spinach

Health-Benefits-of-Spinach-800x416
PRIMARY MICRO NUTRIENTSVit K, Vit C, Vit A, Vit E, Folate, Vit B6, Viot B2, Manganese, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron
SECONDARY MICRO NUTRIENTSVit B3, Vit B1, Zinc, Phosphorus, Calcium
NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHTSHigh Nutrient Content
Extremely alkaline – good for moderating body pH
Extremely high in chlorophyll and carotene and at least 13 other flavonoids
FUNCTIONAL BENEFITSHealthy eyes – extremely rich source of Carotenoid Lutein which promotes healthy eyesight and prevents macular degeneration and cataracts
Good quality blood – extremely rich source of iron and chlorophyll
PHYTONUTRIENTSFlavonoid function: anti-oxidants, direct anti-tumor effects, immune enhancing properties
Carotene function: anti-oxidants, enhance immune functions, anti-tumor, stimulate anti-oxidant mechanisms
Chlorophyll
– stimulates hemoglobin and production of red blood cells
– prevents excessive menstrual blood flow
– very similar to Heme portion of red blood cells
– anti-cancer and anti-oxidant effects
– astringent – stimulate wound healing, especially of skin and GI tract
PLANT FAMILYChenopodiaceae. Related to: Beets, Spinach, Swiss Chard
DANGERShigh amounts oxalate (Kidney stones); Purines (Gout); High Pesticide levels
  RDASpinach, Raw 
NutrientUnit   
Waterg 91.4 
Energykcal 23 
Proteing 2.86 
Total lipid (fat)g 0.39 
Carbohydrate, by differenceg 3.63 
Fiber, total dietaryg 2.2 
Sugars, totalg 0.42 
Minerals    
Calcium, Camg1000999.9%
Iron, Femg82.7133.9%
Magnesium, Mgmg4207918.8%
Phosphorus, Pmg700497.0%
Potassium, Kmg470558118.7%
Sodium, Namg 79 
Zinc, Znmg110.534.8%
Copper, Cumg0.90.1314.4%
Manganese, Mnmg2.30.89739.0%
Selenium, Seµg5511.8%
Vitamins    
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acidmg9028.131.2%
Thiaminmg1.20.0786.5%
Riboflavinmg1.30.18914.5%
Niacinmg160.7244.5%
Pantothenic acidmg50.0651.3%
Vitamin B-6mg1.70.19511.5%
Folate, totalµg40019448.5%
Choline, totalmg 19.3 
Betainemg 102.6 
Vitamin B-12µg2.400.0%
Vitamin A, RNEmcg90046952.1%
Vitamin E, totalmg152.2114.7%
Vitamin DIU60000.0%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)µg120482.9402.4%

RDA – Recommended Dietary Amount recommendations are based upon calculations for a 40 year old very active man that I have adapted from USDA’s Dietary Intake Guidelines. Using this link you can make your own calculations

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

USDA food database: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/

alcohol and gluten

beer_champagneBeer (or wine) and Pizza make a classic combination – talk about umami! However that feel good effect may have more to it than the taste and the buzz of alcohol. It may in fact be a sign that opiates are being released into the brain. But how does this occur? And how can a gluten allergy be involved in this?

In my reboot! post mentioned how I was diagnosed with a Gluten allergy. At the time, I was shocked! After all, I did the test to rule out the possibility of a gluten allergy as a cause for my health problems! As such I faced having to give up my hobbies of beer brewing and bread making with gluten grains, so I looked into what could have triggered the allergy. My answer came when I looked at alcohol and below I delve into what I found out.

Allergies and Barrier Integrity

Allergies start when an unusual particle (such as a food molecule) crosses a barrier within the body. These barriers serve to keep out those particles and exist in the Gastro Intestinal (GI) Tract as well as the Brain, and they are formed by molecules that are tightly woven together and allow only particles of a certain size to cross them. Whether the barrier itself has integrity or is in a weakened state making it “leak” is a major health concern. In my studies on Allergies and Autoimmune and Digestive Health I have posted the factors that lead to leaky barriers. Of these factors, stress and alcohol are quite possibly the most important.

Stress in itself draws blood away from the digestive tract, slowing down the breaking down of food and the motility of it through the body. Just think of when someone said something that made you anxious or distressed whilst you ate – what happened inside your gut? Did you feel a tightening, a constriction in the gut and a loss of appetite? This leads to larger than normal food particles that linger in the GI tract. Having partially digested food remain in the GI tract is damaging to it, as we shall see below. And a family of food particles that we do not wanting to have lingering around are lectins, in particular wheat lectin.

Lectins

Dietary lectins are present both in wheat and in beans and legumes. Like phytates, they serve as protection for plant seeds, such as grains and legumes. Lectins cause damage as they are sticky proteins that bind to other molecules in the body and in the process stimulate an immune response. And this immune response damages barrier lining and widening the junctions in it. Put another way, lectins cause holes in barriers such as the GI tract and allow unusual particles to cross it. [1]

Lectins are broken down and destroyed through sprouting or fermenting, which makes soaking and sprouting your legumes all important! However all too often these grains and legumes are not sprouted, and the lectins are still present in them. Even heating foods containing lectins, such as in making bread does not destroy the lectins in them. Thus even gluten free bread made with bean flour such as Garbanzo or Chickpea Flour contains lectins that can damage the GI lining. [2] And even fermenting (in the case of sourdough bread) almost always only ferments a small portion of the overall grain flour used in the bread. So be aware that eating any food that contains lectins (such as foods made with wheat or beans), damage may be caused to the GI lining making it more permeable.

Leaky barriers and Opiate Highs

A damaged GI wall and intestinal permeability also results from an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria in gut caused by stress, poor gut motility or diets low in probiotic foods.With a more permeable intestinal barrier, more molecules normally prevented from crossing this barrier are allowed to cross, such as partially digested protein molecules (or peptides). These molecules can then prompt an immune reaction to their appearance leading to an inflammatory response. This inflammatory response can then lead to increased intestinal permeability in turn causing an inflammatory spiral (ie increased inflammation). This sets the stage for the immune system to form antibodies so that it can react more effectively in the future. And in the case of foods with gluten, an allergy or sensitivity to gluten is the result.

Gluten proteins may also be digested improperly and metabolized by pepsin and hydrochloric acid in the stomach into gluteomorphin peptides.  This is the case when people have low stomach acidity which leads to low production of pancreatic enzymes (which itself may be caused by stress). In turn this leads to impaired intestinal wall enterocyte and enzyme function causing problems with digesting protein in food. Most importantly Gluteomorphin peptide breakdown is inhibited[3]

When intestinal enzymes do not break down these peptides, they cross the GI barrier intact. Gluteomorphins can also cross Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) where they bind to opiate receptors in the brain. And opiate receptor binding lead to euphoria, addiction and cravings for more (and appetite stimulation)[3].  This may explain the craving for and happy buzz you get from pizza – an opiate high from Gluteomorphins! However that high and craving could be a sign of both intestinal permeability and a gluten allergy.

Leaky Barriers and Brain Health

Opiate receptor binding of gluteomorphin in the brain also has direct links to schizophrenia, autism and ADHD. In addition, partially digested  peptides crossing the GI barrier inhibit enzymes which break down used protein metabolites in body, such as hormones and neurotransmitters. This is turn leads to increased circulation of them leading to damage to tissues, organs and the brain. Gluten meanwhile is associated with several specific brain health issues[4][13]

  • Encephalopathy (brain disease) and brain destruction that leads to migraines and stroke like symptoms such as loss of use of arm, legs or speech and vision difficulties as well as dementia and peripheral neuropathy
  • Immune related damage to memory and mind, such as temporal lobes, resulting in seizures and epilepsy
  • Cerebellar ataxia caused by the binding of gluten anti-bodies in the brain to Purkinje receptors and brain cell destruction

This ataxia (impaired muscular co-ordination) you may be familiar with – it happens on those occasions when we drink too much alcohol! However alcohol also poses even more dangers. Drinking alcohol even in moderate amounts has been shown in a study to disrupt the GI lining making it leaky[5]. In addition, alcohol has been shown to disrupt and weaken the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB)[6].

Other factors, including immune mediators and inflammatory compounds can weaken the BBB leading to neural degeneration and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and epilepsy[7]. And these inflammatory compounds can stem from a leaky gut, which in itself has been shown to contribute to a leaky BBB[8]. In fact, any factor which weakens the GI barrier including stress, the use of pharmaceuticals and exposure to allergy foods and toxins can also weaken the BBB and lead to neurodegeration[9].

A key point involved in this is the additional load of toxins and peptides that are allowed into the body through a leaky gut. These then create metabolic waste as the immune system tries to tackle them. All of this waste then needs to be cleared out by the liver, and the liver shares nutrient resources for its function with the immune and adrenal systems. Thus under increased work load to process this metabolic waste, or if the nutrients it needs are being used due to stress or an immune response, the liver will take longer time to break down this waste leading to damage caused to the body as they keep circulating in it. Thus drinking alcohol will enhance the potential for this damage to the body, for it is also a toxin that the liver deals with.

Alcohol consumption in itself has been shown to have links with the development of Celiac disease[10]. However, whilst it is not clear that alcohol consumption actually causes Celiac disease, what can be assumed is that it plays a mediatory role. This same role has been shown to occur between alcohol consumption and the development of Cerebellar degeneration related to gluten (Gluten ataxia)[11]. The issue here is what triggers the development of antibodies that react both to gluten and to brain tissue. As such alcohol can prime a person for the formation of these antibodies through weakening the GI and BBB as well as through weakening the liver’s ability to process metabolic waste.

A key point to note is that brain degeneration related to Gluten is not always associated with GI related symptoms or discomfort, as studies have shown[12] [13] [14]. These studies postulate that the immune system response to gluten is different between people. Thus an allergic response to gluten could manifest in GI problems with some people and neurological (Brain) related problems with other people. Meanwhile these studies show that avoidance of gluten lowered the onset of GI and neurological problems. A gluten free diet moreover may also prevent these problems occurring at all.

Takeaway

Personally I never had GI problems from eating wheat or gluten grains. However my tests showed I had gluten antibodies in my brain, antibodies linked directly to Gluten Ataxia and Cerebellar degeneration. From looking into this, I see that alcohol and stress played a key role in weakening my BBB and triggering the formation of those antibodies. And I certainly don’t want to lose my muscular co-ordination and ability to exercise due to Gluten Ataxia. Nor do I want the same to happen to you!

So I offer you the following advice:

  • Ensure you are able to relax and be absorbed in good vibrational feelings whilst you eat and that you are not stressed (or distressed / made anxious) by anything. A simple habit or ritual to help with this is to say a prayer of gratitude or grace before eating and to eat mindfully and gratefully (and encourage others who eat with you to join you in this ritual!)
  • Chew thoroughly as this also both stimulates and is a key part of the whole digestion process
  • Be aware that all foods that contain grain and legumes run the risk of causing a leaky gut. This includes all breads, pastas as well as gluten free products made with bean flour. In other words, unless the grains and legumes used in the food are thoroughly soaked, sprouted or fermented to break down the lectins in them, those lectins could be causing a leaky gut
  • A glass of alcohol with food makes the barriers of the brain and gut leaky and a leaky barrier is what triggers an allergic reaction as well as both Gastro Intestinal and Brain damage
  • Love your liver! and start you day with a green smoothie

Resources:[1]

Lectins

An excellent article about Lectins, GI health and the benefits of sprouting from the Precision Nutrition

An indepth study on Dietary Lectins and immune response from Laura Power, pH D

A great article about the link between Wheat and brain health from Dr Mercola

An study article about the health problems caused by wheat from GreenMedInfo

Adapted from:

[2]

Pierini , C. (no date). Lectins: Their Damaging Role in Intestinal Health, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Weight Loss.

Kharrazian, D. (2013). Why Isn’t My Brain Working? Carlsbad, C.A.: Elephant Press

Perlmutter, D. (2013). Grain Brain. New York, N.Y.: Little, Brown and Company

[3]

Campbell-McBride, N. (2004). Gut and Psychology Syndrome.  Cambridge, U.K., Medinform Publishing
[4]

Davis, William (2011). Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back To Health. New York, NY: Rodale

Alcohol and Weakening of the Blood Brain Barrier

[5]

Elamin E, Jonkers D, Juuti-Uusitalo K, van IJzendoorn S, Troost F, et al. (2012) Effects of Ethanol and Acetaldehyde on Tight Junction Integrity: In Vitro Study in a Three Dimensional Intestinal Epithelial Cell Culture Model. PLoS ONE 7(4): e35008. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035008
[6]

Haorah, J., Heilman, D., Knipe, B., Chrastil, J., Leibhart, J., Ghorpade, A., Miller, D. W. and Persidsky, Y. (2005), Ethanol-Induced Activation of Myosin Light Chain Kinase Leads to Dysfunction of Tight Junctions and Blood-Brain Barrier Compromise. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 29: 999–1009. doi: 10.1097/01.ALC.0000166944.79914.0A

Blood Brain Barrier
[7]

Stamatovic, S. M., Keep, R. F., & Andjelkovic, A. V. (2008). Brain Endothelial Cell-Cell Junctions: How to “Open” the Blood Brain Barrier. Current Neuropharmacology6(3), 179–192. doi:10.2174/157015908785777210
[8]

Aristo Vojdani and Jama Lambert, “The Role of Th17 in Neuroimmune Disorders: Target for CAM Therapy. Part II,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2011, Article ID 984965, 7 pages, 2011. doi:10.1093/ecam/nep063
[9]

Forsgren, S. (2008). NeuroImmunology: From Leaky Gut to Leaky Brain. Public Health Alert: 3(12).

Alcohol and Gluten sensitivity
[10]

Koivisto, H., Hietala, J., Anttila, P., & Niemelä, O. (2008). Co-occurrence of IgA antibodies against ethanol metabolites and tissue transglutaminase in alcohol consumers: correlation with proinflammatory cytokines and markers of fibrogenesis. Digestive diseases and sciences53(2), 500-505.
[11]

Currie, S., Hoggard, N., Clark, M. J. R., Sanders, D. S., Wilkinson, I. D., Griffiths, P. D., & Hadjivassiliou, M. (2013). Alcohol Induces Sensitization to Gluten in Genetically Susceptible Individuals: A Case Control Study. PLoS ONE8(10), e77638. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077638

Gluten Ataxia

Hadjivassiliou, M., Mäki, M., Sanders, D. S., Williamson, C. A., Grünewald, R. A., Woodroofe, N. M., & Korponay-Szabó, I. R. (2006). Autoantibody targeting of brain and intestinal transglutaminase in gluten ataxia. Neurology66(3), 373-377. This study may be found by copying and pasting the following link into your browser: http://drperlmutter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2-Autoantibodies-TTG-ataxia.pdf
[12]

Hadjivassiliou, M., Aeschlimann, P., Strigun, A., Sanders, D. S., Woodroofe, N., & Aeschlimann, D. (2008). Autoantibodies in gluten ataxia recognize a novel neuronal transglutaminase. Annals of neurology64(3), 332-343.

[13]

Hadjivassiliou, M., Sanders, D. S., Grünewald, R. A., Woodroofe, N., Boscolo, S., & Aeschlimann, D. (2010). Gluten sensitivity: from gut to brain. The Lancet Neurology9(3), 318-330. This study may be found by copying and pasting the following link into your browser:http://drperlmutter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Celiac-disease-from-gut-to-brain.pdf
[14]

Hadjivassiliou, M., Aeschlimann, P., Sanders, D. S., Mäki, M., Kaukinen, K., Grünewald, R. A., … & Aeschlimann, D. P. (2013). Transglutaminase 6 antibodies in the diagnosis of gluten ataxia. Neurology80(19), 1740-1745

cheddar cheese

White Cheddar Cheese

PRIMARY MICRO NUTRIENTS Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin A, B2, B5,  B12,
SECONDARY MICRO NUTRIENTS Magnesium, Copper, Vitamin B3, B6, Folate, Vitamin D
NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS High quality protein; Beneficial bacteria; Dental protection
FUNCTIONAL BENEFITS
  • Bacteria
    • Nourishes colon cells
    • Lowering blood cholesterol
    • Improving blood sugar control
    • Preventing overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast
    • Enhancing Calcium absorption
    • Enhancing growth of probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species
  • Dental Protection – aged cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss, Blue, Brie prevent dental pH from falling to where tooth enamel is broken down by acids of plaque bacteria, thus preventing cavities
NUTRITIONAL NOTES Cheese should be kept in the door of the refrigerator (the warmest part)
DANGERS
  • Allergies
    • High allergy food, particularly with children due to lactose
    • Lactose levels in cheese lower than in milk due to breakdown of lactose in cheese production: hard, aged cheeses such as Cheddar and Swiss contain little to no lactose
RDA Cheddar cheese
Nutrient Unit per 100g
g 3700 36.75 1.0%
Energy kcal 2600 403 15.5%
Protein g 90 24.9 27.7%
Total lipid (fat) g 87 33.14 38.1%
Carbohydrate, by difference g 224 1.28 0.6%
Fiber, total dietary g 38 0 0.0%
Sugars, total g 0.52
Minerals
Calcium, Ca mg 1000 721 72.1%
Iron, Fe mg 8 0.68 8.5%
Magnesium, Mg mg 420 28 6.7%
Phosphorus, P mg 700 512 73.1%
Potassium, K mg 470 98 20.9%
Sodium, Na mg 621
Zinc, Zn mg 11 3.11 28.3%
Copper, Cu mg 0.9 0.031 3.4%
Manganese, Mn mg 2.3 0.01 0.4%
Selenium, Se µg 55 13.9 25.3%
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 90 0 0.0%
Thiamin mg 1.2 0.027 2.3%
Riboflavin mg 1.3 0.375 28.8%
Niacin mg 16 0.08 0.5%
Pantothenic acid mg 5 0.413 8.3%
Vitamin B-6 mg 1.7 0.074 4.4%
Folate, total µg 400 18 4.5%
Choline, total mg 16.5
Betaine mg 0.7
Vitamin B-12 µg 2.4 0.83 34.6%
Vitamin A, IU IU 5000 1002 20.0%
Vitamin E, total mg 15 0.29 1.9%
Vitamin D IU 600 24 4.0%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) µg 120 2.8 2.3%
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated g 19.37
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated g 8.43
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated g 1.43
Cholesterol 102
Amino Acids g
Tryptophan g 0.32
Threonine g 0.886
Isoleucine g 1.546
Leucine g 2.385
Lysine g 2.072
Methionine g 0.652
Cystine g 0.125
Phenylalanine g 1.311
Tyrosine g 1.202
Valine g 1.663
Arginine g 0.941
Histidine g 0.874
Alanine g 0.703
Aspartic acid g 1.6
Glutamic acid g 6.092
Glycine g 0.429
Proline g 2.806
Serine g 1.456

RDA – Recommended Dietary Amount recommendations are based upon calculations for a 40 year old very active man that I have adapted from USDA’s Dietary Intake Guidelines. Using this link you can make your own calculations

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

USDA food database: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/

Other information sources:

World’s Healthiest Foods – an excellent online food and nutrition encyclopedia

Self Nutrition Data: an online nutrient breakdown of foods

blue cheese

bluecheese4

PRIMARY MICRO NUTRIENTS Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin A, B2, B5, B6, B12, Folate
SECONDARY MICRO NUTRIENTS Magnesium, Copper, Iron, Vitamin B3, D
NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS High quality protein; Beneficial bacteria; Dental protection
FUNCTIONAL BENEFITS
  • Bacteria
    • Nourishes colon cells
    • Lowering blood cholesterol
    • Improving blood sugar control
    • Preventing overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast
    • Enhancing Calcium absorption
    • Enhancing growth of probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species
  • Dental Protection – aged cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss, Blue, Brie prevent dental pH from falling to where tooth enamel is broken down by acids of plaque bacteria, thus preventing cavities
NUTRITIONAL NOTES Cheese should be kept in the door of the refrigerator (the warmest part)
DANGERS
  • Allergies
    • High allergy food, particularly with children due to lactose
    • Lactose levels in cheese lower than in milk due to breakdown of lactose in cheese production: hard, aged cheeses such as Cheddar and Swiss contain little to no lactose
RDA Blue cheese
Nutrient Unit per 100g
g 3700 42.41 1.1%
Energy kcal 2600 353 13.6%
Protein g 90 21.4 23.8%
Total lipid (fat) g 87 28.74 33.0%
Carbohydrate, by difference g 224 2.34 1.0%
Fiber, total dietary g 38 0 0.0%
Sugars, total g 0.5
Minerals
Calcium, Ca mg 1000 528 52.8%
Iron, Fe mg 8 0.31 3.9%
Magnesium, Mg mg 420 23 5.5%
Phosphorus, P mg 700 387 55.3%
Potassium, K mg 470 256 54.5%
Sodium, Na mg 1146
Zinc, Zn mg 11 2.66 24.2%
Copper, Cu mg 0.9 0.04 4.4%
Manganese, Mn mg 2.3 0.009 0.4%
Selenium, Se µg 55 14.5 26.4%
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 90 0 0.0%
Thiamin mg 1.2 0.029 2.4%
Riboflavin mg 1.3 0.382 29.4%
Niacin mg 16 1.016 6.4%
Pantothenic acid mg 5 1.729 34.6%
Vitamin B-6 mg 1.7 0.166 9.8%
Folate, total µg 400 36 9.0%
Choline, total mg 15.4
Betaine mg
Vitamin B-12 µg 2.4 1.22 50.8%
Vitamin A, IU IU 5000 721 14.4%
Vitamin E, total mg 15 0.25 1.7%
Vitamin D IU 600 21 3.5%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) µg 120 2.4 2.0%
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated g 18.67
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated g 7.78
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated g 0.8
Cholesterol 75
Amino Acids g
Tryptophan g 0.312
Threonine g 0.785
Isoleucine g 1.124
Leucine g 1.919
Lysine g 1.852
Methionine g 0.584
Cystine g 0.107
Phenylalanine g 1.087
Tyrosine g 1.295
Valine g 1.556
Arginine g 0.711
Histidine g 0.758
Alanine g 0.644
Aspartic acid g 1.436
Glutamic acid g 5.179
Glycine g 0.406
Proline g 2.1
Serine g 1.12

RDA – Recommended Dietary Amount recommendations are based upon calculations for a 40 year old very active man that I have adapted from USDA’s Dietary Intake Guidelines. Using this link you can make your own calculations

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

USDA food database: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/

Other information sources:

World’s Healthiest Foods – an excellent online food and nutrition encyclopedia

Self Nutrition Data: an online nutrient breakdown of foods

parmesan cheese

parmesan-cheese

PRIMARY MICRO NUTRIENTS Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Magnesium, Vitamin A, B2, B12
SECONDARY MICRO NUTRIENTS  Manganese, Vitamin B5, D
NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS High quality protein; Beneficial bacteria; Dental protection
FUNCTIONAL BENEFITS
  • Bacteria
    • Nourishes colon cells
    • Lowering blood cholesterol
    • Improving blood sugar control
    • Preventing overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast
    • Enhancing Calcium absorption
    • Enhancing growth of probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species
  • Dental Protection – aged cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss, Blue, Brie prevent dental pH from falling to where tooth enamel is broken down by acids of plaque bacteria, thus preventing cavities
NUTRITIONAL NOTES Cheese should be kept in the door of the refrigerator (the warmest part)
DANGERS
  • Allergies
    • High allergy food, particularly with children due to lactose
    • Lactose levels in cheese lower than in milk due to breakdown of lactose in cheese production: hard, aged cheeses such as Cheddar and Swiss contain little to no lactose
RDA Parmesan cheese % RDA
Nutrient Unit per 100g
g 3700 20.84 0.6%
Energy kcal 2600 431 16.6%
Protein g 90 38.46 42.7%
Total lipid (fat) g 87 28.61 32.9%
Carbohydrate, by difference g 224 4.06 1.8%
Fiber, total dietary g 38 0 0.0%
Sugars, total g 0.9
Minerals
Calcium, Ca mg 1000 1109 110.9%
Iron, Fe mg 8 0.9 11.3%
Magnesium, Mg mg 420 38 9.0%
Phosphorus, P mg 700 729 104.1%
Potassium, K mg 470 125 26.6%
Sodium, Na mg 1529
Zinc, Zn mg 11 3.87 35.2%
Copper, Cu mg 0.9 0.238 26.4%
Manganese, Mn mg 2.3 0.085 3.7%
Selenium, Se µg 55 17.7 32.2%
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 90 0 0.0%
Thiamin mg 1.2 0.029 2.4%
Riboflavin mg 1.3 0.486 37.4%
Niacin mg 16 0.114 0.7%
Pantothenic acid mg 5 0.325 6.5%
Vitamin B-6 mg 1.7 0.049 2.9%
Folate, total µg 400 10 2.5%
Choline, total mg 15.4
Betaine mg
Vitamin B-12 µg 2.4 2.26 94.2%
Vitamin A, IU IU 5000 865 17.3%
Vitamin E, total mg 15 0.25 1.7%
Vitamin D IU 600 21 3.5%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) µg 120 1.9 1.6%
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated g 17.37
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated g 8.73
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated g 0.66
Cholesterol 72
Amino Acids g
Tryptophan g 0.518
Threonine g 1.455
Isoleucine g 1.969
Leucine g 3.718
Lysine g 2.98
Methionine g 1.016
Cystine g 0.122
Phenylalanine g 2.081
Tyrosine g 2.328
Valine g 2.524
Arginine g 1.567
Histidine g 1.092
Alanine g 1.163
Aspartic acid g 2.673
Glutamic acid g 8.696
Glycine g 0.759
Proline g 4.622
Serine g 2.292

RDA – Recommended Dietary Amount recommendations are based upon calculations for a 40 year old very active man that I have adapted from USDA’s Dietary Intake Guidelines. Using this link you can make your own calculations

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

USDA food database: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/

Other information sources:

World’s Healthiest Foods – an excellent online food and nutrition encyclopedia

Self Nutrition Data: an online nutrient breakdown of foods

brie cheese

brie

PRIMARY MICRO NUTRIENTS Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Selenium, Vitamin A, B2, B5, B6, B12, Folate,
SECONDARY MICRO NUTRIENTS Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin B1, D
NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS High quality protein; Beneficial bacteria; Dental protection
FUNCTIONAL BENEFITS
  • Bacteria
    • Nourishes colon cells
    • Lowering blood cholesterol
    • Improving blood sugar control
    • Preventing overgrowth of Candida albicans yeast
    • Enhancing Calcium absorption
    • Enhancing growth of probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species
  • Dental Protection – aged cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss, Blue, Brie prevent dental pH from falling to where tooth enamel is broken down by acids of plaque bacteria, thus preventing cavities
NUTRITIONAL NOTES Cheese should be kept in the door of the refrigerator (the warmest part)
DANGERS
  • Allergies
    • High allergy food, particularly with children due to lactose
    • Lactose levels in cheese lower than in milk due to breakdown of lactose in cheese production: hard, aged cheeses such as Cheddar and Swiss contain little to no lactose
RDA Cheese, brie % RDA
Nutrient Unit per 100g
g 3700 48.42 1.3%
Energy kcal 2600 334 12.8%
Protein g 90 20.75 23.1%
Total lipid (fat) g 87 27.68 31.8%
Carbohydrate, by difference g 224 0.45 0.2%
Fiber, total dietary g 38 0 0.0%
Sugars, total g 0.45
Minerals
Calcium, Ca mg 1000 184 18.4%
Iron, Fe mg 8 0.5 6.3%
Magnesium, Mg mg 420 20 4.8%
Phosphorus, P mg 700 188 26.9%
Potassium, K mg 470 152 32.3%
Sodium, Na mg 629
Zinc, Zn mg 11 2.38 21.6%
Copper, Cu mg 0.9 0.019 2.1%
Manganese, Mn mg 2.3 0.034 1.5%
Selenium, Se µg 55 14.5 26.4%
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 90 0 0.0%
Thiamin mg 1.2 0.07 5.8%
Riboflavin mg 1.3 0.52 40.0%
Niacin mg 16 0.38 2.4%
Pantothenic acid mg 5 0.69 13.8%
Vitamin B-6 mg 1.7 0.235 13.8%
Folate, total µg 400 65 16.3%
Choline, total mg 15.4
Betaine mg
Vitamin B-12 µg 2.4 1.65 68.8%
Vitamin A, IU IU 5000 592 11.8%
Vitamin E, total mg 15 0.24 1.6%
Vitamin D IU 600 20 3.3%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) µg 120 2.3 1.9%
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated g 17.41
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated g 8.013
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated g 0.826
Cholesterol 100
Amino Acids g
Tryptophan g 0.322
Threonine g 0.751
Isoleucine g 1.015
Leucine g 1.929
Lysine g 1.851
Methionine g 0.592
Cystine g 0.114
Phenylalanine g 1.158
Tyrosine g 1.2
Valine g 1.34
Arginine g 0.735
Histidine g 0.716
Alanine g 0.859
Aspartic acid g 1.35
Glutamic acid g 4.387
Glycine g 0.397
Proline g 2.459
Serine g 1.168

RDA – Recommended Dietary Amount recommendations are based upon calculations for a 40 year old very active man that I have adapted from USDA’s Dietary Intake Guidelines. Using this link you can make your own calculations

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

USDA food database: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/

Other information sources:

World’s Healthiest Foods – an excellent online food and nutrition encyclopedia

Self Nutrition Data: an online nutrient breakdown of foods

digestive health notes

Digestive Health

by Hugo Allen-Stevens

Contents:
The process of digestion
Leaky gut and its causes
Major digestive enzymes and organs
Foods and teas that aid digestion
Common digestive complaints
Golden rules for Digestive Health
Foods that optimize Digestive Health
Digestion terms
1

The process of digestion

  1. Digestion begins in the mind with the Cephalic phase, whereby sensory awareness prepares the body for digestion by promoting release of digestive enzymes throughout the body.
  2. The second phase is chewing in the mouth, a mechanical process which breaks down the food and mixes it with enzymes in the mouth. Swallowing takes the food to the third stage of digestion – in the stomach, where food is mixed with Gastric Acid, a chemical process of breaking down the food into smaller parts ready for absorption.
  3. The third phase happens as chyme, the mixture from the stomach, passes into the Duodenum where it mixes with secretions from the Pancreas and Liver. These secretions both neutralise the high acid content of the chyme and also add in crucial digestive enzymes, as well as emulsifying agents.
  4. The fourth phase occurs as food passes through the Small Intestine where nutrients, now small enough, are absorbed.
  5. The fifth and final stage occurs as food passes through the Large Intestine, where food is processed for elimination.

2

Leaky gut and its causes

A leaky gut can occur when problems such as bacterial overgrowth cause the mucus membrane that lines the small intestine becomes more permeable to larger molecules. These molecules (such as complete proteins) are usually kept back from passing the mucus membrane, but when they do, they enter blood circulation triggering an immune response and causing allergies, inflammation, rashes, diarrhea, or joint pain, or chronic conditions such as asthma, inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease or skin conditions such as psoriasis. Possible causes include the use of NSAIDs (such as aspirin), infections with bacteria, yeast or viruses, parasitic organisms from polluted water (eg Giardia), alcoholism, food allergies, or environmental poisons. A leaky gut is common with the elderly as space between intestinal cells widens with age.
3

Major digestive enzymes and their functions

Proteases break down protein; lipases break down fat; amylases break down carbohydrate

Bile

Bile is manufactured in the liver and excreted into the duodenum either directly from the liver or from the gall bladder (where bile is stored). Bile is essential for absorption of fats, fatty acids, oils and fat soluble vitamins, and it also aids the action of enzymes. Bile works by emulsifying fats – breaking large fats into smaller pieces and mixing them with water ready for absorption. It also keeps the intestines free from micro-organisms and makes the stool soft by promoting the binding of water into stool.

Function of the Large Intestine (LI)

LI functions absorb water, salts and a few nutrients (nearly all absorption of nutrients occurs in the small intestine). It is home to countless bacterial microbes which are either beneficial or harmful – overgrowth of harmful bacteria leads to dysbiosis. The bacteria break down complex particles through fermentation as well as breaking down fiber to produce butyrate and other fatty acids that provide energy fuel for cells lining the LI tract.

Colon health

If the bacteria in the colon is out of balance, energy requirements for the cells that line the LI will be insufficient for the cells to stay healthy. The most important food sources of bacteria are lactobacillus acidophilis and bifidobacterium bifidum found in yogurt, cheese, miso and tempeh (probiotic foods) and probiotic supplements. Furthermore, the cells of the colon require fiber and water to stay healthy, both for energy (from breaking down fiber to produce butyrate and other fatty acids) as well to increase motility of food in the colon which both prevents build-up of harmful bacteria during fermentation and also prevents absorption of toxins (such as those secreted in bile from the liver). If food stagnates, fermentation will increase the presence of harmful bacteria that damage colon cells.
4

Spices that aid digestion

  • Umbelliferae family seeds (Anise, Caraway, Dill, Fennel): help expel gas (carminative) and relax intestinal spasms (antispasmodic)
  • Cardamom: carminative, digestant, stimulant, treats indigestion and flatulence
  • Cayenne pepper and paprika: contains capsaicin which acts as digestive and anti-ulcer aid, treats indigestion, stimulates salivary flow and increase secretion of digestive fluids in stomach
  • Cinnamon: sedative for smooth muscle (eg that lines GI tract and enacts peristalisis), carminative, digestant, diuretic, antibiotic, anti-ulcerative, stimulates weak digestion
  • Cloves: contains eugenol (and other components) which prevent digestive tract cancers and helps liver function (detoxification environmental toxins), are anti-bacterial
  • Coriander: carminative and digestive aid; stimulates conversion of cholesterol to fat digesting bile acids in liver
  • Cumin: stimulates secretion of pancreatic enzymes; digestive aid and effective for flatulence; anti-bacterial; anti-fungal; enhances liver’s detoxification enzymes
  • Dill and Fennel: Monoterpenes  (including carvone, limonene, anethofuran) activate liver enzyme glutathione-S-transferase (helps glutathione attach to toxic molecules). Flavonoids assist with carminative and sedative properties
  • Ginger: carminative, alleviates symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, promotes elimination of intestinal gas, promotes intestinal spasmolytic (substance that relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract)
  • Nutmeg: Carminative; Anti-diarrheal actions including improving intestinal tone and inhibiting intestinal contractions stimulated by irritating agents; food preservative, disinfectant and antiseptic of animal and plant pathogens and food poisoning and spoilage bacteria
  • Pepper (Black): Carminative and stimulates taste buds to prompt secretion of stomach acids; Anti-bacterial and Anti-oxidant; contains Peperine which increases absorption of nutrients such as selenium, B vitamins and beta-carotene, supports and enhances the liver’s detoxification processes

Liver support / teas:

  • Milk thistle: helps protect liver from toxic damage
  • Licorice: helps protect liver from toxic damage; helps protect intestinal walls through anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial action
  • Dandelion, artichoke and turmeric: increase bile flow, thus helping liver to detoxify, as well assisting fat digestion
  • Goldenseal and garlic: digestive cleansers – help body get rid of toxic bacteria and yeasts in GI tract. Goldenseal kills harmful bacteria and shuts down enzymes found in bacteria (often bacteria not toxic but it the substances their enzyme systems produce are), increase GI tone, stimulate bile secretion and digestion
  • Gentian and Ginger: both are digestive bitters that act. Gentian is a gastric stimulant that can increase digestive function. Ginger also stimulates GI function and tones intestinal muscles, improves bile flow, helps in digestion of fats, lessens risk of inflammation along lining of intestines
  • Nettle and burdock: diuretic effects on kidneys and urinary cleansers of toxins from body.

5

Common digestive complaints

  • Gas: caused by fermentation of foods by bacteria in the large intestine due to excess transit time caused by low fiber, excess fiber (causing more fermentation), excess simple sugar in diet, bacterial overgrowth in colon
  • Constipation: occurs when stool remains in bowel too long and primarily depends on having adequate fiber in diet. Other solutions are to drink enough water and get regular exercise. Causes include:
    • use of diuretics, reducing body fluid levels
    • use of medications containing codeine, which slow down the muscle and nerve activity needed to pass stools
    •  hypothyroidism
    • bowel obstruction (eg from polp or tumor)
  • Diarrhea: excess water and undigested / unabsorbed food matter in stool resulting from impaired digestive processes, infection, inflammation, stress, allergies
  • Heartburn: excess acid in stomach that flows back up the esophagus causing burning sensation resulting from a stomach that is too full, weakness of the sphincter valve of the stomach and esophagus, obesity, smoking, consumption of chocolate, fried foods, soft drinks, alcohol and coffee, stress (which produces more acidity and also stops / slows digestion) 

6

Four R’s of digestive health

Removing or restricting – pathogens, allergens and toxins from the patient’s food intake

  • Allergens (eg gluten)
  • Xenobiotics
  • Endotoxins and exotoxins
  • Bacteria, pathogens, parasites, fungi
  • Oxidative stress
  • Supplements – excessive use or that are not bioavailable
  • Processed food products
  • Foods prepared outside home: what is in it? How much is known about ingredients or cooking methods / cleanliness?

Replace or replenishing – digestive enzymes in the pancreas and other digestive factors, such as stomach wall (Gastrin, HCl) and bile secretions

Reinoculate or reintroduce – friendly bacteria, using prebiotics and probiotics

  • Probiotics: lactobacilli, bifidobacteria
  • Prebiotics: inulin

Repair – involving direct nutritional support to intestinal cells via nutrients critical for intestinal wall structure and function

  • L-Glutamine
  • Clean, low irritant diet
  • Adequate protein
  • Anti-oxidants: Vitamins E, C, A, Glutathione
  • Vitamin support: B vitamins, Vit K

7

Healing Foods

  • Fibers:
    • decrease intestinal transit time (longer transit time that prolonged exposure to cancer causing compounds)
    • increase stool weight
    • delay gastric emptying resulting in reduced after-meal blood sugar levels
    • increase satiety, increase pancreatic secretion
    • increase beneficial intestinal microflora
    • decrease serum lipids
    • make bile soluble
  • Types of fiber
    • Fructooligosaccharides (FOS): eg Inulin in Jerusalem artichoke, burdock, chicory, dandelion root, leeks, onions, asparagus; and Galactooligosaccharides (GOS) in soybeans
      • Food for friendly bacteria in colon: increase number of friendly bacteria and reduce numbers of harmful bacteria
      • Increase production of fatty acids such as butyrate
      • Increase absorption of calcium and magnesium
      • Improve elimination of toxic compounds
      • Lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
    • Gamma oryzanol: Gamma oryzanol may be useful for various digestive disorders such as stomach ulcers, gastritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Gamma oryzanol’s beneficial effects appear to be due to its ability to reduce the secretion of gastric acid and normalize the nervous system control of digestive secretions. The best dietary sources include the bran portion of grains such as rice, wheat, barley, and oats. Other food sources include vegetables (esp. asparagus, tomatoes, and peas), citrus fruits, berries, and olives.”[1] It also “increases the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids and inhibits the absorption of cholesterol” (Murray, 2005, p. 94)
    • Pectins: found in plant cell walls and outer skin and rind of fruits and vegetables. Has gel forming properties responsible that have cholesterol lowering effects by binding cholesterol and bile acids and promoting their excretion
    • Guar gum: a mucilage found inner layer of seed portion of most legumes that has the most potent cholesterol lowering agents. Also reduces fasting and after meal glucose and insulin levels in healthy and diabetic peoples, and decreases body weight and hunger ratings in obese people
    • Psyllium: has the most potent cholesterol lowering agents. Also reduces fasting and after meal glucose and insulin levels in healthy and diabetic peoples, and decreases body weight and hunger ratings in obese people
    • Oat bran: contains hemicelluloses that promote regular bowel movement by increasing hydration of stool, and are digested by gut bacteria, increasing the number of beneficial bacteria and creating Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs) used by colon cells for fuel. Also binds cholesterol in gut, preventing its absorption
    • Slippery elm: or marshmallow. “Slippery elm contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. It coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. It also contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions. Slippery elm also causes reflux stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract leading to increased mucus secretion. The increased mucus production may protect the gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity.” [3]
  • Artichoke: Caffeoylquincic acids and flavonoids treat digestive problems including nausea, bloating, loss of appetite and abdominal pain (largely by increasing the flow of bile from the liver by up to 150%, and bile also attracts water, allowing softer, easily passed stools); Inulin content high in Fructooligosaccharides that act as prebiotic fuel for beneficial bacteria in colon, and source for fatty acid fuel for colon cells such as butyrate
  • Dandelion: Root – liver remedy: enhances bile flow, improves liver congestion, bile duct inflammation, hepatitis, gallstones, jaundice due to direct effect on liver, causing increased bile production and flow to gallbladder and direct effect on gallbladder, causing contraction and release of stored bile
  • Bitters: made from plant and root extracts (such as gentian root) and useful for increasing production of gastric fluids in stomach [2] 
  • Carob: tanins in carob have astringent or drying effect in GI system and inhibit growth of bacteria bacteria and bind to and inactivate toxins. Useful for treating diarrhea 
  • Peppermint: as oil in enteric-coated capsules, are prevented by the capsules from being released in the stomach and instead released in small and large intestines where it relaxes muscles, thus helping with improving rhythmic contractions of intestinal tract and relieving intestinal spasm, and helping with IBS 
  • Beets: Liver health – stimulates liver detoxification process possibly due to high content of nutrient Betaine 
  • L-glutamine: amino acid that is useful in intestinal repair due its function in providing fuel for rapidly dividing cells (such as those of the mucosal lining of the intestines) and also being a precursor for the anti-oxidant and liver detoxifying Glutathione (Murray, Healing Foods, p. 64). In addition, it is the preferred respiratory fuel for GI mucosal cells and immune cells. (Bland et al. , 2004, p. 51). It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helpful with colitis and IBS possibly due to lowering levels of interleukins, inflammatory messaging molecules, in the intestines (Hass, 2006, p.256). Present in most foods, but highest in high protein foods especially eggs and whey protein.
  • DGL: “Deglycyrrhizinated licorice, also known as de-glycyrrhizinated licorice, or commonly referred to by the acronym DGL, is an herbal supplement typically used in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers. It is made from licorice from which the glycyrrhizin has been removed.” [4]
  • Licorice root: anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-toxic (ie supporting and protecting the liver), anti-biotic, anti-cancer and laxative. Also softens and soothes intestinal tissues and mucus membranes. Helps with stomach and intestinal problems such as indigestion, nausea, constipation.
  • Garlic: has anti-inflammatory properties by altering “immune system messages and quieting of molecule NF-kappa B […] with likely application to conditions like inflammatory bowel disease” (Haas, 2006, p. 255)
  • Boswellia: herb that has anti-inflammatory properties as well as being used to treat GI problems. [5]
  • Fermented foods: contain bacteria that is beneficial to GI health. Examples include yoghurt, miso, and fermented vegetables such as tempeh and sauerkraut
  • Healing teas: Mint, Ginger, Umbelliferae family seeds, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Licorice
  • Chlorophyll: Green pigment in plants that is either fat-soluble or water soluble. Anti-cancer and anti-oxidant effects. Natural form in plants is fat-soluble and can stimulate red blood cell production (water soluble form often present in shops cannot). Water soluble form is not readily absorbed but has soothing effect on GI tract due largely to astringent qualities: abilities to attract water and also stimulate wound healing. Dietary sources include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, wheat grass juice and algae such as spirulina and chlorella 
  • Aloe vera: intestinal purgative that helps stimulate colon activity (without cramping). Useful remedy or preventative for constipation
  • Bioflavonoids: Phytonutrients. Primarily function as anti-oxidants with direct anti-tumor effects and immune enhancing properties. “Natures biological response modifiers” (Murray, 2005, p. 143). Actions in body are anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-viral, anti-cancer properties, primarily working as anti-oxidants to protect cells. Food sources include: Fruits, especially darker fruits such as berries, cherries, citrus fruits; vegetables: including tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, onions, greens, parsley; legumes; green tea and red wine; ginkgo bilboa.
    • Flavonoid functions:
      • Save plants from environmental stress
      • Biological response modifiers, altering body responses to allergens, viruses, carcinogens
      • Anti-allergenic compounds modify and reduce all phases of allergenic response, inhibiting formation and secretion of inflammatory compounds that produce allergenic response
      • Protect against GI problems due to blocking formation of cancer causing chemicals (eg nitrosamines)
      • Increase Vit A levels within cells, decrease leakiness and breakages of small blood vessels, protect against free-radical damage, support joint structures
      • Prevent release and synthesis of inflammatory compounds (eg histamine) especially quercertin
        • Quercetin (in many foods and high in onions)
          • Anti-oxidant
          • Anti-inflammatory and promotes activity of hormones such as insulin
          • Useful in treating allergies

8

Digestion terms

  • Mechanical Digestion: function = to increase surface area of food for digestive enzymes and chemicals to work on
    • Chewing in mouth
    • Peristalisis of smooth muscle from esophagus to colon that moves food along the digestive tract
    • Churning action of stomach muscles that break down food into chime with the consistency of cream
  • Chemical Digestion: function = to break the bonds between large food molecules to make them small enough for absorption
    • Chemical mixing: HCl (Hydrochloric Acid) produced by parietal cells of the stomach breaks down food and activated digestive enzymes (pepsin which breaks apart protein) and assists in killing bacteria
    • Acid neutralization: Bicarbonate produced by mucosa cells of stomach protect stomach from HCl corrosion; Bicarbonate produced by Pancreas neutralizes chime thus protecting small intestine
    • Enzymes: secreted by Pancreas into Duodenum break apart bonds of carbohydrates (enzyme amylase splits them down to simple sugars), proteins (protease which digests links to leave simple amino acids), fats (lipase breaks them down to fatty acids and glycerol); brush border enzymes released by microvilli of small intestine complete the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates
    • Bile: secreted by liver either directly into duodenum or from the gallbladder (where it is stored and concentrated) emulsifies fats, cholesterol and fat soluble vitamins, breaking them into tiny globules with a larger surface area for fat splitting lipase enzymes to act on during digestion
    • Bacteria: living in large intestine ferment and break down food (fiber) and create vitamins in the process; they also produce fatty acids from fiber that provide fuel for intestinal cells of the colon as they absorb water and vitamins in stool
  • Hydrochloric acid: production by parietal cells of stomach as result of parasympathetic nervous reflexes in response to sight, smell or taste of food; also released due to physical stimulus of food entering stomach; rising HCL stimulates release of hormone gastrin that stimulates release of more HCl and protein digesting enzymes (pepsin). HCl functions are detailed above 
  • Chyme: mixture with the consistency of cream that is the result of mechanical and chemical digestion in stomach. Chyme exits the duodenum and enters the duodenum. Increased chyme in the duodenum and jejunum slows release of chyme from the stomach (as well as digestive processes in the stomach) 
  • Peristalsis: the wave like action of smooth muscle in the entire intestinal tract (from the esophagus to the rectum) that in involved in food propulsion 
  • Malabsorption: resulting from problems in breaking down food into absorbable molecules due to stress or activation of sympathetic nervous system that disrupts chemical and mechanical digestion, lack of chemical production of either HCl, enzymes or bile in chemical digestion, or lack of chewing. Furthermore, incompletely digested foods may cross intestinal lining leading to immune response, in turn causing inflammation and disrupted absorptive function of villi of intestine 
  • IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome): large intestine dysfunction associated with abdominal pain and distention, more frequent bowel movements, pain during bowel movements or relief of bowel movements, constipation or diarhea, excessive production of mucus in the colon, flatulence, nausea, loss of appetite, anxiety, depression. Causes include excessive stress and allergies (to foods such as mild and dairy products, corn, wheat, eggs, peanuts, chocolate) 
  • Probiotics: health promoting “friendly” bacteria in colon, as well as substances that promote growth and proliferation of these bacteria 
  • Dysbiosis: balance of bacteria in colon becomes wrong and unfriendly bacteria outnumber friendly bacteria (nb both are needed thus the need for balance). Dysbiosis may be caused by:
    • Putrefaction: low fiber and high fat diet causes bacteroides to flourish which stimulate enzymes to break down bile causing increase in tumor-causing particles and estrogen levels, and cancer of colon and breast (due to increased hormone levels: hormones in bile)
    • Deficiency: numbers of friendly bifidobacteria, lactobacilli and Escherichia coli dwindle contributing to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and food intolerance
    • Fermentation: excess activity of friendly bacteria due to excess carbohydrate consumption leading to gas production and abdominal distention, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation
    • Sensitization: body develops allergic immune response to friendly bacteria leading to inflammatory bowel disease, connective tissue diseases and skin disorders
  • Yeast overgrowth: similar to dysbiosis – overgrowth of candida albancans in Large Intestine resulting in symptoms that effect all of body including genitourinary, endocrine, nervous and immune systems. Involves overgrowth of yeast and immune depletion or if normal lining of cells in colon are damaged leading to absorption of yeast cells. More common in women due to effect of estrogen, birth control pills, and use of anti-biotics. Characterised by flu like symptoms and malaise, as well as fatigue, immune system malfunction, depression, chemical insensitivities, digestive disturbances. Increased fiber and decreased sugar are preventative measures
  • H Pylori: bacteria that 50% of the world’s population are infected with. Infection may be person to person, via food contamination of restaurant cooks, or contamination of animals and animal meats
  • GALT (Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue): 705 of immune system tissue in lining of GI tract and intestinal mucus. M-cells carry antigens to Peyer’s patches which enhance B and T cell proliferation, attachment of them to antigens, and activation of macrophages. Secretory IgA act as sentinels whose arousal by foreign substances signals cytokines to begin inflammatory process (to rid body of antigens) 

Adapted from:

Marieb, E.N. (2009). The essentials of human anatomy and physiology. San Francisco, C.A.: Pearson Education

Murray, M. (2001). Total body tune-up. Chapter 2. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Press

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Murray, M. (1998). The complete book of juicing. Roseville, CA: Prima publishing

Haas, E. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Berkeley, Ca. Celestial Healing Arts.

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Lipski, L. A voyage through your digestive system

Citations:

[1] Retrieved 4/15/2012 from http://www.supplementnews.org/wiki/gamma_oryzanol

[2] Adapted from: http://www.guidetohealth.com/library/herbs-for-health-and-healing/indigestion/

[3] Retrieved 4/15/2012 from: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/slippery-elm-000274.htm#ixzz1s86Uawwr

[4] Retrieved 4/15/2012 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deglycyrrhizinated_licorice

[5] Adapted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boswellia

milk thistle seed

Milk-Thistle

Part used Seed extract
Use
  • Most effective as gel-cap extract  in combination with soy lecithin: phosphatylcholine enhances absorption of active component silymarin in GI tract and delivers to tissues (combination called silipide and labelled phytosome)
  • Less effective as tea or as seed
Benefits
  • Hepaprotective and treats liver disorders
  • Regulates fat digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, reduces intestinal inflammation, promotes excretion of some hormones
  • Prevents altitude sickness

Adapted from:

Balch, P.A. (2002). Prescription for herbal healing. New York, NY: Avery books

stock and broth!

In my juice! post I mentioned about making a stock from leftover pulp from veggies. This is a great way to both get get a flavorful and nutritious stock, extracting any leftover nutrients from the pulp for use in cooking beans, soups or my personal favorite: risotto!

wpid-wp-1424888452779.jpeg

Now, for an extra nutritious punch, add bones to the crockpot. Bones are rich in nutrients such as Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium. But most importantly, bones are rich in gelatin which is wonderfully nutritious as a provider of essential amino acids. Added to this, gelatin is incredibly healing to the Gastro Intestinal (GI) tract. And below are some brilliant links talking about this

Most importantly, GI health has massive links to brain function and mental health, especially with regard to autism in children. In the links below, Dr Campbell-McBride speaks of how GI health has links with ADD, Depression, Schizophrenia as well as auto-immune disorders. Dr Campbell-McBride developed term Gut And Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) to describe this link, a uses a nutrition program centered around fermented foods, natural foods and broths. So get making some bone broth and promote both your GI health as well as mental health!

Veggie broth recipe:

  1. Add any pulp to a crockpot, cover with water and leave for at least 12hrs on the lowest setting
  2. When you want some stock, strain out what you need, then replace the pulp with more water to the crockpot
  3. If you juice every day, keep adding your pulp to the stock pot. And strain out any old pulp that has been in the crockpot for a day or more

Bone broth recipe:

  1. Buy some bones from a butcher (eg chicken backs, feet, beef bone) or use any leftover bones
  2. Optional: brown the bones in the oven for 40 mins at 400F. This adds flavor and is a great way to cook off the excess fat (which will melt and can be poured away) or skin (which can be peeled off)
  3. Add the bones to the stockpot with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar (this helps break down the bones, releasing the nutrients and gelatin)
  4. The best bone broth will be ready after 24hrs of cooking on a low setting. Pour out this batch and strain through cheesecloth (or a thin cloth). Refrigerate or freeze
  5. Pop the bones back in the crockpot with any pulp … and keep making broth!

Resources:

Stocks and broth making

Gut And Psychology Syndrome (GAPS)

oregano

Oregano_1

PHYTO- NUTRIENTS
  • Thymol and Carvacol – antimicrobal agents (inhibiting infectious bacteria growth such as Giardia)
  • Rosemaranic acid – anti-oxidant activity
NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS Anti-oxidant superhero – highest in anti-oxidant activity of any food or herb tested
PLANT FAMILY Mint. Related to: Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Marjoram, Sage, Thyme

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books