Did you know our health is ultimately determined by the state of our gut? I’ve touched on this before here on the blog but I can’t reiterate it enough how important it is and here’s why. For the better part of the last decade I’ve dealt with a rare kidney disease and chronic pain issues…and it’s still a constant battle daily. After being on pharmaceutical drugs for some many years I started to experience a laundry list of side effects, but what I found odd was that I started to develop new allergies and sensitivities to foods that never bothered me before. Immediate reactions to any foods that contained gluten, sugars, processed white flour, wheat, vinegar, dairy and nuts. So I had to say goodbye to desserts, carbs, chocolate of all kinds, peanut butter, and all the other great tasting foods I loved to eat (welp). Cue the tears. Traditional doctor’s zoned in to only the gluten issue which isn’t surprising and I took more than one celiac test, but I knew deep down there was another culprit for this drastic change. After several months of obsessive reading and research, I discovered that my symptoms were textbook Leaky Gut Syndrome. Ok, pick your mouth up from off the floor now. The thought of a having a leaky gut sounds odd and terrible, I know and truth being told, it really is . Especially when you have no idea what’s happening to you.
There are several factors that play a role in diminishing our gut health: poor dietary choices, stress, over-use of antibiotics or other drugs and sanitizing cleaners are all part of our culture that reduces good gut flora. When your gut is leaky, things like toxins, microbes, undigested food particles and more can essentially escape your intestines and travel throughout your body via your blood stream. When this happens, your immune system marks these as foreign invaders to the system and attacks them back. How? The response to these invaders can appear in the forms of any of these very unpleasant symptoms:
- Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS)
- Seasonal allergies or asthma
- Hormonal imbalances like PMS
- Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis or celiac disease – all of which I was tested for
- Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- Mood and mind issues such as acne, rosacea or eczema
- Diagnosis of candida overgrowth resulting in yeast infections
- Food allergies or intolerances
Photo by Jillian Botting at the Four Seasons Toronto
I suffered from all the above with the exception of an autoimmune disease and asthma. Funny enough, most of my treating physicians did not put the pieces of the puzzle together and I had to take my health into my own hands. I realized something that most traditional practitioners never really address. If you promote health, disease cannot exist. Our gut lining is essentially a second skin that helps ward off viruses and infections. Once that wall is damaged, we are left vulnerable and susceptible to many types of illnesses. I had to take drastic measures to help my gut lining return to it’s intended state. This was a long and torturous process. I still encounter issues every now and then so I have been spending some time learning about fermented supplements and discovered that Genuine Health has just introduced a fermented vegan proteins+ into their product line-up. I recently started using the vanilla protein powder in my smoothies and the proteins+ bars to help me increase my protein intake and improve the lining of my gut.
Don’t let the term fermented intimidate you. Trust me, when I first started doing research, I didn’t understand why the process is so important. Simply put, fermentation amplifies the nutrition of the food we eat by increasing it’s nutrient profile and bioavailability of essential nutrients like magnesium, zinc and B vitamins. According to the Genuine Health team, studies have shown that the process basically magnifies the benefits of plants and herbal blends and in some cases produces unique photo nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components that didn’t exist before fermentation.
Whether yore trying to restore a leaky gut like me or maintain a healthy one, this specially formulated powder is designed to not only promote gut health but also aids in digestion and allows for more nutrient absorption. The best part, it’s plant protein based making it great for vegans and doesn’t cause any bloating. I have asked our foodie expert Kristen Vander Hoeven, whose culinary skills never cease to surprise me, to help create some tasty ways to enjoy fermented vegan proteins+ at home, so stay tuned for some unexpectedly delicious recipes that will not only strengthen your gut health but will also amplify your nutrition. In the meantime, to learn more about fermented vegan proteins+ powder and bars, check out Genuine Health’s “The Daily Digest“. You can find Genuine Health products at most health food, grocery, and supplement stores across Canada. Click here to find a retailer near you.