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“Did you know that when you eat might be just as important as what you eat? Studies show that fasting, also known as intermittent fasting, and not eating after the sun sets can yield vast benefits for your digestion, your microbiome, and even your overall health. Fasting may seem like a scary word, and actually just the sound of it makes me a little bit hungry. I had no idea until I started intermittent fasting a few years ago how beneficial it could be for my gut and overall health…” This video is an excerpt from Dr. Chutkan’s 7-Day Microbiome Reboot. For the complete reboot – which includes the Microbiome Reboot Recipe Booklet (with a meal plan, recipes, and daily tips on microbe-friendly living), and a series of videos that cover Dr. Chutkan’s seven core practices to help build a healthier, more balanced microbiome – sign up today for Gutbliss…

Introduction Fermented foods are projected to be one of the leading weight loss trends throughout 2019, but they’ve actually been around for a long time. The fermentation process is one of the oldest examples of food preservation, and fermented foods have been a foundational staple of the human diet throughout history. Unfortunately our modern ways of eating – processed, high fat, high salt, and high sugar foods – have taken the place of more traditional and healthful ways of eating. Fermented foods are now one of the least consumed foods in the U.S., despite the fact that they are one of the most important for gut health, specifically for your gut microbiome. Studies show that daily and long-term consumption of fermented foods can lead to improved weight loss. What are fermented foods & why are they beneficial for weight loss? The fermentation process transforms the food into a substance that’s…

Eating dirt has become a recent health fad amongst some people who are concerned about improving their gut microbiome. Dirt? Yes, dirt! But does it really confer benefits for the gut and overall health? And should we literally be eating spoonfuls of the stuff? Let’s dig a bit deeper (into the dirt!) to learn more. While eating dirt (or geophagia) is considered by some to be a new and maybe even ridiculous “fad”, it’s a practice that has actually been around for thousands of years and has possibly helped the human race survive throughout millennia. Just about every culture has put eating dirt into practice, and while the motivations may vary, the benefits are universal: healthier people. Hippocrates writes of geophagia in his medical textbook linking “earth eating” and anemia. A few hundred years later, alica, a porridge that contained red clay was used as a remedy for mouth ulcers,…

If you follow a gluten-free diet, whether it’s because of non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or for other health reasons, a good slice of bread may be one of the main things you miss from your previous diet. But science shows that you may not have to miss out after all, and sourdough bread might be your solution! First let’s take a look at sourdough bread and what makes it so different from other breads. Sourdough bread (the traditional way of making gluten-containing bread prior to the mid 1600’s), instead of baker’s yeast, is made with a starter culture rich in Lactobacilli bacteria. Why is this so important? Lactobacilli, besides being great for the gut microbiome, makes the bread more nutrient rich by neutralizing the undesirable phosphorus, or phytic acid, found in the wheat’s bran. (Studies show that sourdough fermentation can neutralize phytic acid by up to 90%). Phytic acid in conventional bread binds to…

Should I avoid gluten is probably a question many of us have asked ourselves over the last few years. Here is some useful information that may help you get to the right answer. As you may know, gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) can trigger an immune response in some individuals, causing damage to the small intestinal lining as well as other symptoms related to fertility, bone health, nutrient absorption, and neurological pathways, to name a few. Other people don’t feel so well when they eat gluten but don’t have any sort of immune reaction. Gluten intolerance can be classified into 3 main buckets: · Celiac disease- a condition in which gluten triggers an immune response that damages the intestinal lining. This condition affects approximately 1% of the population. · Wheat allergy– an allergic reaction to proteins found in wheat, most common in children. Symptoms include nausea and anaphylaxis. · Non-celiac gluten…

Did you know that it may not be what you’re eating, but what you’re not eating that’s causing your GI distress? Most of us embark on dietary changes by omitting the culprits we believe cause us harm. Whether it’s gluten, dairy, processed sugar, or alcohol, our main focus is usually on subtracting the “bad” from our diets, rather than adding in the “good”. Even my SAD GAS diet encourages omitting those things that most often cause bloating and inflammation – soy, artificial sweeteners, dairy, gluten, alcohol, and sugar. While this subtraction can be an important and necessary step in healing, it’s not the only step, and it may not actually be the most important change to promote gut and microbial health. As a gastroenterologist, I’ve come to realize that in many cases, it’s not what you’re eating, but what you’re not eating that can be at the root of your symptoms. For example, the patients…

Avoiding gluten is the number one therapy for treating celiac disease, yet a new study finds that GF labels are overwhelmingly unreliable. Using a portable device designed to detect gluten (Nima), crowd-sourced data was collected measuring the risk factors for and rates of gluten contamination in restaurant foods labeled GF. Results found that out of the 5,624 tests performed, 32% of restaurant foods labeled GF actually contained gluten, with dinner foods being the most likely to be contaminated. The most problematic foods were pizza and pasta with a contamination percentage of 53.2% and 50.8% respectively. There was also a geographic significance to gluten contamination: GF labeled foods were more likley to contain gluten in the Northeast U.S. as opposed to the West. American Journal of Gastroenterology Takeaway: While restaurant gluten contamination rates have not yet been investigated for clinical significance (for example, how the sometimes vey low levels of contamination the device…

I’m trying to lose weight and I keep stumbling upon the keto diet and other low carb options for weight loss. What’s your opinion on diets that limit or completely eliminate carbohydrates? Would it be ok for me to do a 4-week crash keto diet, then slowly reintroduce carbs? -Keri Dr. Chutkan: Keri, growing a good gut garden (aka, protecting and enhancing your microbiome) is my #1 goal with my patients, so I’m always skeptical when I hear about strict diets that restrict or completely eliminate carbohydrates. Here’s why: carbohydrates, including vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, gluten-free grains like brown rice, rolled oats, millet, amaranth, and quinoa, are the building blocks for a rich and diverse gut microbiome because they’re high in fiber – and act as food for beneficial gut bacteria. And a rich and diverse microbiome, as you probably know by now, is one of the key foundations for…

Coconut water is one of the biggest wellness fads in the last 10 years. But is it everything it claims to be: a great source of potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, amino acids, and even cytokinins (a hormone with hypothesized antiaging, cancer-fighting properties), plus low in calories, and an excellent hydration tool? I can definitely speak to the last claim based on personal experience in my gastroenterology practice. Growing up in Jamaica and drinking coconut water right out of the coconut, I was excited when coconut water hit the U.S. market. As a gastroenterologist, I began using coconut water as a form of oral rehydration therapy in patients who struggled to stay hydrated because of diarrhea, which can be a problem for people with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) or in those who’ve had their colons surgically removed because of cancer or disease. While sports drinks are often the…