dysbiosis

Support Your Healthy Gut Bacteria With Prebiotic Foods And Resistant Starch

Photo credit: Denise Johnson

Photo credit: Denise Johnson

Prebiotics are important for digestive, and therefore overall health (remember, health begins in the gut).


Prebiotics can inhibit cancer, strengthen your immune system and prevent obesity. They can also improve symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders, neurological conditions, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), IBS and celiac disease. Prebiotics also can improve your skin health.


Prebiotics feed your good gut bacteria, whereas probiotics add healthy bacteria into your gut.


The best way to get more prebiotics in is through food sources. Food sources of prebiotics are fiber rich.


Fiber is not digested by you, rather it becomes food for your good gut bacteria, and your good gut bugs produce short chain fatty acids like butyrate, which confer health benefits to you. In fact butyrate communicates with your skin microbiome, therefore having adequate levels is important for healthy, rash (eczema) free skin.


Examples of prebiotic foods you can add to your diet include:

  • Chia seeds

  • Flax seeds

  • Hemp seeds

  • Legumes

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Quinoa

  • Brown rice (cooked and cooled)

  • Gluten free steel cut oats (cooked and cooled)

  • Vegetables (non starchy, raw have higher prebiotic content)

    • Cruciferous (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, arugula)

    • Leafy greens

    • Onion

    • Leek

    • Garlic

    • Chicory root

    • Asparagus

    • Jerusalem artichoke

    • Dandelion greens

    • Other non starchy vegetables

  • Vegetables (starchy)

    • Sweet potatoes/yams

    • Potatoes (cooked and cooled)

  • Fruit

    • Apples

    • Green bananas (less ripe ones)

    • Berries


Notice that brown rice, oats, and regular potatoes should be cooked and cooled to gain prebiotic benefits from them. Doing this changes the structure of the starch they contain, and makes them what we call resistant starch.


Resistant starch is prebiotic. It also doesn’t result in blood sugar spikes, and is an additional benefit if you are struggling with blood sugar issues like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. So if you have been avoiding potatoes because of your blood sugar issues (or your weight), cook and cool them, and enjoy!

If you need guidance on what to eat, The JCB Nutrition Food Pyramid and Diet Plan will help. The program will:

  • Help you understand which foods to avoid if you are embarking on an elimination diet

  • Teach you which healthy foods contain natural chemicals that can trigger symptoms including skin and gut issues, among MANY others

  • Show you what those natural food chemicals are

  • Teach you what foods are common allergens

  • Guide you in choosing what foods to eat and in what amounts


5 Reasons You Should Try Intermittent Fasting And Fasting

Photo credit: rawpixel

Photo credit: rawpixel

Have you heard of intermittent fasting? Brief periods of fasting are good for your health (for some people). We’ll get into that in a minute.


Common intermittent fasts involve 12-16 hour-long fasts, or fasting for 24 hours at a time.


I prefer the 12-16 hour long fasts because they do not interfere with daily life so much. You aren’t eating while you’re sleeping basically (which is difficult to do anyway ;)). All you need to do is have an early dinner, and then a late breakfast the next day. For example, what I do is eat dinner at 5 or 6pm, and then have breakfast after 7 or 8am.

More hours of intermittent fasting doesn’t necessarily promote additional health benefits (more isn’t always better). Intermittent fasting 2-3 times a week can be beneficial.

Here’s what I love about intermittent fasting:


  1. It’s easy since you are mostly sleeping during the fasting window

  2. It has been shown in the research to have benefits for gut and skin health (two of my favorite things to help people with)

    1. Intermittent fasting and fasting has efficacy in helping with eczema, acne, psoriasis, and other skin rashes (in adults)

    2. Fasting helps rebalance the gut flora and skin conditions tend to be the result of an unhealthy gut (dysbiosis) and once the microbiome is balanced again, the skin usually gets better

  3. It has benefits on weight loss

    1. Your body adjusts levels of certain hormones to make stored fat available to burn for fuel

  4. Fasting allows your body to initiate important repair functions

  5. It leads to changes in gene expression that promote longevity and prevention from disease

About that last point and prevention from disease, here are some other benefits of fasting:


  • Reduced markers of inflammation

  • Reduction in insulin resistance

  • Lowers LDL cholesterol and therefore benefits cardiovascular health

  • Cancer prevention

  • Improved brain health

  • Anti-aging effects


Is intermittent fasting right for you? Take caution if you:


  • Are underweight

  • It may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men

  • Have disordered eating habits or an eating disorder

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

  • Have low blood pressure

  • Have blood sugar regulation problems

  • Have hormone imbalances (sex, stress, thyroid)

  • Take medications

 

The best thing to do is to talk to a health professional to see if intermittent fasting is right for YOU. Remember, one sizes doesn’t fit all.

 

I had a client report benefits of intermittent fasting on her eczema, which is what inspired me to write about it, and record this video!

 

Don’t forget I’m here to help. Contact me with any questions you have.

If you need guidance on what to eat, The JCB Nutrition Food Pyramid and Diet Plan will help. The program will:

  • Help you understand which foods to avoid if you are embarking on an elimination diet

  • Teach you which healthy foods contain natural chemicals that can trigger symptoms including skin and gut issues, among MANY others

  • Show you what those natural food chemicals are

  • Teach you what foods are common allergens

  • Guide you in choosing what foods to eat and in what amounts