Sep 19 2021

Understanding Phytonutrients Part 2

Published by under Immune System,Minerals,Organic

Understanding Phytonutrients

There’s a reason vegetables are so good for us due to this important component.*

What is it about vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other whole foods that make them so beneficial for our health? Of course, they are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals but there is another key component called Phytonutrients, (also called phytochemicals). These are the chemicals that plants produce to stay healthy. Some phytonutrients protect plants against radiation from UV rays, while others protect them from insect attacks. In addition to providing health benefits to the plants, they provide us antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits when we consume them. 1*

Phytonutrient-rich foods include colorful vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts, tea, whole grains, and many spices. They are different from other nutrients as they positively affect human health but are not nutrients that are essential for life, such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. “…Phytonutrients aren’t essential for keeping you alive, unlike the vitamins and minerals that plant foods contain. But when you eat or drink phytonutrients, they may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly…” So what exactly do they do and why are they so vital for good health? (1,2)*

First and foremost, Phytonutrients provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They also enhance intercellular communication, repair damage to DNA caused by exposure to toxins, detoxify carcinogens and alter estrogen metabolism. All of this helps to enhance immunity. According to The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), “…consuming a phytonutrient-rich diet seems to be an “effective strategy” for reducing cancer and heart disease risks…”1*

The best way to tell if a fruit or vegetable is rich in phytonutrients is by its color. Phytonutrients give plants their pigments so bright, colorful vegetables and fruits are packed full of them. When selecting your fruits and veggies, think of deep-colored foods like dark leafy greens (kale and spinach), colorful berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries), and bright-colored melons (watermelon, cantaloupe), and a variety of spices. Foods, which are rich in flavor and aroma make them more palatable. But don’t overlook those phytonutrient-rich foods with little colors such as onions and garlic. (1,3)*

Scientists are continuing to explore and understand the specific ways in which phytonutrients work to provide health benefits. One way is by studying various populations around the world. For centuries, many populations have believed that “…healthy food garnished with exotic spices and condiments provides vital ingredients that help ward off diseases and promote longevity…” When examining groups of people in various regions around the world, those groups who consume whole fresh foods, are the people who demonstrate the most health benefits when using longevity as the measuring stick.1*

An example of this is “…Seventh-day Adventists, with their pure vegetarian diet, have a lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancers; Kuna Indians in Panama, who consume large quantities of unprocessed cocoa-containing beverages, show lower incidence of heart disease…” Additionally, “…More recently, the Mediterranean diet, which consists of olive oil, fresh produce, fish, and wine, has been shown to reduce the incidence of grave diseases…”1*

Studying populations is one way to understand the benefits of eating a diet full of phytonutrient-rich foods, but there are limited results when it comes to randomized, large-scale clinical trials. Many trials have been done on phytonutrient or antioxidant supplements, but they have returned less than stellar results when it comes to disease prevention. According to the National Institutes of Health(NIH), this is most likely due to the fact that supplements interact with the body differently than whole foods, which further reinforces the fact that eating a whole foods diet is our first line of defense in disease prevention and strong immunity.1*

Scientists are also busy at work trying to link health benefits to specific phytonutrients. While all plants contain a complicated mixture of bioactive compounds it can be tricky to quantify certain effects such as antioxidant activity. Additionally, individual plants possess a unique biochemical makeup and the levels of active ingredients can vary depending upon where the plant was grown and how it was grown, whether it is being consumed raw, or how is it cooked. Phytonutrients act differently in individual bodies as well.  “…Phytonutrients are diverse in nature and affect multiple areas of the body, which sometimes makes it challenging to know precisely which phytonutrient is acting on which part of the body, and if the phytonutrients are helping temporary symptoms or systemic problems…”1*

Regardless, nutritionists, government agencies such as the NIH, USDA, and other health organizations, seem to concur that the health benefits from phytonutrients are plentiful and you can get that from a diet high in color-rich fruits and vegetables consumed on a daily basis in order to take advantage of their potential benefits.(1,2,3)*

Taking care of your health is a long-term commitment. Our goal is to prevent or delay the development of disease in the long term by sticking to a diet and exercise regimen that promotes health, not breaks it down. As we know, this starts with a healthy gut.  Fortifying your gut with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ is part of this long-term plan.

Next time we will look at the types of phytonutrients, their groups and which foods contain these specific components.

Until then, healthiest wishes!

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.livescience.com/52541-phytonutrients.html
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq#1
  3. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/Phytonutrients-%E2%80%93-Nature%E2%80%99s-Natural-Defense.aspx

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Sep 05 2021

Understanding Phytonutrients

Understanding Phytonutrients

There’s a reason vegetables are so good for us due to this important component.*

What is it about vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other whole foods that make them so beneficial for our health? Of course, they are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals but there is another key component called Phytonutrients, (also called phytochemicals). These are the chemicals that plants produce to stay healthy. Some phytonutrients protect plants against radiation from UV rays, while others protect them from insect attacks. In addition to providing health benefits to the plants, they provide us antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits when we consume them. 1*

Phytonutrient-rich foods include colorful vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts, tea, whole grains, and many spices. They are different from other nutrients as they positively affect human health but are not nutrients that are essential for life, such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. “…Phytonutrients aren’t essential for keeping you alive, unlike the vitamins and minerals that plant foods contain. But when you eat or drink phytonutrients, they may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly…” So what exactly do they do and why are they so vital for good health? (1,2)*

First and foremost, Phytonutrients provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They also enhance intercellular communication, repair damage to DNA caused by exposure to toxins, detoxify carcinogens and alter estrogen metabolism. All of this helps to enhance immunity. According to The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), “…consuming a phytonutrient-rich diet seems to be an “effective strategy” for reducing cancer and heart disease risks…”1*

The best way to tell if a fruit or vegetable is rich in phytonutrients is by its color. Phytonutrients give plants their pigments so bright, colorful vegetables and fruits are packed full of them. When selecting your fruits and veggies, think of deep-colored foods like dark leafy greens (kale and spinach), colorful berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) and bright-colored melons (watermelon, cantaloupe), and a variety of spices. Foods, which are rich in flavor and aroma make them more palatable. But don’t overlook those phytonutrient-rich foods with little colors such as onions and garlic. (1,3)*

Scientists are continuing to explore and understand the specific ways in which phytonutrients work to provide health benefits. One way is by studying various populations around the world. For centuries, many populations have believed that “…healthy food garnished with exotic spices and condiments provides vital ingredients that help ward off diseases and promote longevity…” When examining groups of people in various regions around the world, those groups who consume whole fresh foods, are the people who demonstrate the most health benefits when using longevity as the measuring stick.1*  

An example of this is “…Seventh-day Adventists, with their pure vegetarian diet, have a lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancers; Kuna Indians in Panama, who consume large quantities of unprocessed cocoa-containing beverages, show lower incidence of heart disease…” Additionally, “…More recently, the Mediterranean diet, which consists of olive oil, fresh produce, fish, and wine, has been shown to reduce the incidence of grave diseases…”1* 

Studying populations is one way to understand the benefits of eating a diet full of phytonutrient-rich foods, but there are limited results when it comes to randomized, large-scale clinical trials. Many trials have been done on phytonutrient or antioxidant supplements, but they have returned less than stellar results when it comes to disease prevention. According to the National Institutes of Health(NIH), this is most likely due to the fact that supplements interact with the body differently than whole foods, which further reinforces the fact that eating a whole foods diet is our first line of defense in disease prevention and strong immunity.1*

Scientists are also busy at work trying to link health benefits to specific phytonutrients. While all plants contain a complicated mixture of bioactive compounds it can be tricky to quantify certain effects such as antioxidant activity. Additionally, individual plants possess a unique biochemical makeup and the levels of active ingredients can vary depending upon where the plant was grown and how it was grown, whether it is being consumed raw, or how is it cooked. Phytonutrients act differently in individual bodies as well.  “…Phytonutrients are diverse in nature and affect multiple areas of the body, which sometimes makes it challenging to know precisely which phytonutrient is acting on which part of the body, and if the phytonutrients are helping temporary symptoms or systemic problems…”1*  

Regardless, nutritionists, government agencies such as the NIH, USDA, and other health organizations, seem to concur that the health benefits from phytonutrients are plentiful and you can get that from a diet high in color-rich fruits and vegetables consumed on a daily basis in order to take advantage of their potential benefits.(1,2,3)* 

Taking care of your health is a long-term commitment. Our goal is to prevent or delay the development of disease in the long term by sticking to a diet and exercise regimen that promotes health, not breaks it down. As we know, this starts with a healthy gut.  Fortifying your gut with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ is part of this long-term plan.

Next time we will look at the types of phytonutrients, their groups, and which foods contain these specific components.   

Until then, healthiest wishes!

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.livescience.com/52541-phytonutrients.html
  2. https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq#1
  3. https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/Phytonutrients-%E2%80%93-Nature%E2%80%99s-Natural-Defense.aspx

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Aug 22 2021

Food Allergies and Intolerances aren’t just in Humans

Published by under Pets

Food allergies and intolerances aren’t just in humans.

Know the diet alternatives for keeping your pets their healthiest.

 Last time we talked about the many ways we can look after our pets to protect them against harm, heatstroke, and injury. We touched on food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances. This time, let’s look at food sensitivities and intolerances a little bit closer and one approach to healing and protecting your pet from health problems brought on by diet. Just as humans have food sensitivities and intolerances, so do animals. 1*

 Antibodies or immunoglobins are a vital part of your dog’s natural immune system. As with us, when your pet is exposed to foreign invaders or antigens such as viruses or bacteria, the antibodies identify that there is an invader and activate the immune system in an attempt to attack and neutralize this foreign body. There are different types of antibodies all over your pet’s body.1*

In pets, Type II and Type III hypersensitivity reactions are food intolerances that can take days to develop. You might not see immediate changes in your pet after eating an offending food but instead, food intolerances can cause chronic allergy symptoms over time as these antibodies build up. These allergy symptoms might include:

  • Itchy, dry skin
  • possible hair loss
  • digestive issues
  • rashes, hives, and hot spots
  • licking or knawing the feet or other body parts1*

According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, “…while these symptoms may appear to be food allergies, these problems are more often associated with an abnormal buildup of antibodies in your dog’s body and can result in inflammation and disease. It is this chronic inflammation that can cause your dog’s allergy symptoms. It can even cause other inflammatory conditions including arthritis, diabetes, kidney failure, and premature aging…” All as a result of diet! 1*

“…When the antigen-antibody complexes get stored in the skin, kidneys, or joints, tissue damage follows as the body tries to destroy them, and inflammation results. The greater number of antigen-antibody complexes, the more severe the inflammation …”1*

A few years back, researcher Aristo Vojdani in London took blood samples from 40 humans after eating both raw and cooked foods. He measured the antibodies in the blood and found that IgA and IgM antibody levels were much higher in the people eating cooked foods as opposed to raw. He realized that heating and processing foods change their properties in multiple ways. Proteins can be destroyed and parts of the proteins can form new ones. Fats oxidize and form new antigens. These changes, called neoantigen formation, means “new allergy”” meaning that cooking foods create new allergens in that food. 1*

According to Vojdani”s study, IgA and IgM antibodies were notably higher in people eating cooked foods whether it be meat, eggs, or fish.1*

So the next question is, how do you know if your dog’s health issues are caused by food sensitivities?

An elimination diet can take time, but you can try switching foods to see how your pet reacts. There are also saliva and fur tests that measure the IgA and IgM antibodies in your pet or look for sensitivities. (You can search these online).

If the food isn’t removed from the diet, just as in humans, the inflammation caused by the allergy will continue to affect the joints or other parts of the body as a result of the health issues. If your dog has any symptoms of chronic disease or is  eating a processed diet and has you concerned, now might be the time to look at the food going into him and think about the harm it could be doing.1*

There are other good reasons to avoid cooked processed foods:

Cooked meats, as well as fish, can contain cancer-causing substances, such as heterocyclic amines and can also have acrylamides, “…which are a reaction between the amino acid asparagine and sugars found in foods…”1*

In Stockholm, Sweden, there was a study that demonstrated how young animals who were fed a processed diet were healthy initially but upon reaching maturity, they started to age rapidly, showing symptoms of degenerative disease. In contrast, a control group raised on a raw diet didn’t age nearly as fast and showed no symptoms of degenerative disease.1*

“…Another study out of Belgium used data gathered from more than 500 domestic dogs over 5 years (1998-2002). The authors showed that dogs fed a homemade diet, made of high-quality foods lived longer. Their life expectancy was 32 months longer than dogs fed an industrial, commercial pet food diet …”1*

Research shows there are real health risks with cooked processed foods for some pets. If your pet suffers from some of the above-mentioned health issues, you might consider exploring a fresh, raw, freeze-dried, or homemade diet using lower temperatures. Keep in mind, many people prefer a kibble diet, as the “…potential benefits are reduced dental plaque, healthier gums, reduced risk of bacteria, easier storage, less risk of spoilage, and cost-effectiveness…” Many pets live long healthy lives on kibble, but if your pet seems to be suffering from intolerances or allergies, you know there are alternatives to explore. 1*

Lastly, keeping your pet on a daily regimen of  Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ which is easily tolerated by both humans and animals, helps keep their digestive tract healthy, wards off unwanted microorganisms, and keeps the immune system strong.2*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/cooked-foods-causing-allergies-in-dogs/
  2. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/foods-with-probiotics-for-dogs#1
  3. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/feed-my-dog-fresh-raw-food-or-dog-kibble/

 

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Aug 08 2021

Treat your Pets well

Published by under probiotic supplements

Treat your pets well.

From summer heat to processed foods, avoid the things that harm your pet.  

 We love our pets. They are members of our families. They are smart and affectionate. If pets are trained and cared for properly they give back to us the love we give them. While their bodies and immune systems react differently in many ways than humans, there are many parallels to us as well. Just as we care for ourselves, we need to care for our pets. They are trusting us to do the right thing, from keeping them safe, feeding them the right foods and recognizing when they are sick or in need of medical attention. With summer in full swing, and environmental allergies high along with food allergies affecting so many, let’s look at how we can do right by our furry companions.*

Watch the heat.

With record heat all across the country, there is great risk to your pets. It’s important to keep your pets out of the direct sun and make sure they have plenty of fresh water. If it is hot outside for us, it is also for our pets. Make sure they have shade, and bring them in if the termperatures are too high. They can get overheated and dehydrated. Hose them down, fill up a kiddie pool, or just give them a refreshing bath. They will smell better too.1*

Avoid hot pavement

Don’t over exercise them and beware of how hot the pavement is on their paws. We wear shoes, but the pads on their paws can get burned. Being so close to the ground, a dog’s body can heat up very quickly, so keep the walks to the morning and evening hours and try to keep them off of asphalt where heat is stored and rises. 1* 

Don’t leave your pet inside a car.

It’s common sense to not leave your dog in a hot car, but still, every year hundreds of dogs die from being left in hot cars. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “…The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20º F in just 10 minutes, and almost 30º F in 20 minutes. The longer you wait, the higher it goes. At one hour, your vehicle’s inside temperature can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle…” 2*

Lots of fresh water!

Make sure your pet has access to unlimited fresh water as they can get dehydrated quickly, just as we can when it is hot or humid outdoors. If you notice your pet excessively panting or having difficulty breathing, drooling, weakness, increased heart and respiratory rate, stupor, seizures, bloody diarrhea or vomiting, collapse…all these are signs that your pet is overheated or dehydrated. Get them medical attention right away. “…The AVMA warns pets can suffer heat strokes very easily and “must be treated very quickly to give them the best chance of survival…”(1,2)*

Pets are safer in kennels when traveling in cars.

According to the AVMA, “….just as you should always wear your seatbelt to protect you in case of a collision, your pet should always be properly restrained while in the vehicle. That means a secure harness or a carrier…” Loose pets can distract, get caught under petals and injured severely in collisions. They can get killed by airbags and be propelled out the window if not secured. While dogs love to hang their heads out windows to feel the wind in their face, be smart about when and where you allow this to happen. Sometimes it is better just to keep them safe and secure at home. 1*

Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ for pets

If your pet’s microbiome is out of whack, you might notice such issues as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Gas
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • General poor health
  • Upset stomach
  • Bad breath4*

Adding probiotics to your pet’s diet can benefit their gut health, just as it does in humans. Providing healthful foods that feed their healthy bacteria will help their guts to thrive. You’ll see a difference in their skin, digestion, and overall health just as in humans. (3,4)*

Food allergies and intolerances.

Just as people experience food intolerances and allergies, our pets do too. Allergies and intolerances can cause upset stomach, itchy skin, and more. In addition to adding Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical Probiotics Consortia™ to their diets, it is imperative to examine what we are feeding our pets too. Much of the “processed” and heat treated foods we feed our pets are not easily tolerated by many animals. The high heat processing changes the molecular structure of meats turning it into something that the animals’ digestive tracts don’t tolerate easily. Over time, these foods that include animal byproducts, fillers, and other known allergy causing foods such as soy and rice build up in an animals’ system and can result in skin conditions, inflammation and reduced life spans. If processed food is not good for us….why should it be good for our pets? Next time we will examine this issue more closely and how to avoid food intolerances in our pets, as well as provide a research study that provides a practical solution.3*

Pets are important members of families everywhere and the love and care you put into them will be given back one hundred times over. Loved animals are loving animals. Mistreated animals become mean and obnoxious. Take good care of your family’s furry members.*

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.newsweek.com/heat-wave-pet-safety-how-keep-cool-tips-advice-aspca-avma-1605599
  2. https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/pets-vehicles
  3. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/cooked-foods-causing-allergies-in-dogs/
  4. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/foods-with-probiotics-for-dogs#1

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Jul 25 2021

Green Leafy Vegetables are Among the Healthiest for the Gut

Published by under Immune System,Organic,Superfoods

Green leafy vegetables are among the healthiest for the gut.

Explore the many benefits of adding green leafy vegetables to your diet for better gut health.*

Do you ever stand in front of the leafy green section of the produce department and wonder just how to incorporate them into your cooking? There are so many to choose from, they all look similar, and unless you have really dived into cooking and using leafy greens in your recipes, you might feel a little overwhelmed. I know I tend to grab the same ones. For me, spinach, cabbage, lettuce of various types, and microgreens are on my list. But there are many more and when it comes down to it…these are the healthiest foods we can be putting into our body and they are excellent for gut health as they are a great source of fiber and phytonutrients. So today let’s look at the different types of leafy greens out there, their nutritional benefits, and also how to incorporate them into your cooking so that the leafy green section of the produce aisle becomes a little less intimidating.*

So we know that eating more plants, whether it is fruits, vegetables, legumes or nuts is best for overall gut health. They are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that act as food for the good gut bacteria that we want to flourish. They are full of phytonutrients which are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents which “…enhance immunity and intercellular communication, repair DNA damage from exposure to toxins, detoxify carcinogens and alter estrogen metabolism. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes that consuming a phytonutrient-rich diet seems to be an “effective strategy” for reducing cancer and heart disease risks…”  (1,2,3)*

But some vegetables are the winners when it comes to an extra dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals and those are from the leafy green family. One reason they are so important for good gut health is that they contain a sugar molecule called sulfoquinovose “…that is essential for providing your gut with good bacteria…”. As we know, and we covered this last time, we want to keep the good bacteria in charge because they keep the bad bacteria in check and suppress our bad cravings for unhealthy foods such as sugar and increase our cravings for the foods our body needs to stay healthy.1*

Leafy greens offer our bodies a good amount of this sugar molecule, along with folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. And of course they are full of fiber which keeps us feeling full and keeps the digestive tract functioning properly.1*

So let’s look at the various leafy greens to choose from and how each is so good for us. By including a variety of these in your diet, you can reap the most benefits.

Kale

Kale is considered one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables you can eat due to its many minerals, the antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene as well as vitamins A, C, and K. When consumed raw, you get the most health benefit, as cooking kale, reduces its nutritional profile. Lutein and beta-carotene help reduce the risk of the disease brought on by oxidative stress. One cup of raw kale packs 684% of the Daily Value for vitamin K, 206% of Vitamin A, and 134% of Vitamin C. 2*

Kale can be chopped up and put in salads, added to smoothies, put in soups, or added to pasta. Look up kale recipes and you’ll be shocked at how much it is available.

Spinach

Spinach is a favorite leafy green by many because it is tender and tasty. It is packed with folate which is key for red blood cell production and is important for pregnant women as a source of folate as it is key in the prevention of neural tube defects including spina bifida. Eating spinach during pregnancy is a great way to increase your folate intake! 2*

One cup of raw spinach offers 181% of the daily requirement for vitamin K, 56% for Vitamin A, and 13% for manganese. 2*

Spinach is wonderful as a salad base along with lettuce or on its own. It is easy to add to smoothies as it disintegrates easily and is also great in pasta and added to soups. Lightly sautéed with a little olive oil, lemon, garlic, and salt and pepper is a great side dish to any meal.*

Arugula

Arugula is another popular leafy green with its slightly spicy flavor that hints of radish. It is deliciously eaten on its own with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper or topped on pizza or other Italian foods. It is stock full of nutrients such as vitamins B9 and K. It’s a good source of naturally occurring nitrates which are believed to help increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure by widening the blood vessels. 2*

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is a popular source for adding leafy greens to your diet. Used in many salads, especially Caesar salad, one cup provides 82% of the daily requirements for Vitamins A and 60% of Vitamin K. In research involving rats, romaine lettuce improved blood lipids levels which showed their potential for reducing the risk of heart disease. More research is needed to determine these benefits in humans.2*

Cabbage

Cabbage is in the same family as Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and kale. Vegetables in this plant family contain glucosinolates, which give them a bitter flavor. Animal studies have found that foods that contain these plant compounds may have cancer-protective properties, especially against lung and esophageal cancer. Cabbage can be fermented and turned into sauerkraut, which has its own set of health benefits as it serves as a probiotic boosting good bacteria, improves digestion, and supports immune function. 2*

Microgreens

Microgreens are immature greens produced from the seeds of vegetables and herbs, measuring between 1–3 inches. They’re full of color, flavor, and nutrients and one study found that microgreens contain up to 40 times more nutrients compared to their mature counterparts. Among these nutrients are vitamins C, E, and K.2*

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard has dark-green leaves with a thick stalk that is red, white, yellow, or green and is often used in Mediterranean cooking and belongs to the same family as beets and spinach.

It has an earthy taste and is rich in minerals and vitamins, such as potassium, manganese, and Vitamins A, C, and K  as well as a unique flavonoid called syringic acid, a compound that may be beneficial for lowering blood sugar levels through the research is limited.2*

In two small studies in rats with diabetes, oral administration of syringic acid for 30 days improved blood sugar levels. These were minor animal studies and there is little human research supporting the claim that syringic acid may aid blood sugar.

While many people typically throw away the stems of the Swiss chard plant, they’re crunchy and highly nutritious so next time try adding all parts of the Swiss chard plant to dishes such as soups, tacos, or casseroles.2*

Bok Choy

Bok choy is popular in Chinese cooking and its thick dark green leaves are often used in soups and stir-fries. This vegetable contains selenium, the mineral which plays an important role in cognitive function, immunity, and cancer prevention and is also important for thyroid gland function. The thyroid’s job is to release those hormones that play an important role in metabolism. Low levels of selenium are associated with such conditions as autoimmune thyroiditis, hypothyroidism, and enlarged thyroid. 2*

Collard Greens

Collard greens are similar in texture to kale and cabbage and have a slightly bitter taste.

Common in many southern recipes, collard greens are a good source of calcium and Vitamins A, B9 (folate), and C. They’re also one of the best sources of vitamin K when it comes to leafy greens. One cup of cooked collard greens provides 1,045% of the daily requirements for vitamin K…” Vitamin K is important for its role in blood clotting and promoting bone health.2*

Collard greens can be simmered with olive oil, salt, and pepper and the more traditional way is to simmer them with bacon and onions.

Beet Greens

While beets are known for their health benefits, greens are often discarded. But not only are they tender and delicious they are full of nutrients. They are rich in potassium, calcium, riboflavin, fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K along with the antioxidants beta carotene and lutein which are beneficial for an eye disorder to include macular degeneration and cataracts. They can be added to salads, sautéed, and put in soups.2*

Turnip Greens

Turnip greens, the leaves of the turnip plant, are full of nutrients including manganese, calcium, and folate as well as vitamins A, C, and K along with several antioxidants such as gluconasturtiin, glucotropaeolin, quercetin, myricetin and beta-carotene which help reduce stress in the body. They also help decrease your risk of health conditions such as cancer, inflammation, and heart disease. 2*

Turnip greens have a strong and spicy flavor and are usually eaten cooked as opposed to raw and can be used similarly to kale or spinach in a recipe.2*

Watercress

Watercress is similar to arugula and mustard greens and for centuries has been used in herbal medicine for its healing properties..Studies in test tubes have found watercress extract to be beneficial in impairing cancer cell reproduction and invasion as well as targeting cancer stem cells. Its bitter and slightly spicy flavor make watercress a great addition to neutrally flavored foods.2*

Endive

Endive is curly and crisp with a nutty and mildly bitter flavor and  can be consumed raw or cooked. One-half cup of raw endive leaves contains 72% of the daily vitamins of vitamin K, 11% of vitamin A and 9% of folate. It is also a good source of the antioxidant kaempferol which has been shown to reduce inflammation and inhibit the growth of cancer cells in test tube studies.2*

How to eat more leafy greens

In addition to tossing your leafy greens into salads, try adding them to soups and pastas. It is a great way to sneak them in and provide your whole family that added nutritional punch without them even realizing it. Add them to pasta sauces, or try making pestos with them as well. There are thousands of recipes on the internet on how to include these into your diet. Start by going to the produce section and pick one new leafy green vegetable each time with the commitment to figure out how to cook and eat it! These powerful vegetables are among the healthiest for your gut and your body, so experiment to see how you can add more to your daily diet. Along with taking Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ daily, your gut will thank you!

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

Resources:

  1. https://www.eatingwell.com/article/7891357/the-best-vegetables-for-gut-health/
  2. https://www.livescience.com/52541-phytonutrients.html
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/leafy-green-vegetables#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

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Jul 11 2021

Craving Sweets might be the Candida Talking

Craving sweets? It might be the Candida talking.

Sometimes the cravings we have are the gut’s way of telling you it is out of balance.

During our last blog, we covered how the gut tells the body when it is lacking a nutritional element. Through cravings and signals sent to the brain, it can tell us when we are deficient in certain things by causing us to naturally be drawn to those foods that provide the missing amino acids, vitamins, and minerals it needs to function at its best.1*

If the gut is out of balance, due to a poor diet, antibiotics, eating too much-processed foods, and not enough whole, organic fruits, and vegetables, it may be sending the brain a different signal. Research shows there is a direct connection between sugar consumption and disease and sometimes the gut tells the brain it needs sugar. So why would it lead us to crave the thing that hurts us?*

One reason is that sugar is an incredibly powerful substance, and breaking the habit has been compared to kicking an addictive drug. Secondly, when the microbiome’s out of balance, the unfriendly bacteria, including the yeast Candida albicans, feed off of sugar. When the gut is unhealthy, these unfriendly bacteria cause us to crave what they need to thrive….sugar. It is a strong craving to resist.2*

Candida resides in the digestive tracts of all of us. In a healthy gut, Candida helps with the absorption of nutrients and digestion. It can grow out of control in an unhealthy microbiome (especially those with Crohn’s Disease or colitis). Things that can cause disturbances are antibiotic use, diets high in sugar and carbohydrates, oral contraceptives, too much alcohol, and too much stress. The condition referred to as Candidiasis affects the body in different ways. It can affect the skin, present in the mouth as Oral Thrush, in the vagina as yeast infection, the urinary tract, the esophagus, and the nails as toe and nail fungus. (1,2)*

In severe cases, as Candida crowd out the friendly bacteria, it can affect digestion and damage the intestinal wall allowing proteins, bacteria, and other toxins to be released into the bloodstream and the entire body. When this happens, it can lead to a variety of autoimmune responses. 2*

There are other reasons for sugar cravings. It could stem from an imbalance in blood sugar levels. When we eat sugar, it causes our blood sugar to spike and the body releases insulin to lower it to a safer level. If the insulin brings the blood sugar level too low, as often happens, your body craves foods that will raise it and increase your energy. We can prevent this roller coast by eating foods that prevent too much insulin from being released, such as protein and healthy fats. Eating regular meals and snacks can also help prevent big dips in our blood sugar levels. 3*

Another factor that can cause us to crave sugar is too much stress. When we experience stress, the hormone cortisol floods the body and releases glucose from the liver, which raises our blood sugar levels. Fluctuations in blood sugar can cause cravings, so if we are constantly stressed, blood sugar levels go up and down.3*

Lack of sleep can also cause us to eat poorly and seek out sugar as we are looking for that energy boost to ward off feeling tired. Avoiding excess stress and getting the right amount of sleep is crucial to avoid energy crashes followed by sugar cravings.,3*

 If you are a sugar addict, crave sugar, and are wanting to kick the habit, the first thing to do is eat protein and fat along with a high fiber diet, full of healthy vegetables and fruits. These foods feed the healthy bacteria residing in the gut and healthy fats and protein provide a slow stream of energy and satisfy hunger. When the body can’t find sugar for its energy, it turns to fats, so eat healthy fats as well. Some of the amino acids found in protein build the brain chemicals like dopamine, which make us feel good.3*

If you think you have an overgrowth of Candida albicans, take Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ at a therapeutic dosage, which means building up to 6 to 8 capsules per day. This helps crowd out the unfriendly bacteria and boost the good. This in combination with a gut-friendly diet will help you to starve out the Candida. Avoid sugar, alcohol, and carbohydrates as they feed the unfriendly microbes. Remember, disease loves sugar…so don’t give it something on which to feed.*

Listen to your gut. It has a lot to say!

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

Resources

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-gut-bacteria-tell-their-hosts-what-to-eat/
  2. http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/gluten-candida-leaky-gut-syndrome-and-autoimmune-diseases
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/explaining-the-siren-song-of-sugar-and-how-to-beat-the-habit

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Jun 27 2021

What is the Gut trying to tell Us

Published by under probiotic supplements,Sugar

What is the gut trying to tell us?

Scientists are exploring how and why microbes communicate with the brain to tell us what nutrients we are lacking.  1*

You’ve heard the expression, what is your heart leading you to do? Well, there is another part of your body trying to send you key messages. So the question is, “what is your gut leading you to do?”  While what we put in our mouths alters our gut bacteria which ultimately can influence how we feel, how healthy we are, and what foods we will crave in the future, the gut bacteria also communicate with the brain to tell us what foods we should be putting into our bodies.

When we eat a lot of sugar, processed food, and heavy greasy foods, we usually don’t feel great. We feel bloated, tired and it can even make us feel depressed and lethargic. Too much sugar can cause crankiness. Have you ever witnessed a kid have a breakdown after eating too much sugar? This happens because what we eat can alter the balance of bacteria in the gut, and that balance can alter how we feel. When you choose to eat vegetables versus a candy bar, you can either boost the number of friendly microbes by feeding them or decrease them. When the number of friendly bacteria changes, “…they secrete different substances, activate different genes and absorb different nutrients…”. Gut microbes can also influence diet and behavior as well as anxiety, depression, hypertension, and a variety of other conditions. 1*

And those food choices are a two-way street. Our bodies, if we listen to them, will tell us what we should eat as well. In some cases, it can trick us into thinking we need sugar. What happens when the balance of bad bacteria to good bacteria is out of whack in our guts and those dominant bacteria are known as candida Albicans causes us to crave sugar. But our bodies are also very good at telling us what we are lacking. When we are not getting enough of certain nutrients and vitamins, we might actually crave certain foods that will help balance out our health. For example, a pregnant woman might crave orange juice which is full of folic acid, which is important during pregnancy…or when you are sick, sugar and alcohol just don’t sound good while fresh fruit and chicken broth do. 1*

While scientists have known that the microbiome influences our decisions on which foods we choose, how it does this has been a mystery. That’s where a group of neuroscientists from the  Champalimaud Center for the Unknown in Lisbon. enters the picture. Through their research, they have revealed that specific types of gut bacteria help a host detect which nutrients are missing in their diets and then ascertain how much of those nutrients the host really needs to eat.  Essentially, the bacteria regulate deficiencies and signal the brain when it needs to add more nutrients to the body to keep it working efficiently. The senior author Carlos Ribeiro was able to identify this by studying the eating behaviors of Drosophila melanogaster, a type of fruit fly.

The paper, which was published recently in PLOS Biology by Ribeiro and his team demonstrated how the microbiome influences this fruit fly’s nutritional decisions. “…First, they fed one group of flies a sucrose solution containing all the necessary amino acids. Another group got a mix that had some of the amino acids needed to make protein but lacked essential amino acids that the host cannot create by itself. For the third group of flies, the scientists removed essential amino acids from the food one by one to determine which was being detected by the microbiome…”1*  

The results were fascinating. “…After 72 hours on the various diets, flies in all three groups were presented with a buffet offering their usual sugary solution alongside protein-rich yeast. The researchers found that flies in the two groups whose diet lacked any single essential amino acid got a strong craving for yeast to make up for the missing nutrients. But when scientists increased five different types of bacteria found in the flies’ digestive tracts—Lactobacillus Plantarum, L. Brevis, Acetobacter pomorum, Commensalibacter intestine, and Enterococcus faecalis—the flies completely lost the urge to eat more protein…”1*

The researchers found that the bacteria were not simply replacing missing nutrients from the flies’ diet, as the. flies’ amino acid levels were still low which told them they weren’t producing the amino acids themselves. Instead, the microbes were metabolizing the food they got into new chemicals, signaling the host animal it could go on without the amino acids. This “microbial trick” allowed the flies to continue reproducing despite an amino acid deficiency that usually hampers cell growth and regeneration. 1*

There were two kinds of bacteria, Lactobacillus and Acetobacter that had an effect on the flies’ appetites. By increasing both bacteria types, it suppressed the flies’ cravings for protein and increased their appetite for sugar. They also restored their ability to reproduce, which indicated that their bodies were able to carry out normal functions…the ones that usually are restricted when a nutritional deficiency is present.1*

The following step involved removing an enzyme that the flies needed to process the amino acid tyrosine.  This made it necessary for the flies to get tyrosine from their food, as is the case with other essential amino acids. In the modified flies, Lactobacillus and Acetobacter did not suppress their cravings for tyrosine. “…“This shows that the gut microbiome has evolved to titrate only the normal essential amino acid intake,”…” Ribeiro explains.1*

According to Jane Foster, a neuroscientist at McMaster University in Ontario and not associated with the study, the research offers a different view of the coevolution of microbes and their hosts. “…“The findings show there is a unique pathway that has coevolved between animals and the resident bacteria in their gut, and there is a bottom-up communication about diet.”…” 1*

This study provides good evidence that “…microbially derived metabolites carry information from the gut to the brain, telling the host whether it needs a particular kind of food..”1*

Over time, we have lost the ability to produce essential amino acids, and this study is seeking to help understand why. Ribeiro offers that “… “Maybe these metabolites gave animals more leeway to be independent of these nutrients and to deal without them sometimes.”…”1*

Microbes feed on what we eat, and without a host, they can’t populate, so they may have had their own “…evolutionary reasons for communicating with the brain….”  As with so many studies, the research and data are limited to animal models, but will ultimately help improve behaviors related to diet in the future.1* 

We know the gut communicates with the brain. Listening to what it tells you is important for stellar health. But what happens when it tells us to eat sugar and we can’t ward off those cravings? What does that mean? We will cover this next time.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybioticcs.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-gut-bacteria-tell-their-hosts-what-to-eat/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/essential-amino-acids#bottom-line

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Jun 13 2021

Summertime Blues are Real – Doctors have a Name for it

Published by under General

The Summertime Blues are Real – Doctors have a Name for it.

If the warm days of summer bring sadness, you may be suffering from Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder.1*

You’ve heard of the Jan-Feb blues when people feel depressed or blue during the shorter days of winter. A more technical term is Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Researchers have found that there is a summer version of this as well. While everyone else seems to be enjoying every sunshiny day, some people feel lethargic and down. And there’s a scientific reason behind it. 1*

Psychiatrist Norman E. Rosenthal, along with his team of researchers, first described SAD in 1984. While most people who experience this describe a mild version of general melancholy and lethargy, approximately 5 percent of US adults experience SAD in an extreme version to the point it affects their day-to-day lives.  With SAD, short winter days and limited sun exposure are thought to be at the core of the problem.  “…SAD is believed to be triggered by a disturbance in the normal circadian rhythm of the body. Light entering through the eyes influences this rhythm, and any seasonal variation in night/day pattern can cause a disruption leading to depression…” Through sharing his findings regarding SAD with various people across the country, Dr. Rosenthal found that many people felt the same thing happened to them, but during the summer months.  Those with Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is less common than its counterpart, feel sadness during the months between March and October. So what are the causes? After all, sunshine, warm weather, and being outdoors should make us feel happy, right? So what does Summer SAD look and feel like?(1,2)*

According to the doctor, “…Summer SAD is more of an agitated depression…” Summer SAD comes with a lowered appetite and insomnia, while with Winter SAD people sleep and eat more. It seems to be more common with heat and humidity. It is believed that the same compounds in the body that regulate body temperature are the same that regulate mood. These are norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin.1*

From a medical standpoint, depression is defined​ as “…a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of depressed mood or sadness and the often profound loss of interest in things that usually bring you pleasure…” There are various types of depression with the seven most common being Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Post Partum Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Atypical Depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Many mental health professionals are focused on all the different types of depression, but because SAD is seasonal, it often gets overlooked as just seasonal ups and downs and therefore is misunderstood.1*

Higher pollen and allergies may also play a role in Summer SAD. Increased pollen and the immune response to allergens might cause the body to release biological compounds called cytokines that regulate inflammation and have been connected to depression. Allergies make us tired, drag us down and that can be depressing when you are feeling you should be outside because the weather is nice.1*

Depression and mood have been tied to the health of the gut. Keeping your gut healthy, limiting alcohol, and avoiding sugary and processed food will help with your mood. With 90% of our serotonin produced in the gut, then carried to the brain through the vagus nerve, a healthy gut is an essential and key component in maintaining elevated moods and good mental health. While this may not be the answer in all cases, it has been shown to play a prevalent role for many. Trying to simplify something as serious as depression suggesting there is an easy answer would be reckless as severe types of depression cause people to feel hopeless and can lead to suicidal thoughts. In these cases medical intervention is necessary.*

Regular exercise, good, consistent sleep, having a positive support network, and eating right along with taking Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical Probiotics Consortia™ are all good habits to adopt to boost your mental health. If you are affected by mood disorders, you might consider keeping a mood journal. This could help you identify if your mood is affected by the seasons or is something more. If your mood doesn’t improve over a two-week period, talking to a mental health professional is a good next step to identify if you have a more serious condition. If you ever are severely depressed, don’t hesitate to seek help right away. Every state has a mental health hotline and suicide prevention line.*

As for the summertime blues or Summer SAD, try to give yourself the rest and break you need. A nap, a cool dip in the water or shower, a road trip or just trying something new can sometimes help. *  

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/01/well/mind/summer-seasonal-affective-disorder
  2. https://uniquemindcare.com/7-common-types-of-depression/
  3. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/helping-someone-with-depression.htm

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May 30 2021

Can Wisdom and Loneliness be Influenced by Gut Diversity

Published by under Dementia,probiotic supplements

Can wisdom and loneliness be influenced by gut diversity?

Scientists are exploring the biology of wisdom and loneliness and have identified a gut-brain connection.1*

Scientists at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine have published a new study that suggests there is a direct connection between wisdom, loneliness, and how diverse a person’s microbiome is. While earlier studies previously identified a connection between biology and wisdom and loneliness, this new study takes it a step further in identifying how it is connected to the gut. 1*

According to Wikipedia, wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. Wisdom is associated with attributes such as unbiased judgment, compassion, experiential self-knowledge, self-transcendence and non-attachment, and virtues such as ethics and benevolence.2*

There has been an evolving science that suggests distinct regions of the brain are responsible for the defined traits of wisdom. They also suggest that with greater wisdom comes greater happiness and overall “life satisfaction.” On the flip side, being “less wise” has the outcome of negative consequences. Scientists have also discovered people who are considered wiser are less prone to feeling lonely while those who are lonelier tend to be less wise. “Loneliness may lead to changes in the gut microbiome or, reciprocally, alterations of the gut milieu may predispose an individual to become lonely,” said Dilip V. Jeste, MD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine and senior author of the paper.  1*

In the study, by the UCSD School of Medicine team of researchers, and published in the March 25, 2021 issue of the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, the researchers took these findings a step further reporting that “…wisdom and loneliness appear to influence — and/or be influenced by — microbial diversity of the gut…”1*

The study involved 187 participants who were between the ages of 28 to 97. They self-reported on their measures of loneliness, compassion, wisdom, social engagement, and social support. Their gut microbiota was analyzed via fecal samples. “…Microbial gut diversity was measured in two ways: alpha-diversity, referring to the ecological richness of microbial species within each individual and beta-diversity, referring to the differences in the microbial community composition between individuals…”1*

According to the first author, Tanya T. Nguyen, Ph.D. and assistant profession of psychiatry at UCSD, “We found that lower levels of loneliness and higher levels of wisdom, compassion, social support, and engagement were associated with greater phylogenetic richness and diversity of the gut microbiome.”…”1*

It is not known how the mechanisms link loneliness, compassion, and wisdom with gut microbial diversity, but it was noted that when one is in worse physical and mental health, they generally have reduced microbial diversity which is associated with a wide range of diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and major depressive disorder. 1*

A more diverse gut microbiota provides stability, resilience, and fortification against the invasion of pathogens. It is thought that”… “it is possible that loneliness may result in decreased stability of the gut microbiome and, consequently, reduced resistance and resilience to stress-related disruptions, leading to downstream physiological effects, such as systemic inflammation,”…” according to the authors.1*

“…” Bacterial communities with low alpha diversity may not manifest overt disease, but they may be less than optimal for preventing disease. Thus, lonely people may be more susceptible to developing different diseases,”…” they concluded.1*

In line with prior research, they found that the relationship between loneliness and microbial diversity was more apparent in older adults, and that older adults may be more vulnerable to “…“health-related consequences of loneliness.”…”1*

According to the researchers, wisdom, compassion and strong social support might offer protection against an unstable gut microbiome brought on by loneliness. Diverse and healthy gut microflora may protect against the negative effects of chronic stress and even help shape social behaviors that promote either wisdom or loneliness. While animal studies suggest that gut microbiota may influence social behaviors and interactions, the same hypothesis has not been concluded in humans.1*

This topic is extremely complex and more data is needed to achieve a greater understanding of it overall. According to Dilip V. Jeste, MD, “We need to investigate much more thoroughly to better understand the phenomenon of the gut-brain axis.”1*

It’s imperative to keep the gut healthy by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and fiber and sticking to a consistent regiment of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™. By keeping our microbiome diverse and healthy, we protect ourselves against disease, both physical and mental. As researchers continue to explore the fascinating gut-brain connection as an important piece of the giant health puzzle, we will continue to keep you apprised. *

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210325150024.htm
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisdom

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May 16 2021

Plant Based Milks are better for the Planet than Dairy

Plant-based milk is better for the planet than dairy, some more than others.

You’ve chosen plant-based milk…that’s great! Now know what it takes to make them and choose accordingly.

If you are among the 68% of people worldwide who have trouble digesting lactose, you have most likely discovered the many dairy alternatives available on the market. In fact, there are so many great dairy-free options out there that people are able to skip lactose without really skipping a beat. They vary in ingredients, brands, and taste. They also are different in how they are produced, with varying degrees of sustainability and their impact on the environment. (1,2)*

While plant-based milk options differ in their sustainability, they are all better than cow’s milk in terms of their environmental footprint. “…A 2018 study by researchers at the University of Oxford showed that producing a glass of dairy milk results in almost three times more greenhouse gas emissions than any plant-based milk and it consumes nine times more land than any of the milk alternatives. (Land is required to pasture the cows and grow their feed, which the animals belch out in the form of methane….”(1,3)

Other things to consider are whether ingredients are grown organically, labor practices required to produce the product, deforestation, and water usage. So how do these various different kinds of milk measure up? *

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is found in cans and used in cooking and also in cartons for drinking. Sadly, coconut trees only grow in tropical climates where the demand to meet global consumption is resulting in the destruction of rain forests and the exploitation of workers.  According to an investigation by The New York Times, “…between 2007 to 2014 rainforests in Indonesia were clear cut at the rate of three acres per minute to make way for coconut palm trees..”4*

According to Isaac Emery, a food sustainability consultant, coconut consumption is an “absolute tragedy” for these reasons.  To avoid supporting unsustainable practices, choose coconut products certified to be Fair Trade, which ensures workers get a fair wage and are not exploited for their work. 4*

Almond milk

Almond milk has gained popularity in the past decade as a healthy and tasty milk alternative, but unfortunately meeting the demands of this burgeoning industry is having severe consequences on both the environment and the honey bees.  The largest specialty crop in the United States with orchards spanning a region the size of Delaware primarily in the arid Central Valley of California, almonds require more water than any other dairy alternative “…consuming 130 pints of water to produce a single glass of almond milk…” according to the Oxford study,3*

It is also putting an unsustainable demand on commercial beekeepers, with approximately 70% of commercial bees in the US-drafted each spring to pollinate almonds. Last year, over one-third of them died by the end of the season as a result of the pressures of keeping up. So while we all love almonds and almond milk, it may be time to look at other alternatives.4*

If you like the flavor and nutritional composition of nut milk, there are other choices.

Hazelnut milk

Hazelnuts grow on trees like all nuts, but the hazelnut tree pulls carbon from the atmosphere, which reduced greenhouse emissions instead of increasing them. Pollinated by the wind rather than bees, they grow in damp climates such as the Pacific Northwest where water is less of an issue. 5*

Macadamia milk

Macadamia nuts are considered moderately sustainable due to having lower environmental damage as long as pesticides have not been used. Macadamia milk requires significantly less water to grow the nuts and produce the milk than that of almond milk and certainly dairy milk. However, the regions in which macadamia nuts are mainly grown such as Hawaii and Australia, have been dealing with water shortages and climate-related crises. Once again, try to buy organic and non-GMO Macadamia Milk if possible. 5*

Cashew milk

Cashew Milk is a lot like almond milk when it comes to its consistency and flavor but differs in that it uses less water to produce, but does still use quite a bit, more than needed for producing seeds and legumes. It uses less land to grow the plants compared to other plant-based milk. The downside is that 60% of cashews are grown in India and Vietnam where there have been known human rights abuses. See resource 6 for more information on how cashews are harvested and decide for yourself. 5*

Rice milk

This is another milk alternative that grades low when it comes to the environment. It has little nutritional value and uses a great deal of water and produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any other plant milk, according to the Oxford study.  The bacteria that breed in rice paddies pumps methane into the atmosphere and “…large amounts of fertilizer pollute waterways…” Rice is one of the worst polluters when it comes to water.4*

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is a highly sustainable plant that needs little water and offers a protein-packed option, also high in fiber. It grows quickly and can therefore be harvested and replanted. Hemp is an absorbent plant that pulls toxins out of the air and the soil, so it is important to find organic options. 5*

Soy milk

The milk alternative of choice long before almond milk came on the scene, soy milk is the best choice when it comes to both sustainability and nutritional content, according to the Oxford study. It is the only plant-based milk that comes close to offering the same protein content as dairy. 4*

Soy lost favor with many because “…it has a relatively high concentration of certain hormones that are similar to human hormones and people got freaked out about that,” but you would have to consume “…an impossibly large amount of soy milk and tofu for that to ever be a problem…”  According to recent studies, moderate amounts of soy are healthy. 4*

There is an environmental impact of mass soybean production around the world used to feed livestock for meat and dairy production. Large areas of the Amazon rainforest have been burned to create soy farms. For this reason, read labels and only choose soy products that are made from organic soybeans grown in the United States or Canada, where crops are rotated.5*

Oat milk

Retail sales of oat milk have skyrocketed in recent years and it has surpassed almond milk as the fastest growing alternative to dairy. When it comes to sustainability, oat milk scores very high and there are not really any negative consequences for the environment as oats are grown in the cooler climates of the US and Canada where there is no deforestation associated with growing this crop. But there is a negative. “…Most oats come from mass-produced, monoculture operations where they are sprayed with the Roundup pesticide right before harvest. A study by the Environmental Working Group found glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and a possible carcinogen, in all the foods it tested containing conventionally grown oats and even in one-third of products made with organic oats. However, the popular Oatly brand oat milk company maintains its oats are certified glyphosate free…”4*

 Pea Milk

Pea protein, while less familiar than other dairy-free options, requires 85% less water to grow than almonds and they can utilize nitrogen in the air to produce plant cells, meaning they require less fertilizer than other types of plants. This results in lower greenhouse gas emissions since fertilizer has a large carbon footprint. “…Pea milk may be one of the most sustainable options for your non-dairy milk choices, due to its low water requirements and the fact that it needs less fertilizer than any other option….”5*

 As we all do our best to make choices we believe to be healthiest for our bodies, it can be difficult to stay apprised of all the ins and outs of production, growing methods, etc. If you are choosing plant-based products to replace meat in your diet, you are doing your part to not only improve your health but also the health of our planet. Plant-based products also support the gut by acting as a prebiotic to the healthy bacteria residing there. Maintain good gut health with Body Biotics™ Bio-identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ as well.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

www.bodybiotics.com

Resources:

  1. https://fullscript.com/blog/dairy-free-milk-alternatives
  2. https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2017/07/lactose-intolerance/
  3. https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/g20511127/dairy-for-lactose-intolerant-people/
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/28/what-plant-milk-should-i-drink-almond-killing-bees-aoe
  5. https://thebeet.com/youve-ditched-dairy-but-which-plant-based-milk-is-best-for-the-environment/
  6. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cashew-milk-saving-animals-hurting

 

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