Category Archives: Gut health

Lima Beans for Fiber & Gut Health

I like lima beans! And according to my afternoon reading feed, they’re good for the gut!

🌱 “Eating a high fiber diet can help keep your gut in tip-top shape.”

🌱 “Eating beans (like lima beans) can help support your healthy gut bacteria. That may reduce your risk of health conditions like colon cancer and type 2 diabetes.”

🌱 “Bacteria in your gut ferment the fiber found in beans. This increases the production of compounds called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs serve as important fuel for your gut bacteria, so they benefit your gut and intestinal lining health.”

🌱 “The bad news? Most peeps don’t consume nearly enough fiber. The good news? You can. Eating a balanced diet that includes fiber-rich lima beans will help you reach the daily recommended value of 28 grams of dietary fiber.”

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, Just For The Health of It

Fiber for Healing & Rebuilding

This morning I came across this article, detailing further research to support the importance of fiber to a strong microbiome and overall health and wellness. I really think fiber played a huge role in my healing and recovery. Obviously, after infection, you need to build up slowly. Women should aim for about 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should target about 38 grams. And that may be hard to get early in healing the gut since many foods are hard to tolerate by an inflamed gut. I strongly believe in getting nutrients from real, whole foods. It’s the best way. But I did use a fiber supplement as I began my recovery. Today I can get the daily recommended amount or more by lunch thanks to overnight oats bran with chia seeds & strawberries at breakfast and lentils with veggies or modified guaca-tuna salad at lunch. 🙂

Key points:

➡️ “Researchers used a mouse model to determine the key dietary factors affecting gut microbiome and how they contribute to obesity and other metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes. Mice were fed varying levels of low-fiber, high-fat diets which changed their gut microbiome.”

➡️ “What we have shown is that by increasing the amount of fiber in your diet and lowering the amount of fat, you work on two very important components that will improve your health.” –André Marette, PhD, Laval University, Canada

Examples of high fiber foods (per Dr. Mark Hyman):

■ Avocados
■ Beans
■ Berries
■ Broccoli
■ Brussels sprouts
■ Cabbage
■ Celery
■Cucumber
■ Figs
■ Kale
■ Lentils
■ Nuts and seeds, especially sprouted
■ Olives and olive oil
■ Pumpkin
■ Spinach
■ Strawberries

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Mood and C-diff

As far as mood & temperament, there’s a strong connection between the gut and brain. So when your gut is messed up, your moods can definitely be affected. I just read another article about it the other day that you might be interested in:

“Psychologists used to believe that our feelings were the result of chemical reactions in our brain. Fast forward to today and what we know is that our gut plays a profound impact on our mood.” The article goes on to talk about how good bacteria improves mood but bad bacteria contributes to anxiety and depression. It talks about specific strains of probiotics that can improve mood.

https://spectrumnews1.com/oh/cleveland/news/2021/05/10/a–gut-feeling—gut-health-and-your-mood

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Always Learning: The Pegan Diet

I am reading The Pegan Diet by Mark Hyman, MD. The author also actually had c-diff. He notes, “I was down for the count for five months and couldn’t work, focus, or even answer an email. I lost 30 pounds.” Sounds familiar. It ultimately left him with ulcerative colitis long-term, so it was a long road back to health during which he learned a lot about the microbiome and healing the gut. Also sounds familiar.

From the chapter on gut health:

➡️ “Sadly, our gut microbiome ain’t what it used to be. We eat gut-busting foods, live a gut-busting lifestyle, and take gut-busting drugs.”

➡️ “Want to grow toxic weeds in your gut? Feed them a processed diet high in sugar and starch, food additives, and the microbiome-destroying weed killer glyphosate, used on 70 percent of all crops.”

➡️ “Our diet is also low in food for the good bugs: prebiotic fibers and polyphe nols (all the colorful medicinal compounds in plant foods).”

➡️ “We also take too many gut-damaging antibiotics, acid blockers, anti-inflammatories like Advil, hormones, and steroids. Add to that environmental toxins from our food, air, and water, and our inner garden is a sorry place with too many disease-causing bugs and not enough healing bugs.”

He offers three steps to resolving gut problems: weed, seed, and feed. Luckily, that’s exactly what I did and have been doing post-treatment, and after 7 months, I’m not totally healed, but I’m definitely significantly better. So today I am #grateful for all the health lessons I’ve learned since getting so sick; better health as a result; and the opportunity to continue to improve and grown in good health. #Healing2021 #operationrecovery

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Prebiotics: Gut & Mental Health

We know that prebiotics are good for gut health because they’re what our good bacteria eat. And they need to eat to be strong to fight off bad bacteria like c-diff. But…prebiotics help with anxiety too! At least according to this study: “A new study has found that 4-weeks of daily galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) prebiotic intake can reduce anxiety levels and result in an overall improvement in wellbeing in young women.” Of course, we know from experience that c-diff affects us mentally as well as physically.

As many of you know, I prefer to get my pro and prebiotics from food naturally, rather than from supplements. I don’t know of this research would translate to that. The supplement in this study is galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). GOS are made up of plant sugars linked in chains. They are found naturally in dairy products (no, thank you!), beans (yes!), and certain root vegetables (double yes!). I’ve eaten beans and root veggies throughout my recovery. Turns out maybe they’re good for gut and mental health!

Note: WebMD did offer a warning for those with autoimmune diseases, since GOS (as a supplemet) can kick up the immune system, it may have some negative effects. Also, if used medicinally, it can have side effects no c-diff survivor wants, like gas, bloating, and even diarrhea (also WebMD). It’s kind of why I like to stick to foods instead of supplements. We benefit from the other nutrients that surround them when we get them from food: it’s like “a spoonful of sugar,” it helps make the medicine go down. 😉

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Good victory: hummus snack plate

This is the first proper snack plate I’ve had since I got really sick in September. 26 weeks post-treatment this week. I made hummus with my lemon tahini sauce from the other day and sourdough flat breads for dipping. Tahini is packed full of vitamins A & E, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Chickpeas are a good source of magnesium, folic acid, manganese, protein, and fiber and can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels. Oh, also…delicious. Grateful for my snack plate; everything I’ve learned about food and nutrition lately; and the ability to make my own food.

Sources: The Tahini Table and Healing Foods.

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Filed under C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, In My Kitchen, Just For The Health of It

Triphala for GI Tract Wellness

During my recovery, I started learning more about Ayurveda (5,000 y/o holistic healing system) and adopting more of its principles (eating according to my dosha; daily tongue scraping; healing spices like turmeric; yoga & meditation, etc.), including a nightly dose of Triphala. According to my book, “triphala is made from three detoxifying and tonifying fruits that help you more effectively absorb and assimilate nutrients and get rid of waste through healthy bowel movements.”✳️  Sounded good to me as I was recovering.

This morning I read this article that explains more of the health benefits of Triphala. 📝 Note: it does say it has a natural laxative effect. I’d guess it’s pretty mild because I’ve never had that affect me personally, but obviously everyone is different. Some key points from the article:

👉 The most commonly known health benefit of Triphala is that it helps in the digestion process. 
👉 It also helps in strengthening the digestive tract of the body by increasing the number of good bacteria in the intestinal tract.
👉 According to a study published in The Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Triphala is great for our immunity and also acts as an immunosuppressant.
👉 Regular consumption of Triphala can help fight infections and control allergies due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

➕ It also explains its effects on dental health, enhanced vision, and weight loss.

✳️ Ayurveda Beginner’s Guide: Essential Ayurvedic Principles and Practices to Balance and Heal Naturally by Susan Weis-Bohlen.

Read all my C-diff posts here.

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Filed under Ayurveda, C-Diff, Gut health, Healing 2021, Just For The Health of It

Why is Diet Important w/ C-diff?

2 reasons:
1. Many people are intolerant of foods, especially difficult to digest foods, given their intestines have been ravaged by infection. Colitis causes problems with digestion, resulting in gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhea, etc. Naturally, people want to avoid that, so their GI tract can heal (and because that’s unpleasant).

2. Rebuilding the microbiome is critical to getting and staying healthy post-treatment. Diet is the biggest and most important way we change and support our microbiome. Since CDI is the direct result of a) ingesting spores AND b) disruption to the microbiome, it’s incredibly important to make diet and lifestyle choices that help rebuild and then keep strong the microbiome to avoid future infection.

Want to know what foods to avoid? Go here.

Click here for more in the diet & lifestyle choices I made in recovery. And here for what I’ve learned about diet from my research.

Read all my c-diff posts here.

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Broccoli!

Last night I made lentils with a little bit of onion & garlic plus carrots, celery, mushrooms, and… broccoli! Had it for lunch today. So far, so good. Come on, broccoli, let’s be friends. 🤞🤞🤞

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Gut-Brain Connection

This morning I read this article, “The Mind-Gut Connection: We Are What We Eat.” The gut-brain connection is strong. It makes total sense that so many of us experience anxiety and depression with c-diff (and our messed up microbiomes).

“The health and diversity of our microbiome seems to play a role in our mental wellness. An unbalanced or sparse microbiome has been linked with depression and anxiety. One of several ways a healthy microbiome helps protect against depression appears to involve its important role in modulating inflammatory pathways and in mediating the stress response. There is growing evidence that chronic inflammation and chronic stress contribute to mental disorders such as depression.”

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