Interesting Fact!🤗

Frequent self-monitoring, that is, recording of dietary intake and physical activity has been associated with greater weight losses, and has been shown to be a strong predictor of dietary change!🤸‍♀️ Self-monitoring is a proven practice to become more self-aware of eating and exercise habits, and it will help you make healthier choices long-term.

Whether you’re a pen and paper person or prefer to use an app or your fit bit, research shows self-monitoring enhances your awareness of certain activities offering accountability and enhancing motivation.

Why Are You Bloated? Too Much Cake, or Something More Sinister?🤔

We have all become a little snack-happy at a party, eaten too much cake, and had to undo the top button of our jeans to make room for the food baby. However, if you feel and look bloated regularly without overindulging, your gut microbiome might be trying to tell you something!

What is Your Gut Trying to Tell You?

We have all become a little snack-happy at a party, eaten too much cake, and had to undo the top button of our jeans to make room for the food baby. However, if you feel and look bloated regularly without overindulging, your gut microbiome might be trying to tell you something!

A healthy microbiome is a flourishing and diverse ecosystem containing a wide variety of beneficial bacteria and microorganisms, with minimal potentially harmful or disease-producing bacteria. When the microbiome is balanced, you are able to create and absorb important vitamins, your immune system functions well, and you clear waste products effectively (yes, I mean poo!). However, if your gut ecosystem needs a little TLC, life and your belt buckle may be quite uncomfortable.

Bugs Out of Balance

An imbalance in your gut microbiome is known as ‘dysbiosis’, which is a reduction in both the number and/or diversity of the beneficial microorganisms within your gut, with an increase in less beneficial bacteria as a result. Dysbiosis disrupts the healthy functioning of your gut, leading to a plethora of uncomfortable symptoms, including digestive pain, bloating, nutritional deficiencies, or even a compromised immune system.[1] What causes it? Poor dietary choices, frequent antibiotic use, a lack of exercise or unmanaged stress. (To read more about the causes of microbiome disruption, click here).

Dysbiosis and bloating have also been linked with digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO is a type of chronic infection in which bacteria that usually reside in the large bowel reproduce in large numbers and migrate to the small intestine, somewhere they should not be.[2] This can cause excessive bloating, flatulence and digestive discomfort.[3],[4] If you suffer from a digestive disorder, you could have an imbalance in your gut microbiome that needs addressing.

Meet the Methanogens

If you have dysbiosis, ‘methanogens’ may be lurking in your gut. These bacteria release methane gas as they break down fibre from your food, which can cause bloating, sluggish digestion, slow transit time (the amount of time food takes to travel from your mouth, through your gut, and out the other end), constipation, bloating, flatulence and gut discomfort. As excess methane production is connected with chronic constipation, it may be worth finding out if methanogens are making you feel stopped up.

Bad Bugs Take You For A Ride

By disrupting your internal gut microbiome, dysbiosis can create an environment where disease-causing organisms have the opportunity to flourish. We pick up little gut hitchhikers in the way of potentially harmful bacteria and stubborn yeasts in our daily activities. If our gut microbiome is fighting fit, it is able to kill off and dispose of these critters very effectively, however, if our gut microbiome is struggling, disease-causing bugs can take over.

Can you perhaps trace your gut issues back to a nasty bout of gastro or even Bali belly? Lingering symptoms can include bouts of nausea, gut pain, loose bowels, constipation (or both), brain fog and severe bloating. Even after an infection is identified and successfully treated, dysbiosis can persist, leaving you vulnerable to further infection.

There are multiple reasons why you could be chronically bloated, so how do you find out what’s going on in your gut? The best way is with a microbiome test.

Introducing the Metabiome™ Test

Based on cutting-edge science, the Metabiome™ stool test uses innovative, accurate and comprehensive testing methods to provide you with an in-depth understanding of your gut microbiome. It also measures how well your microbiome is able to function to keep you healthy, for example by helping you create vitamins and digest your food.

The test is able to identify all the microorganisms living in your gut, good and bad, showing you the types and amounts of beneficial bugs and the functions they are able to perform for you. It also measures the type and number of potentially harmful microorganisms (including methanogens) in your gut, and how they might lead to your bloating, constipation or other gut symptoms. Once you have the ‘why’, you can begin to address the cause of your issue and improve your symptoms.

If you’re curious to know how your gut measures up, the Metabiome™ test also scores your microbiome out of 100, based on 11 key signs of a healthy microbiome. The closer your score is to 100, the happier your gut microbiome is, and the greater your potential for fabulous health.

The stool sample is easily collected in the comfort of your own home, and can be mailed in the supplied reply-paid envelope. There is no awkward, tiny sample jar; all that’s needed is a swab from your toilet paper after wiping. It couldn’t be easier!

It’s Best to Test

If your skinny jeans have not seen the light of day for a while and your microbiome is yelling at you with symptoms of bloating or discomfort, dysbiosis may be the cause. The results of the Metabiome™ test can help you bring balance back to your gut microbiome and reduce those uncomfortable gut symptoms. Make an appointment with me to access this simple test and get some answers.

Mastering My DNA!💫

It was interesting to learn that my Fitgenes Food Choice gene results identified that alcholol and caffeine sensitivities can seriously impair my health. So that means no more Expresso Martinis for me!!🍸😉

Diet-related health issues can be frustrating and debilitating, so if you would like to know more about how your genes effect your health, so you can make more informed food and lifestyle choices please contact me.😇🌸

Health is addictive and contagious!🤸️💖

When one member of the family, office, social circle etc. starts improving their health, the impact is catching. Everyone wants to know what that new healthy person is doing! They want it too! So be a trailblazer for health and start falling in love with your health and potential again!

Find out today how your DNA can affect your health. By understanding how nutrients can affect your gene expression and how they are linked to your individual diet, exercise and lifestyle. Our GENES can not be changed, but you can change how well they function by making the right choices. This means, if you know your genes, you can make better-informed decisions to MAXIMISE your HEALTH! 🌱

It’s not rocket science to understand that when taking specific individualised nutrients and following a DNA diet tailor-made for you, that your body can work as it should. As all HEALTH comes from within. 🥦🥑🍅🍌🍋

Personalised nutrigenomics and nutrition is the medicine for today and the future. So forget one size fits all! Your Fitness DNA Health and Being plan is essential in helping you reach your full potential for Healthy Living and Healthy Ageing.

To find out more and book in for your DNA Health and Wellbeing test please contact me. 🤗

Dispelling Myths: Do Fermented Foods Replace the Need for a Probiotic?🥬🥕🥒🍆

Fermented foods and beverages, such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha, were a regular part of our ancestors’ diets for thousands of years. Originally a method of preserving produce from harvest time through the cold days of winter;[1] fermentation involves adding a bacterial or yeast starter to a food. These organisms convert starches and sugars to alcohol or acids, lengthening the food’s shelf life and producing the unique and tangy flavours we associate with fermented foods. Recently, these foods have seen a resurgence in popularity, not for their shelf lives but for their claimed digestive health benefits. As probiotics have also risen in popularity for similar reasons, let us explore how fermented foods stack up against a high quality probiotic.

It All Begins In The Gut

Our interest in strategies to improve digestive health has been fuelled by an expanding body of research indicating that poor gut health negatively affects many other body systems.[2] Specifically, imbalances in the microbiome, the ecosystem of approximately 38 trillion bacteria and other organisms living in your digestive tract, have been connected not only to gut disorders but to mood, immune, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, cancer and even cardiovascular disease.[3],[4] (To find out more about the microbiome, read this blog).

Research shows that taking live beneficial bacteria, such as probiotics, can improve microbiome health, reducing the symptoms of many health conditions,[5],[6] improving general health and lowering the risk of diseases such as those mentioned above.[7] In light of this, probiotic supplements and fermented foods, both sources of potentially beneficial bacteria, have been put forward as effective options for improving microbiome health. Consequently, there is a misconception that they are interchangeable; however, there are fundamental differences between them.

The Pros of Probiotics

Probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”.[8] Research has shown that specific types (strains) of probiotics, at defined doses, can help manage particular health conditions or symptoms, such as hayfever[9] or bloating.

To understand this further, let us use irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a painful digestive disorder, as an example. (To read more about IBS, click here). Research indicates that the specific probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v, can relieve the bloating, intestinal pain and inflammation of medically diagnosed IBS.[10],[11] This benefit occurs when the probiotic is taken at a dose of 20 billion colony-forming units (CFU), which is a way of expressing the amount of live bacteria contained per probiotic capsule or dose of powder.

Scientists give probiotic bacteria three names we can use to identify them and connect them to their health benefits: genus (e.g. Lactobacillus), species (e.g. plantarum), and strain (e.g. 299v). To get the health benefits associated with that strain, all three names must match the probiotic used in the scientific research, as well as the dose. (If you want to learn more about why strains are so important, click here).

Luckily, you can find information on strains and doses in a probiotic supplement just by reading the label. By choosing a probiotic from a reputable brand committed to quality, you can feel confident that you will receive:

  • A guaranteed strain of bacteria effective for your health condition
  • A correct quantity of live bacteria necessary for the benefit you require
  • Bacteria that are alive at the label dosage until the expiry date

So, if you are looking to improve a particular health condition, choose a strain-specific probiotic for best results. What’s the easiest way to find the right probiotic for your condition? See a Natural Healthcare Practitioner.

Fermented Foods Vs Probiotics

Although fermented foods contain live bacteria, the microbes responsible for fermentation do not confer the same health benefits as a probiotic supplement. In fact, an expert panel of scientists concluded that fermented foods have unidentified microbial content, meaning there is no guarantee of what bacterial strains or doses will be present in them. For this reason, they are fundamentally different from probiotics.[12]

That being said, many people experience non-specific digestive health benefits from including fermented foods in their diet, which could be related to the bacteria present, however, more research is needed to confirm this. Since fermentation breaks ingredients down into simpler parts, these foods are generally easier to digest, and fermentation also increases the nutritional value of the food.[13] If you are healthy and do not require specific health benefits, fermented foods may be appropriate for you.

Be aware that, while fermenting at home can be fun, it is not a risk-free process. Exposure to oxygen, for example, can allow mould, yeast and less beneficial bacteria to grow. High-quality probiotics, on the other hand, are produced under strict hygienic conditions that minimise the risk of introducing ‘bad’ microorganisms into your gut. If your digestive system is sensitive, you may be better off taking a probiotic.

Choose What’s Right For You

Fermented foods are a tasty addition to the diet and do appear to provide some non-specific digestive benefits to relatively healthy people, on the proviso that they are prepared correctly. However, for support with specific health conditions, it is important to choose a specific probiotic strain, at the right dose, for your condition. If you would like further information please contact me.