4 Healthy Food Trends You’ll Be Seeing Everywhere in 2019

March 8th, 2019
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4 Healthy Food Trends You'll Be Seeing Everywhere in 2019

Every year new fad diets and fat-burning techniques gain popularity, but more often than not fizzle out very quickly. The next trend invariably takes its place or dieters notice adverse effects that can come with trendy but unhealthy diets. This year, keep an eye out for the following four healthy food trends that can be positively life-altering. By making a few easy changes to your dietary routine, you can experience surprising results beyond weight loss.

Why Are These Trends Valuable?

The beginning of a new year typically encourages people to make important changes that set them up for success in the coming year. Gym memberships spike in January as many Americans decide to start working out, but this trend often loses steam within a few weeks to a few months. This cycle starts again with a new round of New Year’s Resolutions the following year.

What many people fail to realize is that exercise is only one part of the process in losing weight and staying healthy. Proper diet is much more important. In fact, it’s possible to lose weight and become healthier just by changing eating habits, with little to no need to work out extensively. A few dietary changes and light exercise can lead to tremendous results; all it takes is discipline.

Alternatives to Dairy Milk

Alternatives to Dairy Milk Dairy milk alternatives like soymilk, almond milk, and oat milk are some of the most popular choices for people who struggle with lactose intolerance. But these dairy alternatives also offer some unique health benefits over regular dairy milk. Most alternative milks like oat milk and almond milk come fortified with calcium and vitamin D, the essential nutrients most people absorb by drinking dairy products.

Alternative milks can be a great option, even for those individuals who do not struggle with lactose intolerance. An unsweetened and fortified plant-based milk can offer better vitamin density and more well-rounded nutrition than regular dairy milk, with only has a fraction of the fat. These alternative milks only taste slightly different than dairy milk, and there are sweetened, unsweetened, and even flavored varieties.

More Plant-Based Options

The vegetarian and vegan lifestyles may not be for everyone, and many Americans enjoy eating meat on a regular basis. However, some significant health issues arise with overconsumption of red meat and other animal proteins. Many Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, and plant-based alternatives to foods like bread, tortillas, and even macaroni and cheese are helping people get their daily servings of fruits and veggies.

Some examples to look for in your local grocery store include:

  • Plant-based alternatives to potato chips, such as vegetable crisps, sweet potato or beet chips, and kale chips
  • Healthy snacks like roasted chickpeas instead of pretzels or other fatty snacks
  • Banana puree ice cream in lieu of fatty dairy-based ice cream
  • Shredded jackfruit instead of pulled pork; this odd fruit contains a high vitamin density and tastes exactly like pulled pork when prepared correctly
  • Infused breads, such as whole-grain breads baked with sun-dried tomatoes, beets, and other vegetables.

Food marketers have learned that labeling some foods as “vegetarian” or “vegan” does not appeal to most consumers. Americans who do not follow vegetarian or vegan lifestyles tend to automatically dismiss such foods as unappealing. About 50 percent of U.S. consumers report that these plant-based food products need to offer more variety and more appetizing flavor choices. Marketers have started to change the way they advertise these foods, hopefully encouraging some Americans to add plant-based foods and snacks into their daily routines.

Learning to Love Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most important nutrients, but the typical American diet does not usually include the foods with the densest concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids. The best natural source of these vital nutrients is fish, and most Americans do not eat fish as part of their regular diets.

Luckily, fish food product manufacturers have started offering more accessible and varied canned and pouched options, such as tuna lunch kits that come with seasonings and whole grain crackers and even infused salmon. Anyone thinking of incorporating fresh fish into his or her diet should take time to research a few recipes and try to learn new ways to prepare fish in appetizing ways. If fish is not for you, there are some plant-based food options rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as:

  • Some vegetable oils like canola oil, soybean oil, walnut oil, and flaxseed oil
  • Hemp hearts and ground flaxseed; easy additions to yogurt, oatmeal, and even salads
  • Ground flaxseed as a substitute for butter when cooking
  • Walnuts
  • Edamame

Plenty of dietary supplements contain Omega-3 fatty acids, but beware: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that on average, an individual should consume no more than three grams of Omega-3 fatty acids per day. Any more may result in gastrointestinal discomfort or even bleeding in people who take anticoagulants for certain medical conditions.

Foods Infused with Cannabis

Cannabis laws have changed dramatically throughout the United States in the last decade, with most states having legalized medical marijuana and even recreational marijuana for adults in some. Other states are less liberal with their cannabis laws and restrict which cannabis-based substances are acceptable for sale and consumption. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active compounds in cannabis that does not cause psychoactive effects but does offer relief from many types of pain.

Cannabis-infused foods aren’t solely for medical marijuana patients; CBD oil is a great health supplement for just about anyone. CBD can aid sleep, improve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and ease symptoms of anxiety. Most CBD-infused foods are gummies, candies, and sodas that may not be the healthiest options, but CBD-infused coffee could be a healthy addition to anyone’s morning routine.

These are just a few of the health trends gaining popularity right now. Ultimately, making better eating decisions is a personal choice. Consider these health trends and start thinking of ways to make positive changes in your diet that work for you.

Get a Personalized Diet with Maximum Benefits for 2019

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Why Angiogenesis Inhibitors In Food Stop Cancer And Where To Find Them

January 31st, 2019
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Why Angiogenesis Inhibitors In Food Stop Cancer And Where To Find Them

Angiogenesis is the medical term for the growth of new blood vessels. This may sound harmless or even positive at first, but when new blood vessels grow and supply blood flow to cancerous tumor cells, it can hasten tumor growth and encourage the spread of some cancers throughout the body. Small capillary blood vessels near cancerous cells can cause those cells to multiply much more quickly, thanks to the ready supply of healthy blood.

When a person has a cancerous tumor, limiting blood flow to the area may seem impossible, but proper diet can help prevent angiogenesis and reduce the amount of blood flow a tumor receives. When cancerous cells have access to a rich blood supply, they can multiply and proliferate more easily, eventually leading to rapid cancer growth in nearby parts of the body. Excessive angiogenesis also increases the risk of many other medical conditions, so developing an antiangiogenic diet early in life can help prevent a multitude of medical complications later on.

Angiogenesis Inhibitors

While certain prescription medications can inhibit angiogenesis, these substances bond signaling molecules on the surface of healthy cells. This essentially blocks cancer cells from interfering with normal cell function. There are many types of angiogenesis inhibiting medications. Some restrict blood flow, some change the ways tumors grow, some help normalize a tumor’s vasculature to improve the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs.

However, these medications treat preexisting cancers and can come with unpleasant side effects such as nosebleeds, high blood pressure, headaches, rectal hemorrhaging, back pain, and peeling of the skin. Some increase one’s risk for blood clots, heart attack and stroke. In light of these risks, many people who have an increased risk for or who have already developed early stage cancer are turning to antiangiogenic diets, focusing on prevention in hopes of avoiding the need for treatment.

Success Stories of Antiangiogenic Diets

Angiogenesis inhibitor medications only effectively treat preexisting cancers but do not do much in the way of preventing cancer. Additionally, these medications typically come at significant expense and side effects that can range in severity from unpleasant to life-threatening. For this reason, many cancer experts recommend including angiogenesis inhibitors in food as part of a healthy diet.

The story of Kathy Bero caught the attention of Harvard University cancer researchers after she claimed to defeat inflammatory breast cancer with an angiogenesis inhibitor diet and holistic therapies like reiki. Bero received a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 41 and started to experience kidney and liver failure when she did not respond to conventional treatments.

After she suffered heart and lung damage as a side effect of chemotherapy, she resigned herself to stopping chemotherapy and letting her illness take its course so she could enjoy her remaining days without suffering the negative side effects of ineffective chemotherapy. She began a holistic home treatment regimen that included an antiangiogenic diet and reiki, a form of touch-based holistic therapy revolving around the concept of channeling energy. Twelve years later, Bero is cancer-free, and her story continues to baffle and intrigue cancer researchers all over the country.

What Food Stops Cancer? Example Meals with Angiogenesis Inhibitors

Antiangiogenic food stops cancer cell growth. In addition, they can also help prevent the development of other medical conditions: obesity, diabetic ulcers, age-related blindness, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Some of the best anti-angiogenic foods include:

  • Purple potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Green tea
  • Kale
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Walnuts
  • Citrus fruits
  • Pineapple
  • Pumpkin
  • Bok choy
  • Artichokes
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onions
  • Turmeric
  • Lavender
  • Ginseng
  • Red wine, in moderation
  • Olive oil
  • Tuna
  • Dark chocolate

However, this is not an exhaustive list and most foods rich in antioxidants also have antiangiogenic properties. These foods can help prevent cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, pulmonary embolism, blindness, ovarian cysts, and obesity.

There are many ways to craft a meal with antiangiogenic foods. For breakfast, granola with nuts, seeds, and berries is a great option to start the day with proteins and angiogenesis inhibitors. Add a mix of fruits and vegetables for lunch, such as a salad with dark, leafy greens and citrus fruit like orange slices or lime.

Strawberries and dark chocolate make for a delicious and decadent snack or dessert packed with antiangiogenic properties. For dinner, fish like tuna steak, grass-fed beef, or liver offers a fantastic balance of nutrients with antiangiogenic properties. Have a glass of red wine with a side of leafy greens and antiangiogenic vegetables to further boost the antiangiogenic properties of your meal.

Foods to Avoid

Avoid packaged, processed, and frozen foods as they contain many artificial ingredients, preservatives, and other potentially harmful substances. Processed foods, fast food, and foods made with artificial ingredients do not offer the nutritional value of whole foods. These are the types of foods that can actually increase the risk of developing countless negative health conditions. When buying animal products look for organic, grass-fed meats and dairy products made without hormones and antibiotics.

How Can Dietary Rehab Help?

Dietary Rehab is a best-in-class resource for nutritional support, dietary advice, and specific dietary tips for individual health conditions. Our services include dietary support to restore and preserve health. Maintaining wellness is our priority for every one of our clients. Visit Dietary Rehab online and contact us to learn more about how we can help you bring angiogenesis to the forefront of your diet.

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Don’t give up yet! Why New Year Diet Resolutions Fall Flat After January?

January 21st, 2019
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Don’t give up yet! Why New Year Diet Resolutions Fall Flat After January

Diet-related goals top the list of America’s most popular resolutions every year. Whether it’s losing weight, cutting out all sources of sugar, or toning up at the gym, many Americans resolve to lose weight, follow a healthier lifestyle, or otherwise make modifications to their diets. However, a 2017 Marist poll shows that a least 33% of these people’s resolutions will fall flat after January.

Discovering why we fail to adhere to new diet plans requires an understanding of the psychology of resolution-making itself. Find out why your New Year diet resolution might fail – and how you can make sustainable changes that last all year.

Why Do We Make New Year Resolutions?

New Year resolutions, as we know them today, began in ancient Rome after Julius Caesar established Janus as the first month of the year. A two-faced deity of doorways and arches, the New Year was symbolically an opportunity to look back into the previous year and forward into the coming months, and think about improvements in their conduct. While many of the first New Year’s resolutions had religious implications, we still equate the beginning of the year as an opportunity to make improvements.

Why Do Our Resolutions Fail?

Unfortunately, according to some experts, this is also the reason why so many resolutions fail. Three-hundred and sixty-five days is a long time – a period of time that makes it difficult to establish accountability or create resolutions that have sustainability. For example, saying “I’m going to lose weight and be healthier this year!” lacks the specificity and time frame required to achieve a goal.

Instead, many health experts favor a weekly goal approach – instead of one New Year’s resolution, take advantage of the natural 52 breaks in the year. This allows for more time for reflection and plenty of opportunities to make modifications to your lifestyle.

Your Resolutions Aren’t “Smart”

Grand, sweeping resolutions to alter your life’s course aren’t sustainable and make it more likely that your resolutions will fall flat in the first thirty days. To make changes that last, make your goal-setting SMART:

  • Specific – for example, instead of saying “I’m going to eat healthier this year,” try “I am going to incorporate more leafy greens into my diet.”
  • Measurable – now, take it a step further so you can track your success “ I will incorporate a leafy green into each dinner.”
  • Achievable – to begin, limit a goal to a certain meal instead of, “I am going to increase my vegetable consumption at every meal, every day.”
  • Relevant – keep your health goals in line with your other life efforts, whether that’s to lower your blood pressure, lose weight, or effectively manage chronic health conditions related to your current diet.
  • Time-Phased – this allows you to make modifications that keep you on track. To begin, “I am going to incorporate a leafy green vegetable into my dinners for one week.”

You Listen To Your Inner Critic

Why New Year Diet Resolutions Fall Flat After JanuaryYou might be surprised to learn that you can derail your health efforts based on your inner monologue. Mistakes are an inevitable part of the shaping process – it’s how we learn. The way you handle missteps could make the difference between a resolution diet fail and successfully making a behavior change. The following are examples of how your inner critic could be sabotaging you:

  • “I don’t know why I even try. This will never be a success.”
  • “I’m not getting the results I want. I should quit while I’m ahead.”
  • “Today is already a bust. I might as well keep cheating.”

Learning the power of positive self-talk is an art, but it’s well worth the effort. A simple rephrasing of mistakes can lead to marked changes in outcomes: “I enjoyed that piece of cake. It will feel good to have a leafy green vegetable with dinner later.”

You Try It All On Your Own

Behavior change is a difficult thing to accomplish – in fact, it’s in its own branch of study. We continually learn about the best way to make sustainable life changes. Attempting to make sweeping alterations to your diet on your own can be a recipe for failure. In order to create diets that work all year, it’s best to refer to outside help. An evidence-based approach to diet and healthy eating can help you stay on track and make changes that make you feel good about yourself – inside and out!

Dietary Rehab stays at the forefront of health knowledge and delivers counseling initiatives that help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions. Whether you want to make changes to manage chronic health conditions, lose weight, or even enhance athletic performance, we can help. Talk to us about our services and learn more about how we can help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions – or better yet, turn them into lifelong changes.

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Understanding The Risks Of Fad Diets

January 10th, 2019
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The Good, Bad, And Scary Fad Diets We All Fall For

Medicine and dietary science have evolved tremendously over the past century. However, some of the worst diets in history gained traction due to misconceptions about human biology, consumerism, and general misinformation. Looking back at some of the scary fad diets that have taken root in recent history allows us to appreciate how far medical science has advanced, helping us learn from the mistakes of previous generations.

The Evolution Of Dieting

In the early 1900s, medical science was fairly limited. Many Americans faced a relatively low life expectancy.  Recovery after injuries and illnesses was difficult then compared to what we can easily treat today. Additionally, the general public was primarily blue-collar workers in rural or small urban areas that relied upon the major news networks to keep them informed about the latest health news.  Advertising also became a major industry in the early 1900s as communication technology improved. Some companies started using celebrities to advertise their products and encourage fad diets that had disastrous health consequences for many Americans.

Fad Diets In American History

Understanding The Risks Of Fad DietsIn 1925, cigarette company Lucky Strike started a new campaign with the slogan “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet!” This ad aimed to tout nicotine’s appetite-suppressing properties as a way to slim down. During this time, medical researchers still believed that cigarettes offered health benefits and had not linked cigarette smoking to lung cancer. Lucky Strike essentially promoted lung disease as an alternative to gaining weight, and the public was none the wiser.

The birth of “the Hollywood Diet” occurred in the 1930s, a diet that called for eating low-calorie grapefruit with every meal. Stars reported staying in shape for the big screen thanks to the grapefruit-centric diet but largely continued many other negative practices like excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.

In the 1950s, the cabbage soup diet promised ten to fifteen pounds of weight loss in a single week by sticking to a very restricted diet and eating cabbage soup every day. The 1950s also saw one of the most shocking dietary techniques: opera singer Maria Callas lost 65 pounds thanks to a tapeworm after swallowing a pill packed with parasites.

The year of 1963 saw the founding of Weight Watchers, one of the most popular dieting programs in America that still exists today. The Weight Watchers program revolves around assigning “points” to different foods and sticking within a certain point range per day to lose weight. Weight Watchers is essentially a structured form of portion control.

In 1975, the next big Hollywood diet took root: the Cookie Diet promised weight loss by eating cookies baked with a special blend of amino acids, and many stars touted the plan as a resounding success. A few years later in 1977, Slim Fast hit store shelves for the first time and it continues to be one of the most popular meal replacement products to date.

By 1979, the first major diet pill, Dexatrim, hit American store shelves. This diet pill contained phenylpropanolamine, a compound later discovered in 2000 to increase stroke risk leading to Dexatrim’s formula alteration. In 1985, Harvey and Marilyn Diamond developed their Fit for Life diet plan that prohibited eating protein and complex carbohydrates in the same meal.

In 1992, Robert C. Atkins, M.D. published his Atkins Diet, a diet plan that focused on high protein and low carbohydrate intake that grew immensely popular across the United States. In 1994, new legislation through the Guide to Nutrition Labeling and Education Act required food manufacturers to list all of their ingredients and nutritional information on all food packaging. In 1995, the Zone Diet became the next big Hollywood craze that required eating specific portions of different types of foods. 2003 saw the next iteration of the Atkins Diet in the form of the South Beach Diet, a protein-rich and low-carb diet that was a bit less restrictive than the Atkins Diet.

Success Stories Throughout The Years

The best diets through the years involve portion control; overeating is one of the most common causes of extra weight and obesity. Most people eat too much in a single sitting. Weight Watchers is arguably one of the best diet plans and has more than 50 years of success stories behind it. Singer Jennifer Hudson shocked fans after showing her 80-pound loss thanks to Weight Watchers.

Despite the fact that portion control diets like Weight Watchers have been tremendously successful, one of the most important aspects of nutrition that many Americans overlook is the concept of eating for your age, or adapting your diet as you grow and your body changes.

Eating An Age-Appropriate Diet

During your 20s, it is vital to eat foods rich in iron, calcium, potassium, and folate that encourage healthy adult development and a strong immune response. In your 30s, choline and monounsaturated fats are important for maintaining healthy metabolism and high energy levels. In your 40s, protein and vitamins A and C are crucial to protect your muscle mass and bone density and help ease joints that start to ache. However, there is no one-size-fits-all diet plan for everyone; every person has unique medical concerns that require individual solutions.

In addition to eating for your age, it is also important to develop healthy habits outside of diet. This means incorporating a reasonable amount of exercise into your daily routine and avoiding bad habits like excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.  Ultimately, the best diet is one uniquely tailored to your individual health concerns and medical risks.

Dietary Rehab Can Help with Your Nutritional Efforts

If you have tried fad diets in the past and have been unsuccessful or failed at portion control and cutting out bad foods, sometimes a professional hand can offer the push needed to develop the perfect diet plan that offers balanced nutrition. Dietary Rehab is a top notch resource for anyone in need of nutrition advice, diet planning, and individualized wellness tips for specific risk factors and medical conditions. Visit our consulting page to learn more about the services available from Dietary Rehab and start developing your wellness goals today.

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Is Farmed Fish Beneficial or Harmful to Health?

December 7th, 2018
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Is Farmed Fish Beneficial or Harmful to Health?

The debate of farm-raised fish vs. wild-caught fish has persisted since the dawn of the aquaculture industry. Many fish farms have appeared in recent years to meet the world’s increasing demand for fish, but there are distinct differences in the nutritional value of fresh-caught fish and farm-raised fish.

There are valid arguments on both sides of this debate. On one side, farmed fish helps meet the demand for fish at a lower cost than fresh-caught fish, while also preventing the destruction caused by commercial fishing. Wild-caught fish typically offer better nutritional value, but commercial fishing has already damaged the world’s ocean ecosystems to staggering levels.

Benefits of Farm-Raised Fish

Farmed fish generally subsist on a cheap diet of corn and soy. While this offers little in nutritional value, it does help keep prices manageable. Unfortunately, the drawbacks of farmed fish far outweigh the perceived benefits.

Potential Drawbacks of Farmed Fish

Supporters of fish farming primarily claim that fish farms reduce the need for commercial fishing operations that damage different fishes’ natural habitats and wild fish populations. However, fish farms have the potential to cause serious ecological damage. Fish kept in farms typically spend their lives in very tightly packed pens, making it easy for sickness, diseases, and parasites to spread in farm populations.

Sickness and parasites from farmed fish can also affect the surrounding wild fish populations. For example, a sea lice infestation recently wiped out roughly 80% of the pink salmon population off the coast of Western Canada*. This contamination could easily affect local wild fish populations which will then harm the predatory species that depend on those fish as food sources, such as birds, bears, and killer whales.

Some predatory farmed fish like salmon also require enormous amounts of feeder fish like mackerel and anchovies. For example, it can take as much as two pounds of feeder fish for every pound of farm-raised salmon. This puts incredible strain on the anchovy and other feeder fish populations, which have faced overfishing nearly to the brink of extinction. Ultimately, fish farming is one of the least sustainable forms of fishing and poses significant risks to the environment and consumer health.

Imported Fish Risks

Another serious risk of eating farmed fish arises with foreign-sourced fish. For example, there are no health and safety inspectors overseeing the fishing industry in China, and some Chinese fish farm workers have reported appalling conditions at many Chinese fish farms**. Some workers have reported sewage in fish pens, rampant disease, filthy working conditions, and dyes used to conceal contaminated fish.

Why Go for Fresh-Caught?

Unless you buy fish directly from a fish farm and have confidence they use safe and healthy practices, there is simply no way to tell where the farmed fish in your grocery store came from. Many farmed fish can be some of the most toxic food in the average store, depending on its source. It’s ultimately better to choose wild-caught fish whenever possible. It may be more expensive, but it is healthier than farmed fish and discourages the fish farming industry from persisting.

Better, Natural Nutrition

Wild-caught fish survive on a natural diet, which can include smaller prey fish, ocean-based plants, algae, and other natural foods. This leads to healthier development, and fish in the wild may roam and move as they please rather than contending with the hyper-confinement of a pen at a fish farm. Penned fish generally experience severe stress during their entire lives, increasing the chances of infections and other health issues and diminishing their nutritional value.

Devastating Struggling Ecosystems

Fish is a highly sought-after food due to its perceived nutritional value, but wild-caught fish offer significant nutritional benefits over farmed fish. For example, one of the most commonly farmed fishes in the world is tilapia, one of the most farmed fish in the world. Many people avoid tilapia due to its generally unsavory reputation and potential health risks, but choosing wild-caught salmon puts strain on the wild salmon population.

Tilapia nutrition is a far cry from the dietary value of wild-caught salmon, and wild-caught salmon is harder to procure. Naturally, the salmon will cost much more. This creates incentive for commercial fishing operations to capitalize on fish in high demand, but they in turn devastate existing wild fish populations. This approach may not be as harmful as fish farming, but it isn’t sustainable either.

Finding Out Which Fish Is Right For You

If your main concern is nutritional value then avoiding farmed fish is your best option. This may be more expensive, but take the time to shop around your area to see the types of fresh fish available. This will be more difficult in some areas than others due to distance from the ocean and shipping issues.

Some fish provide more health benefits than others, and some people may benefit from different types of fish. For example, some wild fish have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids while others have higher protein content.

Schedule Your Nutritional Assessment Today

If you are unsure about your fish options, the Dietary Rehab team can help. The best way to approach nutrition is with an individualized breakdown of your unique nutritional needs. Preexisting medical conditions, allergies, and food sensitivities are important considerations when developing a diet plan.

A nutritional assessment can help you with your dietary and weight loss goals. If you’re looking for ways to improve your overall health or boost your immune system, an assessment can help with that as well. Learn more about the dietary counseling services that we offer at DietaryRehab.com.

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Is the Whole 30 Diet Healthy for the Long Term?

November 30th, 2018
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Is the Whole 30 Diet Healthy for the Long Term

One of the most popular new diets is the “Whole 30” diet, a program that entails extensive dietary restrictions with the promise of “resetting” the body’s many systems. Although many people have reported positive results and the program developer has boasted about over 100,000 satisfied customers since 2009, many dietary researchers and other experts claim the diet could be dangerous or ineffective for many people.

If you’re curious about trying the Whole 30 diet it’s vital to prepare for the restrictions you’ll face. Unlike other diets, the Whole 30 diet functions on a 30-day framework. Following such a restrictive diet beyond the intended 30 days may have negative results.

How the Whole 30 Diet Plan Works

The developers of the program claim that many foods, even seemingly healthy foods, can have adverse effects on various parts of the body that many people may not even realize, which is the basic reasoning behind the Whole 30 diet. The Whole 30 diet, then, aims to remove these potentially harmful foods from the body so the body can repair whatever damage has occurred and the person can make more informed choices about his or her nutrition and diet.

After the 30 days of the dieting period are over, a person on the Whole 30 diet should start gradually reintroducing previously restricted foods by food group and see if any of their health issues return. For example, a person who experiences sleep problems and digestive trouble may notice these symptoms fade during the Whole 30 diet. After reintroducing milk into his or her diet, the person notices those symptoms return. This could be a sign that he or she may have a mild lactose sensitivity that previously went unnoticed.

Restrictions

One of the biggest issues with the Whole 30 diet, for many people, is how restrictive it is. This 30-day diet plan requires a complete refrain from several types of foods, including:

  • Grains. While on the Whole 30 diet you won’t be able to eat bread, cereal, rice, noodles, oats, or even quinoa.
  • Dairy. You can eat no dairy or drink any milk products during the Whole 30 diet. This includes yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and cream.
  • Legumes. Soybeans, peanuts, peanut butter, beans, lentils, and all other legumes are another Whole 30 restriction.
  • Sugar. You must avoid all refined and unrefined sugars during the Whole 30 diet, and this includes artificial sweeteners like stevia and Splenda. You must also avoid maple syrup, agave syrup, honey, coconut sugar, and all other “alternative” sweeteners.
  • Alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are high in calories and some may also have high sugar content. Removing alcohol from your diet for 30 days can also help identify issues that alcohol may be causing in other aspects of life.

Dieting Beyond 30 Days

The Whole 30 diet recommends avoiding checking weight and counting calories during the 30 days. The developers of the program instead recommend focusing on making healthier dietary choices and paying close attention to the effects of reintroducing different foods after the 30 days are over.

Once the 30 days are over, a person on the Whole 30 may notice that certain foods cause problems that bothered them before starting the diet. Now he or she knows to avoid or limit those foods in the future while enjoying other previously restricted foods.

Potential Problems With the Whole 30 Diet

One of the major criticisms of the Whole 30 diet is that it deprives a person of some very important nutrients from the restricted food groups. Legumes are a fantastic source of plant-based protein. Grains provide fiber for easier digestion, and dairy is a very important source of vitamin D and calcium. Some health researchers suggest that the harm of 30 days of deprivation of these vital nutrients eclipses the potential good the diet may do.

Some dietitians also criticize the diet for promoting meat consumption, which many health experts agree is a generally bad decision, and most people should limit meat consumption. The diet also encourages you to eat healthy diet foods including seafood, vegetables, some fruits, nuts, seeds, and foods with minimal ingredients.

Working a Whole 30 Regimen Into Your Regular Diet

The Whole 30 diet may not be ideal for a long-term meal plan, but as a 30-day diet meal plan it may have positive results for some people. Before starting any diet it’s important to consult a physician about potential health risks, preexisting conditions, food sensitivities or any other issues that may complicate the diet. It’s also a good idea to develop a healthy diet plan that incorporates a wide range of the available foods you can eat.

Whole 30 Tips

The Whole 30 diet plan may be restrictive, but it could also provide the opportunity to try new foods or new twists on old favorites. Results can vary, and 30 days is a relatively short time to give a new diet a try, so with some proper planning and a few new recipes to try, the Whole 30 diet may offer relief from symptoms that have bothered you for a while.

The Whole 30 diet may offer some quick weight loss and help you identify problems in your current diet, but it’s important to plan and execute any new diet safely. At Dietary Rehab, we know how challenging it can be to stick to a new diet, especially one that is as restrictive as the Whole 30 diet.

A nutritional assessment can help you improve your overall health. Learn more about the dietary counseling services that we offer.

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Is the Mediterranean Diet Really All That Healthy?

September 18th, 2018
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Mediterranean Diet Study Not As Healthy As Advertised - Dietary Rehab
If you are like many people who are looking to get healthy and reduce your risk of heart disease, you have probably considered, or already abide by, the Mediterranean diet.

Originally, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine stated that people in a test group who followed the Mediterranean diet had fewer incidents of heart attack or stroke than those who were simply told which fats to eat or avoid. The conclusion was that the Mediterranean diet is actually a way to decrease the risks associated with cardiovascular disease.

The study was touted as a blind study with a control group and two test groups that were randomly chosen. There were a number of study locations that people could visit to sign up and participate. These participants were given either olive oil, nuts or instructed to avoid certain types of fats. The results did show that those given olive oil or nuts had a lesser incidence of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke.

Flaws in the Original Mediterranean Diet Study

Unfortunately, many of the claims this study made were recently retracted due to a number of exaggerated details that were found in a later review of the original research. The review found a potential error in the randomization process.

When researchers reviewed the study, they found that one of the study locations had enrolled each patient that went to the same clinic on the same exact diet plan, rather than randomly assigning a plan. This meant 467 patients were using the same diet plan all at the same location.

Another issue had to do with households that contained more than one study participant. These participants were immediately placed on the same diet the other member of their household was following. A more accurate way to test the effectiveness of the diet would have been to assign each participating member of the household to a different plan. Although, one could see why they placed them on the same plan, since most households cook and eat together.

Another issue with the original study had to do with the selection process in general. Most, if not all, of the study participants were selected from largely homogeneous genetic communities in the Mediterranean region. This can affect the results in a negative way, as people with the same genetic qualities and living in the same communities often have the same types of health risks.

Therefore, the study only focused on a select group of individuals rather than a widespread and diverse panel of participants.

Important Distinction

Because of the initial study results, the media touted the findings as showing a benefit for anyone who is at a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases or incidents. While eating healthfully will always have a number of benefits, claiming that one diet can benefit anyone in general can be very misleading.

The revised study now says that it is unsure if the diet would have any such benefits in people with a lower risk of heart problems or from different regions of the world.

Should the Diet Be Ignored Now?

With the retraction of the initial results following a review of the original study, many people have begun to question whether the diet is really as healthy as originally advertised. While the randomization and selection process may change the results of this particular study, it doesn’t mean the diet is not healthy or that those looking to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease shouldn’t try it.

The key factor to look at when deciding if a nutrition plan is healthy or if it will have the benefits you desire is whether it is a sustainable diet. With the multitude of fad diets that come and go each year, many people are skeptical of trying anything called a diet.

It’s More Than a Diet

The Mediterranean diet is not so much a diet as it is a conscientious lifestyle change for those who follow it properly. By avoiding certain foods and adding more of others, you begin to rethink the reasons you eat what you eat each day. If you stick with the lifestyle change, you will see the results that your body is capable of.

It is also important to know what your own body is capable of achieving when adopting a diet. While you may see the models on the covers of magazines and think, “I can do that if they can,” you may be overlooking whether your body type is even capable of looking that way.

Consider your bone structure and muscle structure when setting goals for what you want to achieve. This is important no matter which diet plan you choose to follow.

Feel Free to Stick with the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is more than a fad. It is a total lifestyle change in the way you prepare and eat food. It works by focusing on healthy fats, lean protein, fruits and vegetables. (Lean protein includes fish and chicken while avoiding red meat, which can be higher in unhealthy fat.)

If you are interested in more information on health, diets, recipes and overall lifestyle changes, enter your email address above to subscribe to our blog. Also, click below to learn more about the specifics of the Mediterranean diet.

Mediterranean Diet: Foods to Focus On

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Health Benefits of Blueberries and Raw Blueberry Juice

July 6th, 2018
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Health Benefits of Blueberries and Raw Blueberry Juice
Looking at the health benefits, blueberries seem to be the perfect food. Considered a superfood because they’re rich in antioxidants, high in fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as Manganese, these little darlings pack quite a nutritional punch! And the health benefits are equally as awesome.

Antioxidant Rich

Blueberries, whether fresh, frozen, dried or as juice, have as many antioxidants as five servings of other fruits and vegetables! We all know that antioxidants neutralize free radicals and the damage they cause to our bodies. Eating blueberries every day can help stop cellular structure damage, DNA damage, early aging, and various types of cancer. The antioxidants in blueberries also have anti-inflammatory properties. Because of the high antioxidant content, blueberries can help fight chronic inflammatory diseases including arthritis, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer.

Neuro-Protective Agent

Adding blueberries to your diet protects your brain from degeneration and neurotoxicity as well as oxidative stress, by slowing down the damage to the brain cells caused by aging.  This decreases your risk of dementia, Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s. Putting blueberries in the daily diet, helps build dopamine, an essential neurotransmitter, in your body. Dopamine enables your body to perform smooth, controlled movements as well as maintaining an efficient memory, good attention span and problem-solving functions.

Cancer Prevention

Clinical studies have shown that gallic acid rich foods like blueberries can kill cancer without harming healthy cells, unlike chemotherapy or radiation therapies. And because they also contain folate, which assists in DNA repair and synthesis, blueberries prevent cancer cells from forming and mutating DNA strands. Some newer studies even show that the antioxidants in blueberries even promote the death of cancer cells.

Eye and Skin Health

Those antioxidants are also working on your eyes, preventing the age related problems like macular degeneration, cataracts and myopia.

Because of special antioxidant compounds called carotenoids, flavonoids and other compounds, even things like hyperopia and retinal infections and sun damage can be prevented or reduced.

Your skin’s collagen relies on vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, in order to prevent damage caused by sun, pollution and smoke. Vitamin C also supports collagen’s ability to smooth out wrinkles and improve skin texture.

Digestive Aid

Fiber rich blueberries have both soluble and insoluble fiber which can help maintain a healthy digestive track, relieving both diarrhea and constipation. Wild blueberries have pre-biotic potential which promotes probiotic bacteria in the colon, aiding digestive health. There is a good chance they can help cure Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s Disease. Blueberries can also alleviate symptoms such as bleeding and pain caused by ulcerative colitis. One of the antioxidant compounds, pterostilbene, inhibits genes that cause inflammation, thought to be a risk factor for colon cancer.

Heart Health

Higher daily intake of blueberries has been shown to reduce the risk of developing hypertension by up to 8%. Research shows that, by eating blueberries and drinking raw blueberry juice, total and low density LDL cholesterol can also be reduced by up to 12% and 15% respectively and could help prevent heart disease. The blueberry, with its vitamin C and B6 as well as fiber, potassium, folate, and phytonutrient content, vigorously supports heart health. There is also a study, published in the journal, Circulation, stating that blueberries, eaten together with strawberries, may reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 33%.

Healthy Weight Loss

Since blueberries are high in dietary fiber, low in calories and low on the glycemic index, these blue marvels aid in weight loss. Dietary fiber is a bulking agent in the digestive track and gives that full feeling for longer, thereby reducing overall caloric intake. Snacking on blueberries, with their high fiber content will give you that full feeling and reduce your appetite. They also have the ability to block enzymes in your intestines that block carbohydrate absorption. Blueberry flavonoids, once absorbed, aid the body’s weight management by slowing the rate in which fat cells develop and multiply a well as decreasing the amount of fat that is stored in each cell.

Other Health Benefits

Blueberries can also treat urinary tract infections. They have a compound of large polymer-like molecules which inhibit the growth of E. coli bacteria. This compound is only found in cranberries and blueberries. Your immune system can also be boosted with these blue marvels because of the antioxidants in them. The flavonoid rich wild blueberry is a mood enhancer and can act as an effective antidepressant.  Because of the low glycemic index of blueberries, they can be helpful with Type 2 Diabetes. They have a positive impact on sugar regulation and can also help people with Metabolic Syndrome and insulin resistance, including lowering blood pressure. Higher intake of blueberries has been shown to decrease the development of Type 2 Diabetes in people who have Metabolic Syndrome by up to 23%.

Eating Healthy

Living longer, healthier and looking younger are the ideals we all strive for. Blueberries and raw blueberry juice is definitely a good addition to the healthy lifestyle we all want and want to keep. The best blueberries are organic and fresh. However, you can freeze them, dry them, juice them, save them, bake with them, do all kinds of things with them. They are a very versatile and forgiving fruit, in that they do not lose any nutritional value freezing or drying them. So, eat a handful a day and don’t forget to follow our blog to eat healthy, live healthy (and longer) and be happy.

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Yummy, Healthy Recipes With Dietary Fiber Benefits

May 8th, 2018
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Nobody really likes to talk about fiber, but high fiber recipes need to become an integral part of our healthy diet. Fiber needs to come out of the closet and be recognized for the benefits it gives us. Fiber is the indigestible part of plants that help us stay regular. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber turns into gel in our stomachs and slows down the digestion process, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Insoluble fiber doesn’t change in the digestive system, coming out the way it came in. It does, however, help everything else slide through the colon easier by making it heavier and softer. Neither type of fiber is absorbed into our bodies.

Other dietary fiber benefits include decreased risk of stroke, hypertension, and heart disease, as well as possibly lowering the risk of colitis and colorectal cancer.  Diets high in fiber may also help with weight loss, because of the full feeling after eating fiber-rich foods and fiber calories are not absorbed by the body.

Foods High in Fiber

Some of the yummiest fruits and vegetables also have the highest amounts of fiber! Take raspberries, for instance: 7.6 grams of fiber per cup, raw. Or avocados: 6.7 grams of fiber per cup, raw. Artichokes have a whopping 10.3 grams of fiber per medium vegetable, cooked! Yum! Then there are your usual suspects: split peas at 16.3 grams per cup, cooked; lentils at 15.6 grams per cup, cooked, black beans and lima beans at 15 grams and 13.2 grams of fiber per cup, cooked, respectively. Whole wheat pasta, pearled barley, and oatmeal have 6.3, 6 and 4 grams each respectively for one cup, cooked. Making recipes high in fiber with these ingredients can be easy.

Recommended Daily Amounts

So, how much fiber is enough, you ask. For men, up to 50 years old, the daily recommended fiber intake is 38 grams. Over 50, men only need 30 grams of fiber, due to lower food intake. Women require less fiber, only needing 28 grams a day, and if over 50, 21 grams of fiber a day.

It does not matter which kind of fiber a food has because most fiber-rich foods have both soluble and insoluble fiber. As long as your food intake includes a variety of dietary fiber foods and you try to get at least 25 grams of fiber each day, you will get the necessary amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber as well as the added benefits of the vitamins and minerals inherent in each of the fruits and vegetables you are eating.

Towards that end, here are a few easy recipes high in fiber.

White Bean Chard Skillet

This makes a great fast dinner.

Ingredients:

1 Tblspn olive oil

1/4 cup onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 bunch fresh swiss or red chard, ribs removed

vegetable stock or water, if needed, for thinning

sea salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tspn paprika

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, warmed, for serving

Flaked paprika or slivered almonds for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add onions, cook, stirring frequently until glazed and turning golden. add garlic and stir constantly for about a minute.

  1. Add white beans and tomatoes, stirring until combined. Lower heat and continue cooking for 10 minutes, then add chard. Add a little vegetable broth or water if needed too thick. It should be of stew consistency.
  2. Add paprika if desired, salt and pepper to taste. To serve, add ½ cup rice into a bowl, add bean mixture over top. Garnish with red pepper flakes or slivered almonds,if desired.

Avocado and Black Bean Salad

For a hot summer day or even as a salad side dish.

Yummy, Healthy Recipes with Dietary Fiber Benefits

Ingredients:

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

2 large ripe roma tomatoes, diced

½ cup sweet onion, chopped

15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 Tblspn olive oil

1 lime, juiced

1 clove garlic, minced

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine avocados, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro and the dressing from the small bowl. Gently toss until everything is coated. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Blackberry Compote

Buckwheat is a great source of fiber and can be part of a gluten-free diet.

Yummy, Healthy Recipes with Dietary Fiber Benefits

For the Pancake:

1 ½ cups buckwheat flour (can be mixed with regular flour, if desired)

1 tspn baking soda

2 tspns cinnamon

1 large banana, mashed

2 large eggs

1 tspn vanilla extract

½ cup of almond milk or milk of choice

For the Compote:

1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blackberries

1 Tblspn coconut or granulated sugar

½ tspn vanilla extract

½ Tblspn water

Optional: ½ Tblsn arrowroot, for thickening

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all the pancake ingredients until you have a smooth batter.
  2. Add butter or oil to a large, preheated skillet (over medium heat). Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop batter into skillet, cook for 2-3 minutes, turn over and cook for another 2 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

To make the blackberry compote:

  1. Add blackberries, sugar and vanilla into a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Using a wooden spoon, coat the blackberries in the sugar, breaking up the blackberries as the mixture heats and the fruit break down.
  3. If the mixture is not thick enough use the arrowroot or tapioca starch to thicken the sauce. Serve warm over the pancakes and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Burritos

Yummy, Healthy Recipes with Dietary Fiber BenefitsA yummy high fiber alternative to those egg sandwiches! These can be made ahead of time and frozen. Just reheat in the toaster oven or microwave and go!

Ingredients:

1 Tblspn  olive oil

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 small yellow onion or ½ large onion, chopped

¾ cup mini bell peppers (tricolor), diced

2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 tspn chili powder

4 large eggs, beaten or

(2 large eggs, beaten and

2 large egg whites, beaten)

4 9-10 inch whole wheat or corn tortillas

1 oz shredded cheese – cheddar or your choice

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet on medium, add potatoes, onion and bell peppers. Saute, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Add spinach and chili powder, saute for another 2 minutes.
  2. Turn up the heat to medium high and add eggs or eggs and egg whites. Cook for 3 minutes or until eggs are cooked thoroughly. Turn off heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

To make the Burritos:

  1. Place one tortilla on each section and divide egg mixture between the four tortillas, sprinkle with the cheese, then fold edges in and roll the tortillas to make burritos. Serve immediately or:
  2. Tear off 4 16 inch sections of aluminum foil, place burritos in the center of each. Wrap tightly in the aluminum foil and put into a freezer bag for freezing up to 3 months.
  3. To reheat, place on baking sheet into a 400 degree preheated oven for 35 minutes. Use tongs to place hot burritos into a paper bag for on the go or enjoy at your destination. They stay warm for 15-20 minutes.

There are so many more recipes out there to try that are fast, easy and yummy with lots of fiber! Remember, whole grain rather than processed white flour, brown rice rather than white rice and lots of fruits and vegetables along with legumes.

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How Diet and Exercise Promote Health Microbiome Inside Our Bodies

March 5th, 2018
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Diet and Exercise Promote Microbiome Health Celiac Disease Foods to Avoid - Dietary Rehab

Good-for-You Bacteria

Bacteria isn’t always something to be avoided. While it’s good to fight bacteria on surfaces and protect yourself from potential sources of infection, some microorganisms are actually good for you.

Inside the body, millions of bacteria create a microbiome that enables digestion, keeps your gut healthy and supports immunity. Recent studies suggest healthy bacteria could be a major factor in developing celiac disease.

Celiac sufferers are often frustrated when a gluten-free diet alone doesn’t control their symptoms. An issue with the balance of their internal bacteria may be at root of the problem.

What Is a Microbiome?

Micro means small and biome means a community of living organisms. Within every human is a collection of between 10 and 100 trillion bacteria, most of which live in the digestive system. From the salivary glands in your mouth through your intestines, microorganisms work to break down food and perform a host of other functions.

Each person’s microbiome is like a genetic footprint, because it impacts the diseases they are predisposed to, their body weight, heredity and more. The same bacteria also exist on surfaces and throughout the environment.

Gut bacteria help:

  • Extract nutrients from food
  • Process vitamin K
  • Digest cellulose
  • Support nerve function.

Some researchers say up to 90 percent of diseases relate to the strength or weakness in a person’s microbiome. What you eat, how many hours a night you sleep and the bacteria in your surroundings all influence the health of your microbiome.

Poor gut health creates chronic inflammation in the intestinal walls and can cause:

  • Food sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • A range of other conditions

Microbiome and Diet

What you eat affects your microbiome. In studies that analyzed humans and 59 other types of mammals, what each organism ate drastically affected their internal bacteria.

Diet can hurt or help healthy bacteria, and bacteria affect how the body digests food. When gut bacteria are in balance, people are more likely to maintain a healthy body weight. As a mice with a healthy body weight receive gut bacteria from obese mice, they gain weight quickly without eating additional calories because of how their new microbiota process food.

Foods That Cause Inflammation

When the gut microbiome undergoes changes due to antibiotics, sickness, stress, lifestyle factors or poor diet, tissue becomes damaged and the intestines become inflamed. Thus, the intestines become permeable and can leak antigens that lead to chronic disorders.

Lowering inflammation helps support gut health. There are several food groups to avoid:

  • Refined vegetable oils like corn or canola oil contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, known to cause inflammation.
  • Pasteurized dairy products irritate allergies and threaten healthy bacteria.
  • Refined carbohydrates like sugar, white bread and white rice are produced by stripping away the beneficial fiber. They cause blood sugar spikes and increased intestinal permeability.
  • Packaged granola or boxed cereal might seem like a healthy choice, but it’s often packed with refined sugar.
  • Trans and hydrogenated fats used in fried food and packaged snacks also create inflammation.

Farmers feed livestock corn and other inexpensive ingredients to fatten them up quickly, so meat, eggs and poultry from many sources are high in omega-6s.

Celiac Disease Foods to Avoid

For those with gluten intolerance, food can cause intense reactions. Celiac disease foods to avoid include:

  • All types of white or graham flour
  • Anything that contains the word “wheat,” like wheat bran or wheat germ
  • Pasta
  • Malt beverages
  • Barley

Gut-Healthy Foods

While some foods cause inflammation, others support healthy gut bacteria and reduce intestinal irritation. Celiac disease and a gluten-free diet follow the same rules that are beneficial for everyone.

Carbohydrates should come from fresh fruits and vegetables. Vegetables reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, arthritis and other illnesses. The best choices are dark, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli; and squash.

If you eat fruit, consume it in its whole, raw form. Juices and fruit that is canned or processed contain added sugar and often have the healthy fiber removed. Instead of soda or energy drinks, choose organic coffee and green tea.

Consume high-quality meat like fish caught in the wild, poultry that is allowed to wander and find its own food, and grass-fed beef. When animals have the chance to find and ingest a range of nutrients, they have healthy microbiomes of their own and provide protein, healthy fat and nutrients without excessive omega-6s.

Choose beneficial fats like those found in nuts and seeds, coconut oil and butter from grass-fed cows. Beans and legumes are extremely healthy, as are grains like quinoa and amaranth.

Other Ways to Support Microbiome Health

What you eat every day either nourishes or destroys a healthy microbiome, but there are other activities that impact gut health. Doctors have been prescribing antibiotics for more than 80 years, and they have saved countless lives.

However, antibiotics don’t just kill harmful bacteria, they destroy entire microbiomes. While individuals recover from the infection for which a doctor prescribed antibiotics, their system tends to develop a higher risk of infection. Avoid taking antibiotics except when they are the only way to fight infection.

People sensed the connection between brain and gut long before science backed it up. When you’re nervous, you feel butterflies in your stomach. When something catastrophic happens, you feel like you’ve received a physical blow to your torso. Seeing something traumatic can make you feel nauseated.

Stress causes biochemical changes, disrupting the digestive system’s internal stability. When people are under prolonged stress, they suffer in the following areas:

  • Gastric secretions
  • Intestinal motility
  • Permeability of mucous membranes
  • Intestinal blood flow

Constant stress exposure in mice, for example, encourages some bacteria to grow rapidly, reducing diversity and wiping out the intestinal balance. Even small amounts of chronic stress slow down normal functions.

Exercise for Better Microbiome Helath, Gut Bacteria

Prioritize stress reduction to support microbiome health. Exercise is a natural way to reduce stress, and a new study finds it can encourage healthy bacteria growth. The study followed sedentary men and women, half of whom were obese. Researchers asked all participants to engage in progressively more intense sessions of walking and jogging three times a week.

As a result, exercise changed the gut bacteria in all participants. While individual results varied, almost everyone showed an increase in the microbes that create short-chain fatty acids. (Short-chain fatty acids boost metabolism and fight inflammation.) Lean volunteers showed the greatest benefit. The volunteers’ microbiomes returned to their original levels six weeks after they stopped exercising.

Your Microbiome and Disease

Chronic inflammation causes disease. An autoimmune disease develops when the body’s immune system becomes confused and attacks body systems. Researchers have linked inflammation with a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Gut health protects the body from free radicals, which weaken systems to make them more susceptible to many types of cancer. Harmful bacteria break down joints and supportive tissue, causing inflamed joints and arthritis. Nutrition also affects hormonal balances and brain chemistry, so a suffering microbiome can lead to depression.

The health of your body’s microbiome impacts every internal system. To reduce your risk of chronic disease and support a healthy microbiome, avoid antibiotics and foods that cause inflammation. Instead, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein from quality sources. And finally, cut down on stress and get regular exercise to reduce inflammation and fight disease.

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