Previous – Part 1: The Microbiome & Gut Dysbiosis
Part 2: Eating Nutrient Dense Food
Surprisingly, eating nutrient dense food today is not as simple as one would think. There are many reasons, including:
- Time constraints that make it is easier to turn to the convenience of packaged and restaurant food over shopping and cooking.
- Social lives that revolve around going out to eat at restaurants where taste and price are often valued over quality ingredients.
- Misinformation. For example, the food and pharmaceutical industries have heavily market us into believing soy is a “health” food, the cholesterol myth, and that fat is bad. (The truth is that soy is estrogenic, damages the gut, and is often genetically modified, cholesterol and good fats are needed to make hormones and to heal, and sugar, processed oils, and too much gluten are “bad” for health.)
However, I believe eating real nutrient dense food and avoiding processed food is one of the most important factor for immune system health and overall health. Poor food choices:
- Traumatize good bacteria.
- Upset the balance of good and bad bacteria.
- Tear open the one cell thick gut lining (the thin wall that keeps food inside the gut and prevents it from going into the bloodstream).
In addition, when toxins that do not belong in the body are consumed (GMOs, pesticides, additives, chemicals, and heavy metals), the body has to spend its resources getting them out (detoxing), instead of creating energy, healing, and repairing.
So even though my body is brilliant at finding ways to store toxins in tissues, bones, and fat cells (aka bio-accumulation of toxins), I try to skip the toxin-in and toxin-out step as much as possible by eating clean, nutrient dense food.
Below I share ten tips for eating nutrient dense food:
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates
1. Eat organic, non-GMO, pesticide / chemical-free whole nutrient dense food:
- Eat mostly pastured grass-fed beef, plenty of vegetables, fruit, herbs&spices, healthy fats, and probiotic-rich fermented foods & beverages like coconut kefir, kraut, and kvass. I never drink kombucha which is made of wild yeast.
- Eat plenty of good fat which is easy, nutritious, and satisfying: Avocados, pastured ghee, butter & eggs, EVOO, high quality cold pressed flax-seed oil with lignans 2wks/month, cold water fish, soaked nuts & seeds, and recently adding sunflower butter 2wks/month, which is high in magnesium and vitamin b6.
- Buy pastured beef bone broth and other nutrient dense foods from my local community kitchen and have it delivered every Thursday. Good quality bone broth is healing because simmering bones and ligaments releases compounds like collagen / gelatin and amino acids like proline and glutamine.
- Collagen protects and soothes the lining of the digestive tract.
- Gelatin promotes probiotic growth and helps break down proteins.
- Proline helps regenerate cartilage, heal joints, and repair leaky gut.
- Glutamine protects the gut lining and improves metabolism.
- Shop at the local farmer’s market on Sundays for fruits and vegetables, and try to wash, chop, and prep veggies that day.
- Twice a week I soak and prepare grains like rice, quinoa, or oatmeal. (Fallon’s book is helpful if you need more info and nutrient dense recipes).
- Make skillet dishes with vegetables and pastured ground beef from a local store. (Freezer burn prevents buying half cow or pig shares, etc.)
- Add in-between parasite cleansing herbs like cinnamon (not the poor quality stuff mostly sold in the U.S.) cloves, garlic, ginger, onion, sage, & thyme. And anti-oxidants herbs like turmeric, curcumin, oregano, and basil.
2. Avoid processed “food”, anti-biotic rich meat, anti-nutrients, and other toxins.
- Sugar feeds bad bacteria, in addition to creating a cascade of inflammation.
- Antibiotics given to animals kills good bacteria and can lead to pathogenic bacteria overgrowth like yeast.
- Gluten tears open the gut wall and damages the blood brain barrier. This is also known as leaky gut or intestinal permeability and leaky brain.
- Mold / parasite / and heavy metal laden food such as rice and kale & in cooking equipment like copper or lesser quality stainless-steel damage the body.
- Toxins in food from plastic bottles, storage containers, etc. are estrogenic.
- Thiol binders like cilantro that mobilize / stir up mercury amalgams.
- Grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes contain anti-nutrients – like phytates and enzyme inhibitors that detract from their nutritive value. (Good summary regarding saponins in quinoa).
- Anti-nutrients like oxalates in almonds, dates, and spinach can cause kidney stones so eat in moderation.
- Limit going out to eat. Hard to know everything that goes into food that is not prepared in front of you.
3. Avoid IgE allergens and IgG/IgA food sensitivities which cause inflammation, antibodies, and tax the body. For me, this includes gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, chicken / chicken bone broth and honey. I try to avoid as many of both because I know at minimum that they create anti-body reactions and tax my liver.
- Test: Labcorp IgE. Note: Still trying to understand the difference between IgE allergens that test low (0/1, 1) where I don’t have an immediate reaction and IgG / IgA food sensitivities for healing leaky gut cells (i.e. out of range actomyosin).
4. Avoid cross reactive foods which also cause inflammation, antibodies, and tear through the gut wall like gluten can.
- Test: Cyrex Array 3&4. Out of range: rye, barley, spelt, polish wheat, milk, whey protein, millet, hemp, soy, egg, corn (difficult!).
- Equivocal: sesame, buckwheat, teff, rice, alpha gliadin 17-mer, Gluteomorphin+Pordynorphin, Transglutaminase-2 IgA.
- Normal (can eat): oats, yeast, sorghum, amaranth, quinoa, tapioca, potato.
5. Add prebiotic rich foods which are indigestible fibers that nourish good bacteria for healthy replication. e.g. garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, jicima, chicory root. I would add Jerusalem artichokes but have not found any, and heard inulin in dandelion greens if a prebiotic fiber. Also a fan of eating fibrous root vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, and carrots.
6. Drink plenty of clean spring water to flush out the toxins. I am still searching for a high quality water filter made in the USA that filters out chlorine, fluoride, etc. Not a fan of reverse osmosis water (RO). Mountain Valley Spring water in glass bottles is my preferred bottled option, but too expensive to drink exclusively.
7. Supplement deficiencies. I try to get nutrition from food first. However, for many reason, like soil mineral depletion or genetics, I do supplement micronutrient deficiencies like vitamin D & K2, magnesium, and more. I share it all in detail here & here.
8. Avoid radiating food and beverages in the microwave and keep the nutrients. I use a Breville oven instead with Pyrex glassware to heat up food. Takes a few extra minutes to warm up food but worth the switching cost.
9. Avoid traditional cookware with hormone disrupting chemicals and heavy metals that leach into food. We’ve ditched all the crystal (e.g. wine glasses made w/lead), ceramic glazed dishes & mugs, non-stick cooking pans (read EWG for more info), plastics, and aluminum baking sheets. And I’ve replaced most of the every day china with lead-free glass dishes, glass mason jars, Pyrex glass containers, and Visions glass cooking pots. I’ve also kept all Le Creuset and All Clad Stainless Steel (if a magnet sticks to stainless steel it is high quality and will not leach nickel).
10. Avoid chemicals in beauty products and home cleaning products for the body and home because what we put on our skin and breathe adds to our toxic load.
Next: The following posts in this series are in my upcoming book:
Part 3: Supplementing Probiotics Only After Gut Testing
Part 4: Testing Gut Dysbiosis, Nutrient Deficiencies, & More
For now, I hope you will read more about my healing protocol using the links below.
Be Gutsy! ♥ L
Healing Naturally = Nutrients In + Toxins Out
1. Nutrients In
- Nutrition: Microbiome, Healing Food & Probiotics
- Tests: Gut Bacteria, Nutrients & Metals
- Supplements: Vitamins, Minerals & More
- Sleep: Training For Mercurial Night Owls
- Support: Anxiety & Depression
2. Toxins Out
- Dental Revision: Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal
- Detoxing: Saunas and Rebounding
- Cleansing: Parasites, Candida, & Humaworm
- Chelating: Frequent, Low-Dose ALA
- Avoiding: EMF, Travel, and Beauty Products