SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

September 17, 2009

Building Strong Muscles – B.E.D.

Little-known Secret to Building Stronger Muscles: Probiotics

by BodyEcology.com

Here’s a secret: the same probiotics that restore your inner ecosystem also make it easier for your body to absorb nutrients and build muscle!

Restoring balance in your gut with probiotics boosts immunity and digestion, but did you know these healthy microflora also aid in muscle growth and weight loss?

If you’re trying to increase lean body mass, adding fermented foods and drinks to your diet will ensure more efficient digestion. And that leads to increased energy, better workouts, and easier muscle growth and repair.

The Link Between Probiotics and Muscle Growth

Kenneth Bock, M.D., the author of The Road to Immunity, says that gaining lean muscle mass is more work with an unhealthy gastrointestinal tract:

“Your colon, stomach and small intestine digest food and absorb nutrients. If either of these processes is hindered, it can result in a loss of nutrients, which your body borrows from skeletal muscle.”1

Muscle-building expert and registered dietitian, James Collier, agrees that a good supply of healthy bacteria makes protein more readily available to your muscles, and burns fat more easily.

Probiotics also help prevent intestinal infection, so your body is more likely to absorb more and better nutrients.

Now that you know how probiotics build stronger muscles, learn the most effective way to get these friendly bacteria thriving in your gut.

Will Probiotic Supplements and Mass-Market Products Do the Trick?

With the recent buzz about probiotics, it’s no wonder there are a lot of products at your local health food store designed to boost healthy microflora.

But how effective are they really?

How can you be sure that these probiotic supplements contain all the friendly microflora necessary to populate your gut, build your immunity, help you digest, and assist in lean muscle growth?

Unfortunately, the truth is that too many probiotic supplements vary widely in quality and potency.

One university study recently tested a wide variety of probiotic supplements and found that in four out of twenty products, no sign of living friendly bacteria was present.3

But What About Yogurt, You Say?

It’s true: many mass-produced food products such as Dannon Activa™ claim to decrease intestinal transit time.

While many yogurts do contain live active cultures, there are some problems:

  • Many include some pretty awful sugars including fructose, cornstarch, and modified cornstarch. Like most yogurts sold in your store, all that sugar and unnatural ingredients will definitely feed pathogenic microorganisms, like candida. And by the way you can be certain that eating any form of sugar causes you to lose muscle mass.
  • More importantly, most mass-produced yogurts (and fermented foods like sauerkraut) are not always potent enough to make a difference. 50% of products do not contain the healthy bacteria that they claim to have had at the time of manufacture.
  • Even those that do have enough healthy bacteria may not have the right mix of healthy microflora to repopulate your inner ecosystem. If they’re not prepared in a way that allows the most beneficial bacteria and yeast to thrive in your digestive system, harsh stomach acids can kill probiotics.

In general, we at Body Ecology are not fans of yogurt, and instead, we recommend young coconut kefir to first help your body build up the dairy-loving bacteria that most people today are missing…and then milk kefir when your inner ecosystem is balanced.

If your body can digest dairy without symptoms, milk kefir is the better alternative to mass-produced or even home-made yogurt. Milk kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food that supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins. It is more alive than yogurt and it can also be made using raw milk from cows, goats or sheep. When you do not heat the protein in milk it is much easier to digest.

Young coconut kefir and Milk kefir are easy to make at home with Body Ecology’s Kefir Starter.

Unlike commercial yogurts which contain probiotics that do NOT colonize your colon, the bacteria and beneficial yeast in kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, which is they key reason you are eating these foods in the first place.

Milk kefir is also great food for anyone wanting to gain more weight via increasing muscle mass not fat. But, alas, not everyone can drink milk products today and are casein intolerant. Again, often drinking the young coconut kefir for a month or so and then slowly introducing dairy kefir may allow you to drink it safely. The young coconut kefir introduces the dairy-loving bacteria to your gut so that when you slowly introduce the casein-rich milk kefir, these bacteria (who were originally grown on milk) and can “learn” how to digest the new food. Just give them time to become skilled at breaking it down effectively by going slowly…about 1/4th cup per day for a week to ten days and then increasing in small increments.

Want to Accelerate Your Gut Recovery, Loose Weight, and Gain Lean Muscle Faster?

If you want to lose weight and gain muscle faster, then forget health food store probiotic supplements and revitalize your gut with potent, real fermented foods and drinks.

Probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks multiply the nutrition in your food hundreds of times, nourishing you more with less food. On top of that, they help build healthy bacteria that keep you naturally slim. Research shows that people of normal weight have different bacteria in their guts than obese people.4

With a healthy inner ecosystem, you’ll feel satiated sooner.

Plus, microflora reduce cravings for processed sugars and alcohol – two big roadblocks to weight loss and a leaner body.

Here are some tips for easily incorporating probiotics into your diet the most effective way:

  • Consume probiotic drinks, such as Innergy-Biotic, as an alternative to sugary sports drinks.

    Innergy-Biotic
    is a delicious, low-calorie source of probiotics that’s gluten-free and provides you with loads of energy. It’s a double whammy for good lean muscle growth – it’ll give you the energy you need for great workouts AND heal your digestive track for better nutrient-absorbtion.
Innergy-BioticBuild Mucles Faster and More Effectively with Delicious Innergy-Biotic! Try this gluten-free energy performance drink, and you’ll never go back to those mass-produced, sugary sports drinks again! With Innergy-Biotic, you get a probiotic-rich whole food in liquid form that boosts your digestion of protein and other important nutrients for fast, effective muscle growth. Boost your energy and digestion today with Innergy-Biotic!.
  • To make affordable, delicious fermented superfoods at home, try Body Ecology’s Starter Kits .
  • To turn healthy vegetables into your fat-burning, muscle-building allies, make raw cultured vegetables. By introducing beneficial bacteria into your system, you’ll more effectively control your weight and set the stage for easier muscle building.
  • Need a caffeine fix in the morning or for afternoon slumps? Instead, boost your energy naturally while healing your digestive tract with vitamin-mineral-probiotic rich Vitality SuperGreen.  Just add two scoops to eight ounces of water and watch your energy soar. If you’re trying to gain healthy weight, it provides extra nourishment with added to a larger meal.

However you choose to get in the best shape of your life, remember that lean muscle mass is key to a healthy body. Scientists agree that building muscle helps burn fat.

If you’ve been struggling with weight loss or your muscle growth is stalling, probiotics are the little-known tool for increased health and energy. With probiotics as part of your plan, you’ll have extra help that goes a long way.

September 10, 2009

B.E.D. on “DHEA”

If You Really Want to Avoid Early Aging, Get to Know “DHEA”

by BodyEcology.com

Do you suffer from mood swings and fatigue? Is your health declining as you get older? Can’t keep the “middle age bulge” at bay?

If so, you may have low levels of DHEA.

As you get older, you may find that you struggle more to maintain muscle mass, feel tired more quickly, or perhaps you have developed rheumatoid arthritis or even osteoporosis. It is commonly believed that deterioration as we age is inevitable.

However current research indicates that we are not predestined to age in this regard, and by increasing our levels of DHEA before or even after they decline many of us can turn back the clock.

Low levels of DHEA have been linked to autism, arthritis, and depression.
Keep you and your loved ones healthy and vibrant by following the DHEA-boosting
Body Ecology program for wellness.

DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, has become known as the ‘fountain of youth.’ It is made from cholesterol by the adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys. Estrogen and then testosterone are both made from this steroid hormone.

The Anti-Aging Hormone?

Many people have turned to DHEA because it has been shown to increase bone density, treat Lupus and depression, and decrease the risk for heart disease. Another potential benefit is increased muscle mass and stronger immunity.

Someone who lacks essential levels of DHEA really can benefit from taking a supplement and they can be easily found in your local health food store. At Body Ecology, however, we feel it is important to use this supplement only after you’ve had your levels of DHEA checked by a health care professional. It’s a very simply saliva test.

So before you supplement with DHEA capsules, first check with your health care practitioner to make sure that you are in fact deficient in this hormone.

Anyone will benefit, on the other hand, by naturally increasing their DHEA levels with diet and some simple changes in your lifestyle.

Follow these guidelines to naturally increase DHEA in your body:

  • Eat good fats with plenty of omega 3 fatty acids. DHEA is made from cholesterol, and your body makes cholesterol from healthy fats. You can get essential fatty acids from a variety of oils like ghee, raw butter, cod liver, coconut oil, red palm oil, flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, pumpkin seed and olive oils. For more information, read A Key Health Secret that Everyone Should Know: Eat a Range of Good Oils.
  • Get a Good Night’s SLEEP! Your adrenal glands not only create energy, they also manufacture DHEA. If you suffer from adrenal fatigue as most people do today, you may have trouble sleeping AND your adrenals will not be able to produce adequate levels of too little DHEA to support your daily activities! Read more about how sleep affects your adrenals and how to nourish them.
  • De-stress your life. Stress increases levels of two hormones: insulin and cortisol. These two hormones are sometimes called “the death hormones” because when blood levels of cortisol and insulin remain high, they suppress the youth hormone, DHEA. Stress also depletes the vitality of your adrenal glands that produce DHEA. So take time to breathe deeply, meditate, and spend time with friends and family. One of the most effective ways to immediately boost your DHEA levels is to be touched (as in having a great hand, foot, body or head massage). Learn more about The Proven Healing Power of Touch and how it can improve your health.
  • Cut out sugar. Sugar creates acidic blood. To be healthy your blood should be slightly alkaline. When your blood becomes acidic this sets the stage for fungal, viral and bacterial infections and also for imbalances like cancer and diabetes.
    Nourish your thyroid to support healthy DHEA levels with Ocean Plant Extract.
  • Feed your thyroid and your adrenals by eating plenty of mineral-rich sea vegetables – be sure to read Russia’s “Miracle” Heavy Metal Cleansing Sea Vegetable, “Laminaria Japonica. Always cook or culture cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cabbage because they suppress the thyroid when they are eaten raw. Your thyroid is an active partner with the adrenals that produce DHEA so make sure it too is hearty. These two organs are tiny, but they are real workhorses in your body. Take special care to feed them right. Read Boost Your Thyroid to Boost Your Energy for more information.

We all want to age gracefully. Paying attention to your levels of DHEA is a great way to support yourself in healthy aging. The Body Ecology program, plus plenty of sleep, decreasing stress, and eliminating or reducing sugar intake can get you well on your way to turning back time.

Spending peaceful moments in nature — such as near water or in the mountains — is another great way to regenerate your adrenals and to find balance in life. Overall, proper nutrition and lifestyle are the two key secrets to finding your own fountain of youth.
Sources:

Low DHEA Level, DiagnoseMe.com http://www.diagnose-me.com/cond/C11446.html
Skerret, P.J., “DHEA: Ignore the Hype” QuackWatch.com http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/dhea.htm

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