How to Support Your Gut While Pregnant

How to Support Your Gut While Pregnant
When you are pregnant your body is experiencing some crazy changes; from hormones, physical changes, metabolic changes… the list goes on! One you might not know about or even think about is actually your gut health!

Gut health is so important to be mindful of while you are pregnant and yet it isn’t talked about enough, so that’s why I’m here! Having a healthy gut while you're pregnant is important because it aids in the absorption of nutrients essential for a healthy environment for baby. It also has been shown to impact gestational diabetes and preeclampsia too! (something you're often not told about!)

So let’s talk about how can you support your gut health while pregnant to stay healthy and feeling good (which is always our #1 goal!).

Without getting too “science-y,” butyrate is a fatty acid that is produced through microbial fermentation of dietary fibers in the lower intestinal tract. This fatty acid is important because it feeds the cells lining the colon, promotes a healthy gut barrier, and prevents “leaky gut.” This powerhouse does A LOT of different things in your gut, but especially for pregnant women. It lowers the maternal blood pressure during pregnancy and is the main source of energy for cells building the intestinal epithelium as well as helps support the immune system.

Thankfully, there are foods available to you that contain butyrate naturally! These include hard cheeses (think Parmesan and pecorino), butter, full-fat yogurt, and fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, pickles, and tempeh. Nourishing your body with these different foods allows your gut microbiome to supercharge the production of butyrate.

Join the waitlist HERE to gain access to my pregnancy guide when it launches; packed with recipes, resources and ways to support your body and feel good during pregnancy!

Importance of Good Bacteria in Your Gut

Importance of Good Bacteria in Your Gut
Your gut impacts so much of your health and unless you’re taking deep dives into the health world you might not know too much about it. 

The other week I asked folks whether or not they knew that different probiotic strains impact different health conditions- some did and some didn’t so we’re going in! 😜 

Although the research is still ongoing, during my masters degree, I found learning about these strains/conditions fascinating!

Different strains impact different conditions IBS, MS, Celiac, constipation, diarrhea... the list goes on! and strains like Lactobacillus casei Shirota, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus.

One that really fascinates me - Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic yeast, in individuals with MS. The results? A remarkable decrease in inflammation and significant improvements in pain, fatigue, and overall quality of life. Probiotics clearly can make a big difference for people, in a lot of different ways and so many people aren't told about any of it! 

Although you can get a high quality probiotic (and in general should) there are also a lot of different foods that contain these too! 👇

✨Saccharomyces boulardii: mangosteen and lychee - this one is mostly consumed through a probiotic since these two fruits aren't so common in most of our diets!

✨Lactobacillus casei Shirota: some yogurts, yogurt-like fermented milk, sauerkraut and certain cheeses.

✨Bifidobacterium lactis: Yoghurt and milk products AND foods rich in fiber, such as apples, dates, lentils, blueberries, and broccoli, can all help your Bifidobacterium thrive, so including these in your diet can sometimes be helpful too! 

✨Lactobacillus acidophilus: One of the most common types of probiotics and can be found in fermented foods (get my gut freebie to check out a great list!) 

 So I could go on and on and on about how particular strains impact a TON of different conditions, especially autoimmune, but I'll just leave that for another day 😜

Click HERE to grab my FREEBIE to learn more about these strains and foods to support them!

"Fat Free Era" PTSD

"Fat Free Era" PTSD
Anyone else have PTSD from the fat free era of the 90s? That word used to be a bad, dirty word!It was like, the more fat free crap you can have, the better!- as that’s what made you skinny right? We used to believe that anything containing “fat” was bad and didn’t differentiate between good versus bad fats; it was all the same!

Thankfully as time has gone on many of us have realized that fat is actually super important! Not only are there some really beneficial aspects around certain fats, but they also help us absorb fat soluble vitamins like A,D, E and K. Omega 3 fatty acids help the body (and therefore the gut) as they’re often anti-inflammatory which our body and gut can also use! There is also evidence that getting enough good fats in the diet can actually help maintain the lining of the gut too. This lining plays a crucial role in numerous metabolic functions, including maintenance of the gut microbiome, absorption of nutrients and immune function. In the gut’s lymphatic system we have what are called lacteals that are responsible for absorbing dietary fats and those vitamins.

Bottom line, fat isn’t the demon we might have always thought it was and healthy fats are actually really beneficial and necessary for our body’s functions.

If that’s the case then, what are some healthy sources of fat that we should be consuming? Things like fatty fish, olive oil, chia/flax seeds, eggs, avocado and nuts. When it comes to food though, a lot of different factors can come into play. It’s important to focus on the source of where the food is coming from and to purchase high quality products when we can. We love visiting a local farmer’s market because we know exactly where the product came from then and we’re supporting our local farmers!

Contrary to belief though, vegetable oil is one that we should actually avoid if we can! I share more about this in my Gut Health Made Easy Guide that you can grab HERE. It’s packed with information to support your gut health and recipes to make meal planning easy!

Sweet Potato Nachos

Sweet Potato Nachos
You can never go wrong with Nachos! These are so delicious, addictive and make a perfect snack or meal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sweet Potato
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 ozs Chicken Breast (or a vegetarian alternative like tofu or tempeh)
  • 2 Avocado (peeled and mashed)
  • 1/2 Mango (peeled and diced)
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion (finely diced)
  • 2 Lime (juiced)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF (191ºC) and line 2 to 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Season your chicken breast with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. Cut sweet potato into rounds as thinly as possible. Try to be consistent with how thin you slice them so they bake evenly.
  4. In a mixing bowl, toss the sweet potato rounds with olive oil and sea salt.
  5. Place the chicken and sweet potato rounds across the baking sheets in a single layer and bake for approximately 30 minutes in the oven. Flip the sweet potato rounds about halfway through, depending on the thickness or until golden brown. Remove from oven.
  6. While your chicken and sweet potato chips cook, assemble the guac by combining avocado, mango, red onion, lime juice and sea salt. Mix and mash with a fork until creamy. Store in fridge until ready to eat.
  7. Assemble a layer of baked sweet potato chips and top with shredded chicken and guac. Enjoy!


Keeping Your Gut Happy & Healthy

Keeping Your Gut Happy & Healthy
Your gut plays a bigger role in your health than you think....

The lymphatic system is a really important aspect of our body that frankly most of us don’t learn very much about. I remember some aspects in anatomy and physiology, but honestly very little. It wasn’t talked about nearly as much as it should have been (although I suppose it could be an entire semester + long class lol)

In terms of gut health there are many different factors related to the lymphatic system 👇

 Immune Response in the Gut:

Lymphatic vessels in the gut, known as lacteals, absorb dietary fats, fat-soluble vitamins, and other nutrients. This process is essential for nutrient absorption and overall health.

Transport of Immune Cells:

The gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) is a significant component of the lymphatic system in the gastrointestinal tract. It includes lymph nodes, tonsils, and Peyer's patches, which are crucial for the immune response in the gut. Immune cells within the GALT help monitor and respond to potential threats, such as pathogens in the digestive system.

Drainage of Interstitial Fluid:

Lymphatic vessels in the gut play a role in draining excess interstitial fluid from the tissues. This helps maintain fluid balance and prevent swelling or edema in the gut and surrounding areas.

Absorption of Dietary Fats:

Lacteals in the gut's lymphatic system are responsible for absorbing dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the intestines. This process is essential for lipid metabolism and overall nutritional health.

Keeping your gut happy and healthy is crucial in allowing your lymphatic system to do its job properly. Everything in our body works together to serve its purpose and help us feel our best. Whenever a client is feeling out of alignment, the first thing we talk about is their gut health!

Grab my Gut Healthy Made Easy guide here for some info on how to start taking care of your gut!

 
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