You may remember one of our recent blog posts explaining the basics of functional medicine. And you may also remember how we mentioned that AAPRI will be integrating functional medicine into the practice more and more in the near future…
Well, the future is now! As we here at AAPRI seek a whole-body, whole-patient approach to treating your allergies, we’ll be posting a series of blog articles to keep you in the know and up to date on functional medicine and you— things like nutrition, stress-reduction, and gut health.
Hang on now…
…what on earth is gut health, you ask? Well, nutrition plays a big role in your physical and mental health. Your stomach, large intestine, and small intestine (or just “gut”) are teeming with microorganisms (including bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that are collectively called the microbiome. This may sound kind of gross, but it’s actually perfectly healthy and performs a lot of important functions in the body. Every person has a unique microbiome that’s a balance of “good” and “bad” microorganisms. Your microbiome directly affects your immune system, levels of inflammation, mood, weight… The root cause of many types of allergies and asthma conditions may actually be in your gut!
You are what you eat
What you eat determines what nutrients you absorb, and that’s what creates your own unique microbiome, and your microbiome affects many aspects of your health (including allergies)… So basically, good nutrition means a healthy gut, and a healthy gut means a healthier you, sometimes even including better controlled asthma and allergies! But how do you eat right for a healthy gut?
First, cut waaay back on refined sugars and processed foods. (If you were hoping we’d say donuts are super healthy, sorry!) They are much harder for your body to process, increase inflammation, and have little nutritional value. A simple way to start cutting sugar is by replacing soda or sports drinks with good ol’ fashioned water: it’s vital for keeping you hydrated and has zero sugar or weird chemicals, unlike sports drinks and soda. It’s recommended that adults drink about 8 glasses of water (8 oz each) per day, so be sure to pace yourself throughout the day and keep track of each glass you have.
It’s also recommended that you get 9 to 12 servings of probiotic-friendly, varied fruits and vegetables a day for optimal gut health. Be sure to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, too— they each have unique, important antioxidants and nutrients.
It’s OK to start small
We get it, 8 glasses of water, no sugar, and 9 to 12 servings of fruits and veggies is a whole lot to take in at once. It can be tricky for even seasoned healthy eaters to get all their servings in, especially considering that you need to eat a wide variety. But remember that it’s OK to start with small changes. Choosing a handful of blueberries over a handful of Skittles may seem minor, but lots of good choices like that throughout the day leads to one healthy gut!
Dr Z recommends Juice Plus+
Adding a quality, verified supplement to your diet is another small but mighty step towards your gut-healthy goals. Just remember that all supplements are not created equal, so always do your research. Look for tested, science-backed products like Juice Plus+ whole food based nutrition, not just generic, dollar-store brands (yes, those really exist!)
What is Juice Plus+? Well, Juice Plus+ is basically the whole produce aisle of your grocery store packed into a capsule, shake, or chew! But don’t just take our word for it— check out this video to learn what the experts have to say.
See? Juice Plus+ is an easy, affordable way to “bridge the gap” between the number of servings of fruits and vegetables you actually eat, and the number of servings of fruits and vegetables you need to eat. Be sure to also check out all of their published medical studies. Has Juice Plus+ piqued your interest? Need more information on this awesome, gut-friendly supplement? Please contact us to find out more.
So there it is…
…the first monthly installment of Gut Check, where you can come to learn more about functional medicine, nutrition, gut health, and what this all means for the allergy sufferer, from your friends at AAPRI! Don’t forget to call or come in with any questions or concerns. Have a great day!