As many of you know in my practice, I constantly advise that we need to have healthy gut flora (microbiome) to have healthy bodies. That is why I advise all my patients to take a probiotic and cut simple sugars, such as sweets, juices, smoothies, overly processed carbs such as instant oatmeal and alcohol from their diet.
I have also expounded on the decline of a healthy microbiome in the soil and environment from which our food is produced which further affects our own microbiome. If we ate food grown in a healthy environment and then added in naturally fermented foods that came from this environment, we wouldn’t need a probiotic, but sadly this is not the case. As you all know I am not a big fan of most vitamin supplements, but I advocate the big three we can’t get from our diet for different reasons, namely probiotic, vitamin D and omega 3 fish oils. (I sometimes refer to these as the ‘holy trinity’, tongue in cheek).
Anyway, it looks like science may be catching up with my musings and the state of our collective digestive tracts! As you all also know I advocate a three-week diet cleanse, the modified yeast free diet, (and sometimes longer than three weeks for individual conditions) in conjunction with a probiotic to reset the healthy flora in our gut. This program is used to treat many different conditions including weight loss, irritable bowel syndrome, seasonal allergies, eczema, asthma, chronic yeast infections, chronic urinary tract infections, chronic Lyme disease, and chronic inflammatory conditions such as chronic pain and auto-immune disorders. It also will help prevent these problems in infants if the mother adheres to the regimen before, during and after pregnancy.
The article highlights fecal transplant as a way to reset healthy flora, but this is only necessary for extreme conditions such as recurrent C Diff, Otherwise the diet and the probiotic will do the job. I offer counseling on how to do this step by step in my clinical practice. Please read the article linked to above and set up an appointment if you would like to go over the diet and supplements in more detail.
As is indicated in this article, the role of healthy bacteria, or healthy flora may actually begin in utero. This suggests that mothers-to-be or women thinking about getting pregnant may want to start addressing their own gut flora now in order to insure healthy flora in their offspring. Healthy flora helps build a strong digestion and a strong immune system, which helps prevent colic, allergies, eczema and asthma in infants.
I have always advocated that expecting mothers start the process as soon as possible of making sure their gut flora is as healthy as possible. You can do this by taking a good quality multi-strain probiotic, and avoiding processed food, such as simple carbs and sweets. For further recommendations on a healthy diet for establishing healthy gut flora see my link to The Modified Yeast Free Diet.
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Yours in health,
4 ripe vine tomatoes
Watermelon, an amount equal to the tomatoes
1 cucumber, skin removed
1 red bell pepper, deseeded
10 fresh basil leaves
5 sprigs Flat-leaf Italian parsley
½ teaspoon dried chili flakes (or one small Thai chili)
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
For garnish: finely chopped red onion
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and blend until completely liquefied. Serve chilled with chopped onion sprinkled on top.
Tonno e fagioli (tuna and bean salad)
10-12 ounces Italian tuna in olive oil
1 lb. butter or Cannellini beans
½ red onion, finely sliced
5 sprigs Flat-leaf Italian parsley, leaves only
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Italian tuna in olive oil is far superior to the white albacore we’re used to from childhood tuna sandwiches. This tuna is usually available in glass jars, but can be found canned. Tuna in glass jars is ideal because there is no risk of exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA), a powerful endocrine disruptor.
The weight of the beans is the final weight after cooking. Dried beans should soaked overnight, the soaking liquid discarded, before cooking. Canned beans can be used, too, but be sure to get a BPA-free can (like Eden Organics), discard the water from the can and soak the beans in water for at least 30 minutes.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Serve at room temperature.
Foods to Eat
The best way to remove Dampness is to nourish the Yang Qi and invigorate Qi circulation. This can be done by eating foods like beans, sprouts, radish, savoy cabbage and celery. Spices and pungent herbs like nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, chives, basil, black pepper, garlic, marjoram, coriander/ cilantro and turmeric can also be beneficial. Green tea is also a better alternative to coffee.
Foods to Avoid
Avoid sweets, alcohol, dairy, fried/greasy foods and foods that contain gluten (wheat, rye, spelt, triticale, some oats). If you chose to eat dairy products, foods made from goat milk are preferable to cow milk.
Other Things to Do
Dry brushing helps to stimulate the circulation of blood and lymph. Use a natural bristle brush, starting at the tips of the fingers and toes and moving towards the center of the body, to vigorously but gently brush the skin. You can read more about dry brushing here.