Kambucha For Your Health
What is Kambucha? If you’ve never heard of it, it is a great drink that can really boost your health. It was believed to have been originally from Asia and spread from the Far East to Europe and today it is practically a staple in the diets of the health and wellness groups all over the world.
It is made from a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), which is a rubbery organism that you put in sweetened green or black tea. You let it ferment in a glass container for about a week or so. As a culture, the SCOBY will digest the sugar in the tea and all its own will produce multiple organic acids, vitamin C and B, enzymes and amino acids. You can then add more tea, fruit juice or fruit to flavor this now fizzy delicious drink.
So what great things does Kambucha do?
- gives you acidic probiotcs that support the good flora in your gut
- helps with digestion
- prevents the growth or overgrowth of candida (yeast)
- detoxes your body
- the large number of enzymes supports the pancreas and liver
- it contains glucosamines that prevent joint degeneration
- it produces vitamin B3 which improves blood flow
- it is filled with powerful antioxidants
- supports your immune system
- gives you energy
- protects your intestines and keep pathogens and parasites away
If you want to have some fun, try making this healthy drink at home!
Are You A Comfort Food Eater?
We all crave different foods, but especially during the cold part of the year. We get this feeling if we just eat certain things it will somehow give us a boost in energy and to our mood. The truth is most foods we crave are not healthy whole foods that will achieve this. Instead we tend to crave foods that do the opposite, like a soda or sweet indulgent coffee drink (both for the caffeine slump in the mid afternoon), processed foods filled with carbs and sugar or heavy fat items such as some hot fries through the drive through or a sweet milkshake. If you’re guilty of this, then you might just be guilty of being a comfort food eater.
The bummer is most of these comfort foods leave us in a bigger slump than we were already in and not long after they have passed over our lips (not to mention they all help pack on the pounds). New research shows that there’s also a link to eating these types of food and inflammation in our body that interferes with the mood regulating chemicals in our brains, possibly even leading to a depressed state.
However, did you know that when you eat heavy carb based foods, doing so actually fuels the production of serotonin? This is your brain’s neurotransmitter that makes you feel good and activates receptors in your brain that help control your appetite and your mood. Like in the winter right now, there is less daylight and so our bodies produce less serotonin. As a response to this we carb load to stimulate the production of more serotonin. It’s something to be watchful of though! Pick the right carbs to achieve this, like healthy complex carbs, not simple processed carbs.
Another fact is that fewer hours of daylight causes our bodies to produce more of the sleep inducing chemical melatonin. This is why we sometimes feel lethargic in the winter and it can cause you to crave sugar. This is another pitfall for many because gorging on sweets will ultimately leave you grumpy and sometimes even depressed. Consuming lots of sugar causes a blood-sugar spike in your body creating these challenging symptoms. Sugar can be a quick source of energy, but it’s a poor choice to get that much needed boost. A much better alternative is to get your lift from a great cup of delicious organic coffee….leave the sugar out though.
One of the best cures for consuming too many comfort foods is instead eating sunshine….getting plenty of vitamin D (which is actually a hormone, not a vitamin). It’s great for chasing away the seasonal winter blues but it also improves your production of serotonin and less melatonin, which will boost your energy and you’ll feel great. It’s an incredible immune booster that will help you get through the flu season! If you can’t actually sit in the sun or escape to the tropics, then definitely supplement this amazing hormone every day. You’ll feel the difference.
Feeling not quite yourself?
You may want to learn about candida. Often thought to be generally a problem for women, candida (yeast overgrowth) plagues both men and women and even children at times. If you’ve ever taken antibiotics, drank excessive alcohol, had a ton of unwanted stress or taken oral contraceptives then that alone makes you a candidate for too much candida.
What are the symptoms?
- Stomach aches and digestive related issues (diarrhea, bloating, constipation)
- Fatigue and feeling run down regardless of getting lots of sleep
- Trouble sleeping
- Seasonal allergies that are much worse than usual
- Poor memory and difficulty focusing
- Fungal infections (skin and nail)
- Mood swings and irritability (anxiety/depression)
- Large amounts of sugar and starch cravings
- Autoimmune diseases present
- Urinary tract infections, sinus and vaginal infections
Candida is from a yeast overgrowth that starts is in your stomach. Yeast occurs naturally in your intestines and is part of the natural flora and becomes unhealthy when it over grows and multiplies to unhealthy levels overtaking the good bacteria. It feeds off of sugar and simple carbohydrates, so eating a diet loaded with these creates the perfect environment for candida to thrive. Chances are if you eat this way all the time, then you will likely have moderate to severe candida ….making you feel less than optimal.
You can get a simple blood test for candida. If the levels are very high then that indicates likely candida. However, the most accurate test is a stool test.
Most doctors don’t test for or treat candida. The most effective way to treat or rule out candida as the cause of your symptoms is to change your diet and lifestyle. Many people do a 21 day diet elimination cleanse, eliminating ALL sugar, fruit and simple carbohydrates from their diet. By doing this, you are removing the food source for the candida which will kill it off and let your good bacteria do it’s job.
Foods to avoid:
Adding healthy amounts of probiotics and prebiotics to your daily diet regimen will also help immensely to create healthy levels of your good flora, especially after taking any courses of antibiotics.
Lower any unnecessary stress in your life and drink lots of water!
You will notice improvements in your symptoms within 3 weeks and get back to being your happy, healthy and energized self!
Besides a great cup of coffee, here are some natural food choices that can really perk you up when you need it:
1) Apples. These are high in antioxidants and natural sugars that give a healthy boost in energy. They’re convenient and easy because they don’t need to be refrigerated, so they can be ready to eat at any moment.
2) Eggs. Simply put, it’s much needed protein, which releases energy at a slower rate, keeping your blood sugar levels from changing too rapidly and making you feel tired. They are also rich in the B vitamins, iron, and healthy fats, that give you long lasting energy through the day.
3) Raw Almonds. More healthy fats and protein and even some fiber, all the while keeping your blood sugar levels balanced and staying energized. Snacking on a handful here and there as a snack is easy and perfect for a quick burst of much needed energy.
4) Dark Leafy Greens. Swiss chard, spinach, kale (among many others) are amazing greens loaded with all of the essential minerals and vitamins, that give tons of boosts to your energy levels. Make a quick salad, a side dish or blend into a green smoothie for that amazing jolt of much needed energy.
5) Kiwi. These are packed with potassium and vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. They have the power to jolt your energy when you need it. They don’t need to be refrigerated and are so easy to eat. A plus, is their fiber content.
So when you’re feeling that mid-afternoon crash, snack on some of these great energy boosting foods instead of reaching for a soda or sugar, and see how your energy levels go up while still supporting your adrenal glands.
Drink plenty of water too! Dehydration is one of the main reasons for exhaustion.
Make sure you are getting plenty of hours of sleep you need each night. It’s something everyone needs more of. ( :