Farm Fresh Foods throughout Florida

Gut Health and Eating Disorders

October 23rd, 2014

Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia plague roughly 10% of the population, and those numbers are even higher among teenage girls. With the research linking depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and other mood disorders to biochemical imbalances, researchers have been looking into similar links with eating disorders.

A recent study uncovered a very strong link between “a protein made by intestinal bacteria” and disordered eating behaviors. Apparently antibodies are made to fight this protein, antibodies that end up reacting unfavorably with satiety hormones. Higher levels of these neutralizing antibodies were associated with higher severity of eating disorder symptoms. The potential for healing strategies as a result of uncovering this information are enormous, particularly given the relation to these antibodies and regulation of “feeding, energy regulation and anxiety.”

Researchers are now “working to develop a blood test based detection of the bacterial protein.”

As our recent blog articles have highlighted, a healthy and balanced gut is vital to overall health. Research is increasingly uncovering linkages between the gut and other areas of health, including allergies, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, pain, chronic fatigue, some cancers, acne, Autism, ADHD/ADD, and mood disorders.

Though much of it is anecdotal or in early research stages, many people have found that by repairing their gut health, their symptoms of these and other issues lessen dramatically – or disappear altogether. Countless people have reported decreased anxiety, increased energy and mood, reductions in pain, and other health improvements simply by balancing their gut bacteria.

The question then, is how can we restore and rebalance our gut health?

Probiotics and prebiotics. While pharmaceutical grade supplements can offer great benefits, food sources are the best way to optimize your gut health. Eating fermented foods like saukerkraut, kefir, yogurt, and fermented vegetables are an excellent and easy way to improve your health – and balance your gut bacteria. Start small, you don’t want to shock your system, then gradually increase your intake of probiotic foods. As always, opt for non-GMO, organic, grass-fed sources, as these have been shown to be significantly higher in nutrients and benefits – with the added bonus of supporting local business.

Weston Price Meeting – GAPS, Paleo, SCD, WAPF and other healing and ancestral diets

October 16th, 2014

Join us for delicious food, recipes, and a talk on Paleo, GAPS, SCD, WAPF, and other healing and ancestral diets at the Weston Price Chapter Meeting on Saturday, October 25th at 6:30pm at Flourish Nutrition Center, 895 Fox Valley Drive, Longwood, FL 32779.

The topic this month is “Comparing Traditional and Healing Diets”. Pam Wesley, certified GAPS practitioner and owner of Flourish, will be the guest speaker. Pam and Lee Burdett will discuss the similarities, differences and benefits of several of the ancestral and healing diets in use today such as the WAPF diet, Paleo, GAPS and SCD.

We look forward to seeing you! Please RSVP to Lee Burdett or Pam Wesley so they know how many people to expect.

Lee Burdett – healthyeating@wellfedfamily.net, http://www.wellfedfamily.net
Pam Wesley – pam@flourishnutritioncentre.com http://www.flourishnutritioncentre.com

Superfood Spotlight: Kefir – Heal Your Gut, Bones, Mood, Immune System & More

October 9th, 2014

Kefir – fermented, enzyme and probiotic rich superfood. Kefir is one of the most gut-friendly foods, with balancing and restorative properties. You are only as healthy as your gut; your overall health is intricately tied into your gut health. Your gut health impacts everything from your mood to immune system, inflammation to digestion. Gut health is destroyed by antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals, GMO and processed foods, and more. What can you do to restore proper health and balance? Choose real foods from reputable sources that are free from chemicals, pesticides, GMOs, soy, and heavy processing. Opt for pastured and grassfed, organic, truly natural sources for everything from milk to beef to greens, and everything in between.

If you are struggling with digestive issues, problems with mood, or are seeking improvements in bone, gut, or immune system health, consider adding kefir to your diet. Here is a rundown of potential health benefits to drinking kefir:

Over 75% of your immune system is housed within your digestive system. When you take antibiotics or use antibacterial products you are killing the good bacteria, creating a breeding ground for the bad bacteria to take over. When properly balanced, there are trillions and trillions of good bacteria keeping you healthy. When you disturb this balance, you put yourself at risk for digestive problems, poor immune system functioning, and a range of other issues related to leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut syndrome has been linked with everything from Autism and ADD/ADHD to inflammation and chronic disease. By improving your gut health, you can dramatically reduce symptoms and even reverse some illnesses altogether.

Kefir is a rich source of probiotics, macro and micronutrients, and countless vitamins and minerals including vitamins B and K, folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and proteins, including tryptophan, an essential amino acid known for its calming and relaxing effects.

Kefir has been used to treat allergies, intestinal disorders, atherosclerosis, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disorders like hypertension and anemia, some cancers, mood disorders, ulcers, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, colitis, leaky gut syndrome, UTIs, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, Autism, migraines, acne, eczema, psoriasis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, and more.

Kefir has been found to promote bile production, protect against disease, regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, improve blood circulation, slow aging, boost mood, kill candida, support detoxification, build bone density and improve bone health, boost immunity, heal inflammatory diseases, fight allergies, and improve lactose digestion – even in people who are lactose intolerant.

As always, these benefits are even greater in foods sourced from pastured/grass-fed, non-GMO, pesticide free local farms, as they have been shown to be significantly higher in nutrients. Support local and support your health, and see firsthand how you can promote healing by choosing healthier, safer, nutrient-rich foods from sources you can trust.

Eat More Bacon!

September 25th, 2014

Most of the health concerns associated with eating pork are based on factory farming practices. You should always be cautious of where your meat and dairy products are coming from, whether its pork, beef, or chicken, eggs, milk or cheese. Besides the rampant use of hormones, fillers, and substandard feed, these animals are subject to inhumane conditions, promoting the risk of disease and infection.

By choosing your meat and dairy from superior sources, such as small, local farms that practice safe and humane farming methods, you are giving your family a healthier option that’s better for you, the earth, and your karma.

The research warning us against the likes of bacon and other pork products has long been written off as pseudo-science, failing to account for other lifestyle and dietary variables like consumption of white bread, cigarette smoking, and exercise habits.

Bacon, and other animal fats, when raised on pastured farms and properly sourced, provide a host of nutrients and benefits. Bacon is primarily comprised of monounsaturated fat, mostly oleic acid – this is exactly what makes olive oil one of the most coveted of the oils (unheated, of course). Furthermore, bacon contains palmitoleic acid which is notable for its antimicrobial properties. Bacon is also a stable fat, meaning it can be heated without causing the extreme rancidity associated with heating canola, vegetable, and other oils.

The big health topics we keep hearing about are free radicals, inflammation, and antioxidants. Pork fat is rich with phosphatidylcholine which has a superior antioxidant content – even when compared to even Vitamin E. What’s more, when bacon fat is sourced from pastured pigs it also provides us with the much needed fat-soluble vitamin D – which comes directly from the pigs being free to roam around in the sun. P.S. The majority of us are deficient in Vitamin D, a vital nutrient for bone health, mood, and more. Factory farmed animals are crammed indoors, living basically on top of each other, while being fed hormones, chemicals and fillers via the likes of soy, corn meal and other grains. Their nutritional content is far inferior, not to mention the grossly inhumane living conditions.

Need another reason to eat more pastured bacon? It’s delicious!! Add it to some pastured beef and cheese for a tasty burger, enjoy it cut up with your favorite vegetable, or make a smiley face with some pastured eggs for a fun and yummy start to your day.

For more reasons to eat more bacon, check out these articles:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/03/eating-bacon.aspx

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2013/02/19/the-definitive-guide-to-bacon/

http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon

Fermented Food

September 11th, 2014

Countless autoimmune and inflammatory disease and conditions have been linked to poor gut health. Chronic fatigue syndrome, type I diabetes, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, IBS, lupus, multiple sclerosis, kidney problems and urinary conditions are among the countless illnesses that are strongly impacted by your gut bacteria. Besides the physical ailments, mood disorders and symptoms like anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, hyperactivity, depressed mood, even Autism is affected.

Health and balanced gut bacteria is vital for both physical and emotional well-being. One easy way to boost your gut health is by adding fermented foods to your diet. Benefits of consuming fermented foods and drinks include:

Improved digestion

Balanced and restored gut bacteria – this can help with gluten intolerance, constipation, allergies, yeast infections, asthmas, even mood

Fermented foods are rich in enzymes that help your body break down, absorb and use nutrients

The fermenting process increases the vitamin content of your food

Consuming fermented foods boost absorption of nutrients, meaning you will require less of those expensive vitamins you’ve been taking to supplement your diet

Fermented foods and drinks are rich in probiotics. Probiotics have been found to heal many illnesses, as well as boosting digestive health and immune functioning

Fermented foods are budget friendly, and they last for months without the loss of nutrients that comes from other methods of preserving food

Enjoy a glass of Kombucha tea, garnish your meal with sauerkraut and pickles, and restore your health!