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The vagus nerve is the primary pathway that the gut and brain communicate through and it is this system that regulates our parasympathetic nervous system, helping us to rest, relax and digest. When you have good vagal tone, you are able to shift between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems easily. There are several simple exercises you can use to improve your vagal tone and enhance the communication between your gut and your brain. Which of these do you do?
Probiotic supplements are not the only way to increase the abundance and diversity within your microbiome. Fermented foods are rich in probiotics to help balance the bacteria in your gut. These probiotics are not only great for gut health, they can also improve brain health, immunity and may even help treat certain diseases. The process of fermentation makes foods more nutritionally rich by creating probiotics and prebiotics and making vitamins and amino acids more bioavailable.
What are you focusing your attention on? If you spend it ruminating, focusing on your fears, insecurities, and failures, then your trajectory is unlikely to be up. It’s so easy to get into the negative spiral of downward thoughts. We’ve all been there and it’s not always easy to get out of. Instead, focus on your successes, whether big or small, your goals, your positive relationships, and your dreams.
We all have days when we’re not feeling our best. No one is immune to sadness, loneliness, boredom, grief, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness. On these days that you feel down or out of whack, it’s helpful to have some strategies in place, things that you can do to help you get out of the rut and back on the path to being your best self. Determine what works for you and of course, don’t hesitate in reaching out to a professional if you need to.
While it is unavoidable that we will experience feelings of stress, worry, sadness, overwhelm, anger, and fear if we don’t process these emotions in a healthy way they can become very detrimental to our well-being. The first step is recognising what your triggers are. What prompts you to feel stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, or worried?
Are you feeling the need for a change, or wanting to improve on something in 2023? There is no doubt that the last three years have been tough years. Even more reason to focus on the inspiring, the good, the positive and the possibility of the next year ahead! Instead of writing a new year’s resolution (or panicking because you can’t decide), focus on a word that you can make your theme instead. Focus on a single word that encapsulates what you need more of or what you need to improve on.
Christmas is just around the corner and this holiday period can be very challenging for people trying to make healthier choices! The key to success is not to simply remove your favorite Christmas delights, but to try and create healthier versions. That way, you don’t feel like you’re missing out (as much)! What’s your favorite healthy Christmas treat?
We are all about the gut microbiome at Goodness Lover. Research show us that having a healthy microbiome full of rich diversity protects us against a host of diseases and helps us live life to the full. Not only does getting out in nature expose ourselves to a rich diversity of microbes,it also helps us de-stress from the busyness of modern life. What do you do outdoors? And what can you do to encourage yourself to get outside more? Here are some easy and practical tips to get you started
We all have days when we’re feeling down and out. Sometimes there’s a reason, and sometimes we just wake up on the wrong side of the bed (or perhaps our hormones are getting the better of us). Being aware that everyone has days like this can help immensely. Being patient with yourself, sitting in that space, but also knowing what can help you climb out of the rut is essential.
Being active is not just great for improving body composition, boosting your moods, and balancing your blood sugar. It has also been shown to improve your lipid profile and lower your risk of heart issues. When it comes to preventing disease, it is just as important as diet. Sometimes it can be hard to find the time to fit in exercise. There are definitely ways to incorporate movement into your daily life without going to the gym or doing a 5km run. It’s about finding what works for you.
Here is some food for thought…literally. These foods are the best when it comes to brain health. They contain some important nutrients that help promote the longevity of your brain. These include: - Antioxidants - Polyphenols - Alpha-linolenic acid - Magnesium - Vitamin E - Fiber - Glucosinolates Which ones do you have on a daily basis? And which ones can you have more of?
Gut health is the root of all diseases. Humans have known this for 2000 years but science has only caught up in the last few decades. Making sure your gut is functioning well will help you immensely in preventing many of the chronic diseases we face in the world today. Changing to healthy habits can be difficult. That’s okay. If you introduce one new healthy habit into your life each week or even each month, one day soon you will be a new person and your body will be thanking you.
Sometimes, we can be our worst enemies. We tend to be more supportive, compassionate, and empathetic towards others. But we are hyper-critical of ourselves. Negative beliefs and thoughts about ourselves can cause us to self-sabotage and hold us back from achieving our dreams. Positive affirmations are statements or mantras you can use to change your mental habits. They help you replace negative beliefs with positive ones. They can help you change your thought patterns too.
Our health largely hinges on what we eat and how we live our lives. This is the “data” we’re programming into our body and this data shapes how healthy our bodies and minds are. Of course, we are also exposed to external influences such as environmental toxins that are outside of our control. But to a large extent, it is our choices that affect whether or not we develop chronic illness. This empowers us to make better choices in our day to day lives. What input are you providing your body?
Did you know drinking enough water is vital for both our gut health and our mental health? - Water is necessary for maintaining serotonin levels - Dehydration causes constipation. - When we don’t have enough water to flush waste from the digestive tract, toxins recirculate into the bloodstream and throughout the body. - Dehydration creates a gut environment that is favourable for the proliferation of bad bacteria For most people, 2 liters/8 cups of water is a good daily goal.
Did you know sugar depresses your immune system for 6 hours after consumption? Sugar fuels an unfavourable shift in the microbiome that leads to leaky gut and inflammation. It also competes with the absorption of vitamin C in immune cells. Not only does it dampen your immunity, it also increases blood sugar and exhausts your system and causes the body to store fat. Avoiding, or even eliminating sugar, can do wonders for your health, especially your gut and immune health.
When it comes to purchasing your food, what is your primary motivator? Do you choose your foods for health reasons, because it’s cheaper, or because you love the taste? When you transition from junk food to healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, your taste buds need time to adjust. Retraining your taste buds to enjoy the wholesome flavors of healthy foods can take time, but it is possible.
These are some of the most common complaints people are dealing with on their journeys to better health. Every one of us is on their own journey but the beauty of community is that we can all encourage each other to take the next step wherever we are. And this is what we are here for- to share with you tips and practical advice on how to overcome some of these struggles so you can thrive in your health.
Giving your brain the wrong fuel is like putting unleaded petrol in a diesel engine. This fuel comes from the food you put in your mouth. What you consume on a daily basis affects the structure and function of your brain- and ultimately, your mood. So what fuel are you going to put in the tank today?
Do you have a routine that you do every morning? Having a morning routine helps to de-stress, tick off some healthy habits for the day and get you to focus on what’s important. Of course, your routine may look different. You may wake up later, you may do your exercise at a different time, you may even fast, and that’s ok. Create one that works for you and share with us some habits that you’ve made that help you have an amazing kickstart to the day!
Hundreds of studies show that a diet high in vegetables, fruits and unrefined grains and low in processed and chemically adulterated foods contain immune-enhancing phytochemicals and can protect you from a wide range of serious diseases. Knowing what specific foods are the best in enhancing your immune system and incorporating them into your diet on a daily basis is a great first step you can do to support your immunity. In the last 7 days, how many of these immune superfoods have you had?
Stress impacts us on so many levels. It is one of the main contributors to gut problems and can really have a huge impact on the diversity of our gut microbiome. It increases inflammation as well as our risk for many chronic diseases. Learning how to manage our stress better is essential. Letting it build and refusing to acknowledge or deal with it is only going to hurt us in the long term. Here are some ideas for you to take on board next time you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
If you crave comfort foods but want to remain health-conscious, there's a way to get the best of both worlds: swap out a few ingredients and use some alternative techniques. This way, you can savor your comfort-food classic– but reimagined to stay on track. It helps to prepare your favorite foods at home with ingredients from scratch. That way, you are guaranteed to have less sugar, salt, fat, and preservatives.