A bottle from the future for the present

It’s almost 2020. Time for a little update on the project. Next year, Fusion Kinetic is launching a completely new type of product. For all the fitness lovers out there, this will be a new tool for you to optimise your gym sessions.

It all started with a simple idea. How can ordinary shakers and bottles become something extraordinary, more functional, something that is not just a bottle? The first sketches were very exciting.

How are we different? Well, with the Fusion Kinetic bottle you can carry both, water and supplements at the same time. The benefits, you ask?

  • No more mixing your supplements inside your water bottle.
  • No more low quality leaking plastic shakers.
  • No more odor from the old protein powders stinking up your bottle (assuming you’re using one bottle for both purposes. You’re not? Then even better, now you can carry 2 in 1 with the new Fusion Kinetic bottle).

The Models

the Red Power Model

With two bottles connected as one with optimized strong magnets, you have an elegant shaker and a clear water bottle. They always stay together. Stay hydrated and nurture your muscles.

The bottle can be conveniently placed on any magnetic surface such as the workout machines in the gym or on your fridge at home. Easy storage is a practical feature of Fusion Kinetic.

the Yin Yang Model

Find your balance with the yin yang style model of the bottle. Unisex and user – friendly in terms of functionality, the Fusion Kinetic bottles are revolutionizing the bottle industry out there!

the Blue Dream Model

Perhaps you would be more inspired by the teal color and the inspiring relaxed dream model.

Whichever model you choose, you can unscrew the bottle from the bottom for easy cleaning.

Have it your way. Connect the parts or use them individually, this 2 in 1 bottle was designed to add value to you and your workout routine. Moreover, couples can benefit from this bottle simply due to its duality.

The Future

Fusion Kinetic is designing a magnetic phone holder to clip on to the bottle so that you have everything you need in one single item! An additional feature of the bottle is that it serves as a filming station if you’re into taking videos while you’re working out. No matter if you’re an influencer or you simply want to see yourself working out in a video, this bottle can help you with the technical support you need to actually stick your phone to the bottle and let yourself workout in peace while the video is rolling! This awesome feature was designed with you in mind and how to improve your consumer experience.

Support us on Kickstarter

Do you want your bottle faster than anticipated? Then support us starting February 2020 on Kickstarter!

We will keep you updated on the process.

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10 Magical benefits of dandelions

(It’s not just rabbit food)

Many common plants have very interesting health benefits.

One of them is the famous Dandelion usually known as the “Pusteblume” in German the “blowing flower”. We decided to give this special plant higher consideration since it has multiple benefits overall. Read on and educate yourself about these benefits!

1. Highly nutritious

From root to flower, the dandelion is highly nutritious due to its high number of vitamins:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin E
  • Folate
  • B Vitamin

Next to containing some vital vitamins, dandelions are also rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.

In the root you find the carbohydrate inulin which supports the growth of healthy gut bacteria in your intestine.

2. Reduces cholesterol

A study on rabbits found that this plant has an effect on the cholesterol levels. Scientists say that it could possibly treat non – alcoholic fatty liver disease. The effects on humans are not yet confirmed.

3. Fights inflammation

Inflammation in your body leads to multiple diseases over time. Most inflammation is caused through diet.

Studies have proven that dandelion compounds reduced inflammation due to the presence of various bio – active compounds in the plant such as polyphenols.

4. Boosts the immune system

Dandelions have antiviral properties that boost the immune system. According to one study it also limits the growth of hepatitis B in animals and humans.

5. Healthy skin

A study carried out in 2015 observed that dandelions may reduce the damaging effect of one type of UV light. This means that not only your skin is being protected but it also nourishes a younger appearance.

6. May aid weight loss

Some research speculates that dandelions can improve the ability to metabolize the carbohydrates and reduce fat absorption.

A study on mice showed evidence that chlorogenic acid found in dandelion reduced body weight and the levels of a certain number of fat – storage hormones in the body.

7. Healthy bones

The vitamins and minerals found in Dandelions point to the benefits for bones. The greens of Dandelions are sources of Vitamin K and calcium which both prevent bone loss.

8. Healthy liver

Yes, the liver too. Our bodies “sponge” is also benefiting from the dandelions by removing toxins, boosting the flow of liver bile and replenishing electrolytes.

9. Battles cancer

Dandelion root extract is a powerful treatment for leukemia and breast cancer. A 2011 study shows that skin cancer cells treated with Dandelion root extract showed significant improvement in just two days.

10. Fights diabetes

Dandelions stimulate the production of insulin which your body needs for the breakdown of sugar. Next to that, dandelions are a diuretic leading to more frequent urination that help remove excess sugars and sodium.

Consumption of dandelion

According to healthline.com here are some recommendations.

  • Fresh leaves: 4–10 grams, daily.
  • Dried leaves: 4–10 grams, daily.
  • Leaf tincture: 0.4–1 teaspoon (2–5 ml), three times a day.
  • Fresh leaf juice: 1 teaspoon (5 ml), twice daily.
  • Fluid extract: 1–2 teaspoon (5–10 ml), daily.
  • Fresh roots: 2–8 grams, daily.
  • Dried powder: 250–1,000 mg, four times a day.

Risks:

  1. May cause allergic reactions
  2. May interact with certain antibiotics or diuretics

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References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dandelion-benefits#section16
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324083.php#supplements-and-dosage
  3. https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/23891/20190925/10-health-benefits-of-dandelions.htm
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23603008/

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The mysterious case of ‘red meat’

Eat more of this, eat less of this and just enough of that. That is usually the diet advice that is out there. But what is the truth about red meat?

Is there a truth?

News came out recently, with the headline “Eat Less Red Meat, Scientists Said. Now Some Believe That Was Bad Advice.” When you read this headline, how did you feel? I rolled my eyes thinking, not again. For decades margarine was healthier than butter, now the trans – fats in margarine are seriously bad for you. There is a constant forth and back.

Is now the time where red meat is great for us again and we can slam some steak on our plates for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Sure, it’s up to you in the end. You could also blend the steak up in a blender and add some extra protein powder just to make sure. Cheers!

The ‘new’ study is actually a series of 5 systematic reviews. The recommendations are probably the worst you can find for anything. They are advising people to continue their processed red meat consumption and the unprocessed red meat consumption. Simply because there is not enough evidence that either of them is bad.

Humans are comfortable by nature. Offering such simple advice in such a complicated field of research is really unacceptable. After the study came out it left many researchers in a crisis. All the work that has been done over the past decades to set up guidelines about red meat consumption could be questioned and loose credibility because of one piece of research.

From dozens of studies, guidelines of the consumption of red meat have been set up:

  • The word cancer research fund: limit consumption to no more than about 3 portions per week.
  • The World Health Organization has classified processed meats including ham, bacon, salami and “Frankfurters” (sausages) as a Group 1 carcinogen (known to cause cancer) which means that there’s strong evidence that processed meats cause cancer. Eating processed meat increases your risk of bowel and stomach cancer. Red meat, such as beef, lamb and pork, has been classified as a Group 2A carcinogen which means it probably causes cancer.
  • Cancer Council: To reduce your risk of cancer, eat no more than 1 serving of lean red meat per day or 2 serves 3-4 times per week.

These are just a few recommendations. Maybe in a few years there will be enough evidence that red meat is completely harmless. Until then, I think it is clear that red meat is to be dealt with carefully.

“Nutrition science is fiendishly complicated, and we’ll probably never know definitively whether red meat is good or bad for your health”

Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz

What it eats, is what you eat

One important aspect to watch out for when you eat beef is what it ate. What your food eats is just as important as what you have on your plate. Grass fed meat has more omega-3 fatty acids, fewer hormones and antibiotics. As well as:

  • fewer calories
  • supports healthy blood sugar levels
  • contains electrolytes
  • helps fight cancer
  • contains more healthy fat
  • contains less harmful bacteria
  • can decrease your risk of heart disease

[Source]

On the other hand…

If you have doubts about red meat, why not try the carnivore diet? Eat only meat, eggs and fish. Which will be another topic here at Fusion Kinetic. Keep an eye out for the meat-only-solution coming your way. What do you think about red meat consumption? Leave a comment.

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Weight training is better than running

I am a runner at heart. When I was 8 years old I used to run through apple plantages in my home town, believing I was Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings, on a mission to slay some orks.

Are you Aragorn or Gimli?

Image result for aragorn running into battle
Something like this

It is always hard to say that one type of physical exercise is better than another. It depends what your goals are. If you want to run a marathon, would it be wise to bench press 3 times per week and go for 100 meter sprints at 8:00 a.m. twice a week?

Definitely it’s better than doing nothing.

Strength training better for the heart…

According to a study from the American College of Cardiology in 2018 strength training is proving to be more effective when it comes to cardiovascular health than cardio exercises. Including dynamic exercises such as running and cycling.

The study proved that all physical activity is beneficial for cardiovascular health reducing risk of cardiovascular disease 30 – 70 %. Who would have thought? However, static strength training was more strongly associated with reducing heart disease risks than dynamic activities like walking and cycling. Furthermore, participants who did both type of activities saw better results than participants who only stuck to one type of exercise, cardio or strength training. [1]

Spending more time does not increase benefits…

When you are in the gym, often the temptation is there to go the extra mile. What if you are just wasting your time?

“People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than 5 minutes could be effective,” said DC (Duck-chul) Lee, associate professor of kinesiology

A study from the University of Iowa State University found that lifting weights for less than an hour a week may reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by 40 to 70 %. Whereas spending more than an hour did not yield any additional benefits.

Weight training alone is enough is the conclusion of the data of nearly 13,000 adults in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. [2] Therefore, you can solely focus on one type of exercise without worrying that you are missing out.

Anyways, I am going to keep running.

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References:

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181116135957.htm
  2. https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005768-201903000-00014

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Why everyone should meditate

This topic might seem strange related to fitness. The thing is, when you are trying to achieve something, your 100 kg bench press, starting your own business or simply feeling better, you need to get your head straight.

The mental aspect of achieving is the most important one. The first thing that mediation can help you with is focus. When you have clarity in your mind, when you are focused, that is when you are getting sh** done. Meditation helps dramatically in reaching clarity, unclustering the sticky ball of thoughts that is stripping you of energy and time.

To understand the difference, here are the six types of meditation in a nutshell:

There are dozens of different sub – types of meditation but these six main categories made it easier to understand. An easy way to get started is to try mindfulness meditation with the Headspace app.

They have done some great research on the benefits of using Headspace to meditate.

  • 10 days of Headspace reduced stress by 14%
  • Northwestern University found that 3 weeks of Headspace increased compassion by 23% and reduced aggression by 57%
  • Irritability was reduced by 27%
  • Focus improved by 14%
  • Increases positivity and well – being
  • Improved job satisfaction

With Headspace you can start with super simple guided meditations. You can start with just 3 minutes. You have to remember that mediation is not a magic pill. It is a gradual process like learning a language: the more consistently you practice, the easier and smoother it will go.

I have used Headspace for the past year and it has fundamentally improved my focus and pretty much everything that the research says it does, it does. It is hard to stay consistent but it is worth it, just like consistently going to the gym.

Meditation in professional sports

Yes, to get you inspired we have a few examples of well known athletes/teams practicing meditation during their careers.

1. LeBron James

The 6 time NBA Champion uses mindfulness meditation as a fixed component of his training.

2. Michael Jordan

As one of the greatest athletes of all time, Jordan used mindfulness mediation to get into as he called it ‘the flow’. His coach George Mumford has written a book about this.

3. Kobe Bryant

The third super succesfull basket baller on the list, who credits meditation to his success.

"I think (meditation) is important because it sets me up for the rest of the day." -Kobe Bryant #quote #kobe #bryant #nba #sports #inspiration #motivation #meditation #player #kobebryant #quoteoftheday #meditate #awareness #experience #lightworker #insight
Source

4. The Seattle Seahawks

During the 2014 season when the Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll hired a sports psychologist to teach mindfulness meditation to the entire team.

Meditation is used in many sports and dozens of high performing athletes are reaping the benefits. Why shouldn’t you?

It is not only athletes who meditate, famous personalities such as J.Cole, Jay-Z, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey and even Jerry Seinfeld practice meditation.

Jerry Seinfeld talks about his 41 year long practice of Transcendental meditation while being the executive producer, editor and head-writer as well as playing the main character in his famous Seinfeld TV series show (that me and my girlfriend love).

I hope you got some inspiration to try meditating for yourself. Like I said, Headspace has really helped me get into the practice and offers great guidance into mindfulness meditation. There are many more resources out there that can get you started.

I think meditation is a powerful tool to help you achieve your goals but also to just unwind and clear your head, it is a tool that can be used for many purposes. What would you start meditating for?

Share with us your experience of meditation!

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Whey protein leads to weight gain (what they got wrong again)

Let’s take a deep breath before this post. Done? Great.

It is absolutely frustrating researching about whey protein and its effects, harmful or not. There is so much half baked research floating around which makes it extremely hard to get a clear picture about the reality of whey protein. Whey is one of the best studied supplements in the world, it should be possible to get a clear picture.

I want to make sure that after this post, you walk into the world and you have zero doubts about the effects of whey on your body and everything that comes with it.

Let’s start with a kick – off question, what is whey protein?

What is whey ?

To be precise, whey is the byproduct that separates from cheese during the cheese – making process. The liquid that collects on top of yogurt, that’s whey protein which is roughly 20 %, whereas 80 % is casein protein. To make it a business, it is dried to kill off bacteria and sold in a powdered form in massive containers. Mostly sweetened. It also contains essential amino acids (EAAs), making it a high quality complete protein. Whey contains three important EAAs known as branched chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, isoleucine and valine. These BCAAs are known to promote muscle growth and tissue regeneration.

Here is where they went wrong

Recently news put out by the abc7 newschannel, an american commercial broadcasting company owned by the Walt Disney Company, spread the idea that protein shakes may lead to weight gain, depression and shorter life span.

They based their claims on a study made by the University of Sydney. What they failed to mention is that the study found these results when BCAAs where consumed excessively. The results are also based on a study conducted on mice which were fed 200 % the standard amount of BCAAs. The mice which were fed this excessive amount became obese and had a shortened lifespan. The ones who were given normal amounts or less than normal amounts of BCAAs, saw no negative effects. Next to this, a mouse and a physically active human being are also a little different, or not?

Bottom line, everything in moderation. Do not over – consume whey protein or BCAAs, stick to the recommended doses. Double the amount will not give you double benefits. Maybe Walt Disney should have stuck to Micky Mouse instead of giving diet advice.

Whey protein is safe if you stick to the recommended dosage of it. If your overall protein intake is already high, think about taking extra whey protein twice.

Simple breakdown

The recommended amount is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and 56 grams per day for sedentary males.

If you are not sedentary, 1 gram per body weight seems to be a good amount. Let’s say your weight is 82 kg. Using my math skills, the recommended amount should be 82 grams of protein for the day.

1 scoop of whey protein is usually around 25 grams of protein, meaning 2 scoops equals roughly 50 grams. This varies per company and the size of their scoops. However, with 2 scoops you would have roughly 60 % of your recommended protein intake already. Let’s say you eat 2 eggs for breakfast (12 grams protein) plus 100 grams of chicken breast (31 grams protein).

12+31+50= 93 grams of protein

Image result for protein meme

As you can see it is actually quiet easy to reach you protein intake, and that is without dinner included or any snacks.

Some sources say that a range of 1.8 grams – 2.0 grams per day is safe if you are highly active which means intense exercise 6 – 7 times per week. If you want to see for yourself you can calculate your recommended intake here: Protein Calculator.

Now that we have some more clarity about amounts, there is some other things that need to be adressed.

Bitter sweetness

Whey protein without any sweeteners would not be sold. The reality is that whey protein would taste absolutely sh** without added sweeteners. They would be ultra bitter.

Most sweeteners are at least 200x sweeter than sugar. Meaning that only relatively small amounts are added to the powders. In addition, no extra calories are added from sweeteners. But there is evidence that sweeteners cause some problematic effects.

Some studies show that sweeteners increase cravings for sugary foods, as well as increasing the chances of developing glucose intolerance. Artificial sweeteners do not activate the same reward pathways in the brain the way that natural sweeteners do. This leads to the lack of complete satisfaction from food or in this case protein shakes and will increase cravings later.

Sucralose

One of the most used sweeteners is sucralose. It causes intestinal overgrowth of E.Coli, a harmful gut bacteria. Gut inflammation is increased and directly linked Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms include abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and bloody stool.

You will find that in most protein shakes, there is a combination of sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium, another sweetener 200x sweeter than sugar. It has the E-number 950 (E-950). Another highly controversial sweetener claimed to cause all kinds of health problems such as cancer, disrupting metabolism and weight gain. But of course, authorities in the US and Europe have declared it as safe to use.

Image result for sucralose protein powder
Source: melmagazine

Sucralose containing powders:

  • MuscleTech NitroTech Pure Whey Protein
  • Nitro Tech 100% Whey Gold
  • Gold Standard Whey 100% Whey
  • PRO JYM
  • ISO 100%
  • Syntha 6
  • Combat Protein Powder
  • COR Performance Whey

Lactose

About 65 % of the human population has at least a lactose sensitivity. Whey still contains lactose, if you are lactose intolerant, avoid whey. If you are lactose sensitive, take it easy with whey or choose an alternative. Many isolate whey protein powders are lactose free or contain only very small amounts. You can find alternative sources from peas, hemp, brown rice, cranberries, soy, eggs also.

As you can see from the map above, depending on your ethnicity your lactose tolerance varies. Here in Europe we are on the safer side but if you are from the Asia, the chances of you having lactose intolerance is much higher.

Where to start ?

  1. I would recommend that you avoid protein powders containing artificial sweeteners
  2. There is just too many risks. Calculate your max. protein intake per day
  3. Start writing down how much protein you are actually consuming (you will be surprised)

There are many alternative proteins without artificial sweeteners. Here is a good list that was put together by Workoutdigest.com you can start with.

If you are sensitive to lactose, focus on alternatives such as hemp protein. Sweeten it with raw honey, stevia or erythritol.

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Fitness and cannabis are getting married

Very bold title indeed. Let’s talk about cannabis today. Living in Amsterdam, going to buy a gram of weed is like having a morning coffee. Surprisingly, many native Amsterdammers do not smoke and have a negative stigma when it comes to coffeeshops and smoking weed.

However, cannabis is slowly going global, state after state in the US has jumped on legalization. Recreational use is now legal in 11 states and and medical use in 33. Canada had also legalized cannabis as the second country worldwide after Uruguay in October 2018. So what’s next?

Obviously, this is all about tax money. Or is it? What about the actual benefits of the “green gold”? The world of fitness is getting involved in the use of cannabis worldwide. Athletes are benefitting, new businesses are opening, connecting cannabis and fitness. Is this the next ‘big thing’? Let’s dive into it and see!

In 2018, CBD was also taken off the list of banned substances by the World Anti Doping Agency. Recently, U.S.A. Triathlon has become the first national governing body of an american sport to make a sponsorship deal with a CBD production company. If you don’t know, CBD is the non – psychoactive substance found in cannabis.

In fact, there is a new trend called CBD Yoga. The CBD retailer Standard Dose even opened a kind of cannabis wellness center in New York City. You have a whole selection of CBD infused products such as Japanese tea. In New Jersey the trend hits too. Where the Yoga instructors rub CBD infused gel on your shoulders while you are striking your poses. On the way home participants receive a CBD brownie for further relaxation.

It is proven that CBD has powerful anti – inflammatory benefits [1] and it makes sense to incorporate it into yoga as both have similar stress relieving effects on the body.

Cannabis is well known to dampen perception of pain, therefore it makes sense that many people are using cannabis to relax after a heavy workout session where every move stings. What about before exercise?

The high you get from exercise is actually from an endocannabinoid called anandemide. [2] Which means that your body naturally secretes the so called “bliss molecule” which makes you feel good when your exercise. So there we go, we do get high from exercise.

This is where it gets interesting. The cannabis infused workouts are a new trend. Apparently, it makes fitness more enjoyable. [3]

A study from Frontiers in Public Health from April 2019 shows some interesting results. More than 50 % of cannabis users claimed that weed motivated them to exercise. This was data from an online survey with over 600 participants from the US. 80 % of the surveyed even said that they used cannabis before or after hitting the gym, 67 % admitted to consume before and after working out.

Participants who got high prior to exercise recorded 43 minutes more activity per week compared to non – users. Although we personally believe longer does not mean more effective, these results could be due to the slower reaction time might have led to this.

We all know that certain strains of cannabis give you the ‘munchies’. This, in combination with exercise, could help you consume more calories after your workout if your goal is to gain rather than loose weight it could be of help. I am not saying to grab a box of pizza after the gym, choose good food.

Clifford Drusinsky, who has won trophies at nine major triathlons, is following his personal motto: wake up at 3 a.m. to train, get 20 milligrams of THC in an energy bar, 1 hour in the pool, 3 hours on a bike and a 13-mile run. “Marijuana relaxes me and allows me to go into a controlled, meditational place”. I would need to go there too with this routine. But jokes aside. The man is successful. He promotes marijuana induced fitness at F.I.T.S. Conditioning.

Next to being a motivator for workouts, cannabis has also proven to lower your BMI and reduce obesity.[4][5]

Clearly, cannabis has a number of proven and perceived benefits related to exercise and fitness. However, many experts are still unsure if the use of cannabis before exercising is safe. It does decrease your reaction time your pain reception which can also be helpful to avoid injury during a workout.

Cannabis is also known to increase your heart rate by 20 % up to 3 hours after consuming. This is not a positive effect for athletes. It also depends on your personal reaction to cannabis. Some people might be seeing the positives and others only the negatives. Nate Jackson, the former Denver Broncos player, used cannabis during his 6 seasons at the NFL to handle pain. He says “Some people get high and their muscle memory locks in and they feel like they can’t miss, some people get high and fall apart.” [6]

We believe that post workout cannabis use is beneficial for recovery and relaxation. Pre – workout consumption is very debatable, I personally feel slower and unfocused. Let us know your experiences with cannabis and exercise in the comments. I am off for a workout.

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15 Squat variations to dominate leg day

The day has come. You walk into the gym, taking a quick and elegant sip from your water, you walk onto the treadmill and start thinking about the most dreadful workout of the week.

Should I just skip it this time? ‘Tomorrow is a better day anyway’ – you tell yourself.

‘Who does leg day on a Monday anyway, probably no one.’

I know, leg day makes you an expert of procrastination. Not sure about you, but I get bored on leg day. Variation of squats has really helped me not to. So next time you are wondering how to make it more exciting, think about these 15 squat variations and go for it. Why squats? They are probably the most beneficial leg workout you can do.

  • They are a functional exercise, making real life situations simpler
  • Target your entire body, especially your abs and lower back (its a win-win-win)
  • Increase your flexibility in your joints, which helps prevent injuries
  • Boost your athletic performance, jump higher and run faster
  • And of course, you get that perfectly round butt that nobody can resist

Criricalbench has put together a perfect video with demonstrations for every variation.

Have fun dominating leg day.

Do you have any other squat variations in your repertoire?

Leave a comment below.

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Nutritional psychiatry part 2:

Why a healthy gut is the key to holistic health

In the first part of Nutritional Psychiatry we talked about the way the field is slowly becoming more popular and emerging as an alternative in healing depression and anxiety by using food as medicine.

It turns out that your gut and your brain are directly connected and if you want to stay healthy you have to make sure that your gut is healthy. How? Make sure that your gut bacteria are on the ‘good’ side. What exactly you can do we will explain to you in this post, read on!

Your body is a universe and more…

If you think the human body is impressive you are right. Our body is made up of approximately 37.2 trillion cells. That is nothing compared to the number of bacteria living within our gut. There are about 10x more bacteria living inside your got than there are cells in your body. [1] Now it really makes sense why the gut plays such an impacting role in our health.

An imbalance of your gut bacteria (microbiota dysbiosis) might lead to several diseases, such as nervous system related diseases, allergies, cardiovascular disease, and gastrointestinal disorders. [2]

It was believed that there are about 1000 species of bacteria living in our gut. A recent research from the European Molecular Biology laboratory in 2019 confirms that there are nearly 2000 species of bacteria living in our guts. Fascinating, right? [3]

Depending on what geographic region you are from, this impacts the type of bacteria you have in your gut [4]. That is why certain people have problems with certain foods and others do not. There is not a one fits all diet for everyone which often being promoted. We must understand that there are huge variations between individuals in this concern.

Who are you really?

We now have the technology to find out what bacteria are home in our gut and what kind of food will make our own unique microbiome happy and which food to avoid. There are self – test kits that you can order to see specifically what is going on inside your ‘second brain’. If you really want to know what works for you and what doesn’t this is the perfect option.

There are a few companies out there such as atlasbiomed.com why will send a test kit directly to your doorstep. With the results you get a whole breakdown of what is going inside your microbiome as well as personalised food recommendations.

Making friends with your gut

If you need one friend, then it should be your gut. There are a few general things that you can do to start making friends with your gut. One of the most common diseases that people get is the ‘leaky gut syndrome’. This is when tiny holes develop in your gut walls and toxins start leaking through the holes into your bloodstream. This can trigger inflammation, allergies and autoimmune diseases. [5]

The really tricky thing about this is that people experience the many symptoms of a ‘leaky gut’ but do not know what is causing the symptoms. This leads into a battle against symptoms rather than the cause. What exactly causes the leaky gut, scientists are not sure. It is most likely a combination of the type of toxic foods we put into our body on a daily basis.

How to take action

Eat prebiotic and probiotic rich foods: Prebiotic fiber specifically supports the growth of good gut bacteria. You want as many as you can. They can be found in sweet potato, carrots, asparagus, squash and many others. Probiotics are well known and include more fermented foods such as pickles or kefir. Watch out with histamines, which are often in fermented foods. Many people have histamine intolerance. You can also get that tested. [6]

Do not confuse probiotics with dairy. Dairy should be avoided as it creates inflammatory proteins.

Avoid antibiotics as much as you can: Antibiotics are the worst thing you can do to your gut. They are equivalent of a nuclear bomb to the gut bacteria. Repeated use will deprive you of good bacteria which will lead to multiple health problems.

Cut back or cut out sugar and artificial sweeteners: There is not too much positive to say about sugar, except that it tastes good. Sugar feeds Candida albicans. They are a normal part of the gut flora but when Candida gets fed too much sugar, the bacteria population becomes imbalanced.

Avoid anti – nutrients: Foods such as soy, beans and raw cruciferous vegetables like kale and spinach. The most difficult anti – nutrient for us to quit has been grains. Unfortunately, latest studies keep showing evidence that grains are a key player in damaging your gut health. They contain, gluten, agglutinin, lectins and phytic acid. All these are not good for your microbiome. What they do exactly is a topic that we will explore in a future post .

A must do is to eat a diverse range of whole foods: The more diversity of food you offer your microbiome, the more resilient it gets. It will adapt and diversify too. [7]

Supplement with collagen protein: This type of protein repairs the gut lining. [8]

Lastly, don’t stress: Seriously, stress can impact your gut health just like the food you eat can, remember that your brain and gut are connected? Yes, the mind can do just as much good as it can do bad for your gut. Have you ever experienced upset gut when something horrible happened, you were sitting for an exams or about to have a real uncomfortable conversation? It is pretty obvious when you think about it but we often do not give it enough thought.

The gut should definitely be your best friend for the rest of your life if you want to live a healthy life and especially also keep up good mental health. We hope this helps you get started on making a new friend and creating a life-long co-operation. We’re am always happy to hear your thoughts on this. Let us know in the comments section below or send us an email.

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References:

  1. sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080603085914.htm
  2. tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13102818.2018.1481350
  3. earth.com/news/2000-bacterial-species-human-gut/
  4. ebi.ac.uk/about/news/press-releases/2000-unknown-gut-bacteria-discovered
  5. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/leaky-gut-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean-for-you-2017092212451
  6. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325293.php
  7. https://www.pcrm.org/health-topics/gut-bacteria
  8. https://www.bulletproof.com/gut-health/gut-health-microbiome/#ref-13

Nutritional psychiatry: a new field with huge potential

When you are eating, you feed not only your body but also your brain. The new field of “Nutritional Psychiatry” uses food as prescriptions instead of drugs to swallow.

Once you have chewed your food and it slides down your stomach and into your gut, there is a whole lot of stuff going on that we do not consciously notice, at least most of the time.

Imagine you are driving in your new Ferrari (whatever makes you happy) and you pull up to the petrol station and have the choice between premium and standard fuel. Most people would choose premium because they want their “baby” to perform at it’s best.

Well, you have exactly the same choice, everyday. If you want your engine, in this case I am referring to your brain, to perform at it’s best, you have to choose premium fuel (food).

Foods that are high in refined sugars have proven to impair brain function, cause mood disorders and depression. Only in past decade, the medical field is starting to realise the connection between the food you eat and how you feel and act.

I mean if you would feed your car a can of coke it wouldn’t feel or behave well either, right?

Holy gut

Illustrator: Russ Tudor- [Source]

95 % of your Serotonin is produced in your gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin is responsible for regulating your sleep, moods and appetite. How well your gastrointestinal tract works is dependent on the amount of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria you have. These bacteria inhibit or cause inflammation, regulate your nutrient absorption and even activate neural pathways travelling between your gut and brain. In other words, your gut and your brain are directly connected! The amount of ‘good’ bacteria you have is directly related to how much ‘good’ food you eat.

Therefore, it makes sense that the condition your gut is in, is in sync of the condition your brain is in. A western diet has even been associated with a smaller hippocampus which is responsible for learning and memory. [1]

Multiple studies have now been carried out on how specific diets affect depression, a study from 2013 suggests that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts had statistically positive effect in intervening with depression. [2]

Another 2014 study compared the effects of a healthy diet with the effects of Problem Solving Therapy which is a treatment that includes antidepressant treatment. The results showed that the diet intervention and the Problem solving therapy had almost identical results of success with the cure of depression. [3] So why take drugs if you can just eat good and ‘avoid’ depression?

The SMILEs Trial

SMILEs stands for Supporting the Modification of lifestyle in lowered emotional states. This really interesting experiment was published in 2017 by Felice Jacka [4] and it deals with exactly what has been discussed by providing answers to the following question: Does healthy eating improve my mood?

The group in the study which was using diet for lowering moderate to severe depression showed significantly greater improvements in their moods compared to the other two control groups, where one was treated with psychotherapy and the other with psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.

In other words, diet intervention was more effective in treating moderate to severe depression than conventional used therapy.

Hope for the future…

If we continue finding evidence that diet is effective in curing depression, we will have the ability to get many people off medication with nasty side effects. Hopefully in the future, when one visits a doctor due to mood disorders or depression he will hand you a banana instead of a box of pills.

Stay tuned for the next post where we will show you how to build the ‘good bacteria’ in your gut.

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References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4563885/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3848350/
  3. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4050338/(opens in a new tab)
  4. bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-13-114(opens in a new tab)

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