10 Reasons Why You Should Add Ghee to Your Diet

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Much like coconut oil, ghee is a multi-purpose fat that is healthy in many ways. I religiously start my day off with a cup of matcha or coffee (after my warm lemon water of course!), blended with one tablespoon of ghee, and a tablespoon of Brain Octane Oil. This keeps my metabolism revving,  my hormones nourished, helps my body maintain a healthy weight, and gives me a burst of mental clarity.

Find out why you might want to include ghee into your daily diet as well.

10 Reasons to Eat Ghee:

1. High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Because ghee—if it is from grass-fed cows—is high in Omega 3s, it protects against inflammation which is great news for those who suffer from painful periods or pelvic pain due to endometriosis or adenomyosis.

2. Promotes Healthy Weight

Ingesting ghee helps pull fat-soluble toxins from your cells and stimulates your fat metabolism resulting in your body burning its own fat for fuel.

3. Supports Gut Health

Ghee creates beneficial bacteria in our gut and it also contains butyric acid, which helps keep the lining of the gut wall strong. This prevents you from getting leaky gut syndrome.

4. Easy to Digest

Because ghee is lactose free it is easy to digest. Ayurveda, India’s traditional system of medicine meaning “science of life”, teaches that ghee stimulates the digestive fire which speeds up the metabolism.

5. Lactose Free

Ghee is safe for those with dairy allergies because the lactose has been removed during the clarification process. Most of the casein (the protein from animal foods shown to cause cancer) has also been removed. However, if you are casein intolerant you should not consume ghee as it still contains trace amounts.

6. Makes for the Perfect Cooking Oil

Ghee has a high smoke point of 485’F / 252’C making it a great oil for cooking.

7. Tastes Amazing

Ghee is rich and delicious. One of my favorite meals is veggies cooked in ghee with some hemp seeds sprinkled on top.

8. Fat Soluble Vitamin Heaven

Ghee is chock full of vitamins such as:

  • Vitamin E: Most adults are deficient in this. It’s important to get sufficient intake as it is a potent antioxidant and immune system booster. Vitamin E is also important for eye health and has cancer fighting properties.
  • Vitamin A: Important for healthy vision, immune function, and proper cell growth.
  • Vitamin K: Prevents blood clotting, protects from heart disease, ensures healthy skin, forms strong bones, and promotes brain function. In studies it has been show to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Vitamin D: Plays a key role in almost all of our physiological functions. It is an immune system regulator so it is vital to our health. Vitamin D aids in prevention of osteoporosis, many types of cancer, depression, diabetes and obesity.

9. Ghee made from grass-fed cows contains CLA.

Studies indicate that conjugated linoleic acid may help to reduce tumors, lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and actually lower body fat.

10. Ghee contains butyrate, an essential short-chain fatty acid

Butyrate, or butyric acid, is a short-chain fatty acid that improves colon health. It’s been shown to support healthy insulin levels, is an anti-inflammatory, and may be helpful for individuals suffering from IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Have you tried ghee before? What are your favorite ways to add it to your diet? Tell me all about it in the comments section below!

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Health Coach Jenna

Your Guide to Probiotic Rich Foods for Healthier Digestion

 Image via Shutterstock

The human microbiome and gut health have been all the rage this year – and for good reason! Did you know that in the human body microorganisms outnumber human cells by 10 to 1? While these bacteria only make up about 2-6 pounds of our body weight, it’s important to keep them healthy and happy, because they help dictate everything from our weight to our moods.

Probiotics, or healthy bacteria, receive lots of praise for helping with digestion. And the good news is you don’t have to run out and buy supplements to enjoy their benefits. Fermented foods contain high levels of good bacteria which studies show can also help reduce anxiety.

Here’s a rundown of foods and drinks that can help settle your gut and boost your immune system, among other benefits:

Yogurt
Yogurt is perhaps the most well-known probiotic-rich food, but be sure to check the label to ensure it contains live and active cultures and not too much sugar. Not only does yogurt help digestive health, but it’s also been known to prevent Type 2 diabetes (check out Integrative Nutrition’s tips for helping clients prevent and manage this disease.) Plus, yogurt isn’t just for breakfast—you can incorporate it into dinners with recipes like linguine with citrusy yogurt and tuna sauce.

Buyer’s Tip: Try plain greek yogurt for all the probiotics of traditional yogurt but more protein per serving!

Non-Dairy Yogurts and Milks
If you’re not a fan of dairy or you’re lactose intolerant, you don’t have to rely on traditional yogurt for probiotics. Just look for almond, cashew, coconut, or soy yogurt with live and active cultures. And bonus: some non-dairy milks have added cultures too! At Integrative Nutrition, we believe in choosing whatever diet works best for your individual needs, whether it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan or whatever else fuels your body.

Buyer’s Tip: Some live and active cultures are derived from a milk base so if you’re vegan be sure to double check the label to make sure your yogurt is fully dairy-free.

Kefir
Have you ever heard of yogurt’s cousin, Kefir? Kefir is fermented milk made from “grains” that are actually a mix of bacteria and yeast. Kefir is thinner than yogurt, so it’s commonly consumed as a drink. If you don’t like the idea of drinking it by itself, mix it into a smoothie. Kefir has been known to aid digestion, heal burns, suppress early-stage tumors and boost the immune system.

Buyer’s Tip: Flavored Kefir is often packed with as much sugar as a candy bar so opt for the plain variety whenever possible.

Miso
Whether you’re eating miso soup or cooking with miso paste, this food is full of probiotics. According toLivestrong, miso is made through a fermentation process using a cultured starter called koji, which contains a fungal microorganism called Aspergillus oryzae, or other cultures including Saccharomyces rouxii. Keep in mind, however, that miso contains lots of sodium and you must choose an unpasteurized brand.

Buyer’s Tip: Allergic to soy? Try out a chickpea or red adzuki bean based miso instead!

Pickles
Pickled cucumbers (and other pickled foods, for that matter) that are made without vinegar may contain healthy probiotics. Look for pickles that are brine cured (meaning only salt, water, and spices), which keeps the bacteria alive. You can make your own fermented foods—but just make sure you do it correctly to avoid illness.

Buyer’s Tip: Be aware of the high sodium content of pickles and be sure to enjoy them in moderation.

Sauerkraut
Made from fermented cabbage, sauerkraut is rich in live cultures and also contains tons of vitamins and fiber. Like pickles, some sauerkraut may not contain probiotics if made from vinegar, so be sure to check to ensure you’re getting beneficial bacteria.

Buyer’s Tip: Get the scoop on sauerkraut from IIN Founder and Director, Joshua Rosenthal in the video below!

What are your favorite probiotic-rich foods and drinks? Let us know in the comments.

This article originally published on Institute of Integrative Nutrition and used with permission.

How To Repair Your Gut During and After Taking Antibiotics

proantibiotics

These days antibiotics are prescribed for just about anything. You have a cough? Well take some antibiotics! Your ear hurts, Sally? Oh no problem, just take some antibiotics. Oh no, little Joe has a boo-boo on his finger? Let’s give him a Z-Pak just for good measure!

Oh the insanity!

While antibiotics are necessary for treating life threatening bacterial infections, their overuse has led to health problems and autoimmune disease. Yes antibiotics do their job by killing the bad bacteria, but unfortunately they kill all the beneficial bacteria as well. The exact same beneficial bacteria that we need to protect us from the overgrowth of yeasts like Candida albicans that can attach to our gut wall, resulting in “leaky gut”.

This is why we should use antibiotics with EXTREME reservations.

Antibiotics are sometimes necessary and when the situation arises, it’s important to protect yourself both DURING and AFTER the antibiotic treatment to prevent fungal or yeast overgrowth in your gut, as well as replenish your beneficial gut bacteria.

In the last case resort that you have to take antibiotics, here are some steps that can help minimize the damage to your gut, as well as help you restore your gut flora.

How to repair your gut….

DURING Antibiotic Treatment:

1. Take probiotics

While taking antibiotics make sure you take a high quality probiotic.  Take one capsule a day. Make sure to take them at least 2 hours after taking your antibiotic.

2. Take Saccharomyces boulardii 

Take one capsule a day to discourage yeast overgrowth.

3. Eat plenty of fermented foods.

Eat plenty of lacto-fermented dairy like yogurt and kefir (organic if possible, as non-organic is full of antibiotics and hormones – gross!), or if you are lactose intolerant or vegan opt for non-dairy yogurts. Eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kimchi. One of my favorite fermented foods is coconut water kefir. Get at least 2-3 servings daily.

4. Avoid sugary and processed foods.

Stay away from refined sugars, white breads, white pastas, sodas, cookies, etc.  This is all Candida food. Remember, if you don’t feed Candida, it will not grow.

AFTER Antibiotic Treatment:

1. Take probiotics.

Up your dose of probiotics to one capsule twice a day. Do this for 60 days and then go back to one capsule a day.

2. Take Saccharomyces boulardii

Up your dose to one capsule twice a day. Do this for up to 60 days after taking antibiotics.

3. Eat plenty of fermented foods

Continue to get 2-3 servings of fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, etc. Do this forever  🙂

4. Continue to avoid sugary and processed foods. 

Wishing you a quick recovery.

Love,

Health Coach Jenna

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The Most Important Ritual For Your Health That You Can Start Today

lemons

What is the first thing you do in the morning? Take a moment and think about it. We all have our rituals and routines. Perhaps you hit the snooze button a few times. Maybe you get up straight away and wash your face. Perhaps you snuggle up with your beloved dog or cat.

Now, think about the first thing you eat or drink in the morning. Is it water? Coffee? Tea?

It may not seem important, but every choice you make regarding your daily routine can either build up your resistance to disease, or burn the house down.

So what is the number one ritual that you can start today that will improve your health more than anything else?:

Drinking a big ole’ cup of warm water and lemon.

Yup, it’s that easy.

All you have to do is drink a cup of warm water with lemon (make sure the water is WARM and not hot, as hot water kills the lemon’s enzymes) BEFORE you ingest anything else besides water.

Benefits of drinking warm water with lemon:

1. Eliminates Toxins: Your organs work hard every night while you sleep to eliminate toxins from your body. By flushing them out with warm water and lemon every morning, you facilitate this process. Think of it as an oil change in a car. Flushing clean oil through the engine is essential to keep it working efficiently. Warm water with lemon does the same thing for us.

Lemons also help flush out unwanted materials because they increase the rate of urination in the body. This not only flushes out toxins, but keeps your urinary tract healthy.

2. Boosts Immune System: Lemons are high in vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds.

3. Aids Weight Loss: Lemons help curb hunger cravings because they are high in pectin fiber.

4. Balances pH: Lemons may be sour, but surprisingly they are an alkaline food. Drinking a cup of warm water with lemon in the morning helps to balance you pH, and an alkaline body is crucial to good health. When the body is too acidic, digestive disorders such as acid reflux and ulcers can occur. It can also result in low energy and fatigue.

5. Helps Digestion: Warm water stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and lemons are packed with minerals and vitamins that help loosen toxins in the digestive tract.

6. Healthy Skin: Lemon water cleanses toxins from the blood, which keeps skin clear. They are also high in vitamin C, which helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Because they flush out toxins, they may also help in reducing cellulite. I’ve personally found success with this.

7. Balances Hormones: Warm water with lemon helps hydrate the body. When the body is hydrated, so are the adrenal glands that along with your thyroid create energy and secrete important hormones in your body. When these glands are dehydrated they can’t do their job, resulting in constipation, stress, fatigue, acne, etc.

The recipe is simple and the benefits worth the small effort. All you need is half a lemon squeezed in a cup of warm water in the morning, and you will begin to see big results.

Which one of these benefits are you most looking forward to experiencing once starting this ritual? Or, if you already drink warm water with lemon, what have been the biggest results you’ve noticed? Please share in the comments section below.

Enjoy Sipping Yo’ Lemon,

Health Coach Jenna

5 Tips For Healthy Digestion While Traveling

fruitbeachWhile traveling around the world is fun, it tends to wreak havoc on the digestion system. Many people tend to go to the bathroom either too much while on vacation or too little. It’s understandable because while traveling we are introduced to new foods, and at most times are at the mercy of restaurants. Traveling also tends to break the routines we have back home that keep our engines running smoothly.

But there is hope for keeping a happy tummy and regular visits to the loo!

I’ve been in India the past few months and here are some tips that have helped me while on the road:

1. Take Probiotics

I can’t stress this enough! Bringing probiotics with you while on vacation is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy while on the road. Without these your gut doesn’t have the good bacteria that it needs to digest your food properly. It’s even more crucial while on vacation because you are constantly being exposed to new bacteria from the water and food.

If you are bringing probiotic pills, make sure to check you buy ones that do not need to be kept refrigerated. In addition to probiotic pills, I like to bring individual Green Vibrance packets with me while on the road, and I drink this every morning.

2Drink Plenty of Water

We tend to not pay enough attention to how much water we are drinking while traveling. The sightseeing and excitement of a new place tends to side track us! This is why it is even more important that you are aware of how much water you are drinking.

I always drink more than the recommended amount of water while traveling in hot climates seeing as I’m sweating so much (click HERE to calculate how much water you should be drinking daily). To keep track of this I fill up my water bottles for the day and make sure I go through them all. For example, I drink 2.5 liters a day so I fill these up, and make sure they are gone by the end of the day.

The bottom line is, not staying hydrated is a good way to get constipated, which will make you feel lethargic and uncomfortable. So keep a note on your iPhone, set an alarm reminder on your phone-do whatever you have to do make sure you are hydrating your body.

3. Eat Fermented Foods.

Fermented foods contain natural enzymes and probiotics that help the body digest its food. They also contain vitamins and minerals that help the body maintain optimal health. Examples of living foods are yogurt, curd, sauerkraut, kimchi, tofu, and kombucha.

Do your research before traveling to your destination to see what fermented foods are local to the country you will be visiting. For example, on my trip to India I found out there are many fermented staples in the Indian diet such as curd and dosas (crepe made from fermented rice and black lentils), and I was able to spot these on a menu no problem.

Incorporate at least 1-2 servings per day to your diet and you will find yourself feeling groovy.

4. Eat Your Veggies.

I know it’s not always possible to eat what you want while on vacation (I’m currently reminded of this by the lack of dark green leafy veggies in India, believe me!) but do your best.

Find the veggies on the menu and order them. Visit the local market and buy your own if you have to. The more veggies you eat, the more fiber you are adding to your body.

However, if you are leaning more on the constipated side, take it easy on the raw veggies, and opt for lightly cooked ones.

5. Stick to the closest version of the foods you eat at home.

Try to stick to the closest version of what works for you while home. I know this isn’t always easy, but be creative. If your stomach is giving you trouble don’t feel like you have to get all Travel Channel and try every exotic food that is offered to you.

Protect yourself and stick to the foods that you know work for you. There is no shame in being a picky eater while traveling if it’s for the sake of your health!

Photo from Pixabay

Bonus Tips:

-Try to find an accommodation with a kitchen so you can make some of your own meals.

– Take Magnesium Citrate to avoid constipation (it also helps you sleep better).

– Don’t overeat even if all the new food is tempting.

– Do your best to eat meals at the same time everyday.

– Keep the body moving and incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

– Drink warm water with lemon or lime, depending on what is available. Do this first thing in the morning for a dose of enzymes to kick-start your digestive system in the right direction. Lemon water also gives you tons of Vitamin C for the day which will keep your immune system strong.

Happy Travelin’!

xx

Health Coach Jenna

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