Maintaining a healthy gut biome and one’s digestive health is a key part of staying well. The ability to absorb the nutrients we consume affects all the other systems of the body. However, achieving balance in the gut is often easier said than done given the array of factors that might impact each individual person. Things such as inflammation, gut microbiota imbalance, and more can lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome which could allow potentially concerning substances to pass through the intestinal wall.

In fact, recent research from the University of Maryland displays that stressors such as poor diet, genetic predisposition and more can affect what the researchers coined as the zonulin pathway, a key part of maintaining gut health. However, there is a common protocol, known as “the 4R protocol,” that can aide individuals in supporting gut healing and health if something is amiss. The four steps are as follows: remove, replace, reinoculated, and repair.

In step one, removing inflammatory triggers and pathogens commonly known to affect the gut will make way for other steps to be more effective. Examples of these triggers include alcohol, gluten, refined starches and sugar, and other food sensitivities. Generally, these are the foods and beverages known to be less healthy for you.

The second step, replacing, marks an effort to replace the triggers removed in the first step with more gut-friendly alternatives. High-fiber foods including vegetables, fruits, and nuts are an easy first choice. Other nutrient dense foods like omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, extra virgin olive oil, mushrooms, and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices can all aide in getting your gut back on track.

Step three, reinoculate is geared towards realigning the intestinal microbiota with beneficial bacteria. As such, probiotic supplements and fermented foods such as cultured dairy, fermented vegetables, fermented soy products, and beverages like kombucha are all incredibly helpful. The friendly bacteria residing in everyone’s gut need these probiotics to say in top shape.

The final step of repair strives toward repairing one’s intestinal lining with specific nutrients and herbs known to decrease intestinal permeability and inflammation. Depending on an individual’s diets, dietary needs, and supplement needs, this could look different for everyone. Common examples include zinc, Vitamin D, polyphenols, and more, but it is best to consult a health and wellness expert like the ones at Pria regarding your specific, individual needs.

These four steps, especially followed under the guidance of one of Pria’s health and wellness experts, can cure signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut. If you suffer from an upset stomach, unintentional weight changes, sleep disturbances, or any other experiences you believe might be alleviated by reexamining your gut health, reach out today. Call our office at 410-565-6552 to speak with us today!



These days, many of us are contemplating the best ways to keep ourselves well. A key factor in maintaining peak wellness is having a healthy immune system, which serves as the body’s primary defense mechanism. The immune system guards against potentially harmful invaders such as viruses, toxins, bacteria, and fungi.

An overall healthy lifestyle is beneficial to preserving a healthy and effective immune system. Efforts such as eating a balanced diet focused on whole, unprocessed foods high in antioxidants can aide greatly. Other lifestyle choices such as engaging inthree or more hours a week of moderate exercise and seeking at least seven hours of good-quality sleep a night can also assist in strengthening your immune system. Managing stress in a variety of ways, from counseling to practicing mindfulness and meditation additionally helps. While aspiring to the best quality of health as possible is beneficial to the immune system, research supports that the following supplemental ingredients provide a vital boost to the body’s defense system whenbattling viral infections.

Probiotics

Probiotics are the healthy, helpful microorganisms that live in each of our guts. Probiotics support immune healthy by harmonizing immune response and preventing the growth of harmful pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract. Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, unpasteurized pickled vegetables, and tempeh are all full of probiotics and can be easily woven into any diet. Besides traditional food options, probiotic supplements are available and may work to protect individuals against a variety of ailments including respiratory infections, colds, and influenza.

Vitamin C

The familiar advice of being told to consume citrus when feeling a little under the weather comes from the power Vitamin C. Not only found in citrus, but in foods such as broccoli, kiwi, yellow peppers, kale, and a host of other fruits and vegetables, Vitamin C is a major player in supporting the immune system. A deficiency may result in lowered immunity and a higher risk of infections and thus if your diet is lacking in foods such as the ones listed above, it might be worth investing in a Vitamin C supplement.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin required for mineral metabolism, bone health, and immune function, according to research displays a prominent position in supporting immune tolerance in autoimmune conditions. Supplements in Vitamin D are available, but can be found as well in foods such as fish and mushrooms, plus fortified milks, cereal, and oatmeal.

Zinc

Though many may be familiar with Zinc’s importance in battling a bad sunburn, it is also recommended to fight against the common cold. Options such as seafood, animal proteins, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, and cashews, as well as supplements, all contain Zinc. Research has found that when zinc lozenges, when consumed at the start of a cold for a minimum of one to two weeks, may assist in reducing symptoms of and the duration of colds.

Omega-3s

The particular Omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) exert their health benefits from their anti-inflammatory properties. These Omega-3s additionally may help lower the risk of chronic diseases including cancer, arthritis, and heart disease. Found highly concentrated in the brain, these Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial to cognitive functions such as memory. Being deficient in this key area creates a host of problems, among which are fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, and more. Seafood, flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are all great sources of Omega-3s.

In order to preserve your health, maintaining a well-balanced and strong immune system plays a key role. By living a healthy lifestyle and focusing on these nutrients you’ll be feeling better and your immune system will thank you for it! If you want to learn more, have a wellness evaluation and find out what supplements are right for you, call us at 410-565-6652.

Image source: iStock



The Psychology of Processed Food
Food companies spend millions of dollars every year researching exactly how to get consumers to eat more junk food.

We’ve all been there before: you’re sitting on the sofa watching a movie, when suddenly you’ve just noticed there are no more chips in the bag. “Did I just eat the WHOLE bag?!” is your first thought, and you’re kind of horrified. Actually, it’s not entirely your fault. That bag of processed potatoes is specially formulated to get you to eat more. Food companies spend millions of dollars every year researching exactly how to get consumers to eat more junk food. So, the next time you think you need some chips or a bottle of cola, remember that what your brain wants and what your body needs are two very different things.


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