Function of Fibre

 Fibre is a form of carbohydrate found in plants. It plays a major role in softening and bulking the stool, promoting regular elimination of waste.  Fibre feeds and balances the micro biome in our gastrointestinal tract.  A diet high in fibre leads to better blood sugar regular, sustained energy and wellbeing.

Good Fibrations

Okay, Forty Three Eighty Fitness fans, this week’s focus in on fibre. Now I don’t really focus on carbohydrates per se, as you noticed in the 6 Daily Diet Tips you all have now. Most people do better on setting their eyes on good fibre. Why the Beach Boys’ song Good Vibrations  comes to mind just now, makes me laugh. What if we had a song called  Good Fibrations?  What would we sing about then? Yes, fibre can make you sing, but not always the way you’d like. So, if you are used to take out food and a lot of white carbs (sugar, bread, crackers, chips etc.,) don’t go wild on adding the fibre all at once. Increase a little day by day. Otherwise, if you are not rushing out  your fitness class before you are done, your friends may be wishing you did! Build your fibre intake up slowly so the micro biome has time to adjust. This will minimize gas and bloating. Read on to learn why fibre is so fabulous.

Benefits of Fibre

naturopathic services in guelph

  • Softens the stool
  • Bulks the stool
  • Traps and prevent re-circulation and promote removal cholesterol from the body
  • Helps regulate blood sugar as they slow the release of sugars (carbohydrates) into the blood stream
  • Feeds the microflora in your gastrointestinal tract
  • Balances the variety of microflora in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Help with weight management

How much?

While most North Americans get less than 5g of fibre a day, the actual recommended amount is up t0 35 g per day. Increase slowly so your micro biome can adjust. Good fibres promote good bacteria, so a slow increase will naturally help promote a healthy gut flora.

GOAL= 35g per day

 

2 Types of Carbohydrates

At a high level, carbohydrates can be separated into two basic groups based how easily and quickly they are digested. A motto I use in clinic with my patients is:

Slow carbs, not no carbs.”

  1. Simple carbohydrates: starch, simple sugars, and fructans. Simple carbohydrates are easily broken down and absorbed in the small intestine.
  2. Complex carbohydrates: cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, pectin and beta-glucans. Complex carbohydrates are resistant to digestion in the small intestine and once moved further down into the digestive tract into the large intestine will be fermentation by the bacteria located there.

7 Types of Fibre

  • hemicellulose
  • cellulose
  • lignins
  • oligosaccharides
  • pectins
  • gums
  • glucans

Where do you find these fibres?

Hemicellulose -An insoluble fibre found in whole grains. Increases bowel regularity and excretion of cholesterol.Includes:  arabinoxylan, glucans, galantines, xylans, mannans, and pontosans.

Cellulose: an insoluble fibre found in fruits, legumes, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Feeds the micro biome (gut flora) and byproduct is short chain fatty acids.

Lignins- an insoluble fibre found in root vegetables and berry seeds like flax and sesame. Helps feed and balance the natural micro biome.

Pectin is a soluble fibre found in apples, citrus fruits, legumes and nuts. Byproducts include butyrate and other short chain fatty acids. Helps balance the micro biome. Helps heal the gut and may have an effect on cholesterol.

Gums are thickening agents like xanthan, guar, Arabic, acacia, agar-agar, glucomannan and coboxymethyl cellulose. It creates short chain fatty acids in the gastrointestinal tract and promotes a healthy micro biome.

Glucans – Soluble fibre found in oats, barley and rye. Produces short chain fatty acids, stimulates healthy micro biome, reduces LDL cholesterol. Also soluble fibre found in mushrooms like reishi, shiitake, chug, maitake, and cremini. Byproducts include butyrate and other short chain fatty acids. Helps balance the micro biome. Medicinal mushrooms additionally help fight cancer, are antiviral, immuno-modulatory and help reduce inflammation.

Oligo(poly)saccharides: found in root vegetables, onions, garlic, asparagus, banana, chicory artichoke, lentils, beans and peas.  Studies show very helpful in helping you feel fuller longer and reduces intestinal inflammation. Note: FODMAPS (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols) These short-chain carbohydrates are not well absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and can be easily fermented by gut bacteria producing pain, gas and bloating.

How can fibre help me loose weight?

Studies show that “increasing dietary fiber significantly reduces the risk of gaining weight and fat in women, independent of several potential confounders, including physical activity, and dietary fat intake.”

  1. As soluble fibre is fermented in the large intestine it produces hormones that tell our brain we are full.  (glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY))
  2. Dietary fibre has the ability to significantly decrease energy intake
  3. Dietary fibre takes energy to digest and therefore reduces the over all sum of caloric intake- digestive energy = energy provided.
References:
Lattimer JM, Haub MD. Effects of Dietary Fiber and Its Components on Metabolic Health. Nutrients. 2010;2(12):1266-1289. doi:10.3390/nu2121266
Tucker LA, Thomas KS. Increasing Total Fiber Intake reduces Risk of Weight and Fat Gains in Women. J Nutr. 2009 Mar;139(3):576-81. doi: 10.3945/jn.108.096685. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

 

Friendly Fats

When we talked about fats in the 4380 Fitness Challenge nutrition night, one person asked me if she was eating too much fat. What she actually has found is that, for her, eating more fat actually helps with anxiety. This is a fantastic personal discovery! In the 6 daily diet tips I mention a goal of 6 tablespoons of healthy fat a day. This of course is a general guideline. I cannot tell you how much fat or carbs or protein is exactly right for you. Only you will be able to what is safe and healthy through individual professional guidance and even then, some trial and error.

Also, keep in mind your needs will change with age and season. We all need to eat for the season. When it is cold outside we need heartier, heavier meals. When it is hot and humid, we need light and refreshing sustenance to fuel us without weighing us down. Babes need higher fat as the brain is rapidly developing and different life situations demand different nutrients.

Time  for an Oil Change?

Did you know that the human brain is nearly 60 percent fat? Getting the right fats in your diet is the most crucial way to boost your brain’s integrity and ability to perform. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required for optimal message conduction not only in the brain, but across every cellular membrane in the body. 

More of these

If you are sensitive to a food like dairy or nuts, then you need to look at the other alternatives of healthy fats on the list.

  • Fish oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocados & their oil
  • Small amounts of real butter or ghee (clarified butter)
  • Oils found in nuts in seeds
  • Fats found naturally in whole dairy
  • Fats found naturally in responsibly raised poultry & meat

Supplemental Fish oil (3rd party tested and cleansed of heavy metals):

  • Reduces cholesterol:
    • reduce triglyceride levels by 20% to 50%
  • In those with coronary artery disease: Heart attacks reduced risk by 20% and sudden death by 30% (better than statins alone)
  • Improves symptoms of depression and increase length of remission
  • Reduces symptoms of psychosis, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  • Reduces inflammation and severity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoporosis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Behcet’s syndrome, and Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Helpful in weight loss
  • Reduces muscular soreness after exercise

Are saturated fats bad for you?

Yes and no. Too much of anything is not good for you. So, yes trim excess fat off your meat and avoid too much chicken skin, however, eating marbled meats and full fat dairy, coconut products and egg yolks will help  incorporate calcium into the bones, protect the liver from damage by alcohol and medications like acetaminophen, has beneficial effects on cardiovascular function, deliver fat soluble vitamins.

Less of these

  • Sunflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Peanuts, and peanut oil
  • Safflower Oil

Not all fats are created equal.

Industry seed oils are those made from the seeds of corn, cotton, sunflower, safflower or a hybrid called canola. A small amount of these oils is not an issue, as we do need some omega 6 fats in our diet. Problem is with the North American tendency to eat fast food, restaurant food, processed and packaged foods, we tend to get way too many of these and not enough omega 3 fats. This tips the scale towards inflammation. Industry seed oils are easily oxidized and oxidized fats is a leading contributor to modern inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimers, non alcoholic fatty liver disease and fibromyalgia.

 

Never these

  • Transfats
  • Super heat vegetable oil (fried foods)
  • Rancid oils

Trans fats that are manufactured by hydrolyzing an natural fat tends to do all the wrong things to cholesterol. Trans fats raise LDL and triglycerides and lower HDL.  Not good.

Rancid oils, or fats that are past their shelf life will contribute to oxidative stress in your body. This means aging!

Anything eaten in excess can be converted and stored in the body as fat. That includes protein and carbohydrates. Did you know one of the main reasons for young people today being diagnosed with non alcoholic fatty liver is the excessive sugars in their diet?

Friendly Fat Facts

  1. Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) must be taken in the diet as they can not synthesized by the body. It is often necessary to supplement. Fish oil that is third party tested and cleansed of heavy metals in either a gel cap or, more economically, liquid, is best.
  2. Fats are required to help us absorb fat soluble vitamins  (A, D, E & K)
  3. Healthy fats consumed earlier in the day (breakfast) will help curb afternoon cravings.
  4.  Naturally occurring saturated fats that marble meat or as a part of dairy have benefits when consumed in moderation

This means

  1. Breakfast: could include your dose of fish oil (EFA’s) and vitamin D, a handful of nuts, or simply a tablespoon of coconut oil in your cup of coffee.
  2.  Lunch & Supper: Salad or vegetables could be complimented with either 2 TBSP of olive oil, 1/4 avocado or  some omega-3 rich fish like sardines, salmon, herring. Even lamb or chicken – light or dark meat or strips of steak will help get the most out of all your nutrients.

From the research and mind of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

 Reference:
Kresser, Chris. 2014. The Paleo Cure. Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health Needs — Prevent and Reverse Disease, Lose Weight Effortlessly, and Look and Feel Better than Ever. Little, Brown & Company. New York.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Fish Oil monograph accessed Dec 30, 2014. Full monograph available upon request.

 

Joint Pain? March 29th Seminar

Move past your pain! Complimentary seminar on Wednesday March 29th.  Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND shares some of the natural approaches to manage the inflammation that causes joint pain and what therapies may be considered to repair and reverse the damage.

Many different conditions can lead to joint pain:

  • osteoarthritis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • bursitis
  • gout
  • food sensitivities
  • strains and sprains

Joint Pain Educational Seminar:

Wednesday March 29th, 2017 2:30- 3:30pm 

Nature’s Signature Guelph (Seminar to be held at the Starbucks inside the Metro store at the corner of Edinburgh and Stone – 500 Edinburgh Rd. S. Guelph)

Call 519.822.8900 to Register. 

This seminar is intended for educational purposes only and does not provide individual medical advice.

 

Do I need to Detox?

Do you constantly feel tired and find it difficult to get to sleep and equally difficult to rise in the morning?

Do you regularly suffer from headaches, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, rashes, joint pain or lack mental clarity?

If you answered yes to one or more of these,  you may need to detoxify.

Where do toxins come from?

  • pesticides
  • vehicle exhaust
  • plastics leaching into our water and food supply
  • off-gassing from home or office rents: new floors,  paint, adhesives, carpet, drapes
  • industry by-products
  • heavy metals (i.e. lead, mercury, cadmium)
  • fast food toxins (refined cereal grains, industrial seed oils, sugar and processed soy)

Detoxification Organs

Our bodies are always detoxifying. We do so naturally through our:

  • liver
  • kidneys
  • skin
  • lungs
  • emotions

Benefits of Detox

 

  • cleanse
  • rejuvenate
  • improve circulation and metabolism
  • slow aging
  • improve ability to cope with stress
  • declutter your mind
  • lift your mood
  • reduce inflammation
  • feel relaxed & energized

 

Get Started – Easy as 1,2,3…

  1. To get started, come in to Forward Health or call us at 519.826.7973 to book your free metabolic detoxification assessment. This will help you understand at a high level,  what areas of your body are most needing support.
  2. Learn more about how you can lower your toxic burden on April 5th with Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND. 
  3. After you have an idea of why you may not be feeling your best, next steps involve a comprehensive detox assessment using laboratory testing and interpretation.  This is available to patients at Forward Health. Naturopathic Doctors are well trained in identifying and treating toxic burden. A full intake and course of treatment will be explained as you engage in your individualized plan.

Power of Protein

Protein is the building block of life. We all need protein. Even when we crave sugar, sometimes it really means we need protein. Protein will help us feel full longer and is deserves to be part of a balanced meal. Athletes may require more protein than their sedentary friends. This is because athletic training break down muscle tissue and then protein is required to re-build stronger and bigger muscles.

6 Purposes of Protein

We all need protein!

  1. Tissue building and maintenance
  2. Neurotransmitter creation
  3. Making hormones
  4. Involved in enzymes to perform chemical reactions
  5. Synthesis of energy
  6. Regulation of metabolic pathways.

Protein used in athletes can enhance anaerobic exercise  (lifting weights, sprinting) capacity, strength, and gains in muscle mass when weight training.

How much?

General needs of protein per kg of body weight is 0.8g/kg.

This is higher in body-builders (1.0g/kg)

and even higher in endurance athletes (1-1.5g/kg).

Spread your protein intake out over the course of the day. 20-30g at a time at each meal generally works well for most folks.

Eat Real Food

Not all protein is the same. Protein sources differ on their amino acid profile and the methods of processing or isolating the protein. Concentrated forms of protein include meat, poultry, egg, fish, and dairy. Animal based proteins are complete in their amino acid profile. Animal based proteins are the best and most predominant natural source of B12 and iron. Grass fed/ pasture raised and responsibly raised or organic meat may seem more expensive, but pound for pound it packs a lot more nutrients.

Pasture raised animal based proteins

  • pasture raised animal meat, dairy and eggs will have more nutrients, fewer toxins and less likely to have antibiotic resistant super-bugs
  • grass fed bison has four times more selenium the grain fed bison. Selenium is important in thyroid function.
  • Wild caught salmon has a better ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 – making it so much more healthy.

Compared to grain fed, grass fed beef has:

  • 7x  more beta carotene, which your body coverts to vitamin A – important for skin and eyes.
  • 3x more vitamin E, which stabilizes cell membranes and keeps blood flowing smoothly.
  • higher levels of glutathione, which is important for detoxification
  • 2x the amount of B2, involved in the production of energy in the body
  • 3x the amount of B1, plays a role in production of energy and nucleic acids (RNA, DNA)
  • 30% more calcium, adding strength to bones, teeth and aids in muscle contraction
  • 5% more magnesium, a co-factor in over 300 different enzymes and helps muscles relax
  • Natural source of CLA – conjugated linoliec acid which reduces risk of heart attack and breast cancer

Plant based protein is found in soy, chick peas, lentils, legumes and nuts and seeds. Plant based proteins often need to be combined to reach a complete protein profile.

Protein Powders

Protein powders are convenient and a suitable way to get in extra protein when whole food is not available. The base food is processed to extract the protein content out of it. So having rice protein, for example, is different than eating a bowl of rice, which is primarily a source of carbohydrate. Watch the protein powder mixes for unnecessary ingredients like sugar, multiple ingredients and flavourings. Simple is often best.

Types of Protein Powders

  • Whey Isolate
  • Rice
  • Pumpkin
  • Hemp
  • Pea
  • Beef Isolate
  • Soy

If you are dairy sensitive, whey may make you feel bloated and gassy. Not everyone can digest soy. When starting pea protein, start with small amounts and build up.  This will help prevent gassiness. To get a complete amino acid profile, it is best to combine the plant based proteins. Beef isolate is a newer one on the market and is helpful for those who are grain, legume and dairy sensitive.

This information is for educational purposes only. It does not intend to treat or diagnose any individual condition. To find out what’s best for you, consider an individual appointment.

From the heart, mind and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

More about naturopathic medicine here.

References:
Gaby A. 2011. Nutritional Medicine. Fritz Perlberg Publishing Concord, NH.
Kresser K. 2014 The Paleo Cure: Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health NeedsPrevent and Reverse Disease, Lose Weight Effortlessly, and Look and Feel Better than Ever. Little Brown and Company, New York.
Temple N, Wilson T, Jacobs DR. 2006. Nutritional Health—Strategies for Disease Prevention 2nd ed, , Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.

 

5,000 Reasons to Eat Vegetables

I was only looking for 6 key reasons to eat vegetables.

I found five thousand. How can this be? PHYTOCHEMICALS. There are more than 5,000 phytochemicals identified plus many we suspect still remain unknown. Turns out, mother nature has packed a punch of power in the plant kingdom. Many plants contain one or more of these 5,000 nutritional perks that helps us:

  • Defend against pathogens, parasites, and predators.
  • Protect against chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and cancer.
  • Purify and renew the blood
  • Nourish
  • Cleanse body of toxins
  • Stimulate effects
  • Relaxing effects
  • Anti-inflammatory

Food for …

As a part of the Forty-three Eighty Fitness challenge, for the next six weeks we are going to cover the elementary need for food. Function. That doesn’t mean it has to boring and mundane. It just means we are going to get back to providing our body with the building blocks it needs for life. It is about food for sports performance, energy, mental clarity, good digestion, glowing skin and good sleep. It is not all-inclusive, as they are general dietary guidelines. Each week we will dig a little deeper into the 6 daily tips. If you are not a part of the program and not a patient of mine, don’t worry, there is still lots right here in the Forward Health Journal and on the Naturalaura site.

In our society we relate to one another so much through food. It is really a part of our heritage, our culture and our social connection. This is partly what makes it so difficult to make changes. It’s not just a little corner of your life. Eating is something we do everyday. Every time we eat we make a choice. What drives that choice? Taste? Texture? Atmosphere? Experience? Promise to make you happy? If you suspect you might make choices driven by emotion, you might like to join me next Wednesday, March 15th at Goodness Me! in Guelph from 6:30-8pm for a free educational session on Food or Mood, Which Comes First? Register here.

Evolution, Not Revolution!

It won’t work if you try to make all the changes at once. As I say to my patients, it’s about evolution, not revolution. Did you learn to ski by jumping on the black diamond hills first? Not likely. You needed to build some strength, add some skills, practice them in safe small ways and build your confidence. Ditto for making changes in diet. Start somewhere. Carve out an area and make some attempt for small changes. This week we are going to start with vegetable awareness! Goal is 6 cups of vegetables a day. Many people struggle to get one. If you are the one cup a day kind of person right now, then maybe you aim to get two or three cups a day as a place to start. What’s in it for you?

Guideline Goal: 6 cups of Vegetables a Day

3 Cups of Cabbages

The cabbage also known as cruciferous or brassica family helps support phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification of the liver. This means eating more of this family of vegetables provides support for your natural detoxification process. Your liver is in charge of over 300 jobs. Not a bad thought to give your liver a hand.

Interesting to note: broccoli contains abundant B vitamins, vitamin A, has more vitamin C than citrus and is rich in chlorophyll.

  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Swiss chard
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Bok Choy
  • Turnip
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radish/ radish greens

3 Cups Leafy Greens

Bitter greens help stimulate digestion. Good digestion means good energy! Some cultures find this helpful before a meal, others after. Leafy greens also provide fibre, vitamin K, chlorophyll, vitamin A and C. Lettuce leafs contain the sedative lactucarium, which relaxes the nerves, helping the rest and digest nervous system do its thing.

  • Dandelion greens
  • Carrot tops
  • Romaine
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Endive
  • Radicchio
  • Watercress
  • Chicory
  • Beet greens

1 Cup – Mix of Orange and Red

Red and orange means a rich source of beta carotene / vitamin A. Carrots and beets are blood purifying and anti-inflammatory for mucus membranes. Bell peppers are additionally an excellent source of vitamin C. Sweet potato and squash have great fibre and help reduce inflammation.

  • Carrot
  • Bell pepper – red/orange
  • Squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Beet

1 Cup Other

For appetite control, celery can be eaten between and during meals. Celery root is excellent sliced thin and baked on parchment paper. Fennel root has a mild licorice flavor and is an excellent add to soups. Parsnips slow cooked with carrots marinated in a little olive oil and sea salt is delectable. Peel them and cook them whole! Cucumber is very cooling and better eaten in the hot and dry times of the year. A couple slices of cucumber and maybe a sprig of mint in water is a very refreshing. summer drink.

  • Celery
  • Celery root
  • Fennel
  • Parsnip
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Turnip

Preparation

Ideally more cooked in the fall and winter and start introducing more raw in the spring. Cooking vegetables will destroy some of the nutrients, however softens the fibres and makes them easier to digest. Digestive fire is stronger in the hotter months, so lots of raw in summer is just fine. Fall, winter and early spring we are better to eat more slow cooked, lightly steamed vegetables. I often preserve the water I steam my veggies in and use it in stir fry to add moisture or add it to soup. Eat your cooked veg or broth within 24 hours to obtain the maximum nutrition. Don’t forget an easy way to add up the vegetable tally is to throw a stick or two of celery, and a handful of greens into your smoothie. My favourite energy-boosting green smoothie has 2 sticks of celery, a handful of leafy greens- whatever is in the fridge, a bunch of dried mint from the garden and a little ground ginger with my pea protein.

Cornerstones of daily eating.

Jessica Cosby and Brett Milton’s Forty-three Eighty Fitness six week challenge kicks off in Guelph this month. My part is to provide some education for the nutritional aspect of good health. Thanks to Carrie and Mark Godman we set up at the prestigious Granite Homes showroom this Friday and delved into the general aspects of the 6-Daily Diet Tips. 

For the next six weeks, there will be weekly posts to provide a little more information in each of the areas of:

Week 1 – Value of Vegetables
Week 2 – Power of Protein
Week 3 – Friendly Fats
Week 4 – Function of Fibre
Week 5 – Controlling your Carbs
Week 6-  Flourish Your Flora

Oh, I almost forgot! 

To find your personalized “food fingerprint I often encourage people to have their food sensitivities evaluated. Then we map this with the six daily diet tips to maximize your results. To have this test done, call 519. 826-7973 and ask about the KORU food testing.

From the heart, mind and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

More about naturopathic medicine here.

References:
Del Rio D, Rodriguez-Mateos A, Spencer JPE, Tognolini M, Borges G, Crozier A. Dietary (Poly)phenolics in Human Health: Structures, Bioavailability, and Evidence of Protective Effects Against Chronic Diseases. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 2013;18(14):1818-1892. doi:10.1089/ars.2012.4581.
Pitchford, P. 2002. Healing with whole foods. Asian traditions and modern nutrition. 3rd ed., North Atlantic Books, Berkely, California.
Temple N, Wilson T, Jacobs DR. 2006. Nutritional Health—Strategies for Disease Prevention 2nd ed, , Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.