Intro to the topic: Nutrition that heals
Nutrition that heals is one of my favorite topics. As many of us know, healthy nutrition can be a tricky thing and not all that is meant to be “good for you” pans out to be so.
In his book “The plant paradox”, Dr Gundry, cardiovascular surgeon, sheds light on how food can make us well or ill. If we understand it well, we can side step the toxins and work with Mother Nature to be deeply npurished.
A few basic principles
“Disease begins and ends in the gut.”
Not all fruits and vegetables as well as other foods are innocuous and all nourishing, they carry their own toxins to defend themselves against being consumed. These toxins can give rise to problems such as leaky gut, immune reactivity, inflammation, pain and fatigue.
From Dr Gundry’s web site, www.drgundry.com,
“The Gundry Philosophy is a radical break from the traditional dietary “wisdom” which has failed so many Americans over the past few decades.
My research offers a breakthrough for those of you who have struggled for years with low energy levels, unhealthy weight, and frequent illness. If you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked… I’d like to offer you HOPE.
My philosophy centers around the fact that the human digestive system is a very complex and very sensitive machine. It needs key energy sources that you’re not getting in your diet… and at the same time, it’s damaged by a huge number of foods that are a big part of our “Standard American Diet.”
He particularly hones into LECTINS, proteins on the surface of a variety of foods that encourage immune reactivity. Gluten is a well known example of a lectin, unfortunately the list is longer than that.
From Dr Gundry
“I already told you how my clinical study for the AMA showed that lectins were linked to blood vessel damage and even higher risk of heart disorders. But they’re responsible for a lot more…
1. Lectins cause massive digestive damage
Lectins don’t get broken down by your GI tract, so they disrupt your digestion, reduce energy absorption, weaken your immune system, and throw off your gut bacteria.
2. Lectins poke holes in your intestinal walls and leak into your bloodstream
This is known as “Leaky Gut,” and it causes massive inflammation all over your body. This can damage your internal organs, your joint tissues, and may even be the source of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes mellitus.
3. Lectins are directly linked to weight gain
Lectins stick to your insulin receptors and block the hormone which controls your appetite. And when this hormone is blocked, your brain never gets the “message” you’re full — so you just keep eating! Studies show conclusively that blocking this hormone actually causes human weight gain.
The good news is that there are nutrients that can turn this around, primarily “polyphenols”:
“Get lots of POLYPHENOLS into your body.”
~ Dr Gundry
Polyphenols are a micro nutrient found in certain plants.
- Dark blue or purple fruits — like pomegranate, mulberries— are very dense with polyphenols.
- Many other food sources, including: extra virgin olive oil, hazelnuts, coffee beans, ginger, red wine, dark chocolate, endive, kale, fennel seed, pine bark (extract found in Pycnogenel)
But the fact is, they’re missing in our processed “Standard American Diet.” Worse, some high-polyphenol foods — such as tomatoes — should be avoided because they also contain the lectins we discussed above…
I’m constantly raving about polyphenols because they’re incredible natural energy boosters and they provide so many other healing benefits…
1. Polyphenols improve blood vessel function
My own landmark study — presented to the American Heart Association in 2013 — proved that a diet HIGH in polyphenols and LOW in lectins can significantly improve blood vessel function and help lower the markers for cardiovascular disease.
2. Polyphenols help balance healthy cholesterol levels
Studies show that a type of polyphenol called anthocyanin can help decrease your “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and help increase your HDL, or “good,” cholesterol levels.
3. Polyphenols strengthen your digestive system
Polyphenols help you digest your food better by “feeding” the microorganisms in your gut that keep you healthy. In this way, they’re essential to reducing digestive issues (like gas or bloating), boosting your immune system, and helping your body process more energy from food.
Bottom line: Your body needs polyphenols from the right sources and simply cannot function correctly without them.
Maximizing Polyphenols and minimizing Lectins seems to be the name of the game for many of us, especially those that are “lectin sensitive”.
Learn more about Lectins.
Learn more about Polyphenols.
- We appreciate any comments about Nutrition that heals.
by Angela Ingendaay, M.D.