Posted by Debra MacIntyre, ND on September 16, 2016
Did You Know?
I just returned from a SUPER informative seminar in Denver, which outlined all the latest research on the gut. Naturopaths have long been saying that the gut is the root of health or disease, and now the scientific community is proving that correct. (I love when that happens!) I will be delivering a seminar to go much deeper into this subject on Wednesday October 19th at 7pm, so mark your calendar. But for now, let's talk poop!
I don't want to creep you out, but the fact is that you have greater numbers of microbes in your body than you have numbers of cells. You are literally teeming with microbes! Some of these are "good guys" which help you digest & absorb nutrition and even produce serotonin to keep your mood up (among MANY other pro-survival actions.) On the flip side, you have "bad guys" which are basically doing their best to take you down. Your immune system's job is to recognize which are a danger to you and attack them. Sounds simple, right? Take probiotics to add more good guys and take herbs to kill off bad guys. Not so fast...... There's more to the picture.
Fermentation is key- but not just eating yogurt & drinking kombucha
Here's your big tip of the day- Fermented foods are not the biggest support of healthy gut microbes. It's your own colonies of gut microbes fermenting the fiber you eat that increases the numbers and diversity of good guys in your gut.
Here are some eye-opening stats:
When Man was a hunter-gatherer, his daily fiber consumption was about 120 grams per day. Today, the average American gets only 12 grams of fiber per day. (!!) Because your healthy colonies of microbes are formed by fermenting fiber, you can see that this low fiber intake alone is a big reason our guts are so weak. Add to that the other factors that disrupt ecology (antibiotics, anti-bacterial soaps, pesticides, chemicals in our food, etc) and it's no wonder so many people suffer from allergies, infections, poor digestion, and yes, even auto-immune conditions. Remember, it's not just digestion, but your immune function that suffers when the bad guys outnumber the good guys in your gut.
Fortunately, you don't have to get as extreme as becoming a hunter-gatherer, but you do need to shoot for 30-50 grams of fiber daily.
Here are two great-tasting ways to get more fiber!
Dr Michael Ash was the keynote speaker in Denver, and he shared his now-famous (among health geeks) recipe for stewed apples, which gives a big serving of gut-friendly fiber.
6 organic cooking apples, chopped. (You can also use Rome or other lower sugar apples)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup water
(optional) Up to 1/4 cup raisins, if you need it sweeter.
Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring often.
Here's my first batch. Yummy!! Eat a cup every evening.
The second high fiber treat is hummus with carrots used to dip and eat it. Whole Foods organic hummus is made the right way, with olive oil instead of canola. Of course, you can make it yourself, too:
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 drops sesame oil, or to taste (optional)
Blend garbanzo beans, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and sesame oil in a food processor; stream reserved bean liquid into the mixture as it blends until desired consistency is achieved.
Remember- your gut is at the root of your health, bad or good!
Try these recipes and let me know how you do. And stay tuned for more information on gut health, culminating with our seminar on October 19th!
This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: I am not a medical doctor and nothing in this newsletter should be taken as medical advice. Discuss all medical issues with your own MD.