Benefits of digestive enzymes

Many clients complain about indigestion or the feeling bloated after meals. There are a few reasons why this may happen: eating too fast, not chewing enough, or low digestive capacity.

 

Who should take supplemental acid

  • frequent belching and bloating, particularly following meals
  • feeling of fullness for an extended time after meals
  • getting full quickly
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea in the morning or after taking supplements
  • weak or brittle nails
  • undigested food in the stool
  • history of iron deficiency
  • vitamin B deficiency
  • anemia
  • history of taking acid-blocking drugs

 

Supplemental acid and digestive enzymes are safe to use for everyone except for people diagnosed with gastritis or ulcers.

How it works

First step to the digestive process starts in the mouth. While chewing, enzymes from your saliva helps to break down carbohydrates. Insufficient chewing and swallowing prematurely leaves particles too large for the stomach to break down parasites and fungi hiding inside the food. These small compounds will then be absorbed into the blood so it doesn’t irritate the small intestine and elicit an unfavourable immune response. Optimal digestive capacity is crucial for overall health. Here is what you need to know about enzymes and stomach acid:

 

Enzymes

Digestive enzymes are primarily produced by the pancreas, found in saliva and the small intestine. Digestive enzymes break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates into their constituents, amino acids, fatty acids and sugars. Sleep, processed foods, eating foods you are sensitive to, chronic stress, lack of sleep can all take a toll on digestive health.

 

Stomach Acid

HCl is a digestive enzyme that helps with breaking down bacteria, germs, fungi and parasites. Once it reaches the small intestine, which is less acidic than the stomach, they can start to lay eggs.

Small intestine is lined with receptors and is responsible for absorbing nutrients once the receptors have digested food. Nutrients are then sent through the portal vein to the liver for processing.

HCl is secreted by the stomach and breaks down protein molecules. It acts as a defense against pathogenic organisms, such as bacteria, yeast and viruses. HCl is required to absorb calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B12 and beta-carotene. It also plays a role in absorption of magnesium, zinc, chromium, copper, vanadium, selenium and manganese.

 

Using digestive enzymes to aid in improving digestive capacity

Enzymes and stomach acid is important for the breakdown of proteins and other macronutrients and for absorption of vitamins. It is also needed for proper pH balance and to reduce the likelihood of infection in order to obtain optimal health.

Need help correcting your digestion issues or unsure if enzymes or stomach acid is right for you? Contact our Exercise Coaches and Naturopaths to help you get started.

How to overcome sugar cravings

Sugar is an extraordinarily destructive substance that tends to be overconsumed by most people. Sugar is highly addictive substance that plays a pivotal role in the development of many of the devastating illnesses we fear most, namely heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s, just to name a few. Granted the body does need trace amounts of sugar to function, but the average Canadian is eating sugar by the pound, not the molecule. Some estimates put the average adult intake close to 130 pounds of sugar a year. We can help you overcome sugar cravings.

 

Here are a few tips to help you get rid of the sugar cravings:

  1. Eat regularly and choose whole foods. Eat three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day. For many people, if they don’t eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry and are more likely to crave sweet sugary snacks.
  2. Have protein and fat with each meal. This helps sustain blood sugar levels. Make sure they are healthy sources of each.
  3. Take  good quality supplements. Nutrient deficiencies can make cravings worse and the fewer nutrient deficiencies we have, the fewer cravings. Certain nutrients seem to improve blood sugar control including chromium, vitamin B3 and magnesium.
  4. Exercise, dance or stretch. Moving energizes your body and decreases your need for a sugar lift.
  5. Get to sleep by 10:30pm. When we are tired we often use sugar for energy to counteract the exhaustion.
  6. Learn to read labels. Become familiar with sugar terminology and recognize that all of these are sweeteners: agave, corn syrup, corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, cane sugar, cane crystals, fruit juice concentrates, molasses, turbinado sugar and brown sugar.
  7. Sugar in disguise. Remember that most of the “complex” carbohydrates we consume like bread (including whole wheat), bagels and pasta aren’t really complex at all. They are usually highly refined and metabolizes like refined sugar.
  8. Supplement on L-Glutamine: 1000-2000 mg every couple of hours as necessary. It often relieves sugar cravings as the brain uses it for fuel.
  9. Stay hydrated. Sometimes what we perceive as a food craving is really thirst. Drink ½ of body weight in ounces of water per day.

Try cutting sugar out for 2 weeks–it may just be the reason why you’re hanging on to your love handles. Eliminate all forms of sugar including sugary drinks, bread, pasta, fruits, thick-skinned vegetables and opt in for low glycemic vegetables. Book an appointment with our Biosignature Practitioner to get appropriate guidance to shedding the stubborn fat. Read more about Biosignature Modulation and Five Important Rules Fat Loss here.

 

Protein sources: grass fed vs. grain fed meat

You are what you eat, and what you eat, ate.

Meat provides an excellent profile of essential amino acids but the source of meat is also very important. Grass-fed, grass-finished meat is far superior in nutrition (and taste, in our opinion) than their conventionally raised counterpart.

The conventionally raised cows are rapidly fattened up with grain-based feeds, usually made with a base of soy or corn and are often given drugs and hormones to grow faster, as well as antibiotics to survive the unsanitary living conditions. The cows live there for a few months and are then moved into the factory for slaughtering.

 

Why should we all splurge on grass-fed meats over conventional meats?

  1. Higher in omega-3 fats: anti-inflammatory and stress fighting properties.
  2. Higher in carnitine: aids in fat use for fuel, improves blood glucose and combats aging and disease on the mitochondria.
  3. Higher in glutamine: promotes muscle growth and a gut healing nutrient.
  4. Glycine and glutathione: responsible for immune support.
  5. CLA (the good kind of fat): anti-inflammatory and promotes immune support.
  6. Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals: carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, are precursors to vitamin A. The yellow characteristic in grass-fed fat is due to the high carotenoid diet.
  7. High in zinc, promotes healthy androgen levels.
  8. Iron: energy production.
  9. Magnesium: anti-inflammatory and stress fighting properties.

I hope we can agree that when it comes to meat, quality makes a huge difference. Grass-fed red meats are far superior in nutrients than their grain-fed counterpart. You are getting what you pay for.

 

Where to find grass-fed, grass-finished meat in Toronto

We carry grass-fed, grass-finished bison, elk and venison. We have various cuts of meat, including ground, steaks, chops and sausages available in store daily. We take special orders on Wednesdays and pick up on Saturday.

Want to learn more about the importance of meat? Read about our meat, nut and vegetable breakfast here.

Have you tried our gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free Venison-Boar Meatballs recipe here. Did you like this recipe? Opt in here to receive the latest game-meat recipes below.

 

Stop wasting money on supplements

Do you eat a balanced diet, exercise and take an assortment of supplements but still experience fatigue, indigestion, dry skin, brittle nails, and/or insomnia? According to University of Texas, 50% of people taking supplements are still nutritionally deficient.

Vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies have been shown to suppress the functions of the immune system which can manifest to one’s health and diseases, such as:

  • arthritis
  • cancer
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes

Having optimal levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is crucial for bodily processes. Nutritional deficiencies can be a risk factor that can contribute to many degenerative disease conditions.

Here are some that may contribute to nutritional deficiency:

  1. Biochemical individuality: We are all metabolically and biochemically unique, the micronutrient requirements from individual to individual may vary from one to another.
  2. Absorption: Although you may eat a balanced diet, you may have not be absorbing all the vitamins, minerals, essential micronutrients effectively, causing deficiencies.
  3. Chronic Illness: Health conditions such as arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, fatigue, multiple sclerosis can be directly or indirectly linked to micronutrient deficiencies.
  4. Aging: Micronutrient requirements at 30 is different from the age of 40 and above. Absorption of micronutrients decreases with age, especially with vitamin B12.
  5. Lifestyle: Excessive physical activity, prescription drugs, smoking, alcohol, stress and sedentary habits all impact micronutrient demands.
  6. Prescription drugs: Drugs could negatively affect the nutrient status of the body in numerous ways. Mechanisms of action for nutrient depletion include changes in absorption, biosynthesis, transport, storage, metabolism and excretion.


If you are eating a balanced diet, supplementing on nutrients and still don’t feel optimal, you may be not absorbing optimal levels of nutrients. At KX Yorkville, our Naturopathic Doctor conducts Micronutrient Testing to determine over 30 nutrients and functions. Book a consultation today and learn how nutrient repletion will help you reach your optimal body composition and health. Stop wasting money on guessing which supplements you are deficient in and get tested.

The meat, nuts and vegetables breakfast

Breakfast is the most commonly skipped meal. Excuses range from “I don’t have an appetite in the morning”, “I don’t have time” to “I can’t eat meat for breakfast”. Cortisol levels are highest between 6am and 9am, which means your metabolism is stimulated and your cells are anxious for you to eat after having fasted all night. For most people, breakfast should be the largest meal of the day. Here are a few reasons why you should eat meat, nuts and vegetable for breakfast.

Most common breakfast mistake

Most people eat typical carbohydrate dense cereal, fruit or oatmeal for breakfast, which will cause a spike of blood sugar first thing in the morning. Peaks and crashes in blood sugar that often lead to dips in energy, poor mental function, food cravings and overeating in the next meal. High levels of blood glucose from the standard carbohydrate rich breakfast will make the body respond by releasing high levels of insulin to lower blood sugar levels.

 

World-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin created the “Meat and Nuts Breakfast” specifically for this purpose.

What you eat for breakfast determines the neurotransmitters you release for the rest of the day. The meat, nuts and vegetables breakfast raises both dopamine and acetylcholine, the two most important neurotransmitters for focus and drive. Needless to say, the richest sources tend to be meats, fish, eggs, different types of nuts and certain vegetables.The meat allows for a slow and steady rise in blood sugar. The nuts provide a great source of healthy smart fats that allows the blood sugar to remain stable for an extended period of time. The vegetables will help move things along and remain satiated longer. High protein and fat breakfasts compared to high carbohydrates will slow down the absorption of food, therefore blunting the glucose and insulin response.

 

Eating a meat, nut and vegetable breakfast will provide you with:

  • Improved mental clarity
  • Increased energy.
  • Better appetite control. reduced cravings throughout the day
  • Optimal body composition

Eating different meat allows you to get different amino acid profiles and avoid intolerances and allergies. Pasture raised game meats are higher in omega-3’s and CLA (the good fat).

Meats

  • Bison
  • Buffalo
  • Lamb
  • Venison
  • Grass-Fed Beef

 

Nuts

  • Walnuts
  • Macadamia
  • Cashew
  • Almonds
  • Pistachio
  • Pine nut
  • Brazil nut

{Note: Peanuts are not nuts–they are legumes!}

 

Allergic to nuts? Here are your options:

  • Avocado
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Coconut oil
  • Cook your meat in healthy fat such as grass-fed butter, coconut oil or animal fats (lard, bacon fat, etc.)

 

Low glycemic vegetables

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Snap peas
  • Cabbage
  • Artichokes

 

Try this meat, nuts and vegetables breakfast and watch the fat shed off your midsection, experience sharp mind and sustained blood sugar. Need help starting? Book an appointment with our Biosignature Practitioner to set you up for success.

Why cutting calories doesn’t work

Calorie-restricted diets don’t work if you want to lose weight permanently. Most people have tried some kind of fad diet, by cutting calories. With over 5,000 diet books to choose from, each claiming the fastest way to success, why isn’t everybody on the same program?

 

You don’t have to starve yourself, spend hours on the elliptical or punish yourself for hours at the gym. If you eat the right food and supplement the right amount of nutrients for your body, excess fat will shed off your body.

 

What cutting calories do to your body

Calorie-restricting don’t work in the long run because it disrupts hormones and enzymes. Skipping just one meal, particularly breakfast, will make it more difficult for the body to lose fat. The initial response to a skipped meal is elevation of stress hormone, cortisol, then the body releases glycogen from the liver to raise your blood sugar. The body thinks you’re in famine, constantly fighting between low and high blood sugar, stressing the body.

 

Carbohydrate Intake

Most importantly, eating too much carbohydrate for your metabolic type can also disrupt hormonal balances. Your body releases insulin to lower blood-sugar levels. Skipping meals, cutting calories or not eating the right food for your body type will cause the body to think you’re in famine, causing your body to store as much energy as possible. Exercise keeps muscles sensitive to insulin, since active muscles use sugar for energy.

 

At KX, we use Biosignature Modulation to determine 12 sites where you store your fat. Storing fat in the middle of your body indicates that you’ve become insulin resistant. This could be the result of dieting, lack of exercise, or eating too many carbohydrates for your body type. Eating the wrong food for your body will leave you tired and bloated. Our body requires vital nutrients to keep the body living. Register here to a fitness and health consultation. Limited spots available.

Is salt good or bad for you?

Salt consumption, much like carbohydrate, protein and fat consumption, is surrounded with controversy and differing opinions. It has been given a bad name and accused for increasing the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. However, most studies are done on refined salt, not natural, unprocessed counterpart. Let’s take a look at what salt does for our body.

Role of unrefined salt include:

  • Vital for extraction of excess acidity from cells of the body
  • Balance blood sugar levels
  • Absorption of food particles through intestinal tract
  • Clears lung of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm
  • Natural antihistamine
  • Can aid in prevention of muscle cramps
  • Required to build strong bones


There is a great nutritional difference between refined and natural salt.

Refined salt

Refined table salts often contain anti-caking agents, some of which are aluminum based, leading to metal toxicity. Dextrose is used by some manufacturers to prevent the salt from turning purple. Sodium siliconauminate, is associated with kidney problems and mineral malabsorption. Sodium acetate, may elevate blood pressure, kidney disturbances and water retention.

Unrefined, natural salt

Unprocessed sea salt is about 78% sodium chloride and 11% magnesium chloride, and smaller amounts of magnesium and calcium carbonate. There are many trace minerals and elements in unrefined sea salt, responsible for regulating nutritional absorption, provide electrolytes and cellular function.

  • Contains over 60 trace minerals
  • Powerful electrolytes
  • Trace elements required for proper adrenal, immune and thyroid function
  • Digestive enzyme enhancers, which help your body absorb more nutrients from the foods that you eat


Choose coloured salt (either pink, grey or black). White salt is stripped from all the nutrients and benefits.

Book an appointment with our Biosignature Practitioner to learn more about how foods and supplements can improve your body composition.

Magnesium function and deficiency

The best source of magnesium comes from leafy green vegetables. However, people who strive to eat a healthy diet can sometimes fail to consume optimal levels of magnesium due to deficiency in soils and long transport and shelf life in our grocery foods.

Magnesium deficiency

Over 80% of Canadians are magnesium deficient. Manifestations of hypomagnesemia might include tremor, agitation, muscle fasciculation, depression, cardiac arrhythmia and hypokalaemia. Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions,  seizures, sudden changes in behaviour caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain, abnormal heartbeat and coronary spasms might occur.

Magnesium deficiency should be considered in all patients especially ones who are:

  • on prescription drugs
  • experiencing chronic pain, muscle hypertonicity or spasticity
  • experiencing insomnia
  • the elderly population
  • experiencing digestive problems

Role of magnesium

Magnesium is a cofactor in over 300 enzymatic reactions. This mineral is responsible for stabilizing enzymes and energy production. ATP is required universally for glucose utilization, synthesis of fat, proteins, nucleic acids and coenzymes, muscle contraction, relaxation and normal neurological function.

  • Glucose utilization
  • Normal neurological function
  • Synthesis of fat, protein, nucleic acids, coenzymes
  • Release of neurotransmitters
  • Muscule contraction and relaxation
  • Regulation of vascular tone, heart rhythm, bone formation

Magnesium is responsible for body composition and sports performance. Clients typically see an improvement in glucose regulation and sleep with the supplementation of magnesium. Magnesium is also responsible for insulin sensitivity, thus supporting glucose metabolism and aids in fat loss.

Source of magnesium

The best source of magnesium is in chlorophyll, found in green vegetables. Nuts and seeds are also very high in magnesium. Supplementation in magnesium is very important if you’re active, as magnesium is depleted during exercise.

We recommend a blend of magnesium in its most comprehensive bioavailable complex.

Magnesium glycinate: effective calming muscles, sleep and pain Magnesium Apartate: reduces fatigue
Magnesium malate: muscle tenderness and recovery, fibromyalgia Magnesium ascorbate: Bone health reduce damage created by excessive calcium
Magnesium Citrate: laxative Magnesium Orotate: Cardiovascular function

Table 3: Forms of magnesium.

 

Book a consultation with a Biosignature Practitioner to learn about how supplements can improve your well-being or learn more about Biosignature Modulation here.

What causes bloating after meals?

Clients often complain about bloating and gas after meals. Sometimes it could be eating foods that you are intolerant to, such as gluten, dairy, soy, eggs or nightshades. If you’ve been free of those allergens, sometimes it could just be low digestive capacity; not enough enzymes to break down the foods.

Common factors that causes bloating

  1. Stress: there are two branches of the nervous system, “fight or flight” and “rest and digest”. Chronic stress leads an imbalance in the nervous system, favouring of the “fight or flight” branch, demonstrating symptoms such as reflux, spasm, cramping, gas and bloating.
  2. Side effects of prescription drugs: NSAIDs, antibiotics, diuretics, acid-blocking drugs all induce IBS-like symptoms.
  3. Insufficient HCl and digestive enzymes by the body.

 

The first step to digestion starts when food enters your mouth. You voluntarily chew and grind the food into slush as your salivary glands release amylase to break down carbohydrates. The process is completely involuntary right after you swallow your food, but don’t sweat, you can still debloat and heal low stomach acid and enzymes with these foods and supplements.

 

Foods and Digestive Enzymes to Improve Digestion

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: the acidity will safely lower the pH in your stomach and prevent candida overgrowth.
  2. Probiotics: Intestinal bacterial provides digestive, immune and metabolic support.
  3. HCl Supplement: HCl breaks down protein molecules and acts as a defense against pathogenic organisms such as bacteria, yeast and viruses. Sufficient HCl is required to absorb essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron, vitamin C, B12, beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, chromium, copper, vanadium, selenium and maganese.
  4. Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates into amino acids, fatty acids and sugars to be absorbed by the body.

 

Need help correcting your digestion issues? You may also want to learn about Biosignature Modulation, a method to we use determine the right foods and supplements for your body type or contact our Coaches to help you get started.

 

In health,

The KX Team

You’d Win Friends With Wild Boar Bacon

Wild Boar Bacon

Have you ever had naturally smoked, nitrite-free, sugar-free, preservative-free, locally produced wild boar bacon?

If you haven’t had this bacon, you’re missing out. If you have, you don’t need to drag yourself to the farmer’s market at 7am this Saturday morning to get your hands on a pack. It’s here at Kx Yorkville and we’re open 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday, 9am till 9pm. Make sure you save the fat and use it to fry your eggs in the morning or saute meat and vegetables.

 

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