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This article has been cross-posted from www.christinebailey.co.uk .

Your gut really is the gateway to good health. When your gut is dysfunctional it can result in a wide range of health conditions. One topic which is widely discussed in gastroenterology research as well as the field of immunology is ‘leaky gut’ or ‘intestinal permeability’. But what exactly is it?

The lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is composed of small epithelial cells that lie side-by-side each other forming tight junctions. These tight junctions act as a barrier between the interior of the body (blood/circulatory system) and the exterior of the body (the lumen of the GI tract). Under healthy conditions, our gut permits the absorption of vital nutrients from the gut lumen while presenting a barrier against the passage of harmful substances into the body.

A leaky gut arises when there is an increase in permeability of the intestinal mucosa that in turn leads to the increased absorption of intestinally derived endotoxins, antigens and inflammatory mediators. Gluten for example is known to cause the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break apart tight junctions in the intestinal lining. Other factors including infections, medications, toxins, stress and age can also cause these tight junctions to break apart. When the epithelial cells and junctions start to break down it allows the passage of toxins through and between the cells into the blood. These foreign molecules may include undigested food molecules, toxins or bacteria. As a result our immune system is activated to eliminate or destroy these unwelcome molecules. This activation of the immune system leads to an inflammatory response and can lead to a wide range of signs, symptoms and health conditions.

This can lead to long term health consequences. In fact increased gut permeability has been linked with symptoms far from the gut including autoimmune conditions, depression, arthritis, diabetes and other conditions in which a pro inflammatory state continues.

Healing a leaky gut is one of the most important things you can do to restore overall health and vitality and I discuss in detail how to do this in my new book: The Gut Health Diet Plan.

When the gut becomes damaged instead of being a source of nourishment it becomes the source and gateway of toxicity and inflammation. Research has shown that intestinal permeability is associated with a range of health conditions not just IBS type symptoms. For example systemic inflammation, allergic reactions such as eczema, asthma or hayfever and progression of autoimmune conditions. By restoring the health and function of the gut, you prevent potential invaders from passing into the bloodstream where they can evoke inflammation locally in your gut but also systemically throughout your body.

Signs of leaky gut include:

  • IBS symptoms: bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhoea
  • Asthma, eczema, seasonal allergies
  • Hormonal imbalances, PMS
  • Autoimmune conditions e.g coeliac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, hashimotos
  • Chronic fatigue / Fibromyalgia
  • Mood disorders, depression
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Food allergies
  • Inflammation in the body
  • Skin conditions e.g acne, psoriasis

Damage to the gut lining may occur for a variety of reasons including gut infections, sensitivity to certain foods (particularly gluten and dairy), oxidative damage, medications, stress, alcohol, smoking, nutritional deficiencies and poor diet. Therefore identifying key food triggers is also an important step in supporting long term healing. However healing the gut requires more than simple removal of known allergenic foods. It needs nourishment with nutrient dense and specific healing foods – this is why I have written the Gut Health Book to provide you with delicious, nourishing recipes to restore gut health.

GutHealingDietPlan_final

Christine Bailey
The Gut Health Diet Plan
It will be published in 2016. Pre order your copy on Amazon.

 

 

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by Christine Bailey

This article has been cross-posted from www.christinebailey.co.uk.

Need some help to nurse that hangover? Here are some top foods to get you feeling better.

With the party season ahead it can be easy to get carried away with cocktails and celebratory drinks. So if you’ve overdone the alcohol – here’s what to do

Before you got to bed. Up your intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a valuable nutrient to help your liver detoxify alcohol. At the end of the party drink at least 2-3 glasses of water or coconut water as your body will be dehydrated then before you go to bed take 1g of vitamin C and 5g of glutamine powder to help stabilize sugar levels and repeat this in the morning before you tackle breakfast.

The following day aim to snack regularly if you cannot face meals in order to stabilise blood sugar and replenish depleted nutrients. Even though you may feel extremely tired and a cup of coffee seems like the best way to wake you up, try to stay away from it. Caffeine will only dehydrate you more, and since it’s also a diuretic, it will not help your stomach. Milk and other dairy products are also not a good idea; they may make you feel more queasy.

Instead try and include some of the following foods.

Banana – Excessive alcohol can diminish carbohydrate levels and deplete magnesium and B vitamins. Bananas are useful source of B6, potassium, magnesium and quick releasing carbs to perk you up. To help balance your blood sugar try banana topped on oat cakes, which are a great source of slow releasing carbohydrate and soluble fibre to boost flagging energy levels.

Coconut water It’s not so much the alcohol that leads to hangover symptoms but some of the chemicals the alcohol is metabolized into such as acetaldehyde. Alcohol is also a diuretic so a night out on the town can lead to dehydration further exacerbating that throbbing head the morning after. Coconut water is a great hydrating drink – rich in electrolytes sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which are depleted after a night of drinking. So before you go to bed have a couple of glasses of coconut water to support detoxification.

Eggs. Eggs contains an amino acid called N acetyl cysteine one of the building blocks of a potent antioxidant called glutathione which is important in ridding the body of the toxins from alcohol. Protein will also help support energy levels through the morning. So the morning after if you can face it have a couple of scrambled eggs with veggies for a breakfast energy boost

Berries & Citrus Fruits. Not only does alcohol deplete your body of nutrients particularly vitamin C, A and B vitamins it can also lead to bnW1TuTV2YGcoh1HyWNQ_IMG_0207low blood sugar levels, which may leave you feeling weak and shaky. Counter this by snacking on a bowl of berries or an orange. A great source of natural sugars to boost energy levels and plenty of vitamin C an essential antioxidant to protect your body from the damaging effects of alcohol. These fruits also contain a range of energy boosting B vitamins and vitamin A to replenish depleted levels. You can also add a scoop of ProBerry Amla to perk you up quickly too.

Watermelon. Like berries watermelon is a fabulous source of potent antioxidants including carotenoids. It is also packed with water to boost hydration. Watermelon is high in many essential nutrients that can be depleted by alcohol, including vitamin C, B-vitamins and magnesium.

Ginger. Hangovers are often accompanied by an upset stomach. If you feel a little queasy try sipping some ginger tea or cordial. Ginger’s root contains chemicals called gingerols and shogaols. These chemicals relax the intestinal tract, preventing motion sickness and relieving the nausea and colicky stomach cramps. You could suck on a ginger sweet or munch a little crystallised ginger. The sugar it contains also helps to bring up your blood sugar levels, which can crash following a night of alcohol.

Supergreens. An effective way to support detoxification pathways is to add a spoonful of green superfood powder to a morning protein smoothie. Choose a blended powder, wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella or moringa to give your liver additional support. Here’s a favourite of mine

Baked potato. Rich in vitamin B6 plus potassium (eat the skin as well). These are an ideal choice if you want to keep meals bland to prevent nausea and sickness

Oats. Another good source of B vitamins and magnesium needed to perk up energy levels. Oats can also help stabilise blood sugar levels too which can be out of balance after a drinking session.

Supercharged Juices Smoothies low resolution _UK_PB_CMYK

Christine Bailey
The Supercharged Green Juice & Smoothie Diet
Available in January 2016.
Preorder from Amazon now.

 

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by Christine Bailey

1-Blue Guava & Tropics Blend

Blue Guava & Tropics Blend

We are all too well aware of the importance of vegetables in our diet. Packed with an array of nutrients, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals these are nature’s life enhancing foods. Virtually every health authority recommends that we increase our intake of vegetables yet most of us fail to achieve even frequently quoted ‘five a day’. If you’re striving to lose weight or looking to bring true nourishment to enhance your beauty, brain, body and spirit then its time to embraced supercharged green smoothies.

Wherever you are along your path to good health one of the easiest ways to transform your health is to kick start the day with a green smoothie. But what exactly is a green smoothie?

Typically a green smoothie are composed of around 70-80% green vegetables with 20-30% fruits blended with a liquid such as water, nut milks, herbal teas or fermented drinks like kefir and kombucha. You can then supercharge it with the addition of a superfood or a protein powder to further support your health goals.

I absolutely love drinking green smoothies. They are incredibly nutrient dense and like a glass of liquid nectar to rejuvenate and sustain the body. Green Smoothies are also one of the best ways to give yourself a natural energy boost without resorting to stimulants like coffee. Within minutes it will start to revitalize your energy levels and nourish your body at the cellular level.

Here are some more reasons why I love green smoothies:

  • They are a great way to naturally boost your energy making them perfect in the morning or at that afternoon slump.
  • They are packed with antioxidants and nutrients to support health, aid detoxification and protect the body from disease.
  • They are the ultimate fast food – taking minutes to make which means they are perfect when you’re in a rush.
  • Easy to digest, they provide soluble and insoluble fibre to support bowel health and provide a slower release of energy.
2-Ginger Green Combo Splash

Ginger Green Combo

If you cannot face eating platefuls of vegetables then blending them in a delicious drink may be your answer. The blending process breaks the fibre apart which makes the fruit and vegetables easier to digest. Being full of fibre you will also find them very filling and satisfying and by helping to support blood sugar levels they can help you avoid reaching for pick me up snacks later in the day.

If you start incorporating green smoothies in your diet daily you will soon feel the benefits from the inside out. Your skin will become more radiant, energy levels will soar and you will begin to think clearer. Your body will experience deep nourishment and enable you to feel vibrant and alert. If you need to shape up they are an effective tool for healthy weight loss.

Making a green smoothie is simple – select your liquid, add 2 cups of green vegetables and then add in ½ 1- cup fruit. Frozen fruit gives the smoothie a wonderful creamy texture and is also very quick and convenient. Then add in 2-3 of your favourite superfoods – this may be nuts, seeds, protein powder, spices, herbs, oils, superfood powders or blended powders.

For liquid options choose from a selection like water, coconut water, milk or nut milks, kefir, kombucha, herbal teas and green tea.

Greens can be anything you have to hand. Darker leafy greens are particularly nourishing. Examples include kale, spinach, cabbage, spring greens, parsley, watercress, rocket, chard, coriander, mixed lettuce leaves, romaine, collards, celery, cucumber, broccoli, pak choy etc.

For fruit the aim is to keep the amount as low as possible to avoid upsetting blood sugar levels. So as you get used to smoothies try and decrease your intake. Use fresh or frozen fruits such as banana, pear, apple, berries, and cherries citrus, avocado, mango, pineapple, kiwi fruit.

There are loads of superfood options: protein powders, green superfoods (spirulina, chlorella, moringa, wheatgrass, barley grass), chia seed, flaxseed, hemp, nuts, nut butter, coconut oil, omega blended oils, cacao, maca, lucuma, vanilla, cinnamon, acai and goji berry powder, goji berries, baobab powder, matcha green tea, mushroom powders, herbal powders.

Storing Smoothies. Ideally consume your smoothies immediately after making. This is because they are perishable. However you can store them for up to 24 hours without too much loss of nutrients. This is particularly helpful if you are taking your drinks with you to work or want to make up a batch in the morning for the rest of the day. The best way to store your drinks is to put them in a glass jar (BPA-free plastic works too) with an airtight lid and fill it to the very top. This reduces the oxidation and loss of nutrients. Immediately store it in the fridge and consume it when you are ready.

Simply adding one green smoothie a day can transform your health, helping you feel vibrant and radiant with a new fresh healthy outlook to life.

Supercharged Juices Smoothies low resolution _UK_PB_CMYK

 

Christine Bailey
The Supercharged Green Juice & Smoothie Diet
Available in January 2016.
Preorder from Amazon now.

 

 

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by Christine Bailey

Choosing your juices
The Juice for Life programme means including a freshly made juice or smoothie every day.
Try to make sure that over the course of every week, you drink juices in a rainbow of colours. You might enjoy the red or orange juices best, but make sure you get in a good few green juices, too, as these support your liver’s cleansing work (which helps fight cellulite and fat). If you have specific health goals, feel free to include juices from the Beauty, Power and Immunity chapters, too.

Getting started
Here you can find three recipes to get started. Don’t forget to incorporate a cleansing treatment every other week (or more often if you can manage it), to give a boost to your efforts, and incorporate a regular exercise routine, too. Twice a week, do 30 minutes’ resistance or weight training; and three or four times a week, do 30 minutes’ cardiovascular exercise that makes you slightly breathless.

Creamy Cacao Nut Shake
This indulgent-tasting smoothie bursts with nutrients to keep you energized throughout the day and makes a perfect replacement for breakfast. The nuts give the shake a high protein content, which balances your blood-sugar levels, keeping your mind alert and in focus.

Ingredients: 200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup almond milk • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs or powder • ½ small banana, peeled • ½ tsp vanilla extract • 1 tsp agave nectar • a pinch cinnamon, to serve
Process all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Serve sprinkled with the cinnamon.

Health Benefits
Raw cacao is unprocessed and unheated, and so contains far more antioxidants than processed cocoa, and more than even most fruits and vegetables. It is particularly rich in magnesium (which you need for muscle function and relaxation) and arginine, an amino acid that helps maintain muscle mass. It is also packed with the amino acids tryptophan and phenylethylamine, which can boost mood.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 181kcal • Protein 3.8g • Carbohydrates 28g [of which sugars 11.6g] • Fat 9.2g

Goji Burst
This juice is the perfect combination of quick energy fix and long-lasting power drink. A creamy, dairy-free smoothie, it is packed with antioxidants, B-vitamins and plenty of protein to combat fatigue. Serve it as a quick breakfast shake or a mid-morning snack.
Ingredients: 15g/½oz dried goji berries • 1 orange, peeled • ½ sharon fruit • ½ tbsp almonds • 40g/1½oz raspberries • ½ small banana

Soak the goji berries in 170ml/5½fl oz/²/3 cup water for 15 minutes. Juice the orange. Put the juice and the remaining ingredients, including the soaking liquid, into a blender and process until smooth.

Health Benefits
Goji berries contain all the essential amino acids (those we have to derive from food), as well as numerous trace minerals, including zinc, iron, calcium and selenium for immune health and energy production. Weight for weight, they have more beta-carotene than carrots.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 210kcal • Protein 6.3g • Carbohydrates 41.6g [of which sugars 25.2g] • Fat 4.6g

Green Tea Cocktail
Powerfully cleansing and protective, this juice will fire up your body for the day and speed up its elimination of toxins. Drinking green tea has been shown to stimulate metabolism and your body’s ability to burn fat – this means that less fat is stored around your midriff. It is delicious drunk warm or cold.
Ingredients: 3 apples • 1 lemon, peeled • 1cm/½in ginger root, peeled • 150ml/5fl oz/scant ²⁄³ cup green tea, warm or cooled
Juice the apples, lemon and ginger. Stir the juice into the green tea.

Health Benefits
Green tea contains health-boosting antioxidants, including flavonoids and catechins, which can help support heart health and may protect against cancer. Its tannin content is good for digestive complaints, while the theanine in green tea can help alleviate stress and improve mental alertness. The ginger in this juice aids circulation and digestive health.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 101kcal • Protein 1.3g • Carbohydrates 24.7g [of which sugars 23.5g] • Fat 0.3g

JuiceDiet-e13544766995011

 

Christine Bailey
The Juice Diet
£10.99

 

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9781848992269Nourish Books: What is a super charged juice?

Christine Baily: That’s a very good question. The reason that we’ve chosen to do super charged juices and smoothies is because for a lot of people a juice is a great start to the day, it’s a great way of getting extra nutrients in, but a lot of people these days, even by doing smoothies and juices, will still be low in essential nutrients. We know that from a lot of the government surveys, and certainly as a practitioner myself I see that in the clinic a lot. The reason for doing what I call “super charged juices” is to just take that juice or that smoothie up to a whole new level with nutrient packed health boosting ingredients.

What I mean by that is that there are some foods that we term “super foods”; that’s a word that’s been used a lot, in fact, over used. What I mean by a “super food” is it’s one that is natural, it contains an exceptionally high nutrient density, and it also contains a lot of extra benefits, so it may well contain what we call plant nutrients or phytonutrients. It may contain a whole wealth of antioxidants as well.

But often they have extra special properties. I’ll give you an example: one of my favorites and one that I suppose a lot of people probably do know is Maca, which often comes as a powder form. The Maca is a traditional food that’s used in Peru, it comes from a tuber that almost looks a bit like a tulip, and it’s known as something called an adrenal adaptogen.

What that means is that when we’re stressed, whether we’re very low in energy or almost quite hyper, this food has an ability to help our body become more resilient to the stress that we’re under, and it works at the actual brain level at the hypothalamus, without getting too complicated, and it can actually help our body adapt to the stress that we’re under.

Now, hey, who isn’t under stress these days? And actually just a small amount, less than a teaspoon of Maca, can have quite profound benefits to our energy levels, from coping with fatigue to helping with hormonal balancing. We can’t do that from just adding some vegetables and fruits – it’s just not possible.

The “super charged” element is to pick key foods that we know from the research have particular health benefits, and they’re packed as well with a wide range of nutrients to support overall health, taking a juice or a smoothie to completely new levels and, therefore, you’re going to get much more benefit than you would otherwise.

Nourish Books: That sounds fantastic. This book came about because you recognized that simple juices, un‑supplemented juices, don’t have all the requirements health-wise that you recommend as a nutritionist?

Christine: Absolutely, right, John. And I’m trained in functional medicine, and what we do is look at individuals; we look at their health history, we look at their signs and symptoms and we look at where there’re imbalances in their body, and quite often, we find them.

We may find that people’s digestive system is not working appropriately. They may have hormonal imbalances, they may have adrenal fatigue, they may have a thyroid issue, they may have high toxicity and their liver function isn’t working as well. And simply adding a juice or smoothie, yes, it’s going to help you, if you get the ingredients right and you keep the sugar down, of course, but it probably won’t be enough. And a lot of people don’t necessarily want to resort to supplements or have endless pills that they’re having to take every day – they want a natural way of doing it. This is where the super charged juices and smoothies started coming in.

I participate in national shows all over the country. I work with doctors here, I work with practitioners and I work with the public. We started playing around with adding certain key ingredients for people who needed something in particular, for example, we know collagen weighs in protein, which is readily available in powder form. We know how good that is for bones; we know how good that is for connective tissue, for joints, for skin, for hair, for anti-aging and for the gut. And simply adding those foods into those juices can help to readdress those imbalances in people’s body and bring them to a state of health where their body in itself can start working at a more optimal level – that’s how it all came about.

Nourish Books: It’s better to drink your supplements than to pop a pill?

Christine: Well it can be, and a lot of people don’t want to. I suppose the other thing is they don’t want to take the pills. Because I’m using foods and this is a key important thing, so I might add something like the Maringa leaves or we might add little SIE or goji or something like that. We’re using the whole food here, and that whole food has all the nutrient in it, all the vital chemicals, and all the antioxidants.

Taking an artificial supplement may just be one element. It doesn’t have all the other phytonutrients that that plant, that berry or that seed has. And they have them for a reason and they work in synergy with each other, so by having the whole food rather than just an extract can actually have a lot more profound benefit to your overall health.

And for example, I work with a lot of children and they can’t swallow pills and they don’t want to, if you can sneak it into a creamy delicious fulfilling smoothie, hey, which kid is not going to like that.

Nourish Books: I don’t know any.

Christine: I have three boys as well, as you know John, and they’re my guinea pigs. They love using my Vitamix, they love using the Nutribullet, they love using mangisa and I just let them go for it. And so I know that every juice has been tried and tested hundreds of times with these kids and many other children, because I run a lot of hands on days for children and they love them – absolutely love them.

They don’t know that it might be particularly good for their brain and they don’t really care. The mom might care and the father might care – they just know it tastes good.

Nourish Books: That’s so important. You mentioned that your process of developing recipes involves your family; tell me a little bit more about that?

Christine: Yeah, it always has to, because everyone’s taste is slightly different of course. But I’ll just share something with you: I’ve got three boys; one is a teenager the others are ten. And one of my twins actually has an autoimmune disease, which means that I’ve been very careful to find out what the potential triggers are and we’ve managed to completely heal him through changing his diet, through foods and through nourishing him.

And for me it’s always been fundamental that whatever I give my children, because I love them so much, I want to nourish them, and I want to build them up. But I want it to be fun, I want it to taste good, I want them to enjoy foods and enjoy real un-processed food.

One of the ways of doing that is just get them involved in whatever I do, so if I’m developing a recipe, whether it’s for a book or a company, or I’m in the middle of writing a new course for people, I’ll get them to help out in the kitchen but also absolutely taste everything.

And they love it and I think one of the ways we can help our own children to develop a healthy lifestyle is to fundamentally learn how to cook, and understand how ingredients go together and how you would balance a plate. I think that’s just fundamental, so they’re all involved.

I do a lot of national shows and events here, we do a lot of filming here, and they would be in the background being my sous chefs; they’ll be handing out samples to the public – they absolutely love it and it’s the right experience for them for life.

Nourish Books: Sounds fantastic, I can’t wait to try some of these new juices, Christine, thank you so much.

Christine: I want you to try the chocolate smoothie with cauliflower. That is such an amazing combination that you wouldn’t think would work but it does. It tastes great and if your kids don’t like any vegetables, try it: it’s brilliant.

Nourish Books: And they don’t know there’s cauliflower in there?

Christine: (laughing) Not a chance. And of course, the benefits of a lot of these recipes are they’re simple to do. You don’t need to be a chef; you don’t need a degree in nutrition. I’ve done a little hard work for everyone. I have looked at all the ingredients and I’ve put them together for a reason.

That’s also why you’ll see in the book that we’ve actually labeled them, so we’ve said, “These we’ve selected particularly for MG, these we’ve selected for immune health, brain health, or stress, or if you just want to have more radiance; your skin, your hair, or your nails.” And hey, who doesn’t want that ‑‑ better than Botox or weight loss.

I’ve done the hard work for you and it is all nutritionally analyzed as well, so if you’re following a particular diet plan and you want to track fat, curbs, proteins or calories, that’s all done for you as well. It’s easy to follow, and we even give you a simple three‑day plan as well, if you want to just kick start your new year or a new healthy regime. It’s an easy book to pick up, follow and just reap the benefits of.

Nourish Books: Thank you so much. This has been informative. I very much appreciate it.

Christine: Lovely to speak to you John.