Pain in the body is a warning system for injury or disease, but natural healers also see a spiritual dimension to pain. They believe pain alerts us to life lessons we need to learn. Once a lesson is incorporated into our psyche, the pain disappears.
The stomach plays an important role in digestion. It receives and further breaks down the food we have chewed (at this point referred to as bolus), getting it ready so that nutrients can be absorbed from it in the small intestine. Among the things that can go wrong in the digestive system are stomach ulcers and stomach cancer, and scientists have discovered there is often a causal relationship. Cancer can occur as a result of mutations in the cells that line the stomach. This risk factors include age (people over 55 are more apt to develop stomach cancer), gender (males are more vulnerable), smoking, genetics and diet choices. Finally, stomach cancer is closely correlated with the bacterial infection Helicobacter pylori, which is responsible for many stomach ulcers.
Peanut butter is not just for kids. The protein and healthy oils in peanut butter make it an excellent food for everyone, with the exception of the one percent of the population that is highly allergic to peanuts. Peanut butter can help with weight loss, diabetes, and can even lower your chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The Huffington Post recently invited readers to submit their most vexing health questions to be answered by the site’s team of doctors. Here are some of the questions most often asked:
Over the past few years there has been a huge upsurge of interest in coconut oil and its numerous benefits. Now health enthusiasts are turning their attention to the next big thing, coconut water. So is coconut water a magic potion? Decide for yourself.
You’ve likely never heard of FODMAPS.
Chances are you will in the near future, and that’s because FODMAPS is the new “Gluten Free.” Or it could be.
The reason the Gluten Free diet exploded in popularity is because many people who switched to it began to feel better.
Their symptoms of bloating, gas, diarrhea, mind fog, etc. began to go away.
But this wasn’t true of all people who went gluten free.
Some ditched the gluten and still felt terrible, and they didn’t know why.
The reason might be they have a reaction to FODMAPs.
FODMAPs stands stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are sugars (fructans) and fibers the body has a tough time digesting. So it’s not just gluten that can cause the symptoms so many Americans deal with.
FODMAPs was discovered by a physician named Sue Shepard who herself was a sufferer of gluten intolerance.
As she said in an interview with Yahoo News.
“Exciting research shows that it may have been the fructans (sugars/fibers) all along that were triggers for symptoms in non-celiac gluten-sensitive patients,” Shepherd told Yahoo Food. “The scenario is possible when you think about it. People felt some improvement eating gluten-free foods, so assumed it was gluten that was the problem – but by restricting gluten, a person has actually simultaneously restricted some of their fructan intake when avoiding wheat, rye and barley,”
What that means for you (if you went gluten free and still feel bad) is the foods you eat in addition to gluten can be contributing to your ill health.
That means to get rid of the maladies associated with IBS, a reduction in foods containing FODMAPs can be key.
So how do you know if your foods are high in FODMAPs or not?
There are several ways, but the most important is going to websites like IBSDiets.org
On websites like that you can see which foods are high FODMAPs (not good for gut health) and low FODMAPs (acceptable to be eaten for gut health.
And some of the good news about the FODMAPs diet is it doesn’t require an entire adjustment to your diet.
As Yahoo News Notes the diet isn’t permanent like a gluten free diet:
Education is key to getting and maintaining relief, since there are major misconceptions about the diet. Shepherd said the biggest one is that people think it’s permanent one-step elimination. “Each individual has a different tolerance for the amount of FODMAPs they can ingest before getting symptoms, and sensitivity triggers also differ for each person,” she said. So while some foods on the list may bother your stomach, others may not.
The two-part process starts by completely cutting the FODMAP list of foods out of your diet for two months. “This first strict phase isn’t encouraged for the long-term – it’s only meant to be an eight-week restriction,” Shepherd said. Then, FODMAP-containing foods are introduced back into the diet to see what can be tolerated without symptoms arising again.
This is great news if you want to find out the exact foods that are killing your gut.
Shepard reasons that as many as 75% of people who go low FODMAP start to feel better.
That’s a good as reason as any to try it out.
For most of us, one of the most miserable physical experiences possible is unrelenting nausea. When that happens, over-the-counter medications have only limited effect, and prescription medicine is seldom at hand. There’s good news, however, if you keep some ginger in your kitchen.
Its old news – neither corn syrup nor white table sugar are great for your health. They are both devoid of vitamins and minerals, leaving behind refined empty arbohydrates that run through your body wreaking havoc on your health, messing with your blood sugar levels and leeching minerals and vitamins from your body in its futile efforts to metabolize and utilize these carbs. But is one worse for you than the other?
You may be surprised to learn that corn syrup – innocently derived from a vegetable – is more toxic and damaging than table sugar.
New research out of the University of Utah found that female mice fed fructose from corn syrup had decreased reproductive abilities and shortened lifespans compared to female mice who were fed sucrose from plain table sugar. In order to correlate the dietary amounts in this study to the amounts in normal human consumption, the mice were fed diets that consisted of 25% calories from either high fructose and glucose monosaccharides, like that found in corn syrup, or from fructose, like that found in table sugar. The average American consumes between 13-25% of added sugar and roughly half of that amount comes from high fructose sugars.
These mice were observed for a total of 40 weeks. During that time, their overall lifespans, number of children and their ability to defend their territories with the other mice was studied. The results: female mice on a fructose diet had a death rate that was 1.87 times higher than the female mice on the sucrose diet. They also had 26.4% fewer children.
Interestingly, in this particular study, the different sugars seemed to have no noticeable levels of different effects on the male mice. However, this is not in defense of the health of either sugars, as researchers believe that this only means that both types of sugars were equally damaging to male mice.
Researchers are still unsure why the two different sugars caused such different levels of reactions in female mice, but they believe the clue may lie in the fact that sucrose (table sugar), is broken down into monosaccharides before being absorbed by the body. Since corn syrup also consists of monosaccharides, whatever is causing the difference is likely occurring before absorption.
James Ruff, the study’s first author, said:
….we speculate that the different sugars could favour different microbes in the guts of mice. Other research has shown differences in bacterial communities in the gut to be associated with metabolic diseases in rodents and in humans. It’s possible one form of sugar causes more bacteria to get across your gut than another…
Either way, it is certainly worth thinking about the next time you indulge in a sweet treat.
For readers of Natural Health Online only: The Real Reason You’re Fat, Sick and Tired – And the Surprisingly Simple Way to Turn Your Health Around
In Part 1 of this article, we looked at 3 different studies done which had the same conclusion: Your gut microbes have a huge influence on your health and weight.
Our microbiome begins to build up from birth, and increases as we are exposed to more things like breast milk, food, water, animals, soil and other people, to the point where we are basically a vessel for microbes. In numbers, we are something like 10 percent human and 90% microbe.
Most of these microbiobes live in our colon, where they help break down fiber, process calories, and protect against infection, being a hub and foundation for our immune system.
As evidenced by many studies, including the ones in part 1 of this article, scientists are just now starting to see the undeniable, major connection between our microbe population and our overall health.
In the case of the experiment by microbiologist Zhao mentioned in part 1, the study was expanded even further. Zhao brought in a 385 lb man who was inflamed, diabetic, had high bad cholesterol and high blood sugar. When analyzing this man’s microbes, it was found that 35% of them belonged to the species “Enterobacter cloacae”. He put the man on the same diet he was on, and not only did the man lose 113 pounds in 23 weeks, but the Enterobacter clocae numbers went down, as did the endotoxin and inflammation markers.
Zhao then introduced Enterobacter into mice. Astonishingly, they developed endotoxemia, diabetes and became obese – but only when eating a high fat diet. Different mice introduced to bifidobacteria or kept microbe free, remained lean on the same high fat diet.
The implication of Zhao’s findings as well as the other research out there is that there is a huge area of knowledge to be explored on radical medical treatment via microbe manipulation and treatment.
In the meantime, what kinds of foods should we eat to promote healthy microbes?
Ideally, foods containing high amounts of oligosaccharides – prebiotic fibers that allow the bacteria in our gut to feed and thrive, producing byproducts that are essential for our bodies such as vitamin K and B vitamins. The food list: plant foods, especially raw plant foods where possible – fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Potatoes, bananas, yams, apples and oranges – these all provide healthy servings of good starches and prebiotics that will help your micro flora thrive.
On the other hand, refined and fatty processed foods will change your gut permeability and alter your entire microbial system, turning it against you by leaking toxic byproducts into your bloodstream.