What is Microbiome?

The word “microbiome” refers to all the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in or on your body. That’s over 100 trillion microbes in total.

Your unique Microbial footprint that happens over your life time can tell a lot about you, to give you an idea, it is more accurate than your DNA!

Why are microbiomes so important?

Microbes have many, many important functions in your body. They help to digest your food, train your immune system to distinguish between friend and foe, turn your genes on and off, synthesize important vitamins, aid in detoxification, and neutralize cancer-causing compounds, plus a host of other things. WOW!

This intelligent bacterial ecosystem in your gut makes up the majority of your immune system, and your body actually contains 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. These trillions of microbes and their colonies are the manufacturers and managers of how you look, feel and think.

I’ve said it a few times, the gut is your second brain and another true one is:  “All disease begins in the gut”; when your microbiome is weakened or damaged it can ‘switch on’ a number of potential diseases throughout the body.

What diseases are caused by a compromised microbiome?

Here are some listed below to give you an idea of when your microbiome is compromised:

  1. Autoimmune Conditions — Autoimmune is when the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells, it’s basically an abnormal response (in the body) to a normal body part.
  2. Mental Health Disorders  —  Gut and brain are linked, hence the “second brain.” It can be linked to Anxiety and depression.
  3. Poor Immune Health  — Always getting sick? Colds, flu, sore throat, sinus, etc. Probably means a weak Microbiome or overgrowth of bad bacteria, yeast, fungus or perhaps even a parasite?
  4. Heart Disease
  5. Type 2 diabetes
  6. Skin Conditions  — If you are battling with acne, eczema or psoriasis, you may want to start with healing your microbiome
  7. Weight gain and Obesity  — All weight issues start from your gut, it controls your metabolism
  8. Acid Reflux  — Yip! That’s me!
  9. Cancer
  10. Constipation or Diarrhea
  11. Asthma and Sinus Infections  —  I can whole heartedly say that since I have been looking after my gut I don’t suffer that much from hay fever and sinus! It really is true.

You need to take a look at your eating and your lifestyle if you are suffering with anyone of these. Basically, we are all different and no one’s microbiome is the same, but fundamentally the same principles apply. In my next blog, I will write about healing your microbiome and what you can do to help. It all starts with YOU.

No one else can help. It’s your decisions every day that count. Your thoughts and willpower control the way you will feel in days to come. Also think about this: you may have been eating badly over 20, 30 or even 40 years, so be patient with yourself when you start to make healthy choices. Your body is going to take time to start healing, but once you do, you will wonder how you ever lived in that ‘way’ before.

CREDITS:
Photography: Jane Prinsloo
Contributor: Lisa Stocks
Creative Direction: Lisa Weschta and Lindi Hingston
Hair and makeup: Chantal Jacobsen
Wardrobe and accessories:

Swimwear: Beach Cult
Denim shorts: Models own
Basket: from Gypsy by Gill
Vespa courtesy of Cape Town Vespa Rentals

Why Monitoring Your Candida Levels is Important for Your Gut Health

Avoid Candida overgrowth with these foods

Candida. The word most women hate to hear. In reality , we all have it, but, in healthy amounts. Candida is a fungus that aids with nutrient absorption and digestion when in proper levels in the body and it makes up our microbiome.

Problems arise when the microbiome is weakened causing a decrease in the good bacteria and an increase in yeast, parasites, and bad bacteria.

Who is susceptible to overgrowth?

People suffering from the following :

  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Chronic antibiotic use
  • Diabetes or metabolic syndrome
  • Weakened immune systems
  • High levels of oestrogen (from oral contraceptives or estrogen replacements)

Why are our Candida levels important for gut health?

An overgrowth can cause havoc with your gut lining and result in conditions like leaky gut. When Candida overproduces it can break down the walls of the intestinal lining and penetrate into the blood stream. This releases by-product toxins and other toxins from your system causing leaky gut syndrome. Your microbiome becomes totally compromised when there’s an overgrowth.

Good healthy bacteria and a properly functioning immune system are essential when fighting this syndrome.

What foods should I avoid to help monitor my Candida levels?

First you should ask your Dietician/Natropath for a comprehensive list of foods to avoid, but here are a few that you should be avoiding:

  • All sugar – OBVS!
  • Processed foods
  • Fruits – especially dried fruit, why? More sugar!
  • Nut Skin = Yeast! No soya, peanuts, or peanut butter
  • Dairy products
  • Alcohol – especially beer and wine
  • Fermented foods
  • Vinegar, apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar
  • All fruit juices
  • Yeast and breads
  • Also, some veggies to avoid are sweetcorn, peas, mushrooms and sweet potatoes

Any foods I should embrace?

Definitely! Here are some foods I suggest to try an embrace in your daily life to help you monitor your Candida:

  • Veggies: Green leafy veggies, onions, garlic, spinach, broccoli, celery, cucumber, leeks, chives
  • Quinoa
  • All free range & organic , eggs and chicken
  • Nut butters – Cashew and Macadamia
  • Fruit -Grapefruit, paw paw, lemon and Kiwi
  • Goats milk
  • Seeds
  • Good fats and oils
  • Herbal teas
  • Lots of water

Ask your doctor what you can take, there is oregano oil, paraherb, para90 – these work!

Good luck afribeings

CREDITS:
Contributor: Lisa Stocks
Creative Direction: Lindi Hingston and Liza Weschta.

What Makes Matcha Different?

Matcha Latte

Ever wondered what exactly makes matcha so different from your regular cup of green tea? Our Wellness Guru, Lisa Stocks, explains it to us.

So what makes matcha different?

Matcha, literally meaning ‘powdered tea’ is a green powder made from a specific kind of green tea leaf while regular green or black tea,  all comes from the same plant. The difference between matcha and regular green and black tea is how it is grown and prepared.

Unlike many other green teas, the plants used for matcha are first covered and the grown in the shade for approximately 20 weeks before they are harvested. This boosts the chlorophyll levels, which is what gives the powder its vibrant green hue (Greeny!). This also makes it way more powerful than regular green tea. 

Just one cup of Matcha green tea a day could provide you with the following awsome benefits :

  • Fights cancer cells
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Kills free radicals
  • Wards off bacterial infection and illness
  • Prevents viral infections
  • Moderates allergies
  • Boosts immune function
  • Alkalizes the blood
The green tea leaves are laid out to dry and then ground into a fine green powder, same as what you d see in the stores or in a cafe.  Unlike any other tea where the leaves are steeped and some nutrients drawn out , with matcha tea the whole leaf is used…so you are getting every bit of the good stuff . Because it’s in a powdered form, it’s typically whisked in hot water, a latte or a blender .
I love to have my fix  with almond milk and a splash of honey, my all time favourite is from Scheckters RAW in Sea point. 

Matcha is the magical little super food we should all be including in our diets.

CREDITS
Contributor: Lisa Stocks
Creative Direction: Lindi Hingston and Liza Weschta

9 Ways Our Health Guru Keeps Her Body Balanced

Lisa Stocks Wellness Guru Afribeing talks tackling unbalanced blood sugar levels

I keep coming back to sugar, but why? It’s one of the greatest challenges for me when it comes to keeping my blood sugar levels balanced, and it’s imperative that I avoid it  — this one never gets easier!

Blood sugar levels, like our hormones and all the bacteria and fungus living in our gut, such as mitochondria, can’t be too high or too low. It has to be just right. Remind you of a childhood fairytale? (Goldilocks for those who didn’t get that!)

Experts say if more than one of the below resonates with you, then you have unbalanced blood sugar levels: 

  1. You crave sweets or breads and pastries — a lot! (ummm JA!)
  2. Eating sweets doesn’t relieve your sugar cravings. (Yup!)
  3. You become irritable and “hangry” if you miss a meal.
  4. When you find yourself needing caffeine to get through the day.
  5. Becoming lightheaded if you miss a meal.
  6. Eating makes you exhausted and in need of a nap.
  7. It’s difficult for you to lose weight.
  8. You feel weak, shaky, or jittery quite frequently,
  9. Having to pee a lot.
  10. Finding yourself getting agitated, easily upset, or nervous.
  11. Your memory is not what it used to be.
  12. Vision becomes blurry.
  13. Your waist is equal to or larger than your hips.
  14. A low sex drive.
  15. You find that you are always thirsty.

How I keep my blood sugar balanced

 Any of those sound familiar? Here are 9 ways I have helped manage my own blood sugar balance

  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Exercise everyday
  3. Control stress
  4. Don’t eat all day long, i.e don’t graze rather have decent meals and wait 4-5 hours in between meals
  5. Portion Control – less carbs, no sugar
  6. Get enough Sleep
  7. Take Magnesium
  8. Sip on Green tea
  9. Get your dose of B Vitamins and Good fats

CREDITS:
Contributor: Lisa Stocks
Photographer: Melissa Delport