What we eat is an essential part of our gut healing. Quality is the most important ingredient. We need to ask the question, how/where has the food been grown or produced. How has the soil been treated? Has the wheat that has gone into making the bread I am eating been grown in vast tracts of land that it is dead from pesticides? Is the milk that I am drinking or the cheese created from the milk, been taken from cows fed a cocktail of antibiotics, growth hormones and steroids? How much of my diet is fast/processed food? These are difficult questions to ask and sometimes inconvenient but the quality of the food that we eat can affect the health of our guts. We ideally want to eat food that is alive with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. This is good for our health, good for the earth and good for the treatment of animals we feed on.
Is it any coincidence that obesity and colon cancer in the US is so rife when the staple components of an average American diet are beef burgers and milkshakes? When children are put on drugs to help control ADHD in what seems to be an epidemic of psychological disorders in young people? Sadly these issues are all heading our way. I recommend we eat as well as we can afford. Choosing organic, local farm produce, home grown vegetables or bio-dynamic makes a big statement to our well being and the food industry. We can probably cut our food budget considerably by eating less meat and investing in quality for the rest of our grocery shop.
Sadly, for many of us, the health of our gut has already been bombarded by a lifetime of trying to digest meals that are food in appearance only. We can suffer from chronic bloating, IBS, colitis, acid reflux, heart burn, constipation, diarrhoea, Chron’s disease and a host of other medical complaints that can stem from a gut in dysbiosis. These problems can then be exacerbated from the over prescription of anti biotics and other drugs that are trying to alleviate the symptoms rather than trying to effect a cure.
Making simple but powerful changes to your diet can literally be the beginning of a new life and for most of us it’s about taking an informed choice. It’s just using our commonsense.
The Do's and Don'ts of healthy eating
AVOID (as much as possible)
‘Normal’ wheat that appears in most bread, biscuits, cakes, pasta and also a lot of processed prepared foods (check the label).
Gluten in wheat is particularly challenging to break down and digest.
It is being exposed by scientists as one of the leading culprits of leaky gut leading to chronic inflammation and a whole host of health debilitating side effects including Celiac Disease, Auto-immune disorders Diabetes and Dementia.
Alternatives: Quinoa, Buckwheat, Spelt, Amaranth, Oats, Rye. If you are gluten intolerant you may need to avoid Spelt, Rye and Oats.
Refined sugar and artificial sweeteners including fructose. These can appear in prepared foods and drinks (check the label). A diet high in carbs and sugar can set up an inflammatory microbiome leading to High blood sugar, High blood pressure, Heart disease, Diabetes, Hormonal imbalances, ADHD and Alzheimers.
Research from the Mayo Clinic US, has found that diets overly rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89 percent increased risk for Dementia.
Alternatives (in moderation): Raw honey, Manuka honey, Maple syrup, Green Leaf Stevia, Date Sugar, Coconut palm sugar, Coconut nectar, Fruit.
Cow’s milk dairy and its derivatives including cheese and yoghurt. Most cows are fed a cocktail of antibiotics, bovine growth hormones, and steroids. These get into the milk supply. It can cause inflammation in the gut resulting in Bloating, Gas, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Acne, Eczema, Hormonal imbalances, Infertility.
Alternatives: Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Oat Milk, Rice Milk (organic where possible) Goats and Sheep’s’ preferably raw and unpasteurised milk (unless intolerant).
Alternatives sources of calcium: Almonds, Kale, Oranges, Broccoli, Figs, Spinach, Enriched rice, Almond, Hemp, Coconut milk, Sesame seeds, Tofu
Trans fats Artificially produced trans fats raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Sources of bad trans fats; Commercially baked goods: biscuits, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, hamburger buns. Packaged snack foods: crackers, chips, sweets. Solid fats: margarine and vegetable shortening. Fried foods; French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish, hard taco shells. Pre mixed products; cake mix, pancake chocolate milk. Anything with ’hydrogenated’ or ‘partially hydrogenated’ listed as an ingredient.
Alternative oils and fats:Extra virgin olive oil, organic sunflower oil, sesame oil, Flax Seed Oil, coconut oil (good for high temperature cooking). Butter only from grass fed cows or and goats milk butter. Organic Goat’s and Sheep cheeses preferably unpasteurized. Natural live goats, Sheep’s yoghurt, Coconut yoghurt, Kefir.
Foods To Eat
Organic where possible, Alkaline foods (75 per cent) including, Vegetables, Salads, Fruit, Seeds, Nuts
Proteins for Non-Vegetarians
Outdoor, Grass Fed Beef, Lamb, Venison etc
Organic/Free Range Chicken, Duck, Turkey etc
Wild responsibly sourced fish –Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Pilchards etc
Proteins for Vegetarians
Quinoa, Buckwheat, Tempeh, Tofu, Beans, Pulses, Hummus, Chia Seeds, Organic soy beans, Hemp Seeds, Non wheat Ezekiel bread, Aramanth, Spinach, Guava, Peas, Lentils, Organic peanut butter, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Pecans, Macadamia nuts.
Vegetables for Healthy Eating
Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cucumber, Garlic, Kale, Onions, Jerusalem Artichokes, Beetroot, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Celery, Fennel, Leeks, Lettuce, Radishes, Spinach, Parsnip, Turnip, Squash, Swiss Chard, Swede, Sweet potatoes, Peas, Green beans, Pak Choy, Avocado
In moderation from the deadly nightshade family (if intolerant avoid); Potatoes, Peppers, Tomatoes, Aubergine, Chillies,
Acai berry, Apples, Bananas, Grapefruit, Blueberries ,Cantaloupe, Cherries, Cranberries, Fresh Figs, Grapes, Blackberries, Kiwi, Lemons, Mango, Oranges, Plums, Pomegranate, Raspberries, Strawberries, Papayas, Pumpkin Pineapple, Avocado, Tomatoes
Foods Containing Probiotics.
Sauerkraut, Kimchi and other cultured vegetables contain Lactobacillus Plantarum one of the most beneficial bacterial in your body and also Lactobacillus Brevis. Fermented, Raw Dairy Products such as Yoghurt, Kefir, Soured milk, etc, contain Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Thermophilus, Bifidus, Bulgaricus. Unpasteurized Miso (fermented soybeans) contains the fungal microorganism Aspergillus Oryzae. Kombucha, (started by using a SCOBY –symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). All help to create and maintain a healthy Microbiome.
Foods Containing Prebiotics
Raw Jerusalem Artichokes, Raw Dandelion Greens, Raw Garlic, Raw Leeks, Raw Onion, Cooked Onions, Raw Asparagus, Raw Banana, Raw Chicory Root, Acacia Gum
Organic Black Tea and Green Tea, Coffee and Dark Chocolate are rich in Flavonoids and Polyphenols which increase Bifidobacteria, helpful for gut permeability, cognitive function, and blood pressure.