin  - also helps to balance the gut and heal the lining

-       And then team that with a good multi-strain probiotic – I like Orthoplex’s Multiflora, Bioceuticals Prodophilus or Ultra 45/60 depending on the person. 

Putting in place these strategies and consuming gut loving foods, along with managing stress, and focusing on getting good quality sleep will help you to have a magical gut biome, and will just resolve so many health barriers and get you feeling 10x better :)

oh and drink water.

 

the end. holla if you have any questions :) 

- e aka tmn aka overall nutrition badass 

 

the link between grains and inflammation

 

*this information is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner.

 

Now I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get a lil nasty – Trey Songz / me bout grains right now haha

 

Sooooo this epi (I’m calling it an epi because I feel like I just talk in these blogs haha and I like to abbreviate everything), we’re going to be talking about the inflammatory effect of the consumption of grains. e.g headaches, migraines, brain fog, fatigue, ADHD, anxiety, depression, digestive disturbances, autoimmune disease, food allergies, IBS and ulcerative colitis.

 

So, in a nutshell, as we’ve talked about, inflammation is the primary root of all disease, ageing and pain. So obviously avoiding / reducing inflammation is the key to living forever, but nah in all seriousness we have complete control over how we live our lives, whether that’s in pain or not.

 

Grains are these cute little packages, wrapped up in their coat, unable to be penetrated by nature. And then we came along with our fire and our water and were like OPEN SESAME!

 

It’s because of their structure that grains cause a low-grade inflammatory response, because like all species they’re equipped with mechanisms to survive.

 

It’s these protective compounds called lectins, that are indigestible by humans.  Lectins not only trigger inflammation, allergic reactions and intestinal permeability aka leaky gut, but also strip away the protective mucus that lines our gut, making us susceptible to bacteria invasion (yikes).

 

Leaky gut causes gaps to form between the epithelial cells in our gut, which allows toxins, wastes, bacteria and other substances to leak out of our gut and into the blood stream. 

 

It's this perpetuating cycle of inflammation and a heightened immune response, that drains our bodies resources, leaving us vulnerable to other problems and health issues, such as IBS, digestive disturbances, thyroid imbalances, psoriasis, eczema, ADHD, depression and anxiety,  and is heavily linked to autoimmune diseases and allergies.

 

 (*side note, numerous populations have and still do THRIVE off grains, and live amazingly long lives, but its these individuals within these blue zones that also live an extremely active, minimily stressful, blissful life, it’s not one thing is bad/good, it’s the accumulation of a broad spectrum of everything and numerous factors that cause auto-immune and inflammatory responses to grains).

 

If we blindly followed the Australian Dietary Guidelines/Guide to Health Eating, in which they recommend 6-7 SERVES OF GRAINS A DAY, AKA GRAINS ARE OUR #1 FOOD GROUP AND FUEL SOURCE, then its easy to see how a constant consumption of grains, day in, day out, is gonna fuck shit up and wreak havoc and inflammation.

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 1.52.32 pm.png

 

 

When we’re in a chronic low-grade inflammatory response it just sets us up for all kinds of issues as I’ve mentioned, and creates an inflammatory response in the nervous system. Because our immune systems in a heightened active state, along with the gut-brain connection aka the HPA axis aka the vagus nerve, increasing oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, it contributes and aggravates headaches and migraines

 

Inflammation also triggers the stress response, which means cortisol floods our system. Cortisol down regulates the release of our neurotransmitter; GABA, which is like the soothing aloe vera gel when we’re sunburnt, but in our brain. It calms us down, and blocks the over excitation of our neurons (nerve cells). Anxiety, depression and ADHD are all scientifically linked to an imbalance of GABA (as well as dopamine in our brains).

 

It gets tricky though, because its like “if you soak and sprout grains it removes the phytates (anti-nutrient proteins*) and is easier to digest”, and this is true, but realistically are we going to soak and sprout our grains before we cook them? I’m gonna say no (if you do, hats off to you madam/sir).

 

And then there’s the families of grains, like our whole grains – we talking brown rice, oats, burghul, rye, freekah, cous cous, whole wheat (wheats fucked, avoid that shit like the plague, like dead set, if you feel like shit, in anyway, like mentally, physically, fatigued, anxious, brain fog, lethargic, just cut out wheat and watch yourself go from 0-100 real quick, and then tell me so we can hi-5)

 

We’re told that grains are a good source of B vitamins, but if you’re unable to absorb the B vitamins because of their irritable factors, then what’s the point? We’re able to get all the vitamins and minerals in grains, from other wholefood sources.

 

It’s also interesting that whole grains are presented as more nutritious because they contain the fibre which slows down the release of insulin and glucose within the blood, but its actually the bran – the whole grain part, that contains most of these anti-nutrients that aggravate the gut lining, causing permeability and inflammation. Not only that, but also the way grains are milled in our era destroys a lot of the nutrients that would normally exist within them. Additionally, the use of hybridized grains, in which 1 type of seed is predominantly grown.

 

 

Then there’s refined grains – like your white rices, wheat, and all the refined flours that exist in most/all baked goods. Refined grains I don’t think have any place in a diet, whole grains I get, and pseudo grains -  quinoa, aramanth, buckwheat, wild rice and teff, I feel are the best option. When consuming your pseudo/whole grains, treat it as a condiment, rather than the star of the dish, a lil sumin sumin on the side.

 

But hey I’d just remove/down size grains from your diet even for a small period of time, and see how you feel. And remember you can get all the B's, vitamins, minerals, and carbs you need from ya starchy veggies, potatoes and sweet potatoes.

 

Not everyone is as susceptible to the damaging properties and effects of grains, and grains aren’t evil, its all about educating yourself and seeing the links between foods and optimum health, and just becoming aware of how your body is and what makes you thrive and feel magical 24/7. 

 

Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are

-       Anthlem Brillat-Savarin

 

E x

 

Aman, T 2014, The Omni Diet, Griffin Publishing, California. 

Perlmutter, D & Loberg, K 2013, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers, Little Brown and Publisher, New York. 

 

 

a millennials guide to superfoods

Lets kick off the blog posts with exploring why superfoods are so damn awesome and amazing for us. We live in such a cool time, where we have easy access to the world's most nutrient dense foods.

Before we dive in, I just want to summarise our blog's purpose. We want to deliver easy, understandable, memory-sticking info about any and every topic in the health and self-development space. We do this so you're able to have a better understanding of what foods, movememnts and strategies can do for you - in a simple fun-phyta way :)

this information is for information purposes only. It is not intended to treat, perevent or cure any conditions, nor is intended to constitute advice on which reliance should be placed. Any information in this blog should be discussed with your health care practitioner

A superfood (noun) is defined as a food that is rich in plant compounds (phytonutrients), such as antioxidants, polyphenols and beta-carotene’s. These compounds are greatly beneficial to human health; yielding energy, vitality, optimum bodily functioning and help prevent chronic disease (yeah boy).

David Wolfe explains superfoods to be “both a food and a medicine; they are a class of the most potent, super-concentrated and nutrient-rich”.

In our terms, a food earns its ‘super’ status when it contains an abundance of health boosting compounds, not just one or two.

The evidence surrounding these powerhouses is still being uncovered, but thus far we have made some pretty awesome connections as to what superfoods are best for certain conditions, i.e fatigue, muscle pain, chronic inflammation, low immune system etc.

In our busy, stressful, tech-filled-environment, creating a relationship with these foods will enable you to feel better = a happy, healthier, more vibrant you

1. Acai

acai-powder_zoom_1.jpg

“ah-sigh-ee” is first up on our role call. It's a super potent antioxidant - which scavenge free radical cells within our bodies. It'd these radical cells that cause chronic inflammation, diseases, cancer, ageing, anf pretty much everything we associate with pain and feeling shit.

We’re exposed to a lot of this inflammation through intense exercise (without treating yourslef to some good R&R), air pollution and poor diet, diets high in junk and processed foods.

Besides being a superhero protecting your body from free radicals, acai is super high in manganese7 - a trace mineral thats involved in heaps of enzymatic reactions, including energy production, macronutrient (P,C,F) metabolism, helps regulate blood sugar and optimises nerve and thyroid hormone functioning -all of these influence your metabolism.

moral of the story is, acai helps our body to stay healthy, energetic, and we all know acai bowls are so damn pretty. So get making some acai bowls, our fave brands - Amazonia and Green Nuritionals

2. Baobab

baobab-fruit-powder_2e64a918-9434-4306-8855-6d64bb640fbb.jpeg

literally, is like the puff daddy of superfoods. Baobab is soooo jam packed with phytonutrients its crazy! We're talking 6x the vitamin C of oranges, 2x calcium of milk and a killa source of fibre, potassium, manganese, magnesium and glutamic acid.

Glutamic acid is converted in the body into glutamine – an amino acid that is heavily recruited from the gut and body for protein synthesis aka muscle building. For those of us who are super active, consuming additional glutamine is important to rebuild our gut lining, and prevent gut permeability, which leads to leaky gut.

So smash some baobab into your smoothies for an extra vitamin C and fibre punch! POW POW

Hit up - Baobabsmile to get some

3. Cacao

cacao is firstly, the MOTHER OF CHOCOLATE. Pretty much the only reason we should need to want to include this bad boy in our diet... But from a more nutritious scope, cacao is the worlds #1 natural source of magnesium, and is rich in antioxidants, iron, chromium, zinc and manganese.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body, like anything you can think of that your body can do - yep magensium's there awaiting like "oh hey guys, you need me again?". Mag is essential for heart health, stress management, sleep, nerve function and muscle recovery; reducing cramps, spasms, and DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness). It's also involved in our body's metabolic process, such as the conversion of glucose to energy and the metabolism of fat. COOL RIGHT?!

So if you’re feeling sore, experiencing cramps, not sleeping well, going through stress, muscle aches or twitches, or just feel like chocolate and releasing some serotonin to spice up ya life, grab yourself some cacao. My fave is Loving Earth's nibs, powder or the whole beans!

4. Chia

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my obsession with chia seeds is like no other. They not only make the ultimate breakfast/snack/dessert, but they contain 8 essential aminos, making them an awesome protein source. YAY. they also just look super cool close up.

These little baddies are rich in essential fatty acids; omega 3 & 6. Omega's as most of up know are converted into EPA & DHA, which do a plether of awesome functions in our body. From lubriacting joints, to cognitive funtion, memory, reducing inflammation, and sooo much more.

Chia also a “wet fibre” meaning it absorbs moisture, draws water to the large intestine, and helps move things along smoothly ;) - which is so important (dw a whole poop blog will be coming)

i feel like theres no reason to not have chia in your diet, its so friggen amazing. chia is your and your bowels bestie.

My main fave is Power Super Foods Organic Chia

5. Goji Berries

these little babies pack an antioxidant punch also, are deliciously high in vitamin A - which boosts our immunity, develops and strengthens our eye sight, aids digestion and building strong bones and teeth.

If you’re feeling under the weather, or that a cold is creeping, or spend hours staring at computer screens, iphones, ipads, or tv screens (like 99% of us), then bump up your smoothies, salads, chia puddings, pancakes, with goji - get that Vit A into ya.

On a side now, goji also plays an awesome medicinal role in preventing and reversing, high blood pressure, diabetes and fever.

The Source Bulk Foods and Power Superfoods are my go to for goji berries

6. Gubinge & Camu Camu

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aka the King & Queen of Vitamin C.

Gubinge reigns supreme as being the highest natural source of vitamin C, with Camu Camu right behind it.

Vitamin C (as most of us know), is imperative to a strong immune system, to fight off all those viruses, bad bugs, inflammation and allergies.

Queen Camu is also rich in essential aminos - meaning our body can’t manufacture them so we have to get them from food - such as valine and leucine. These aminos are important in preventing muscle breakdown and enabling muscle building.

Vit C’s other cool functions include collagen synthesis; building connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, the skin matrix and cartilage.

Including the royal couple in your life can speed up wound healing, fight fatigue, weakness, and keep your joints and muscles happy and healthy. Loving Earth do both the king and queen of C.

7. Maca

Firsly maca is dope.

Maca’s main functions include increasing energy, endurance, athletic performance and balancing hormones.

Maca acts as an adaptogen in which it raises the body’s overall resistance to acute and chronic stress (which we all experience, its pretty much impossible to avoid).

It's adaptogenic role is further enhanced by maca's abundance of B vitamins, boosting our energy, helping us to deal with stress and overcome and prevent fatigue and burn out.

Maca also helps with hormone imbalances (e.g bound up testosterone, oestrogen dominance), menstrual and menopausal symptoms (e.g mood swings) and boosts our libido ;) YEE HA

vitamin A & D are also found in maca, awesome for immunity and bone health!

It also totally tastes delicious, like a creamy kind of flavour, so pop a tbsp in your smoothies/smoothie bowls to reap these awesome benefits.

Try Loving Earth or Power Super Foods for your maca root powder

8. Maqui

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pronounced "mah-kee", reigns supreme as one of the most abundant antioxidants on earth, having a super high ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) rating. What this means is it’s very efficient at mopping up those damaged cells and DNA, to prevent further destruction, havoc and inflammation in your body.

Maqui is also rich in potassium – a major mineral that’s involved in muscle contractions, nerve transmission, so many enzyme reactions and a heap more of body functions.

Do Power Super Foods for the purple goodness

9. Mesquite

aka caramel goodness sent from the gods!!!!!!

Seriously, mesquite is delicious. Like go try some and then we can hi-5 over how yummy it is.

Mesquite is a rich source of plant protein and carbohydrates, pow pow. It’s rich in magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc.

Zinc is involved in so many various functions within the body, from helping heal wounds, boosting growth hormones, fighting diease, boosting the immune system, to aerobic & anaearobic energy production and protein synthesis.

So if you’re feeling a cold/flu coming on, have slow wound healing, have low zinc serum levels (vegans can be at risk), treat yourself to a caramel creation (you won't ever regret it).

My fave mesquite is Loving Earth's

10. Tumeric

the evidence backing up tumeric’s killer role in being an overall star champion and MVP, is impressive to say the least. I feel we’d need an entire blog dedicated to turmeric...

Not only is it suuuchhh a powerful anti-inflammatory, it's an impressive antioxidant, acting like a “left-right” and punching inflammation in the face, from both directions.

SO THIS IS CRAZY COOL: tumeric also helps our brains to grow as it encourages the growth hormone that functions the brain (CRAZY RIGHT!!!), AND it can reduce and reverse stress!!!!!

So if exam, work, money, personal, training stressors are creeping, if you’re feeling under the weather, give them a 1-2 and add turmeric to your smoothies, lattes, and dinners.

I get mine from The Source Bulk Foods

YAY! THE END

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  1. Merriam-Webster. (2017). Superfood. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superfood
  2. Wolfe, D. (2009). Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. North Atlantic Books.
  3. Kirschmann, J & Inc. Nutrition Search. (2007). Nutrition Almanac (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.
  4. The Maca Team. (2017). Maca Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.themacateam.com/maca-benefits
  5. Xu, Y., Ku, B., Tie, L., Yao, H., Jiang, W., Ma, X. & Li, X. (2006) Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB. Brain Research, 1122,1,56-64. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2006.09.009
  6. Gunnars, K. (2017). 10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin. Retrieved from https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/