Collagen powder – Gut/Skin
Our bodies regularly produce collagen, and it’s our most abundant protein. You can find this building block in your skin, bones, muscles, ligaments, and cartilage. But, levels begin to decrease between the ages of 21 to 25, and quickly lessens after that. Smoking, poor diet, and exposure to the sun also deplete your bodies natural stores and reproductive ability (so don’t smoke, eat your veg, and wear SPF goddamnit). Every morning on an empty stomach, I drink one serving to get the glowy, plumped skin vibe of an 8 year old. Also, I’m turning 24 this year so it’s game time. I’m not ready for dry, loose, and wrinkled skin just yet. Also, I’m all about improving the elasticity of my skin on my entire body, not just my face, because fuck cellulite. Plus now that I’m GREYING, I need to handle this anti-aging situation.
Collagen is a vital protein for restoring balance in our gut – if you know me, you know my gut is fucked up. It all started with a severe case of bloating, which I’ve finally managed to manage (ish). I’ll write a whole post on the importance of a healthy gut, but for now I’ll focus on the mind-gut connection. Also known as your “second brain”, your gut has an impermeable protective mucosal lining that allows food to be digested and passed through the intestinal tract to be disposed of or used by the body accordingly. If the gut bacteria in your microbiome is out of whack (think stress, poor sleep/diet, alcohol, smoking), you can develop leaky gut – the lining of your gut walls have been damaged and are permeable.
Aptly named, leaky gut is when food, bacteria, and other pathogens leak out of your gut lining and into your bloodstream. These undigested particles trigger our immune system to have an inflammatory response, which then leads to a whole roster of health problems.
In order to heal the gut, you have to seal it. Collagen provides essential building blocks and key amino acids for improving the functions of the intestine, healing the intestinal mucosal lining, and reducing inflammation. Essentially, collagen can fix the “leak” with its gelatinous healing properties. You know when you mix chia seeds with water it get this jello-y outer shell? Collagen works in a similar way when coating your gut.
Turmeric/Curcumin – Anti-inflammatory
Curcumin is a super powerful anti-infammatory antioxidant. Oxidative damage and chronic inflammation is host to so many Western diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and various degenerative diseases, as well as aging. Antioxidants protect your body from the free radicals caused by oxidative stress, and curcurim’s chemical structure neutralizes the affect of free radicals. Curcumin works in two ways: by blocking free radicals directly and stimulating and supporting the body’s own antioxidant defenses. My body tends to react to inflammation in a variety of ways: constant bloating, acne, major IBS, brain fog, and rosacea just to name a few. Also, arthritis is a thing on my mom’s side, so it’s definitely in my genes. I use curcurmin as a preventive measure, as a study on PubMed found it was more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs. Sidenote: it’s difficult to be absorbed into the bloodstream, unless taken with piperine. Found in black pepper, it enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. Curcumin is also fat soluble so eat in conjunction with a good-fat meal.
Probiotic – Gut/Skin/Stress
Back to the microbiome I was talking about earlier. When your gut microbiota contains different strains of good bacteria, your body is able to digest properly. When you’re lacking in the “good bacteria”, your body can become prone to:
- Constipation, bloating, IBS, etc.
- Food intolerances (gluten, lactose, casein, sugar etc.)
- Proliferation of bad bacteria (candida, parasites, etc.)
- Brain fog, anxiety, depression
- Skin conditions (acne, dermatitas, eczema)
- Autoimmune diseases
- Vitamin definicies
Different strains have different causes, so look for a multi-strain multi-billion probiotic. The inhibit bad bacteria, calm the digestive system, soothe eczema, reduce abdominal fat, reduce stomach infections, break down carbs, relieve gas, maintain a healthy intestinal wall…I could literally go on forever. I take 60-120 billion, depending on what I need.
L-glutamine – Gut
This is the small intestine’s fuel source for healing leaky gut and intestinal permeability. Helpful for those suffering from ulcerative colitis, it acts a natural alternative to antibiotic for ulcers. It’s the top amino acid for repairing leaky gut by balancing mucus production. It’s also great for fat loss and muscle gain, and improving athletic performance, depending on how you take it. Since I’m just trying to have a proper bowel movement, I take a serving with water on an empty stomach before I go to bed.
Oxygenated Magnesium – Constipation
Listen. Pooping is important. It literally gets rid of all the shit the accumulates in your body, as well as any extra estrogen (key for those with estrogen dominance). I’ve been using this for years, ever since Melanie Simon said to. This is market as a colon cleaner that release oxygen and neutralizes toxins. It detoxifies the entire digestive tract, including the colon to promote healthy intestines and encourage good probiotic growth. It helps with:
- Mood swings
- Low energy
- Poor immune system
Fun fact: Our intestinal tract is 25-30 feet long and can cover the surface area of a tennis court. This oxy-powder cleanses the impacted fecal matter that can get backed-up in our intestinal tract through proper bowel movements. Magnesium is known for relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract to promote movement while neutralizing stomach acid to let your poop pass.
Before every meal:
Digestive enzymes – Digestion
In order for your body to digest, you need the proper enzymes to break down and essentially disassemble the nutrients found in food in order to be properly utilized and distributed by the body. You know why they tell you to CHEW your food? Because there are these enzymes in your saliva that breaks down food to be more easily absorbed and digested. But, they’re still not enough to separate the nutrients from the fiber and plant structure. Digestive enzymes reduce gas, bloating, digestive distress and fight yeast and candida. Food gets broken down into macro (protein, fat, carbs) and micro (vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc) nutrients to pass through the digestive system into the body by these enzymes. If you lack these enzymes, you don’t won’t reap the benefits of a healthy diet fully. Fiber isn’t broken down, vitamins aren’t absorbed, fat isn’t broken down, and yeast is over produced.
Not so fun, totally ironic fact: These enzymes are found all along your intestinal tract, but can essentially be burned off by the use of laxatives. Doctors usually prescribe laxatives for people suffering from constipation but they’re fucking it up so bad man I can’t even tell you.