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Nutrition

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Green smoothies are Dr. Chutkan’s number one prescribed “medication” in her practice… and there’s lots of reasons why. Watch Dr. Chutkan as she explains the benefits of leafy greens and the importance of consuming them daily for optimal gut health. Be sure to write down the green smoothie recipe at the end and begin incorporating it into your daily life for Gutbliss!

Scientists are studying how a plant-based diet affects gastroparesis, an underdiagnosed condition in which emptying of the stomach is delayed. Symptoms include bloating, nausea, feeling abnormally full after eating, and in severe cases, vomiting and weight loss. The most common treatment for severe gastroparesis is administering food through a feeding tube using a liquid formula high in sugar and processed nutrients. Although patients are not consuming actual food, they can still experience symptoms, including bloating, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. The plant-based pilot study, currently underway, includes a plant-based formula lower in sugar and processed components. Researchers will look at how going plant-based affects microbial and inflammatory markers, with the hope that patients will experience less symptoms. Stanford University Takeaway: While some severe cases of gastroparesis require more aggressive treatments as described above, there are lots of lifestyle changes that can help treat gastroparesis-related symptoms. These modifications include: Shift most of…

The supplement industry is already huge, and now they’re expanding even more by utilizing “personalized nutrient programs”. What does that even mean? These are programs where you fill out an online questionnaire regarding your food intake and goals, and then receive a personalized supplement, or an entire pack of supplements, to your front door – often on a monthly basis. As we’ve said many times before, there’s no pill that can take the place of a plant-based, whole food, fiber-rich diet. In certain specific conditions, supplements can be extremely helpful (think low B12 in a patient with Crohn’s disease), but for most of us, food is still the best way to regain health. For the vast majority of the population, supplements fail to move the needle in the direction towards better health, and most are not tested for safety either. Our advice? Instead of spending money on supplements, use that…

Figuring out whether or not you have a sensitivity to gluten unrelated to celiac disease (CD) or wheat allergy can be a confusing and frustrating process. The scientific evidence is there supporting the fact that non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) does in fact exist, yet arriving at a definitive diagnosis isn’t always easy, and for most it’s a down right challenge. Read on to find out how to navigate a NCGS diagnosis and how to overcome the challenges you might face during the process. What Is NCGS? NCGS refers to an intolerance to gluten that results in intestinal symptoms, most commonly bloating and gas, and sometimes extra-intestinal symptoms like anxiety, behavioral changes, brain fog, depression, fatigue, headaches, joint pain, rashes, and tingling in the extremities – all of which subside when gluten is eliminated from the diet. To date, it’s estimated that between 0.6 and 6% of the population have NCGS.…

When we want to lose weight, most of us immediately start counting calories as our go-to method. But did you know it’s not the calories themselves that primarily cause weight gain? It’s much more about what kind of food you eat, not how much you eat. And one of the most harmful foods for an expanding waistline is added sugar. Why? Foods and diets high in processed and added sugar: are strongly associated with leptin-resistance (leptin plays a key role in regulating appetite and fat storage)increase sugar in the blood as well as the amount of time blood sugar remains elevated, creating insulin-resistanceencourage the growth of pathogenic gut bacteria that send signals to the brain via the gut-brain axis, making it more likely to crave and consume sweet foodsare low in fiber and nutrients, therefore they’re less filling and displace other nutrient- and fiber-rich foods in the diet that encourage…

Bloating is generally caused by gas (and sometimes fluid), and it usually ebbs and flows—you may have a flat abdomen in the morning but by evening, you look and feel 6 months pregnant. Bloating has become a rapidly increasing epidemic. For many, the symptoms are daily and relentless, but even when symptoms aren’t severe, they can still be extremely bothersome. There are lots of different causes of bloating, and one of the commonest is excessive sodium intake, which causes you to retain water not just in your abdomen but throughout your body. A study published last month in the American Journal of Gastroenterology looked at data from the DASH-Sodium trial. 412 participants consumed three levels of sodium intake – 50, 100, and 150 mmol/day. Each intake was consumed over a 30-day period with 5 days of rest between each period. Presence of bloating was recorded at baseline and after each…

Madeline: I’m wondering if there is a benefit to taking digestive enzymes, especially since I’m over 60. I’ve read that we create less enzymes as we age. I seem to have more gas since either just getting older or maybe it’s menopause. Dr. Chutkan: You are correct Madeline, we make fewer digestive enzymes as we get older, but that’s to be expected. Lots of other things change as we get older too – our bones get thinner, our sex hormone production decreases, our muscle mass declines, and so on. Those things aren’t medical illnesses – rather, a natural part of aging. Digestion changes as we get older and that’s why enzyme production drops. That’s not an illness or “deficiency” any more than menopause is. There are specific instances when people need digestive enzyme supplementation – certain diseases of the pancreas can decrease production of amylase (digests starch) or lipase (digests…

Summer is almost over and we’d like to offer you a simple, microbe-boosting plan to rejuvenate your inner (think gut!) and outer beauty. Below you’ll find our simple, Gutbliss 3-Day Beauty Boost, which includes: A 3-day meal planRecipesLive Dirty lifestyle tips This plan will give you a glow and a feeling of lightness to carry you through the rest of summer.  For even more details on how to cultivate a flourishing gut garden, read Dr. Chutkan’s book, The Microbiome Solution, and you’ll be well on your way to microbial balance and a happier, healthier you. Let’s get started! Lifestyle Tips As you embark on this journey, it’s paramount that you focus on incorporating the following lifestyle recommendations (along with the meal plan) for all three days: Drink eleven 8-ounce cups of water per day for women, and sixteen cups for menReset your circadian rhythm; get in bed when the sun…