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Functional Medicine®

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Functional Medicine Explained
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Gut health is more important than most realize. The gut has been connected to multiple symptoms including but not limited to; joint pain, inflammation, headaches, digestive problems, and even brain fog.

Due to the American Diet, gut health has been lacking. We are seeing an increase in starches consumed rather than fermented foods and dark leafy greens. There are certain foods that many people refer to as “Super Foods”. Within this group, there are Super Foods for your gut! These foods will help to optimize gut health and can even help in gut repair.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are great as they support a healthy microbiome. The microbiome is made up of trillions of microorganisms. The microbiome consists of good and bad bacteria, including the organisms that make up probiotics.

Some of the best fermented foods that help support these bacterias are Kefir, yogurt, and sauerkraut. Kefir has about 27.7 billion colony forming units per one cup. These foods help to collect bacteria, yeast, and viruses that not only live in your gut but also on your skin!

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are important to have in the diet. They ensure the body is getting Omega-3s which are polyunsaturated fats. These fats help the brain and nervous system function properly. They also reduce inflammation in the body caused by a leaky gut and can help lower cholesterol.  Two great examples of healthy fats that fall into the superfood category are avocados and salmon.

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens provide an immense amount of nutrients to the body and the gut. Not only are these low in calories and carbohydrates, but they contain essential minerals and vitamins. These foods contain fiber, folate, vitamins K and C, and minerals like iron and calcium. These foods will help to heal and seal the gut. Some great superfoods that fall under this category are kale and seaweed.

It can be hard to get enough dark leafy greens into your diet. A great way to do this is to mix them into a smoothie in the morning! It can add a refreshing taste as well as provide your body with another serving of nutrients!

There are so many foods one can eat to help boost their gut health. The Gut is often overlooked as many people are not fully aware of how much control it has over the body. By increasing or adding some of these foods into your diet daily, the healthy bacteria in your gut will become more nourished.

Increasing fiber, healthy fats, dark leafy greens, and fermented foods will not only provide your gut with healthy bacteria, but it will also keep the bacteria in the gut “full” and not die off from lack of nutrition. Another word for this is prebiotics. Essentially, the food that feeds the probiotics. In addition to these foods, a probiotic supplement will also aid in optimal gut health. Gut health is so important and should never be overlooked. It’s never too late to start paying attention to your gut! – Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

References:
Hill, Ansley. “16 Superfoods That Are Worthy of the Title.” Healthline, 9 July 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/true-superfoods.
Lee, Linda. “5 Foods to Improve Your Digestion.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2019, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-foods-to-improve-your-digestion.
Link, Rachael. “8 Fermented Foods to Boost Digestion and Health.” Healthline, 18 Oct. 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-fermented-foods.
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