Why Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is a Superfood

I would like to share with you some of the “super foods” I have found to have a great effect on maintaining one’s health. These include organic Coconut Oil, Extra virgin Olive Oil, fermented foods, and eggs, all of which I’ll talk about in future newsletters. But for this month, I would like to highlight one of nature’s most useful gifts: organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

Organic ACV has too many different uses to list all of them, but here are a few:
·      Sunburn treatment
·      Hair growth stimulant
·      Shower cleaner
·      Acne treatment
·      Workout booster
·      Deodorant
·      Weed killer
·      Flea repellent
·      Laxative
·      Gout relief
·      And many more!

The power of organic ACV has been known for centuries, dating all the way back to the Ancient Romans and Greeks. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is said to have used it as his go-to antiseptic. Overtime, this cooking staple has gained a reputation as a natural alternative for ailments such as: sunburns, acne, itch/rashes, infections, and more. There are a number of ways to use it. Here are some examples:

Simply gargling with a mixture of 1 part water, 1 part organic ACV can relieve a sore throat, treat canker sores, and prevent bad breath. Dab the mixture on itchy spots, boils, athlete’s foot, calluses, sunburns, warts, and even varicose veins a couple times a day for relief of redness, swelling, and pain.

You can also create your own apple cider vinegar hair rinse to get rid of product build-up/residue and to seal the hair follicle, making the hair shiny and glossy. Other organic ACV recipes you can find on the web include deodorant, aftershave, skin moisturizer, face mask, etc.. The uses are almost endless.

These claims may sound like nothing more than an old wives’ tale, but there are many reasons, both practical and profound, why I wanted to share this information about organic ACV with you. The typical person’s diet is contaminated with fillers, chemicals, pesticides, and more toxins that can and will harm your body. But unfortunately, the harm doesn’t stop at what you ingest. What you put on your hair and skin is also absorbed into the blood stream, and that often includes ingredients known to be toxic. Some of them have even been linked to cancer, loss of fertility, and Alzheimer’s.

Organic ACV is the perfect natural alternative to these products—and, its only about $6 for a huge bottle of it. You’d spend at least that much on any single hair, face, or body product. So why pay for individual, potentially harmful personal care products when you could get the same benefits from just one—without the harsh chemicals?

But the power of organic ACV reaches even farther than personal care. In addition to the properties I listed above, science is now finding that ACV has the potential to do a lot more for your health then just treat a rash. For one thing, its packed with naturally occurring nutrients, including: Potassium (essential for organ and cellular function), Iron, Magnesium (important for heart health), Enzymes (boost chemical reactions in the body), Acetic acid (slows the digestion of starch), Calcium, Pectin (helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol), Mycoderma aceti (delivers nutrients and good bacteria) and Alpha hydroxy acid (improves cell regeneration).

Heart-healthy nutrients like potassium and magnesium provide a supply of power and energy to the heart, helping to boost your workout potential and strengthen the heart muscle itself. Scientists also think organic ACV may help stave off some of today’s most common killers—metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease—by helping regulate blood sugar and normalize blood pressure and cholesterol. It could even help in the fight against obesity by making people feel fuller, thereby managing their hunger.

Whether you’re concerned with preventing heart disease or getting silkier hair, I hope I’ve convinced many of you to try and incorporate organic ACV into your lives. But before you do, there are a few things you should know: ALWAYS buy organic, unpasteurized ACV, and cloudy is better than clear. I suggest drinking a little bit every day, but you MUST dilute it with water (otherwise the acidity could burn your throat and tooth enamel). My recommendation is 2 tsp ACV mixed in 8 oz of water. More ACV recipes and directions, such as household cleaning agents or garden maintenance, can be found with a simple web search.

These days, we tend to underestimate or even ignore all that Mother Nature has provided us with. It doesn’t always make sense to turn to processed food, products, and treatments (if ever). This is where organic ACV comes in. A couple substitutions in your diet or personal care routine can translate to a BIG step in leading a more natural and healthy lifestyle—and may even help keep you out of the doctor’s office longer. 

Please call 734-726-0153 to schedule a free consultation and evaluation. At Digestive Health Ann Arbor we are known for providing professional and compassionate care. We strive to guide people towards a comprehensive and holistic healing strategy. Restoring your body to health will restore the quality of your life.

8 Common Causes of a Leaky Gut

Now that we known some of the symptoms, let's take a look at some of the most common causes.

1. Chronic inflammation

Whether it be stress, IBS, or a food allergy, chronic inflammation is one of the biggest causes of a leaky gut.

2. Food Sensitivities/allergies

Food sensitivities can cause inflammation and worsen a leaky gut. Food sensitivities are also symptoms of a leaky gut because once our digestive tract becomes permeable, additional food sensitivities may develop.

3. Damage from taking large amounts of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)

Certain pain relief medications can be detrimental to our bodies, especially when taken frequently. Consult your medical practitioner for a less caustic pain reliever.

4. Cytotoxic drugs

Used to treat symptoms of arthritis, these medications can wear on our intestines.

5. Radiation

Used to treat cancer, radiation can weaken our systems.

6. Antibiotics

7. Excessive alcohol consumption

8. Compromised immunity

This can be a result of small intestine bacteria overgrowth, chronic stress, or intestinal infections. It is important to take even small infections seriously. If not addressed immediately, they can grow.

5 Easy Steps: Mend that Leaky Gut

A leaky gut sounds menacing, but they can heal with time and effort. Here are three easy steps to get you on your way.

1. Get a Food Allergy Test

Your leaky gut can only heal once you know what foods are harmful to you. Food allergy tests are simple, straightforward, and inexpensive. Removing trigger foods is a great start.

2. Easy on the Pill-Popping

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen often contribute to gut irritation. Ask your medical practitioner for a pain reliever that is more gentle on your digestive system.

3. Twenty-Chew Challenge

Chewing each bite twenty times until it becomes a liquid means less work for your stomach and digestive system. Eating your food slowly also has been proven to help people enjoy food more and eat less.

4. Get a Little Help from your Supplement Friends

A leaky gut generally indicates an imbalance between good and bad bacteria in the small and large intestine. There are plenty of supplements out there to help replenish good bacteria. Ask your medical practitioner for a recommendation that's right for you.

5. Don't Make a Mountain out of a Mole Hill...

...and by that we mean treat minor infections, such as candida, immediately and completely. Letting these infections fester forces the immune system to be constantly alert. This is physically exhausting and increases inflammation throughout the body, including the gut.

The 7 Most Common Systemic Symptoms of a Leaky Gut

How do we know if we have a “leaky gut”? Since 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract, poor digestion and absorption becomes a systemic problem. Our whole body feels the effects. This is why discovering and treating a leaky gut is so important.

While the following is not an exhaustive list of symptoms or systems affected by a leaky gut, here are some of the most common:

1. Digestive System

-        abdominal pain

-        indigestion

-        diarrhea

-        constipation

-        bloating

-        gas

2. Respiratory System

-        asthma

-        shortness of breath

3. Muscular System

-        chronic joint pain

-        chronic muscle pain

4. Integumentary System (skin, hair, nails)

-        skin rashes

-        acne

-        eczema

-        psoriasis

5. Nervous System

-        confusion

-        fuzzy or foggy thinking

-        mood swings

-        nervousness

-        poor memory

-        aggressive behavior

-        anxiety

-        fatigue

-        feeling toxic

6. Immune System

-        poor immunity

-        recurrent vaginal infections

7. Urinary System

-        recurrent bladder infections

-        bed-wetting

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, the best course of action is to speak to a health practitioner that is familiar with leaky gut syndrome.

Leaky What? Gut Basics Explained

This month's blogs will focus on Leaky Gut Syndrome. We will cover gut basics, symptoms, causes, and easy steps to take to improve intestinal health.

 

The concept of a leaky gut is confusing and odd-sounding. It evokes an image of a tin pail riddled with holes, or a faucet with a constant drip. How can our guts be leaky?

Snapshot #1: Healthy Gut

Let's start with normal digestion. Our intestines are not solid barriers, as tin pails and faucets tend to be, but are permeable, like filters. Your digestive tract serves as a filter system, much like the ones people use in their homes to purify water. The digestive tract is essentially providing the same service for our bodies. The gut absorbs healthy bits and pieces of the food we eat and allows them to pass through to the blood stream. Larger molecules-  such as partially digested food, bacteria and toxins- that are too big to properly filter through are shuttled to the large intestine where they are expelled.

Snapshot #2: Leaky Gut

Have you ever gone camping and tried to purify water that was filled with sludge and particulate matter? Even if you haven't, try to imagine filtering drain pipe run-off in your Brita. It probably wouldn't be something to serve to friends. Those with leaky gut syndrome have malfunctioning intestinal filters. Often, however, these intestinal filters are malfunctioning because of what they have been forced to filter. Over time leaky guts develop gaping holes that allow toxins and undigested food to enter into the blood stream. This triggers an immune response complete with attacking white blood cells and flaring inflammation. What may have initially been only one food allergy or sensitivity could turn into many. You could even develop an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

“Gutting” it Right

Yikes, that last snapshot was a little gross. No worries. Keeping your gut healthy is relatively easy with a bit of awareness. In this month's blogs we will give you some great tips on keeping those filtering systems sludge-free.

U.S. Lags Behind Europe in Celiac Disease Knowledge

Did you know that 1 in 133 people in the U.S has celiac disease? (Archives of Internal Medicine, published 10 February 2003)

Unfortunately, only about 1 out of every 4,700 Americans has been diagnosed, which means 97% of cases go undetected in our country. Why is this? Dr. Alessio Fassano, the Director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland, points to lack of research by medical professionals in the United States.

"Equal recognition of celiac disease has been frustratingly slow to reach the U.S," says a colleague of Dr. Fassano, Dr. Guandalini, who trained in Italy. "In Europe, it typically takes a few weeks to go from the first symptoms to a diagnosis. In the U.S., the average lag time between onset and diagnosis is 11 years." If ever.

In the mid-1970s, European scientists spearheaded a task force to determine celiac disease prevalence and presentation. These efforts allowed for both a greater understanding and management of the disease. In the United States, very few medical doctors attempt to understand the disease or its wide-spread implications. Unless your endocrinologist or pathologist knows about celiac disease, the diagnosis could remain a mystery for years.

Acne: What Pimples Say about Your Digestion

Acne is embarrassing, painful, unattractive and seemingly unavoidable. All of us deal with pimples at some point in our lives, but why do some people have cases that last well into adulthood? Commercial treatments focus on skin cleanliness and unclogging pores. At first glance, this logic seems sensible. Perhaps some skin is more susceptible to dirt and oil than others. Or maybe those with acne are cleaning their face the wrong way. However, after jumping from one cleaning product to the next without any noticeable difference, it becomes obvious that acne is more than skin-deep.

The Commercial Approach to Acne is all Wrong

Acne develops from inside the body, not outside. Our skin is an organ of elimination, serving as a barrier to foreign invaders and a manner of secreting waste products. An excess of toxins in the body can lead to skin inflammation resulting in acne.

Why Antibiotics Help Temporarily

Acne is caused by inflamed and clogged acne pores that become infected. Often this infection is due to picking, popping or merely touching the sensitive area. Antibiotics treat the infection, but inevitably acne returns since toxins continue to exist in the body. Additionally, over-usage of antibiotics creates more resistant strains of acne.

Accutane: Effective and Dangerous

As recently as 2009, pharmaceuticals such as Accutane were used on patients whose acne did not improve with antibiotics. Accutane decreases the amount of oil produced by the skin's sebaceous (oil) glands, dries the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. Patients were advised to take two pills daily, and told there was no need to modify their diets. While most people reported astounding success with Accutane, the drug was recalled by the FDA. Serious and wide-spread injuries such as rectal bleeding, seizures, birth defects, liver damage, kidney damage and depression were all cited.

Remove the Source, Get Rid of Acne

Food allergies are the most common cause of acne. Repetitive consumption of an allergen leads to an immune system reaction. Inflamed skin, among other conditions, results. Many foods can cause acne, but the most common are dairy products. If you or a loved one suffers from acne, the best course of action is to check for food allergies.