I love a good fact, article or statistic. The best ones have the ability to change my perspective on a topic or completely open me up to a new POV that wasn’t yet on my radar.
In the new series, 5 Fact Friday, I will be bringing to you the juiciest facts, articles and statistics I came across each week.
I hope you learn something and get inspired.
- Breast Milk Feeds Gut Bacteria: I know that for some women breast feeding their babies is a struggle and I have so much compassion and love for you. However if you are debating between breast feeding and formula or wanting to wean a child off before they might actually want to this interesting fact might encourage you to use what your mamma gave you. For years scientists could not understand why breast milk contained a complex carbohydrate, called oligosaccharides, which the human infant lacks the enzymes necessary to digest. Given that mothers milk is the only mammalian food shaped by natural selection, Evolutionary theory agrues that every component of milk should have value developing the baby or nature would have gotten rid of it right? Right. Turns out that it feed your babies gut bacteria and gut flora. Bruce German, a food scientist from University of California, Davis said “what its telling us it that when natural selection creats a food, it is concerned not only with feeding the child but the child’s gut bugs too. ” This is a KEY finding to support the importance of your gut bacteria and health. keep on boochin babes!
- We are 10% Human: For every human cell there are about 10 resident microbes in our body. That means that we are mostly bacterial and microbial. “This suggests that our “second genome” as its sometimes called, exerts an influence on our heath as great and possibly greater than the genes we inherit from our parents” Micheal Pollan writes in this New York Times article. Knowing that I am mostly bacteria changes my sense of self and brings the health of my gut and diversity of my micro biome front and center.
- Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load: Back in my Low Carb Atkins Diet Day (yes I was a meat eating fruit avoiding machine) I would often look to the GI of foods to determine if they were ok to eat. Glycemic Index is a term most people are familiar with but maybe not so much Glycemic Load. The GI is a rating system for foods and how the carbohydrate level effects insulin and blood sugar levels. A low GI food would not spike the blood sugar as quickly as a high GI food because the carbohydrates are digested slower. A general idea is that a low GI means its a healthier food and high GI means its an unhealthier food. This is not always the case especially when you consider the Glycemic Load which takes in to consideration the quality and quantity of carbohydrates. For example chocolate cake can have a low GI (38) but high GL and is not a healthy food for you. Watermelon as a high GI (72-80) but a low GL and is a good source of nutrients, phytochemicals and vitamins. In conclusion the GI alone is not always the best indication of health and what to eat. But disclaimer people *I am not a doctor so if you have diabetes be sure to consult your health care professional if you have questions.
- What it Really Means to Trust Your Gut Feeling: The Digestive system produces more neurtransmitters then the brain does, up to 90% of your serotonin, which regulates anxiety & happiness. Its been coined your second brain and looking at the structure of your intenstines it actually resembles the brain in our skulls. This gives new meaning to the phrase “listen to your gut” or “gut feeling.” Your gut doesnt have the same judgemental cortex to contend with like your left brain does which will often try to talk you out of what “you know in your gut to be true”. Ever wonder why we often get butterflies in our stomach or nauseous before giving a speech or doing something scary?
- Sugar is Everywhere: Avoiding or limiting your sugar intake, especially processed sugar, is super important, it literally does no good for us from a health standpoint. Studies have shown that it is addictive and can ignite the same parts of our brain that alcohol and drugs can. Its hard enough to avoid the sweet stuff but learning that it is hiding in things you might not think is so surprising and inspires me to really be aware of what I am putting in my body. According to Dee McCaffrey’s book, The Science of Skinny – How to Understand Your Bodies Chemstry and Stop Dieting Forever, sugar is literally in so many things. Including:
- Breading on many prepared foods contains sugar
- Lunch meats, bacon and canned meats can all contain added sugar
- soups, bouillon cubes, dry roasted nuts can have added sugar
- some iodized salt can have sugar in the form of dextrose
- condiments like ketchup, mustard and mayo
- fat free salad dressing often contain more then their regular counter parts
- some vanilla extracts
- seasoning mixes like taco seasoning, sauce mixes
- Meat packers often feed sugar to animals before slaughter to improve flavor and color of cured meats.
Giiiiiirl. Thats some pretty crazy stuff, right? The breast milk one blew my mind as did sugar being injected into meat. #loco. Well, I hope you learned something cool and like this healthy/nerdy stuff as much as I do. lemme know if ya do in the comments below.
xo, bye for now