• Christiane Panesar

4 Key Components of a Healthy Body & Mind

I absolutely believe in the power of educating ourselves and being proactive in order to stay healthy. Our body is highly intelligent and capable. We can support it with the an inner and outer environment that will allow it to function optimally (BIOHACKING).

Nutrition coaching
Nutrition and Lifestyle Consulting

In this article I would like to talk about 4 Key Components that are crucial to keep our body & mind healthy or to enable quick recovery. 1. BALANCED MICROFLORA You’ve probably heard me talking about this many times before… And I won’t be quiet about it :) It’s simply too important: Most of us are not getting enough viable probiotics (PRO-LIFE) to the right location in the body. Okay, what are probiotics again and what is the ‘right location’? Probiotics means FOR LIFE such as antibiotics mean AGAINST LIFE. Probiotics are our allies, that fight for us against some bad fellows, so called 'opportunistic' bacteria. It's usually okay to have a small amount of opportunistic bacteria (such as candida) in our system, but our microflora needs to be in healthy balance; that means we need way more of our good friends than of the opportunistic bacteria that take advantage of us, like steal our nutrients, produce toxic byproducts, and use our body as their hotel. So, where do we get good bacteria from? We can get them from RAW FERMENTED foods. Yes, you are probably guessing right: I’m talking about sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, apple cider vinegar, etc. And raw fermented means: UNPASTEURIZED. This is crucial, because when those foods get pasteurized, the probiotics get destroyed. It is also important to make sure the fermented foods don’t contain any added sugar, white vinegar, or table salt, as those are counterproductive when we are trying to establish a healthy gut. In addition, I recommend supplementing with a High Quality Probiotic. And yes, it matters what kind you’re taking. If we compare probiotics with dogs, then would you rather be protected by a chihuahua or by a wolf dog? And unfortunately many products are a waste of money as the probiotics are not viable any more or the good bacteria are not fit to reach the LARGE INTESTINE - and that is where they should be. That means our little friends have to make it successfully through the stomach acid as well as through the small intestine where a way to large number of probiotics often gets dumped (SIBO). Therefore I recommend using probiotics that are embedded in a protective system.

Also, we cannot just “throw a whole bunch of yuppies into bad neighbourhood and expect they are not getting beaten up” LOL (quoting herbalist Yarrow Willard). So, we need to clean up the environment and equip the probiotics well. If we feed them properly, they will become strong and do well. Sugar is the favorite food of opportunistic bacteria (that’s why we are craving sugar when our microflora is out of balance). Vegetables feed the good bacteria and makes them thrive. Did you know that our taste buds often change the healthier our digestive system becomes? That's why the Probiotics that I recommend contain a 'lunch box' for our dear allies: so called PRE-biotics (galacto-oligosaccharides). You won't regret taking care of your gut health... there are more and more studies coming out about what kind of conditions are linked to an unhealthy microflora, from obesity to immune disorders, autism, depression etc. etc.

Benefits of probiotics include:
  • Help digestion and absorption

  • Lower inflammation

  • Improve immune function

  • Are beneficial for our skin

  • Support gut-brain health

  • Promote detox

  • May aid in weight loss

  • Have a positive effect on diabetes

2. OXIDATIVE STRESS DEFENSES This is another term that you might have heard me talking about a lot... it’s absolutely crucial to the health of all our cells and therefore to our whole body: reducing oxidative stress. So, what is that exactly? When you cut an apple and leave it for a few minutes, you notice a brown discolouration. That is oxidation, a reaction with oxygen. Oxygen is interestingly a life giving as much as a life destructive element. A certain amount of oxidation is normal and it’s part of regular aging. The problem is, when there is too much oxidation too quickly and our body’s defence mechanisms get overwhelmed. It’s like when our car starts to rust: once it starts, it can’t be stopped, it’s like a disease.

"Oxidative stress is a phenomenon caused by an imbalance between production and accumulation of oxygen reactive species (ROS) in cells and tissues and the ability of a biological system to detoxify these reactive products."

Oxidative stress has been linked to inflammation and numerous chronic and degenerative diseases such as cancer, , cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, respiratory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and kidney disease.* It makes sense to stop the problem right where it starts, before it goes into the typical snowball effect which is: A free radical comes and steals an electron from a perfectly healthy molecule of a cell (and that could be any cell: gut, blood vessels, skin, eyes, liver etc.) to balance itself out. And guess what happens to the formerly intact molecule that an electron has been stolen from? Since it has an electron missing and is unstable, it becomes a free radical itself and will do the same thing to the next molecule of some healthy tissue. This goes on and on - snowball effect. The good news is that nature is already providing a solution to the problem: molecules that can donate an electron to another molecule without becoming a free radical themselves - ANTIOXIDANTS. So they help stop the oxidization! They help put out the anti-inflammatory fire and stop the rolling snowball. Okay, how can we get these antioxidants? We can eat them from food or supplements. A plant based diet (I'm not saying a vegetarian diet, just a diet that contains plenty of vegetable) provides an array of antioxidants. To name a few foods that are particularly high in the total antioxidant capacity (ORAC value): berries, green tea, kale, Swiss chard, cilantro, broccoli, pomegranate, cacao. 7 -10 servings of vegetables a day is a good amount to aim for. I know, that seems a lot and it can be quite the task to get there. Unfortunately our vegetables are not as nutrient rich as they once were. Our soils are depleted and the way vegetables are grown is quite different than a hundred years ago. Actually many people are deficient in crucial polyphenols (plant nutrients) such as antioxidants. That is a problem because of the previously mentioned importance of antioxidants in our diet. The depletion of our soils also causes a lack of important minerals which have many important functions in our body from cell communication, to bone density, to muscle function etc.

Again, nature is quite smart in a sense that it has an ingenious solution: Our body can actually make it's own powerful antioxidants (antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione and SOD). This pathway (Nrf2 pathway) is very powerful and fascinating.

"As a master regulator of antioxidative responses, the expression of Nrf2 is tightly regulated."+

It's reliant on a number of nutrients in order for it to work properly. We can provide that to our body by consuming a nutrient dense diet. If you need help, feel free to Contact Me Today and I'm happy to have a look at how we could optimize your diet. You can also help your body by adding high quality supplementation. Don't go for the cheap stuff, then I'd say rather save your money. You usually get what you pay for. If you are using clean products that adhere to a high standard, supplementation can be really useful. I hear from countless people that they are feeling so overwhelmed and so tired on a daily basis - too tired to dedicate energy to wholesome shopping and food making. They say they want to change their lifestyle and get healthier, but they need to feel better and have more energy first so that they can make a change... It's a vicious cycle!

I understand. On some days I can relate, as a mother of 2 little kids and juggling so many things in life. Therefore I have been researching for easy, efficient and wholesome solutions. I'm careful when selecting products to suggest in my practice and to give to my family; I choose only the ones which show highest integrity and noticeable success. If you're looking for an easy to incorporate shake to help you get the needed amount of nutrition into your day, because life is busy, here is what I can recommend:

Learn more about Plant-Based Full-Spectrum Meal or Whey-Based Full-Spectrum Meal

Holistic Nutrition
Balanced Diet

Why miss out on crucial nutrients, antioxidants, probiotics, enzymes, fibre, etc. and struggle on a daily basis, if you can get a jump-start into your lifestyle change and feel better immediately?

3. HEALTHY MITOCHONDRIA This is a topic you might have not heard as much about; however, it’s just as important as the previous two. Why am I talking about mitochondria and what are they anyways? They are the powerhouses of our cells. Mitochondria produce more than 90% of our body's energy. They are especially important for high-energy demanding organs such as the heart, the liver, the brain and muscles. Mitochondria can be damaged through oxidative stress for example. In fact, major conditions are linked to a deficiency of well-functioning mitochondria. Mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to be one of the primary causes of age-related decline, playing a significant role in neurological, muscular, cardiac and metabolic disorders. As we age, we lose more and more mitochondria - BUT there is no reason to despair: our super intelligent body can produce new ones! For that we need the right conditions though, right environment, right nutrients. A few tips on how to feed our mitochondria: a) Healthy fat intake. High quality fat is premium fuel for our body, gives us plenty of energy, keeps our blood sugar stable, and will bring us to our ideal weight. To mention a few amazing sources: coconut oil, avocados, olives, grass fed ghee, grass fed beef tallow, wild salmon, sardines, bone broth, chia, hemp, almonds, walnuts. Leave out ‘dirty’ fats such as canola oil, soy bean oil, hydrogenated fats as they inflame and stiffen our cell membranes, make us achy, tired, and dysfunctional.

b) Avoid sugar. If we’re eating too much sugar, our mitochondria can’t burn it fast enough for energy, so it winds up getting stored as fat and creating damaging free radicals. Sugar is a quick energy fix, but it’s a low quality fuel that doesn’t last long and actually robs our body energy and nutrients. Ongoing spikes and drops in blood sugar are extremely unhealthy and don’t feel good. You probably know the energetic and emotional rollercoaster when you start the day with the wrong breakfast and this sets off the rest of your day…

c) Add Concentrated Quality Superfoods to boost cellular energy, detox, and help with excess weight loss.

d) Exercise. When you exercise you actually make mitochondria and therefore you will gain more energy and many other health benefits! High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to especially efficient for mitochondria production. 4. The last point that I would like to talk about here is: SUBCONSCIOUS BELIEFS. Why is this important and what does this have to do with health? We could eat all the right foods, best supplements, and exercise daily and still not thrive. We all have underlying beliefs about ourselves and the world and we might not even be aware of them. It’s important that we implement dietary and other lifestyle changes out of a kindness for our body and ourselves - and not as a ‘punishment’ for having gone over the top.

While in many cases, it’s a matter of not having the knowledge of how to eat healthier, I find that very often people more or less know what they could do better, but they just can’t do it. So why is that? What’s holding us back?

Aside from a lack of time or energy, there can be even bigger obstacles. They are deeply rooted in form of patterns that are held together by subconscious beliefs. Coming at those patterns with hardness and ‘discipline’ usually just backfires. I believe that by gently inquiring with curiosity about why we’re holding on to these addictive patterns, and discovering their surprising function, we can soften their grip and find compassion with ourselves. From this place, genuine and long lasting change happens. In my practice I'm using a psychosomatic approach by Dr. Gabor Maté to guide my clients through a process of deep inner listening, to uncover self-sabotaging patterns and find kindness and non-judgment with themselves. If you feel pulled to learn more, please Get In Touch with me.

Studies 1. https://uaslabs.com/research/dds-1/ 2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165029/ 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908950/ 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6920858/ 5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29767727/ 6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4155824/ 7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7057033/ 8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5118970/ 9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4552000/ 10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6160870/ 11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5994577/ 12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5264483/ 13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145352/

14. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0898656811001458

15. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1535370213493069

16. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1567724912002553

17. *https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5551541/

18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5075620/

19. +https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5751370/

20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4145906/

21. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2019/7058350/

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