Tag: Sulfoquinovose

Dark Leafy Greens & Gut Health: What’s The Connection?

The fact that dark, leafy greens are healthy isn’t exactly headline, groundbreaking news. We all know they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. But what you may not realize is how the 7 leafy greens in Organic Green Drink may improve your gut microbiome, that tiny universe that’s home to your trillions of bacteria.

If you want to be happy and healthy, you have to make sure your gut microbiome is in top-top shape. So let’s learn exactly what consuming Green Drink does for your gut galaxy of bacteria.

This is Your Gut Bacteria On Green Drink

Eating or drinking dark, leafy greens doesn’t directly make you healthier. There’s a middleman involved. Trillions of them in fact. And when you feed the trillions of bacteria enough dark, leafy greens, they feast on a compound that makes us healthier.

To enjoy a balanced immune system, flawless skin, a positive mood and abundant energy, you need about 85% of the bacteria in your gut microbiome to be friendly strains. At that percentage, the 15% potentially harmful bacteria don’t stand a chance to overwhelm the good guys.

When you consume dark leafy greens, your friendly bacteria feast on an X-factor compound that helps them reproduce. It’s only by continuously feeding your good bacteria that the dark, evil forces in your gut—harmful bacteria—can never emerge victorious. Remember, gut health is everything. I’ve probably said that a million times over the years but I can’t emphasize this point enough.

You can pop all the vitamins and other supplements you want. But if you’re not feeding your friendly bacteria dark, leafy greens, they won’t be able to “make copies of themselves” or have microorganism babies, or however else you want to put it. The bottom line is that the friendly bacteria you do have can only go to work for you if you feed it the best stuff.

SQ For Gut Health

If you’ve been reading my articles over the years, I’ve probably scared you away from consuming sugar. But every single food with carbohydrates, fruits and veggies included, contains sugar. And some sugars are actually great for gut health. Dark, leafy greens contain a carbohydrate (sugar) called sulfoquinovose or SQ for short.

SQ is the only sugar molecule that contains sulfur and this is a very important fact. This is because sulfur is the 7th most abundant mineral in the body and many people don’t get enough of it. Now, it might not seem that 7th place is very important. After all, who remembers who came in 7th place in an Olympic race. But let me tell you why sulfur is important…

Your body needs sulfur to build and fix your genetic material (DNA). Every day and all day, your body is constantly trying to repair your DNA and protect your cells from damage that can lead to premature aging and chronic diseases. So you can think of sulfur as superfood for your DNA.

Without sulfur, you wouldn’t be able to metabolize your food or have healthy skin and joints. And when you consume leafy greens, you’re getting sulfur in the form of biotin (vitamin H; bet you didn’t know there was a vitamin H!). Biotin is made by your friendly gut bacteria! So eat lots of leafy greens to get your daily dose of sulfur.

Good Bacteria Love Protein, Too 

Who doesn’t love to sink their teeth into a tasty morsel of protein, whether it’s a carnivore tearing into a T-bone or the plant-based dieter enjoying tempeh tacos. Well, it turns out that our friendly bacteria love protein, too. They need amino acids just as much as we do. And it’s that X-factor compound, SQ, the sulfur-based sugar that produces amino acids for our good bacteria.

Some of the best sources of SQ include the 7 certified organic leafy greens in Organic Green Drink, which you can have delivered right to your front door. No wasting time on shopping, prep work and cleaning. Just drink it straight out of the bottle right into your gut, like superfuel for your friendly bacteria.

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Chef V’s 5 Easy Healthy Gut Makeover Tips

Have you ever heard the saying, “a healthy mind lives in a healthy body?” The way Chef V founder Veronica “V” Wheat sees it, a healthy mind exists because of a healthy gut. But it’s not just mental health that’s linked to gut health. The immune system, cardiovascular health, skin appearance, and, of course, how you look in a swimsuit is all controlled by the health of your gut. So V is here to offer 5 easy tips to boost gut health.

Healthy Gut Makeover Tip #1: Take It Easy On The Kombucha

When it comes to improving gut health, some people think all it takes is drinking some kombucha.

But as I mentioned here, many brands of kombucha are just glorified sugar water. The major selling point of kombucha is that it’s loaded with probiotics. Probiotics just so you know are clinically-proven strains of bacteria that may offer health benefits. (Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are two of the most common species of probiotics).

Forget the fact that the probiotic content in kombucha is hardly ever verified. So it’s hard to tell if you’re getting any of the friendly-bacteria boosting benefits of kombucha to begin with. Not to mention if you struggle with yeast infections, drinking kombucha is the last thing you want to do. That’s because chugging a whole bottle of it, as refreshingly bubbly as it may be, may cause harmful bacteria and yeast to grow in your gut.

So my first healthy gut makeover tip is don’t be fooled thinking that kombucha is a magical elixir. Instead, eat and drink other things that are fermented with beneficial bacteria that aren’t loaded with sugar like coconut yogurt, sauerkraut/kimchi, beet kvass, tempeh and miso.

#2: Probiotics

Popping probiotic pills might help improve gut health, then again it may not. Many brands of probiotics are low quality. So don’t buy the cheapest probiotic supplement you can find because you’ll just be throwing your money away.

The reason why is that in order to colonize in your large intestine (also called the colon), the friendly microorganisms have to travel through some dangerous territory: the stomach.

You can think of your stomach as a swimming pool filled with acid. Containing the lowest pH level in the digestive system, the stomach and its highly acidic juices help break the big bites of food you swallow into partially-digested morsels called chyme.

Chyme then passes into the small intestine where enzymes further break it down into amino acids and nutrients.

So the cards are stacked against probiotics surviving this harsh acidic environment. Only high-quality probiotics that are formulated to break down once they reach the relative safety of the intestines are worth paying for. But even if you splurge on a pricey probiotic, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to have the best gut makeover…

#3: No Added Sugar Diet

Taking a probiotic supplement and eating and drinking things with added sugars is like not flossing and expecting your dentist to tell you that your gums look great.

(By the way, you should be flossing every day because if you don’t, the unhealthy bacteria will take over in your mouth and possibly other organs—including your gut!)

Sure, taking a really good probiotic is better than not taking one and consuming lots of sugar. The problem is, you might think you’re not consuming that much added sugars because you don’t eat candy, drink soda or other typical junk foods. But food manufacturers are sneaky. They put added sugars into all kinds of things, from salad dressing to coffee creamer to salsa, pasta sauce, bread … you name it.

So start paying attention to food labels on every single item you purchase from a supermarket. This is especially true of anything that comes in a package or can.

Consuming sugar from natural sources like vegetables and fruit is fine. But added sugars are to your bad gut bacteria what gasoline is to a car. Excess sugar fuels the pathogenic, disease-causing invisible critters in your gut.

I’m a purist when it comes to this rule. If I even see that a product contains just one gram of added sugar, I won’t buy it.

#4: Take It Easy

Constantly being on the go is the American way. But that lifestyle is terrible for gut health. And remember, if it’s terrible for gut health, it’s bad for your overall health and wellness. There are a ton of research studies (like this one) that show a connection between excess bad stress and poor gut health. In order to have great gut health, your brain and gut need to have great communication, just like in a healthy marriage.

The problem with chronic stress is that it totally disrupts gut and central nervous system communication. And when that happens, your happy hormones and chemicals like serotonin won’t get activated.

Even if you have a super slammed schedule like yours truly, you must take the time to decompress from stress.

I like to take mini-meditation breaks. You can meditate even while you’re stuck in traffic. Instead of being annoyed that you didn’t make the light, take advantage of the situation by taking some slow deep breaths. Notice the plants and scenery around you. Don’t stare at the red light with nervous energy.

Do a 5-minute yoga routine a few times a day, take a walk during lunch. Knit, garden, do whatever it takes to chill out—in a healthy way.

#5: Sleep Like A Baby

Like the link between gut and brain communication, there’s been a lot of research lately on the association between sleep quality and gut health.

It’s easy to say get enough sleep but if you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of insomnia and poor sleep quality, what can be done?

I recommend meditating or doing deep, steady breathing at 9:00 at night for about 20 minutes. Then, take a warm bath with soothing, relaxing essential oils and bubble bath. You can also try drinking some chamomile tea and then get in bed with all electronics out of the room and your phone in airplane mode several feet away from you. If you’re still having trouble getting enough deep sleep after trying these tips, you may want to try a full-spectrum CBD oil or consult with a natural health professional.

Personally, I don’t think getting 8 hours of sleep is necessary. Not if you’re eating clean and drinking organic greens, managing your stress, getting plenty of movement activity during the day and having an attitude of gratitude.

I hope that these tips help you achieve a healthy gut makeover!

Love,

V

5 Reasons Dark Leafy Greens Are Awesome For Gut Health

How many times have you heard “FOLLOW THE SCIENCE” over the last two years? Well, there’s no debating that dark, leafy green veggies are some of the most health-promoting nutrient dense-foods on Earth. In this article, certified nutritional therapist, Veronica Wheat Kress, aka Chef V, lists 5 research-backed ways that dark leafy greens improve gut health. All disease starts in the gut. So make sure you’re taking care of your digestive system by consuming dark, leafy greens every day. Not getting enough greens? (DO THIS.)

I’m probably not rocking your world by telling you this news: dark, leafy green veggies are the best and most affordable superfoods on the planet. But what you probably didn’t know about my fave greens are how they specifically help improve gut health. So let’s dive right in. 

gut health

#1: Contains Sulfoquinovose

Last year, a team of researchers in Austria were the first ones to discover how bacteria in the gut process a sugar found in dark, leafy greens called sulfoquinovose. Nutritional hipsters like myself call it “SQ.” 

SQ contains sulfur. But it’s not the same as the rotten-egg sulfur smell you’re probably thinking of. And even though it’s a sugar, SQ doesn’t act in the gut the same way sugar does. Sugar—I’m talking about the kind in white table sugar packets—feeds a large number of different kinds of bacteria in the gut. But SQ only feeds certain bacterial species that are found in healthy people. 

And when these healthy bacteria digest SQ, an energy source for other friendly bacteria is formed. Evidently, your harmful bacteria don’t want to have anything to do with dark, leafy greens. 

So the more dark, leafy greens you consume, the more SQ your gut produces. This causes the good guys in your gut to multiply while kicking out the bad party guests. 

leafy greens

#2: Produces Short-Chain Fatty Acids

This kind of relates to SQ, but I’m about to get a little gross here. You see, when you consume dark, leafy greens, your body can’t digest some of the fiber. But your friendly bacteria can in your colon. And when the bacteria eats the fiber, it produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

SCFAs are basically the poop of your gut bacteria. You thought probiotics were vital for great gut health? Well, they are. But it’s actually the SCFAs that provide us with so many health benefits.

For instance, SFCAs act like fertilizer for the cells that line the mucous lining of the small intestinal barrier. This prevents your food from leaking out into the bloodstream.  

It’s pretty creepy to think that the more bacterial poop you have in your gut, the better your health. But it’s true. SCFAs improve communication with your cells. And when your cells are more communicative, your immune function, mood and other systems improve.

sore stomach

#3: Decreases Methane

For people with digestive problems like gas and bloating, there is usually more methane-producing bacteria in the gut. So if good bacteria poops short-chain fatty acids, harmful bacteria has stinky methane gas. 

Most of us only associate methane gas with cows. (Climate change has brought that to our attention.) But eating unhealthy food also causes the release of methane albeit internally in your gut. 

#4: Lowers Inflammation

Dark leafy greens contain another sulfur compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane and other antioxidants like quercetin (which has received a lot of attention over the last couple years because of a certain worldwide virus) are inflammation fighters. 

People with gut dysbiosis—too many harmful bacteria, not enough friendly ones—often have chronic inflammation in the bowel or elsewhere in the digestive tract.

By eating more dark, leafy greens, your body may develop with a more normal inflammatory response—including in the gut. 

#5: Contains Cellulose 

Like the walls that keep your home warm and cozy, plants have cell walls. These walls are made of sugar called cellulose. Because your digestive system can’t fully digest cellulose, it’s considered a fiber. Cellulose helps fertilize your good bacteria. It does this by increasing the amount of starch that gets fermented in the colon. This increases the amount of short-chain fatty acids (bacterial poop) that your good bacteria produce. 

Dark, leafy greens aren’t just reservoirs of awesome nutrient density. Yes, they are chock full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. But you could also say they are Mother Nature’s most awesome food for gut health. 

And if you’re not eating enough of them, here’s the perfect solution

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.