Do Polyphenols Improve Your Gut Bacteria?

Do Polyphenols Improve Your Gut Bacteria?

This article was originally published on ChrisKresser.com.

While you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t think polyphenols are healthy for you, one of the lesser-known benefits of consuming a diet high in polyphenols is its beneficial impact on your gut bacteria.

There are certain substances that have a very significant impact on our gut bacteria balance, like probiotics for example, but other foods and beverages have a smaller, more moderate beneficial effect on our microbiota. Even though these effects are mild, consuming foods and beverages that have beneficial effects on a regular basis is one of the keys to good gut health. Polyphenol-rich foods are excellent to include as part of your overall gut-healing plan along with some of the other heavy-hitters like probiotics and prebiotics. Why? Let’s break it down.

What are Polyphenols?

Polyphenols are naturally-occurring compounds found in in plants. Many of these plants make up our food supply, including fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, and wine. Once consumed, only about 5-10% of polyphenols are directly absorbed in the small intestine, while the rest make their way to the colon to be broken down by our gut bacteria into metabolites,

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Ask the RD: How to Make “SMART” Resolutions

Ask the RD: How to Make “SMART” Resolutions

Can you believe it’s 2014 already? I can’t! The past year has been a whirlwind of finishing my Master’s degree, getting my business up and going, and spending time with my friends and family. It’s been absolutely wonderful, but now I’m ready to ring in 2014.

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? I’ve vowed to do at least 3.5 hours of yoga weekly, since I had gotten out of the habit of doing it on a regular basis. I’ve been doing this for the last two weeks actually and I’m feeling so much better already.

If you’re wondering how to make a SMART resolution, check out the latest Ask the RD podcast on the very subject!

Check out the transcript below (originally posted on ChrisKresser,com), or search “Ask the RD” on iTunes!

TRANSCRIPT

A huge thank you to Amy Berger from TuitNutrition for the transcript. This was a long one!

LAURA: Hi Everyone, welcome to this week’s episode of Ask the RD. I’m Laura. I have a master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition and will soon be a registered dietitian.

KELSEY: And I’m Kelsey,

How to Prevent Diverticulitis Naturally

How to Prevent Diverticulitis Naturally

If you’ve ever experienced a diverticulitis attack, I’m sure you’d be the first to say that it’s not a pleasant experience. I bet you’d be willing to do a lot of things to prevent it from happening again! Or maybe you’re someone who has been diagnosed with diverticulosis by your gastroenterologist, but you’re not quite sure what to do to prevent those painful attacks you’ve heard about and you want to learn more. Whatever brought you here, I’m happy to have you. Today I’ll be providing tips on how to prevent diverticulitis attacks naturally. Check out the full post on chriskresser.com here!

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Salad Dressing (Plus, How to Make Your Own!)

Why You Shouldn't Buy Salad Dressing (Plus, How to Make Your Own!)

Think your salad doused in store-bought dressing is good for you? Think again. In this article, we’ll detail exactly why you should avoid the store-bought stuff, and learn why homemade dressings are better for you and how to make them.

Why You Should Avoid Store-Bought Salad Dressing

The oils used in salad dressings are unstable and are easily oxidized, which translates into free radicals in your body (we don’t want that!). While we often hear that saturated fat is the devil, the devil in disguise is industrial oil like canola oil, soybean oil, and vegetable oil – and these are the oils you get in your store-bought dressings.

The word polyunsaturated means that the oils have more than one (poly), double bonds (unsaturated = double bond instead of single bond). The more double bonds a fat has, the less stable is it. This means that it is more likely to become oxidized when it comes in contact with light, air, or heat. On that note, let’s think about how these oils are made, then stored:

  • First the oil is made, which is usually a pretty nasty process to begin with. Check out this video for a peek at how canola oil is made.

Know It All: Adrenal Fatigue

Know It All: Adrenal Fatigue

Stress: it’s something we all deal with in one form or another, and it takes a major toll on our health. Prolonged stress (or an acute bout of major, major stress) can lead to something called hypoadrenalism or HPA axis dysfunction – more commonly referred to as “adrenal fatigue”. That term gets thrown around a lot, and there are arguments from both sides about whether it exists or not. In my opinion, it exists and it causes a lot of people to suffer. However, it can be induced by our own doing – for example, being too low carb (or being too low carb while exercising a lot) can really tax the adrenals and eventually lead to hypoadrenalism. Hypoadrenalism can also obviously be caused by excessive stress that we do nothing to combat. This article will focus on the causes of HPA axis dysfunction (adrenal fatigue), and exactly what you can do to heal.

Symptoms of Hypoadrenalism (Adrenal Fatigue):

  • Excessive fatigue.  This fatigue is usually most pronounced during the day and you may experience a “second wind” of energy later in the evening
  • In the earlier stages of adrenal fatigue, you may also have trouble sleeping at night.
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How To Keep a Food Journal (Plus 10 Things To Keep Track Of)

How To Keep a Food Journal (Plus 10 Things To Keep Track Of)

Whenever I start working with a client, I always tell them to keep a food and symptom diary. It’s one of the most important tools to use when we’re trying to figure out possible food sensitivities, as well as instrumental in losing weight and keeping it off. In fact, it’s been shown that those who keep a food journal at least 6 days a week lose (on average) twice as much weight as those who don’t (1). In my experience, a combination of a paleo elimination diet with keeping a food journal provides the best results in terms of finding hidden food sensitivities. For these reasons, I think keeping track of your intake with a journal is one of the best things you can do for your health.

What App Should I Use to Keep Track of My Food?

I’m always experimenting with new phone apps for this purpose because I find that they are the easiest way to keep track of my intake. I’ve tried the usual ones like MyFitnessPal, but they are time-consuming (if you’ve ever tried this app, I’m sure you’ll say the same!) and too calorie-focused.

One app I’ve found recently is called Meal Logger,

Paleo Food Shopping at Costco

Paleo Food Shopping at Costco

Let’s face it – the paleo diet can be expensive. Though of course I prioritize food in my life, I can’t always buy grassfed meats and other big ticket paleo items. As a graduate student with a growing business, I’m on a budget and I’m sure many of you are too! I recently decided to check out my local Costco to see what they offered as I’ve heard that they carry some great paleo-friendly items. Here’s what I found:

1. Organic ground beef – not grassfed as far as I can tell, but better than conventional

2. Amylu Andouille Chicken Sausage or Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Sausage – no bad ingredients, and really yummy! Of course not pastured or organic chicken, but pretty good.

3. LOTS of lamb – they had lamb roasts, ribs, and lamb osso bucco (which I tried and loved!). From New Zealand. They also had whole lambs in the freezer section for 3.39/lb. I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with it, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.

4. Wild-caught fish – they definitely had salmon and cod, can’t remember now if there were others!

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Caramelized Orange Juice Carnitas

Caramelized Orange Juice Carnitas

[yumprint-recipe id=’2′]Secret tip: orange juice. Seriously, it makes these carnitas to die for. Yes, you can make carnitas without it, but don’t.

Kitchen equipment:

  • Dutch oven or slow cooker

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder, chopped into big cubes (you can easily do a bigger roast, just add a little more of all other ingredients. Trust me, you’ll want leftovers)
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbs lard
  • salt and pepper
  • lettuce for wraps
  • any other toppings you’d like!

Directions:

  • If you’re starting with a full pork shoulder, trim the skin and chop the meat and fat into large cubes. 
  • Coat the bottom of the dutch oven or slow cooker with lard
  • Chop onion and poblano pepper and add to dutch oven
  • Add pork shoulder
  • Sprinkle on all the spices and toss
  • Squeeze orange juice and grate some zest into the dutch oven
  • Mix it all together
  • Let simmer on low for ~2-3 hours with cover on
  • Once the orange juice has evaporated and the fat has rendered,

Disclaimer

The information provided by the healthyguthealthylife.com website and dietitian services from Kelsey Marksteiner, RD. including printed materials, audio and video resources is for educational purposes only and is NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified heath care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided on this site and in consultation with Kelsey are not intended to diagnose, treat cure, or prevent any disease.