ProKine Co-Owner, Kate Galliett, first wrote this piece for her personal blog, Fit for Real Life. It’s important info for all of ProKine’s clients and athletes to know, so we’re guest re-posting it here. Enjoy!
It would be logical to assume- if you want a crystal clear lake to swim in or fish in, you need to not let the local sewage line run into it, no one can be allowed to dump in the lake & you need a good ecosystem so you don’t get a layer of algae across the top of the lake.
Take that same analogy to your body & it’s performance (performance being ‘health’ ‘sport’ or ‘lifestyle’) & draw some parallels. Not letting the sewage line run into it your body means keeping to a minimum the toxins that enter your body. Think:
Sure, you may only use the cleaning product with harmful chemicals in it once a week, but that exposure builds up over time, & your body must process it in some way.
And what about absorbing phthalates through your skin? Many chemicals in beauty care products are endocrine-disruptors, meaning they upset the balance of hormones, & they absolutely can interfere with your health. From something as minor as perpetual skin irritations from the chemicals, to cancer, phthalates & their synthetic chemical buddies really should be minimized to reduce potential risk to your health. Use this site to check out your beauty & body products to see if they’re safe.
As for organic vs. non-organic, sure sometimes, you may not be able to swing it cost-wise. But there are a Dirty Dozen that you should ALWAYS strive to buy organic, or buy extremely infrequently if buying non-organic. And you can’t just look at organic vs. not. You must also be educated about GMO produce – genetically modified food, the alteration of which, usually includes a pesticide growing within the fruit or vegetable. Did you know that if you’re not buying beets that are organic (which means they are non-GMO), you’re eating beets that have a pesticide growing from within them, which means you must ingest the pesticide, and that the pesticide can attach itself to your gut lining. FYI – your gut does not like having pesticides in it.
So you’re not going to let the sewage line run into your lake, then you must also not allow dumping in your like…that means your mouth is not a garbage can. Don’t stuff it like it is one.
- Obviously, junk food like fast-food, candy, and fried stuff should be out.
- Did you know some of those “healthy” foods you eat are actually filled with antinutrients? (yeah, ANTI-, meaning ‘AGAINST’)
Think of this analogy: If a tiger feels like you’re threatening it, it will either kill you or run away to save itself. Everything in nature has a defense system to ensure it reproduces. Plants system involves having toxins in them that irritate the annoying person or animal who ate them, to discourage them from continuing to eat them, and thus allowing the plant to continue to reproduce.
Apple seeds have cyanide in them & a hard protective shell, wheat (and other grains) have antinutrients called phytic acids, which binds to minerals and makes them unavailable to the body. Specifically, it binds to things like calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. And lest you forget, gluten (found in all wheat-based products, also in wheat-related grains) unlocks the tight junctures of your gut – no matter who you are, no matter if you have an immune response to gluten or not – meaning you develop a ‘leaky gut’ when you consume gluten. So…you’ve got that going for you! Read a more detailed write-up of antinutrients here.
And once we’ve ensured we have addressed the ‘no sewage lines’ thing for our lake & we’re not dumping in our lake, we’ll make sure the ecosystem is spot-on so all the good stuff can flourish & the bad stuff doesn’t overtake it.
- Think probiotics, digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid to support digestion/absorption.
- Think fermented foods like sauerkraut to further support the probiotic culture in your gut
- Think fish oil for your omega-3′s & minimizing nuts & oils like canola, safflower, soybean & sunflower which are high in omega-6′s.
Because 99.995% of the country has had vaccines, antibiotics, birth control, recreational drug use, and/or excessive consumption of sugar and yeast in their lives – our guts ain’t what they should be – what they were when we were born (if we were breast fed….if we werent’…we’re up a creek from the get-go, so this is even more important).
A probiotic lays down the right bacteria in your gut so the food coming in can be absorbed properly. I take 1 with each meal. I also buy one that is shelf-stable, and that has 20 billion strains per capsule. You can read what I do, then decide what’s right for you.
A digestive enzyme does what it says, brings the right enzymes into your digestion so you can break down foods and get the nutrients out – because it does you no good if you just poop ‘em out! I take 1 with each meal, NOW Brand makes a ‘digestive super enzyme’ that is pretty spot-on.
HCl (Hydrochloric acid) is needed for most folks because we simply do not make enough HCl on our own to, again, breakdown and absorb food. I take 1 with each meal, and again, NOW Brands makes some enzymes that include HCl or ‘ox bile’ which is exactly what it sounds like.
Fermented foods were the probiotics your great-grandma used before we capsulized everything. Store-bought sauerkraut is fine, just make sure you read your label & it didn’t have any junk added to it. They last about 4 months in the fridge, once opened. There’s other fermented foods to eat, but why worry about them when you get to eat sauerkraut
It’s been found that most folks omega 3:omega 6 ratio is 1:100 or worse. *It should be 1:1 or 1:2 at the most.* When you eat food in restaurants that is always cooked an industrial seed oil high in omega-6, eat lots of nuts or nut flours (if you’re eating nuts every day, I’m talking to you), or eat processed foods that use these industrial seed oils – you’re getting way, way, way too much omega-6. A good omega-3 supplement (Carlson brand is a good one) is needed to combat this, as is minimization of omega-6 foods/oils. Why too much omega-6 is bad: omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is at the root of most diseases. So you decide – nuts now but disease potential later? or a varied diet rich in oily fish and fish oil supplement now and reduced risk of disease via inflammation later?
So yeah, there’s a lot of stuff you can and should be doing to keep your health that relates to your gut. Without your gut, your immune system is compromised since most of it resides in your gut, as do most of your happy-hormones (i.e. serotonin). You can workout all you want, eat a reduced calorie diet or do hot-yoga till the cows come home – but if you don’t care for your “lake” that is your gut, you’re missing out on a key part of life-long health.
And the best part? It’s really not hard once you get in the habit of eating the truly healthy foods, supplementing correctly, and avoiding those toxic, pro-inflammatory, antinutrient filled foods.