Category Archives: Blog: Digestion

How & Why Properly prepare SOAK Quinoa

SUMMARY:   Quinoa is a whole grain substitute that is gluten-free though it actually is a seed, commonly termed pseudograin.  Most simply rinse, drain, then toss quinoa into a pot and simmer for 12 minutes calling that cooked.  Though cooked, it may not be very digestible, and this method may be downright harmful to your gut.  So how do you properly prepare soak quinoa?  Learn here that quinoa is super easy to properly prepare although it does require, as a minimum to reduce anti-nutrients, a 12 to 24 hour acid soak prior to cooking.  I’d do the quinoa soak purely for the culinary taste improvement truth be known as it removes bitterness from quinoa’s anti-nutrients in addition to making it easier on your gut!

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Heartburn drugs, dementia, Alzheimer’s risk for all? T2D, is it the canary in the coal mine!?!

   Fire in the gut is fire in the brain — Dementia, Alzheimer’s.  SUMMARY:  A recent study found risk of dementia in PPI users aged 75 and over.  Previous studies had found that Histamine H2 antagonists (H2RAs) also have adverse cognitive impact in the elderly but the mechanism differed… it was due to anticholinergic effects; I wrote about that here. Can the heartburn drugs, dementia, Alzheimer’s risk associations be extended to younger ages?

What may be possible mechanisms?  This post lists the PubMed studies finding that heartburn drugs put fire in the gut; they 

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IBS: FODMAPS, Stomach Microbiome, Rifaximin Antibiotic Treatment, seriously?!?

SUMMARY:  Learn impact of FODMAPS, Stomach Microbiome, Rifaximin…  FODMAPS Diet helps over 70% of IBS likely because long term diet changes the microbiome in the stomach & gut.  FODMAPS isn’t a life long diet; you reintroduce & learn your individual dosing limits.  
Many now realize the need, if not necessity, to transition to a whole foods diet.  

Foods from restaurants or cafeterias, prepared foods (even at sites considered healthy such as Whole Foods), and the obvious boxed foods make it tough for consumers to avoid caloric dense non nutritive foods with industrial seed oils and added chemicals, pesticides, and GMOs.  The diet — health connection is becoming apparent; many suffering chronic disease(s) are trying to change diet and lifestyle to improve health and wellness.  Eating whole foods can be daunting but the safest bet is making it yourself and to do so in quantity so as to make this lifestyle change sustainable:

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It’s EASY to Soak and Dehydrate Nuts

WHY YOU WANT TO SOAK AND DEHYDRATE NUTS: 

Soaking and dehydrating nuts is EASY and it makes them more digestible since anti-nutrients are neutralized and enzyme inhibitors are eliminated.  If you are like many of my clients, you have no clue what the significance is of what I just said.  So another way of saying this is, unless you soak nuts, you will block mineral uptake, and this totally defeats the purpose of trying to eat nuts for nutrient density.

A surprising plus of proper nut preparation is that the process takes out the bitterness in taste making nuts taste incredibly sweet and delicious, which is what they are supposed to taste like.  I’d soak and dehydrate nuts solely for this culinary taste improvement truth be told.  Clients do too after they sample them.  I am always amazed to see what the filtered water looks like after a soak.  Someday I’ll do a lab analysis, and we’ll learn what actually is in that yuck.  One thing I do know, nuts blow up in size by the end of the soaking period leaving no doubt that they have absorbed the salt soaking medium:

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How-To Dehydrate Apples & Preserve the Enzymes, EASY

SUMMARY:   Learn Why and HOW to  dehydrate apples & preserve the enzymes: Properly dehydrating apples at low temperature preserves maximum nutritional density and natural live enzymes  since you can use apples picked seasonally and locally at their peak of ripeness.

Dehydrate Apples and Preserving Live Enzymes

My directions incorporate the Raw and Living Food Guidelines, Excalibur Dehydration Guide, which explains how to dehydrate apples & preserve the enzymes: 

“One of the most important characteristics of raw foods, is they are easier for your body to digest than cooked food. The enzymes are what make raw foods easier to digest than cooked foods. When food is cooked the enzymes become deactivated by heat. During the digestive process, the natural food enzymes assist your body’s digestive enzymes in breaking down food into digestive proteins. By eating more raw foods, your body does not have to work as
hard to digest the foods, which gives your body more vibrant energy in other areas, making you feel stronger, healthier and happier.
Dehydration is the best way to preserve the essence of raw fruits and vegetables. Dehydrating does not subject foods to the high temperatures associated with cooking, or traditional canning
methods. When raw food is heated to an internal food temperature of 118ºF/48ºC or higher, for an extended period of time, its nutritional values begin to deteriorate, especially enzymes.
Canning also leaches out water-soluble vitamins and minerals, which also depletes the healthy qualities of the raw-living foods.”

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A professional autism dietary intervention program.

Summary:  It is time to share what a successful professional autism dietary intervention program can look like for autism management.

“Special Diets and Nutrition For Autism: Why They’re Cost Effective,” is such an interesting read from Judy Converse MPH RD LD, a registered dietitian since 1989, who then self taught herself, beginning in 1996, diet impact for her son’s growth, feeding, and developmental challenges at birth.   She then expanded training to learn biomedical intervention for autism, becoming a DAN practitioner, and ultimately provided instruction in nutrition for Autism Research Institute, US Autism and Aspergers Assocation, National Autism Association, and many others. She has lectured for many local and national audiences about the profound impact nutrition and a healthy gut have on the developing brain as well as authoring three books and created the first web-interface accredited learning module for health care providers on nutrition and autism in 2007.

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Digestive Enzymes & Disease w/Focus on Autism

Digestion: we all do it though most take it for granted unaware that improper digestive enzymes and subsequent digestion is the root cause of most disease which is epidemic at the moment:

Disease Epidemic_PNG file
Slide source: biomeonboardawareness.com

Those with digestive dysfunctional symptoms (GERD, heartburn, bloat, gas, bowel Bristol Chart type issues…) don’t take it for granted.  Neither should you.

Any blimp in the digestion trek, from brain to elimination, has upstream and downstream ramifications particularly affecting the microbiome community bacterial species balance.   Most, if not all disease, is now being connected to microbiome community shifts.

This post focuses on autism specifically only because there are many current studies documenting the autism digestion dysfunction.  The overall message however applies to all of us.

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Digestion: You & Your Microbiome Eats

You eat to feed your microbiome,  which in turn, feeds you, or not.
YOU CAN BE WELL FED… BUT MALNOURISHED!

You are NOT what you eat which is contrary to what we hear time and again.

  • Rather, you are what you feed your microbiome.  
  • You are what you digest.
  • You are what you absorb. 

We will discuss lots of practical digestion strategies beginning at the brain and ending at… yep, the commode.

Arguably, poor digestion is the leading cause of disease in the US.   A dsyfunctional gut:
  1. Impairs absorption of vitamins and minerals,
  2. Increases the risk of infections in the gut as well as systemically since immunity is reduced (80 to 85% of our immunity is in the gut),
  3. Increases the risk of abnormal bacterial overgrowth as well as yeast overgrowth in the gut since a pathogenic microbiota can flourish at the expense of beneficial microbiota,
  4. Down regulates our immune system since the gut is unable to perform it’s role of digestion of vitamins and minerals, manufacture of vitamins and antibiotics, and maintenance  of a homeostasis balanced microbiome ecosystem,
  5. Conditions that can result from poor digestion include:
    • SIBO
    • FODMAPS intolerance
    • Fructose malabsorption
    • IBS
    • Gluten sensitivity
    • Other food sensitivities
    • Increased intestinal permeability 
    • Autoimmunity
    • Systemic inflammation:  In addition to gliaden crossing the gut wall, LPS (end-products of certain microbiota strains) crosses the gut wall).  LPS can then cross the blood/brain barrier and impact brain health.  LPS is in fact used in research to induce inflammation in animals as noted in this Medical News Today article, “Newly created turmeric-based formulation releases anti-inflammatory power throughout body “: The researchers injected mice with lipopolysaccharide, a bacteria cell wall extract that stimulates an immune reaction in animals. Curcumin can target many molecules, but the research team zeroed in on NF-kB, a protein that is known to play an important role in the immune response.”  
  6. An antibiotic impacted gut can decrease microbiome  diversity  which is associated with reduced immune system functioning.

To begin, understand enzymes and deficiencies which are a root cause of microbiome disruption having disease consequences by reading the post: “Digestive Enzymes & Disease w/Focus On Autism”.

And for more on microbiome impact from eating nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory whole foods, check out:

“Some of My Best Friends Are Germs”, NY Times article, Michael Pollan, May 2013.

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