Basil and Avocado Pate

When clients are following a Nutritionhelp yeast-free and sugar-free diet, they can sometimes lack inspiration for snacks – not least spreads and pates for dips, wholegrain crackers and yeast-free breads.

dip and veg

This pate recipe is packed with nutrients, has a fresh taste, and with the help of a food processor, can be made in just a couple of minutes. It is important to realise that a diet to support the balance of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract is not just about avoiding unhelpful foods (such as sugar, yeast, fermented foods, processed foods etc). It is also about including nutrient-rich foods, which can provide the body with valuable vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fibre, to support the body in all its various functions. This includes the immune system – which needs to be working well to bring intestinal yeasts under control.

So our key ingredients in this pate are basil, avocado, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Let’s look more closely at the benefits of these tasty foods.

Basil – This herb is exceptionally high in vitamin K, with good levels of manganese, copper and vitamin A. Research shows basil to have both anti-bacterial properties and also anti-inflammatory effects, potentially providing healing benefits and symptomatic relief for inflammatory conditions.

basil

Avocado – This versatile fruit (don’t worry, it is not sweet, so allowed on the Nutritionhelp programme!) is high in pantothenic acid – otherwise known as vitamin B5. Clients with Nutritionhelp who have taken an adrenal lab test will be well acquainted with vitamin B5, since it is beneficial in supporting adrenal gland function. Long term stress? Eat foods high in the ‘anti-stress’ vitamin B5,  such as buckwheat, sunflower seeds, lentils and chickpeas, broccoli, brown rice and avocados. Avocados are also a source of fibre, vitamin k, folic acid, copper, potassium, vitamins B6, E and C.

Sunflower seeds are very rich in vitamin E and copper, with good levels of vitamin B1, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, magnesium and vitamin B6. Vitamin E is a major antioxidant in the body, helping to protect against heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cleaning solvents, drugs and radiation. Vitamin E is important to immune function, particularly during times of oxidative stress (i.e. intense wear and tear on the body – illness, intense exercise, high-stress life experiences), and chronic viral illness.

seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron. Manganese is important in blood sugar control, energy metabolism and thyroid function. Zinc plays a critical role in foetal development, immune function and male sexual function. It also shows effectiveness in the treatment of acne and macular degeneration.

basil and avocado dip

Basil and Avocado Pate

  • 1 avocado, pealed and stone removed
  • 1 handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds – ground
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds – ground
  • Juice of 1/2 lemonpate blender
  • Black pepper to taste

Grind the seeds and add to the food processor with other ingredients. Whizz until everything is well combined. Different food processors will vary in effectiveness, so you may need to finish mashing the ingredients together by hand. You may find that your food processor works better with a larger quantity, in which case, just double the ingredients. The pate will keep in the fridge for several days, stored in a glass jar.

Next week I will post a recipe for a yeast-free and gluten-free courgette bread – perfect topped with this pate!

Muffin Alternative

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By Emma Cockrell

Many clients with Nutritionhelp come with a number of food sensitivities, and this is not surprising when we understand how intestinal yeast impacts the digestive tract. Intestinal yeasts – including Candida albicans – feed on sugars in the diet, so the typical Western diet provides it with an absolute feast. Combine with this the release of stored sugars in the stress response, and the wiping out of beneficial bacteria, which should keep gut yeasts in check, by antibiotics, and you have a recipe for Candida overgrowth. Other medications and hormone treatments such as the Pill and HRT, further disrupt the delicate balance of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract.

Once Candida is encouraged, it changes to its fungal form, putting out ‘legs’ or hyphae, which can burrow into the gut lining, causing inflammation and leading to gaps in the intestinal membrane. This is commonly known as ‘leaky gut’ These spaces allow partially digested food to pass into the bloodstream, where the immune system recognises them as foreign particles, and thus, over time, sets up an immune ‘allergic’ response. A number of other factors can lead to leaky gut, but it is common for Candida to be involved at some point.

So there are potentially two types of food reaction:

  1. A gastrointestinal reaction, caused by the presence of food in the damaged digestive tract. This might result in digestive complaints such as diarrhoea, pain, bloating or IBS.
  2. An immune response following eating a culprit food, which may result in symptoms such as a headache, a panic attack, depression or anxiety, increased fatigue or aches and pains.

The starting place with these type of reactions is to get intestinal yeast under control, removing the main cause of the gaps in the digestive tract wall. A nutrient-rich diet, a supplement programme to include key nutrients to support gut health, and avoiding foods which encourage yeast are all part of the Nutritionhelp protocol to kill off Candida.

However, in the meantime, many clients still have to cope with a limited diet due to a number of food sensitivities. This may affect what vegetables can be tolerated, how well meat or seeds can be digested, and may make their grain options very low, in addition to avoiding all gluten and dairy.

51ysfoyZoAL._SX382_BO1,204,203,200_Erica White’s Beat Candida Cookbook (2014) covers a basic yeast-free and sugar-free protocol and recipes to bring Candida under control, and also includes a great many recipes which are specifically designed for clients with a number of limitations in their diets, and this can be a fantastic resource. These meal and baking ideas offer a comprehensive starting-place from which you can experiment, and this week I did just that.20160701_104406_resized

Following a Skype conversation with a client who is struggling with limited foods due to a number of food sensitivities, I produced a brown rice flour muffin, using just the simple ingredients she could manage. This may not compare with a high street coffee shop muffin, but I was pretty pleased with the result. This makes a helpful ‘bun’ which I would spread with sunflower seed cream, and use as a breakfast meal, but can be eaten as a snack at any time. The inclusion of cooked carrot helps to keep the ‘muffins’ moist. Keep them in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.

Emma’s Carrot Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large carrot- 170g, finely chopped  (well scrubbed if organic, otherwise peeled)
  • 1 mug of brown rice flour
  • 3 level dessert spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon of dried ginger – optional

Method:

Place the chopped carrot in a small pan with an inch of water. Add a lid, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, until carrot is well cooked. Check water doesn’t boil dry. When carrot is soft, remove from the heat, pour off any remaining liquid into a jug (there shouldn’t be much left). Mash the carrot with 1 tablespoon of the cooking water, using the back of a fork or a potato masher – or a food processor. When carrot is well mashed stir in the olive oil and the brown rice flour, and dried ginger if using, and mix well. Then stir in a beaten egg. This should form a sticky, stiff batter. Place spoonfuls, about the size of a small satsuma, on a greased baking tray and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-30 minutes, until golden. spread with seed butter and top with some pure ground vanilla.

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Pass the Popcorn!

When someone is following the Nutritionhelp yeast-free and sugar-free diet protocol they can sometimes find it hard to know what to snack on – especially if they find they are losing weight on the diet. Authority Nutrition has a helpful article on popcorn, and how, if prepared in the right way, it can actually be a healthy treat.

Popcorn is one of the world’s healthiest and most popular snack foods.

It is loaded with important nutrients and offers a variety of health benefits.

However, it is sometimes prepared with large amounts of fat, sugar and salt, which can drive overeating.

For this reason, it is very important to prepare your popcorn the right way.

It can be either super healthy or very unhealthy, depending on how you prepare it.

This article reviews popcorn’s nutrition facts and health effects, both good and bad.

What is Popcorn?

Popcorn is a special type of corn that “pops” when exposed to heat.

At the centre of each kernel is a small amount of water, which expands when heated and eventually causes the kernel to explode.

The oldest piece of popcorn was discovered in New Mexico and is said to be over 5,000 years old.

Over the years, it has become increasingly popular. It became especially popular during the Great Depression because it was so cheap.

Popcorn Nutrition Facts

Many people don’t realize it, but popcorn is a whole grain food, making it naturally high in several important nutrients.

Many studies link whole grain consumption to health benefits like reduced inflammation and a decreased risk of heart disease.

This is the nutrient content of a 100-gram (3.5-oz) serving of air-popped popcorn:

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 7% of the RDI.

  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 12% of the RDI.

  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): 8% of the RDI.

  • Iron: 18% of the RDI.

  • Magnesium: 36% of the RDI.

  • Phosphorus: 36% of the RDI.

  • Potassium: 9% of the RDI.

  • Zinc: 21% of the RDI.

  • Copper: 13% of the RDI.

  • Manganese: 56% of the RDI.

This is coming with a total of 387 calories, 13 grams of protein, 78 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fat.

This serving also contains a whopping 15 grams of fibre, which is extremely high. It makes it one of the world’s best sources of fibre.

It is High in Polyphenol Antioxidants

Polyphenols are antioxidants that help protect our cells from damage by free radicals.

A study done at the University of Scranton showed that popcorn contains very large amounts of polyphenols.

Polyphenol are linked to various health benefits. This includes better blood circulation, improved digestive health and a reduced risk of many diseases.

Several studies have also shown that polyphenols may reduce the risk of cancer, including prostate and breast cancer.

Extremely High in Fibre

Popcorn is very high in fibre.

According to research, dietary fibre may reduce the risk of many diseases like heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Fibre can also help with weight loss and promote digestive health.

The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. However, most people are eating much less than that.

100 grams (3.5 ounces) of popcorn contain 15 grams of fibre, which goes a long way towards satisfying your daily fibre requirements.

Pre-packaged Microwave Popcorn May be Harmful

Most microwave bags are lined with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been associated with a variety of health problems.

These include ADHD, low birth weight and thyroid problems, to name a few.

Microwave popcorn may also contain diacetyl, which is a chemical found in artificial butter flavouring.

Although the risk to the general public has not been clearly identified, animal studies continue to show that breathing in diacetyl can damage airways and cause lung diseases.

Many brands of microwave popcorn are made using hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils, which contain harmful trans fats. Studies have linked trans fats to an increased risk of heart disease and other serious diseases .

Even if certain brands say they are free of these chemicals, you may still want to avoid them since it’s so easy to make your own healthy popcorn.

Some Toppings and Preparation Methods Are a Bad Idea

Despite all of popcorn’s healthy qualities, the way it is prepared can greatly impact its nutritional quality.

When air-popped, it is naturally low in calories, but some ready-made types are extremely high in calories.

For example, a report by CSPI found that a medium-sized popcorn at a popular movie theatre chain had a whopping 1,200 calories – even before factoring in the buttery topping!

Varieties bought from movie theatres or stores are often smothered in unhealthy fats, artificial flavourings and high amounts of sugar and salt.

These ingredients not only add a significant amount of calories, but some of them can also be bad for you in other ways.

How to Make Healthy Popcorn

Popcorn made on the stove or in an air-popper are going to be the healthiest options.

Here’s a simple recipe to make healthy popcorn:

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil.

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels.

Directions

  1. Place oil and kernels into a large pot and cover it.

  2. Cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes or until the popping almost stops.

  3. Remove from heat and pour into a serving bowl.

For the full article with references see here. A yeast-free way to serve is to sprinkle with herbs of choice,and a little black pepper. For a ‘sweet’ variety try topping with cinnamon or ground vanilla pod.

Despite the great health benefits listed in the article I do need to add however, that if you are working to reduce weight, even wholegrain carbohydrates should be kept to a small portion – no more than a quarter of your plate for lunch and dinner, and a small serving as a snack.

Benefits of True Cinnamon

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Cinnamon is a versatile spice which can be easily used within a Nutritionhelp yeast-free and sugar-free diet protocol. Cinnamon’s ‘Christmassy’ aroma adds warmth and depth to sugar-free baking and desserts, and can also be added to savoury dishes for a Middle-Eastern zing. Morocco, Turkey and some regions of Greece all use cinnamon in savoury recipes, from soups to kofte or tagines.

Different Types of Cinnamon

Not only is cinnamon an useful spice to incorporate into dishes, but it also has a good many healthful properties. However, in order to benefit from regular use, it is important to understand the best type of cinnamon to use. There are two forms of cinnamon – Ceylon cinnamon, grown in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil, India, and the Caribbean, also known as “true” cinnamon, and Cassia cinnamon, the more common variety, which is generally available in spice jars in supermarkets. This is usually grown in China, Vietnam and Indonesia.  While both forms of cinnamon contain Cinnamaldehyde, the compound which is health supportive, the cassia variety also contains a compound called coumarin, which is believed to be harmful in large doses.

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Opt for Ceylon ‘True’ Cinnamon

Coumarin is a blood thinner, and in high amounts may be toxic to the liver.  Ceylon ‘true’ cinnamon boasts markedly lower levels of coumarin, so is accepted as the variety of choice if using on a regular basis. If you are only using cinnamon occasionally it’s not something to worry about, since the risk for any damage with normal consumption of cassia cinnamon is negligible. However, if you aim to included it in significant quantities on a regular basis, then it is worth looking out for sources of Ceylon ‘true’ cinnamon. Independent whole food shops may be able to provide a good variety, or opt for an online supplier.

Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon contains an oil, which is high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde and this is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects in supporting health. Together with cinnamaldehyde, cinnamon contains other polyphenols (nutrients found in plants) which have antioxidant properties.

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidant is a word which we frequently hear in association with nutrition, and can be taken for granted without really being understood. The wear and tear process of living, breathing, exercising, which is also increased by pollution, smoking, poor diet etc., creates free radicals. Free radicals are unstable, electrically charged molecules in the body’s cells, that can react with other molecules (like DNA) and damage them. Antioxidants make these free radicals stable, by donating an electron and in so doing, neutralise their negative effect. The take-home message is that antioxidants are helpful for supporting health and reducing the negative aspects of ageing, so we should be including as many antioxidants as possible in the diet. Enter our vegetables, herbs and spices – including cinnamon.

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The beneficial properties of cinnamon have been found to:

  • Have anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Support heart health – lowering unhelpful LDL cholesterol, while maintaining or increasing beneficial HDL cholesterol
  • Increase sensitivity of cells to the hormone insulin, reducing the likelihood of insulin resistance and associated problems of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduce blood sugar by slowing the rate that carbohydrates break down to glucose.
  • Protect neurons, normalise neurotransmitter levels and improve motor function, which may prove beneficial in Parkinson’s disease.
  • Inhibit the buildup of a specific protein in the brain, which is one factor in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Demonstrate antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Cinnamon as an Anti-Fungal

This final point needs further comment. Yes, cinnamon does exhibit antifungal properties, and cinnamon is sometimes added to supplement blends offering antimicrobial support. This means if we are working to reduce candida on a Nutritionhelp yeast-free, sugar-free programme, cinnamon, even as a food, may kill off intestinal yeast. While this may sound like a good thing (that’s what we want isn’t it?) we don’t want to kill too much yeast at a time, as this can lead to a very unpleasant build-up of toxins, familiarly termed ‘die-off’. Therefore, if you are regularly adding cinnamon to meals for flavour, heart health or blood-sugar balance, you may find that this increases your symptoms of fatigue, irritability, tearfulness, itchy skin or aches and pains. If this is the case, it is worth reducing, limiting or avoiding cinnamon for a while, allowing the body a chance to clear the build-up of toxins. This is especially important if you are using a supplement antifungal, where you want to monitor very carefully how much you are taking each day in order to reduce the likelihood of ‘die-off’.

So enjoy this interesting spice, but keep an eye on how much you are using and monitor any increase in symptoms if you are working to reduce intestinal yeast.

  • See this research paper for benefits of cinnamon on a range of health issues.

 

Vanilla

We all love the subtle sweet smell of vanilla. In fact, a couple of years ago I heard that people selling their homes were encouraged to place some vanilla essence in a dish for an hour in the oven , to permeate the whole home with delicious wafts!

If you have enjoyed baking over the years you will be no stranger to using vanilla extract in a variety of desserts and baked goods. So when you came to cooking in line with your Nutritionhelp recommendations it would be thought that vanilla could easily be included in sugar-free custards and alternative puddings. Well it would, except…

Start looking at the ingredients of vanilla essence in supermarket aisles and whole food shop shelves, and you will be both surprised and disappointed to find that the majority of them contain sugar. Those that do not have sugar listed in the ingredients will have alcohol as a base for the essence, and again, on the Nutritionhelp sugar/yeast free protocol, even this small amount of alcohol should be avoided. Back in 1999, when Thorsons first published Erica White’s Beat Candida Cookbook, it was a completely different story, and sugar/alcohol-free vanilla extract was quite readily available, hence its inclusion in many of the dessert recipes.

By the time Erica came to revise and update the Beat Candida Cookbook in 2014, a good source of vanilla extract was so hard to find that we made the decision to leave vanilla out of the recipes and focus on the ‘sweet’ spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Natural vanilla pods can of course be used when appropriate, e.g. splitting the vanilla pod and scraping out the seeds to add to ‘rice pudding’ variations, but this is not always suitable for some recipes.

So, it was with some delight (yes, I get excited about simple things!) that I found a product in my local supermarket that was completely new to me. The Madagascan Vanilla Grinder!

Some of you may have been using this form of vanilla  for years, but because I rarely visit the baking aisle, this was the first time I had come across this product. Very simply, it contains dried pieces of vanilla pod, in a pot with a grinder lid, so you simply invert it and twist the cap, allowing tiny pieces of vanilla to fall into your baking or to top your porridge etc.

The only potential problem with this, for any who are battling intestinal yeast over-growth, is that the vanilla is dried, and dried products can tend to harbour unseen mould. Therefore,  you may want  use the dried vanilla bean cautiously, monitoring whether it has a negative impact on your progress. It would certainly be worth storing the grinder in the fridge to reduce likelihood of any mould developing.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Fats and Fiction

The general diet recommendation at Nutritionhelp is to get sugar, in all its varying forms, out of the diet. In many cases, this is due to the effect sugars have on the balance of micro-organisms in the digestive tract, in particular, encouraging intestinal yeasts such as Candida albicans. However, avoiding sugar is only one aspect of the diet. It is also important to include in the diet as many nutrient-rich foods as possible. Fill your plate with an array of vegetables, supplying vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – an easy way to increase your body’s supply of health protecting nutrients. Certain fats are also important in the diet, and more and more research is demonstrating that healthy fats are heart-protecting, rather than damaging, and sugars in the diet have a greater negative influence on cardiovascular health than previously thought. Dr Mark Hyman makes some helpful points in this article

  1. Sugar, not fat, makes you fat. The average American eats 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour that converts to sugar every year. That’s nearly a pound of sugar and flour combined every day! More sugar means your cells become numb to insulin’s “call.” Your body pumps out more and more insulin to pull your blood sugar levels back down. You can’t burn all the sugar you eat. Inevitably, your body stores it as fat, creating insulin resistance and overall metabolic havoc among other mayhem
  2. Dietary fat is more complex than sugar. There are some 257 names for sugar, but despite very minor variations, they all create the same damage. In other words, sugar is sugar is sugar; it all wreaks havoc on your health. Fat is more complex. We have saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and even trans fats, not to mention subcategories within each group. Some fats are good; others neutral; and yes, a few are bad.
  3. Low-fat diets tend to be heart-unhealthy, high-sugar diets. When people eat less fat, they tend to eat more starch or sugar instead, and this actually increases their levels of the small, dense cholesterol that causes heart attacks. In fact, studies show 75 percent of people who end up in the emergency room with a heart attack have normal overall cholesterol levels. But what they do have is pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
  4. Saturated fat is not your enemy. A review of all the research on saturated fat published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease. As with all fats, quality becomes key here. The fats in a fast-food bacon feedlot cheeseburger will have an entirely different effect than saturated fat in coconut oil. Let’s stop classifying it all as the same.
  5. Some fats are unhealthy. They include trans fat and inflammatory vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these fats have increased in our diet as they make us fatter and contribute to inflammation, which plays a role in nearly every chronic disease on the planet.
  6. Everyone benefits from more omega 3s. About 99 percent of Americans are deficient in these critical fats. Ideal ways to get them include eating wild or sustainably raised cold-water fish (at least two servings weekly), buying omega-3 rich eggs (organic),
  7. Eating fat can make you lean. Healthy cell walls made from high-quality fats are better able to metabolize insulin, which keeps blood sugar better regulated. Without proper blood sugar control, the body socks away fat for a rainy day. The right fats also increase fat burning, cut your hunger, and reduce fat storage.  Eating the right fats makes you lose weight, while eating excess sugar and the WRONG types of fat make you fat.
  8. Good fats can heal. I have many diabetic patients whose health improves when I get them on diet that’s higher in fat. 
  9. Your brain is about 60 percent fat. Of that percentage, the biggest portion comes from the omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your brain needs DHA to spark communication between cells. Easy access to high-quality fat boosts cognition, happiness, learning, and memory. In contrast, studies link a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
  10. Your body gives you signs whether or not you are getting enough quality fat. The higher-quality the fat, the better your body will function. That’s because the body uses the fat you eat to build cell walls. You have more than 10 trillion cells in your body, and every single one of them needs high-quality fat. How do you know if your cells are getting the fats they need? Your body sends signals when it’s not getting enough good fats. Warning signs include:
  • Dry, itchy, scaling, or flaking skin
  • Soft, cracked, or brittle nails
  • Hard earwax
  • Tiny bumps on the backs of your arms or torso
  • Achy, stiff joints

I eat fat with every meal, and I’ve never felt better. The right fats can improve your mood, skin, hair, and nails, while protecting you against Type 2 diabetes, dementia, cancer, and much more.

Among my favorite sources of fat include:

  • Avocados

  • Nuts—walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, but not peanuts (one study showed a handful of nuts a day reduced death from all causes by 20 percent) NB Emma’s note, if you are on a yeast-free programme, nuts should only be eaten freshly cracked from the shell, to reduce likelihood of unseen mould.

  • Seeds—pumpkin, sesame, chia, hemp Store in the fridge to keep as fresh as possible

  • Fatty fish, including sardines, mackerel, herring, and wild salmon that are rich in omega-3 fats

  • Extra virgin olive oil 

  • Grass-fed or sustainably raised animal products Organic whenever possible

  • Extra virgin coconut butter, which is a great plant-based source of saturated fat that has many benefits.  It fuels your mitochondria, is anti-inflammatory, and  doesn’t cause problems with your cholesterol.  In fact, it may help resolve them. NB Emma’s note: If you have problems with intestinal yeast however, be careful with coconut oil for two reasons – firstly it contains 3 different fatty acids (Caprylic Acid, Capric Acid, Lauric Acid) each of which have been found to be effective against the Candida yeast. This means that if you regularly include coconut oil in your diet you may experience an increase in toxins, leading to an increase in symptoms, as yeast is killed off. Secondly, coconut oil encourages a state of ketosis, a normal metabolic process in which the body’s cells burn molecules called ketones to make energy, instead of relying on sugar or carbohydrate. While this may be hepful for weight loss it has been found that a state of ketosis can encourage intestinal yeast just as well as glucose! Therefore, coconut oil should be used sparingly by those on a yeast free diet.

Read Dr Hyman’s full article here

Sweet Potatoes and Candida

Erica White’s Beat Candida Cookbook helpfully outlines Nutritionhelp’s basic approach to working with Candida albicans with the Four-Point-Plan which she developed. In all the years of practice, we have found that it is only when these four points are fully followed that encouragement may be see. The four points consist of:

  1. Starving any intestinal yeast with an appropriate diet
  2. Supporting the immune system with a tailor-made supplement programme
  3. Working to bring intestinal yeast under control with specific nutritional supplements
  4. Encouraging beneficial bacteria with probiotics

Nutritionhelp’s dietary advice in point one will take each individual’s needs into consideration, and this is where phone-call time with me may be of benefit. Within a phone call we can talk through progress and developments and adapt dietary recommendations accordingly. How much whole grain can be consumed will vary from client to client, likewise some will do incredibly well on the diet and still consume unrefined gluten grains, where others find they are best avoiding gluten. Many people come to us having seen diets which advocate avoiding all high carbohydrate vegetables and all grains, thinking that this will starve intestinal yeast more effectively. However, this needs to be cautioned as research is showing that ketosis – the metabolic process of breaking down fats for energy that occurs when the body does not have enough glucose – is more effective at feeding Candida albicans than even glucose! For this reason it is important, at the very least, to keep some higher carbohydrate vegetables in the diet, such as carrot and sweet potato, to prevent the body going into ketosis and continuing to feed intestinal yeast.

With this in mind I have added below the first half of a recent article by Food Matters, looking at some of the benefits and uses of the sweet potato. This really is a versatile and helpful food for anyone following Nutritionhelp’s protocol to support gut ecology. Next week I will post the remainder of the article.

12 REASONS WHY SWEET POTATO IS SO GOOD FOR YOU

1.  Helps To Keep Disease At Bay

Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin B6. A vitamin which helps to reduce the chemical homocysteine in your body. High homocysteine levels have been linked to degenerative diseases including heart attacks.

2. They Are A Good Source of Vitamin C

That orange color isn’t just for show! These brightly colored spuds are packed with vitamin C, offering support for your immune system, bones and teeth, digestion and blood cell formation. It also helps to accelerate wound healing and improves the appearance of your skin by producing collagen.

3.  Supports Your Bones

It’s not something we’d typically assume, but sweet potatoes contain small amounts of Vitamin D. A nutrient that helps to build healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin, and teeth, as well as support the thyroid gland. 100g of sweet potato also contains 33mg of calcium, a critical component of a healthy skeletal system!

4.  Boosts Your Energy
A source of slow-releasing carbohydrates, sweet potatoes provide us with sustained energy. But they also contain iron! You may be aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper im­mune functioning, and the metabolizing of protein, among other things.

5.  De-Stress With These Sweet Spuds

A good source of magnesium, sweet potatoes can help you to relax and de-stress. It’s also necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle, and nerve function. Yet experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of the popula­tion in North America may be deficient in this important mineral!

6.  Supports Your Heart And Kidneys

This tuber contains potassium, an essential electrolyte that helps to regulate your heartbeat and nerve signaling, whilst supporting healthy blood pressure. Potassium also helps to relax muscle contractions, reduce swelling, and protect and control the activity of your kidneys.