gut

Addicted To Fitness Show Notes – Leaky Gut & The Benefits of Probiotics

Welcome back! This week’s show notes are brought to you by Shannon…

Both Nick and I had training updates for the first time in a bit (I have been a bit lighter on the training as of late).

I am slowly getting back into adding some activity, but am holding off on real training since my doctor mandated I not do any strenuous exercise for at least six weeks after childbirth. So I’ve been settling for daily walks with our dog and the baby, as well as some “slow flow” yoga, both of which are still making me sweat.

I’ve been super excited to get back to a prior-to-childbirth workout routine, especially since I’m getting back to regular clothes (no more maternity clothes!).

Meanwhile, Nick has been spending more time at home with the baby, which means he’s doing more at-home workouts. He puts them on his Instagram Stories, so be sure to follow @ETTampa and check them out! He’s also been getting some training leading the classes at Title Boxing, since he has to demonstrate the whole workout versus simply coaching like he does for personal training. He now teaches three classes a week (at noon, Monday-Wednesday).

In addition to the training, Nick has also made the decision to clean up his diet by focusing on nutrition. Diet has been a challenge for both of us since childcare has really minimized the amount of time we have to prepare food.

Whether we have time or not, we’re always fascinated with nutrition. One topic we wanted to get more in-depth on was one we have mentioned previously – leaky gut.

So what is it? Leaky gut is simply defined as increased gastrointestinal permeability. It’s commonly a symptom of conditions like Celiac and Crohn’s disease.  Interestingly enough, though it’s a term that is used more often these days, many medical sites and professionals reporting on this “condition” also call out that it is not one that can be diagnosed accurately.

Even medical celebrities like Dr. Oz are somewhat skeptical of the cause/origin of leaky gut, mostly since it’s not yet been determined whether it is the cause of other conditions/illnesses, or simply a side effect/symptom of something more serious.

Some research states that inflammatory foods (e.g. refined sugar & carbs, fast food, etc) may damage the function of the small intestine and thereby allow undesirable substances such as bacteria, viruses, un-digested food particles, and waste products to leak into blood stream. Nick mentioned a podcast episode by past ATF guest, Vinnie Tortorich, which discussed a recent study on the damaging effects fast food specifically can have on an individual’s gut health.

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Symptoms often associated with leaky gut include: bloating, cramps, fatigue, food sensitivity, achy joints, rashes – which are also symptoms for many other conditions.

The book, Practical Paleo claims that grains and seeds are the primary inflammatory foods, calling them anti-nutrients. Since many of our feel-good hormones and antibodies ( e.g. serotonin) are produced in our gut, it’s critical to focus on gut health. The best course of treatment for leaky gut is eliminating inflammatory foods from your diet for 30, 60, 90 days or longer. Practical Paleo offered up details on how to repair leaky gut, summarized nicely in one page (see above).

One of the ways to repair, the book calls out, is by taking probiotics. And this leads us to our discussion on the power of probiotics.

One of the few supplements we both take on daily basis are probiotics daily. Probiotics are the good bacteria that help keep the bad bacteria in check and maintain gut health.

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Recently Nick saw a study by ATF favorite, Dr. Rhonda Patrick (find her on YouTube, Twitter and Instagram @foundmyfitness), who also just had a baby, about the effect probiotics have on breast milk. The study found that mothers who take probiotics during the time they’re breastfeeding produce milk that seems to improve gastrointestinal functional symptoms and decrease incidence of infantile colic and regurgitation in their infants.

So we looked further into what the best probiotic foods are, as supplements are not the only place to find this gut-health-helpers. Healthline.com highlights the “Top 11 Probiotic Foods,” which includes some of our favorites like pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut and yogurt. Check the full list here.

We finish our chat with a friendly reminder; don’t forget that antibiotics can kill beneficial probiotics in your gut in addition to the bad ones, so be sure you take a medicinal dose of probiotics after you finish your antibiotics to restore your supply.

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That’s it for this week’s episode!

Don’t forget to like & follow the Addicted to Fitness podcast page on Facebook, give us a rating & review in iTunes and please take advantage of your 20% off discount on coffee from our new sponsors, The Hemp & Coffee Exchange, at hempcoffeeexchange.com.

Learn more about our sponsors in our previous ATF episode where we interview the founders and taste test this delicious coffee here.

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/leaky-gut-the-benefits-of-probiotics/id1121420986?i=1000393875009&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/leaky-gut-the-benefits-of

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/leaky-gut-the-benefits-of-probiotics

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What’s On The Menu – More Than Just The Freshmaker

How did mint become the go-to car air freshener scent? Was it good marketing? Did people like how that green leaf looked hanging from their rear view mirror?

It’s visual appeal could be a possible reason but I think it has more to do with how the scent affects our biology. A study performed in the early 2000s found that the smell of peppermint actually affected the amount of anxiety, fatigue and physical demand experienced by drivers on prolonged trips in the car. The study suggested that “periodic administration of (peppermint) odors over long-term driving may prove beneficial in maintaining alertness and decreasing highway accidents and fatalities” (source). Cognitive benefits are just the start to the positive health benefits of this refreshing herb.

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I constantly tell you about the high antioxidant content of certain fruits and vegetables, but I don’t seem to give as much recognition to herbs. Shame on me because mint, which is a broad term for 15-20 different species, contains one of the highest antioxidant capacity of any food. One particular antioxidant contained in mint, rosmarinic acid, has been shown to be an effective natural treatment for seasonal allergies. Also, if you already have the sniffles due to the common cold, menthol contained within mint plants has been long regarded as a natural decongestant because of its ability to break up phlegm and mucus (source).

The benefits of mint not only alleviate cold like symptoms, they can also help prevent you from getting a cold or some other type of infection. Peppermint oil has been shown to stop the growth of certain types of fungus and bacteria including the nasty MRSA. It’s also a good source of vitamin C, which can help improve the performance of our immune system (source). Speaking of performance, mint may be the PED all athletes can use without fear of getting busted.

I already mentioned one study that demonstrated how peppermint enhanced the performance of drivers, but can it do the same for athletes? A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine in 2013 discovered that individuals that ingested a minute amount of peppermint essential oil displayed improvements in exercise performance, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and several other related categories. The researchers believe that these improvements were due to the herb’s ability to relax bronchial smooth muscles, increase ventilation & brain oxygen concentrations and decrease blood lactate levels (source). That means that if you can run and chew gum at the same time, you may have a leg up on your competition.

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I always try to chew gum while working out, except for disciplines that require me to wear a mouthpiece (e.g. kickboxing, grappling, etc.). I’m sure it helps me concentrate but I use it mainly to prevent dry mouth. I use the crappy sugar-free stuff you get at the grocery store, which is peppermint flavored but I doubt has any real peppermint in it. Maybe I’ll perform a little experiment on yours truly to see if ingesting peppermint essential oil has a beneficial effect on my workout performance. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you like to incorporate mint into your diet. I enjoy throwing a handful of mint leaves into a tall glass of club soda with lime, essentially making a non-alcoholic mojito. Please feel free to share your minty fresh recipes with us on our social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter) or email them to elementaltampa@gmail.com.

You can also take advantage of the free fitness consultations I’m currently offering by emailing me.

Last but not least, we’d really appreciate it if you vote for Addicted to Fitness for the “best local podcast” in the Creative Loafing Best of the Bay contest. Click the following link to cast your vote. Thanks!

 

What’s on the Menu – Expiration dates need not apply

I’m a huge Anthony Bourdain fan. I know I’ve said it before, but he is my man crush. He’s a badass chef, a killer writer and trains jiu-jitsu nonstop. Besides the decades of substance abuse, I’d definitely want to be him if I could switch bodies for a day. One of the main reason I want Bourdain’s life is he gets to travel the world and eat unique and sometimes unusual cuisine. One such trip, which was documented on this CNN show Parts Unknown, took him to Denmark and the “science bunker” of the often #1 rated restaurant in the world, Noma. There he got to taste numerous food items in various stages of fermentation. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to travel to Denmark to reap the benefits of fermented foods.

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Inside the Noma Science Bunker (pic courtesy of eater.com)

Fermented foods are all the rage nowadays. You can find them at grocery stores, farmers markets and juice bars. You can even find them at baseball stadiums. You may have several fermented foods in your fridge and not even know it. Common fermented foods include: yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, natto and kimchi, which is today’s menu spotlight.

The nutritional value of the vegetables used to make Kimchi are actually enhanced due to the fermentation process. The primary bacteria responsible for Kimchi’s fermentation, Lactobacillus plantarum, not only increases the numerous vitamins and minerals contained in the vegetables, it also increases important bioactive compounds like thiocyanate and glucosinolate. These compounds have been linked to possible treatments for various health conditions such as cancer, obesity and atherosclerosis just to name a few. Kimchi also happens to be a natural probiotic that promotes proper gut health (source). Sounds like a miracle food right? I think it is and what’s even more amazing is that you can make this miracle food at home for next to nothing.

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Making homemade kimchi is so ridiculously easy that I’m pissed at myself that I haven’t done it yet. The only supplies you’ll probably need to invest in are several glass mason jars with screw on lids. Other than that it’s just vegetables and spices. Check out the video below to see how easy it is to prepare (sorry for the commerical).

If you already make your own homemade kimchi, let us know about your recipe. We’d love to share a pic of your delicious fermented veggies on our social media channels. Feel free to send any and all feedback to elementaltampa@gmail.com or reach out to us on social media. We’re not afraid to “fanboy” over the greatness of kimchi in a public forum.