Category Archives: Healthy Living

How Prebiotics Benefit Gut Health

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

benefits of prebioticsThe term prebiotics is a relatively new term relating to the topic of gut health. The concept first came on the scene in 1995 when beneficial food ingredients that pass undigested through the stomach and intestines were first identified.

Researchers were shocked to learn that these undigested foods actually served as nourishment for the probiotics in the gut, those beneficial microbes that perform useful biological functions and are a critical component of a healthy immune system.

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Is Soy Lecithin Really So Unhealthy?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

soy lecithin good or bad

If you are an avid label reader like I am, you have surely noticed that the additive soy lecithin is listed in a wide variety of packaged and processed foods, even products labeled 100% organic.

Soy, called soya outside the United States, is one of the most common allergens permeating our food supply. It is included in the group of the eight major allergenic foods commonly referred to as the Big 8. The other seven allergens are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and of course wheat.

Allergic reactions to soy range from mild to life threatening anaphylaxis. The good news is that research has shown that most children allergic to soy will outgrow it by age 10. The lack of a soy allergy, however, does not mean that soy should be consumed regularly given the numerous scientific studies that warn about the negative hormonal and digestive effects of unfermented soy in the diet.

But what about soy lecithin? Lecithin, after all, is a natural and necessary emulsifying substance found in the cells of all living organisms. It is found in many whole foods such as cabbage, cauliflower,  chickpeas, nuts, seeds, and eggs among many others. When this seemingly innocuous additive is listed on a food label, it is usually one of the very last ingredients meaning that minute amounts will be consumed if the product is eaten.

Does a tiny amount of lecithin extracted from soy and added to food really pose a risk to health? Could this issue be overblown in the majority of cases?

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Busting the Beta Carotene Vitamin A Myth

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

beta carotene vitamin a myth

One of the most detrimental FDA labeling regulations of all time is allowing food processors to label beta carotene as Vitamin A.

Carotenes are pigments synthesized by plants and found only in fruits and vegetables, especially carrots and other bright colored veggies like tomatoes, cantalope and peppers. There are currently about 600 known forms of naturally occurring carotenoids. Within the carotene family, beta carotene and secondly, lutein, are the most well known.

While beta carotene is by far the most familiar, all 600 naturally occurring carotenoids can be labeled as Vitamin A on a food label although only a fraction of these are present in the Western diet.

This labeling fiasco allows cans of tomato soup, bags of broccoli florets, mixed vegetables and other processed foods containing carotenoids to have Vitamin A prominently listed under the “Nutrition Facts” section of the label, when in reality, none is present.

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A Grain Free Birthday Party, GAPS Style!

by Melanie Christner, NTP, CHFS, CGP

grain free birthday party

By Melanie Christner NTP of Honest Body

It’s our Maggie’s 10th birthday this week. Whew…her first decade! To give an indication of her personality, she holds the distinguished place of the “family fireworks”.

This post is in honor of her. Much love to my dimple cheeked, blonde haired girl.

A GAPS Style, Grain Free Birthday

When one or more family members are on an autoimmune healing protocol such as the GAPS Diet which requires grain free eating, birthday parties can seem a bit daunting at first. However, as I wrote about in my GAPS Thanksgiving post, there is no limit to the scrumptious food you can celebrate with and serve, even on a healing diet!

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The Healthiest Resistant Starch For Your Gut

by Carla Hernandez, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner

healthiest resistant starch for the gut_mini
By Carla Hernandez of Wise Roots Nutrition

Carbs, amylum, polysaccharides, call it what you will, starch in all its forms has gotten a bad rap lately.

Some of this negative attention is valid, as excessive starch in the diet can contribute to many health problems, not to mention gut issues.

The truth is that not all starch is bad, however, and one starch in particular has been gaining a lot of attention lately as it has been shown via research to be extremely beneficial to overall health, especially for those with gut related problems. This may seem hard to believe at first given that many forms of starch are avoided on gut healing diets like GAPS.

Resistant starch is a type of starch that does not break down (it literally “resists” digestion), instead of being absorbed as glucose like most starches. Instead, resistant starch travels through the small intestine to the colon where it is turned into beneficial, energy boosting, inflammation squashing short-chain fatty acids by intestinal bacteria.

But, be wary as all forms of resistant starch are not the same!

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