Friday, March 9, 2012

Heal Your Gut

The gut has a mind of its own, the "enteric nervous system". Just like the larger brain in the head, researchers say, this system sends and receives impulses, records experiences and respond to emotions. Its nerve cells are bathed and influenced by the same neurotransmitters. The gut can upset the brain just as the brain can upset the gut.

The gut's brain or the "enteric nervous system" is located in the sheaths of tissue lining the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. Considered a single entity, it is a network of neurons, neurotransmitters and proteins that zap messages between neurons, support cells like those found in the brain proper and a complex circuitry that enables it to act independently, learn, remember and, as the saying goes, produce gut feelings.

The gut's brain is reported to play a major role in human happiness and misery. Many gastrointestinal disorders like colitis and irritable bowel syndrome originate from problems within the gut's brain. Also, it is now known that most ulcers are caused by a bacterium not by hidden anger at one's mother.
This is a good article from Chris Kresser who states " Nor did we have any control over whether we were breast-fed or whether our mothers had healthy guts when they gave birth to us." So it is up to us to feed ourselves the best food available like probiotics, prebiotics, seaweeds, fruits, vegetables and wholesome meats.

 There are steps you can take to restore your gut flora:
  • Remove all food toxins from your diet
  • Eat plenty of fermentable fibers (starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.)
  • Eat fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, etc., and/or take a high-quality, multi-species probiotic
  • Treat any intestinal pathogens (such as parasites) that may be present
  • Take steps to manage your stress
Following the GAPS diet, SCD diet and Paleo keeps us from making the wrong choices and helps ultimately to heal and recover from autoimmune diseases.
A few good recipes for getting the healing benefits of coconut are below:
 Dairy Free Hot Chocolate Milk
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp. vanilla
½  cup coconut sugar
½  cup cocoa
1 tsp. cinnamon
Whisk all in a large pot together thoroughly, add 4 cups boiling water slowly.

Chocolate Snowballs
½  cup melted coconut oil
½ cup honey
1 ½ c. finely shredded unsweetened coconut
½ c. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix all together. Drop onto parchment paper or pat in an 8 x 8 pan. Put in fridge to cool.

Rich Chocolate Chia Pudding
2 cans coconut milk
½  cup maple syrup
1/3 cup chia
2/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor
Pour mixture into a storage container, preferably glass. Mix thoroughly until ultra smooth.
Store in the fridge. Top with coconut, chopped nuts or banana.

Healthy life.

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