Could grains be messing with your gut?

Grains have been linked to…

Grains consumption has been linked to allergies, food sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, colon cancer, pancreatic disorders, mineral deficiencies, celiac disease, epilepsy, cerebellar ataxia, dementia, degenerative diseases of the brain and central nervous system and more.

Grains contain ‘anti-nutrients’ 

Grains like wheat, rice, corn, oats, rye etc have become a staple of the modern diet, however, when they are stripped of their nutrients and not prepared properly, this can trigger an inflammatory response in your body. Even non-gluten grains contain ‘anti-nutrients’ such as phytic acid which, when eaten, bind to essential minerals and proteins such as zinc and calcium, preventing absorption. This is also the case for nuts and legumes. 

Grains contain lectins which damage the gut

Grains also contain lectins which can damage the lining of your gut and prevent good digestion. When the gut is out of whack – everything is out of whack!

Prepare your grains properly

Preparing your foods correctly can help to reduce and sometimes eliminate these anti-nutrients. You can soak your nuts overnight and then dehydrate them to get them crunchy again to ‘activate’ or ‘sprout’ them. You can also soak legumes and non-gluten grains like quinoa and buckwheat and overnight to ‘sprout’ them. Legumes are particularly rich in starch and contain numerous anti-nutrients that can cause mineral deficiencies and other problems so it’s important that you take the time to prepare them properly for gut health. They also contain protein protease inhibitors which can damage one’s ability to properly digest and use dietary protein and also potentially damage the pancreas over time. 

Grains + Legumes affect your thyroid

Grains and legumes also contain giotrogens or thyroid-inhibiting substances as well as foreign proteins like gluten and gliadin and are an extremely common source of allergies and sensitivities and can lead to both physical and mental disorders – remember that EVERYTHING starts in the gut.

Plants protect themselves – and this can affect humans gut linings

Seeds of plants (grains) are designed to hang onto their stored proteins, fats and minerals over long periods of time, and as a result, the plant protects them in a shell that our digestive enzymes can’t loosen. Soaking the seeds activates the plants own digestive enzymes to soften the seed and free up bound nutrients and even create new ones!

Grains contain pesticides and GMOs

Another reason that I avoid grains 90% of the time (except for the times when you’re eating out and can’t avoid them), is that they are covered in pesticides and GMOs. Wheat flour is often contaminated with mould toxins and allergen proteins (insect parts and rat faeces). Even when flours are organically grown, farmers treat the crops like construction material, changing the shape of the grain into puffed rice, swashing it onto corn flakes etc.

Generally, people eat more grains and less of the more nutritious food groups 

Something to consider is that as we eat more grains, we tend to slowly eliminate other nutritional meats, vegetables and fats because the grains will fill us up. These grains add up and convert directly into simple sugars in the blood stream, which, over time can lead to insulin resistance.

NOW!!! I’m not saying you have to give up on them completely….I mean if I could eat one thing (but I’m allergic) … It would have to be a warm baguette with butter.

Sourdough that is properly made goes through the fermentation process so it is much easier for our body to digest. You can also now buy sprouted bread from many health food stores and activated nuts and seeds. Otherwise, just reduce your grain intake and see how you feel! Also check out my RECIPES which are all grain free (AND DELICIOUS) 

You’ll learn tonnes more about grains and other food groups in my 8-week program coming out October 3rd 2017 so be sure to sign up to receive all the details (and a bonus!) FIRST! 

 

 

References

Cordain L. Feb 23, 2002. “Millet: A gluten free grain you should avoid”, A Paleo Diet

Shanaham, Catherine. (2008). Deep Nutrition. Flatiron Books. NY

Oats, Carla (2016). The Beauty Chef. The Beauty Chef. Sydney.

Gedgaudas, Nora T. (2009), Primal Body, Primal mind; beyond the Paleo diet for total health and a longer life. Healing Arts Press. United States

Pitchford, Paul (2002). Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. 3rd ed. North Atlantic Books. CA

Does organic food matter?

The best way to get organic fruit and veg is to grow it yourself but that is obviously not possible for everyone. Another option (my fave) is to go to the farmer’s markets on the weekend or research a company that delivers organic produce to your door (like Organic Angels)

In conventional farming, the soil is used over and over again and usually without replenishing the nutrients. The plants use the nutrients in the soil to grow, so once the plant is removed from the soil and into our hands, the soil has lost its nutrients. And if the nutrients haven’t been properly replaced, then the food we eat are stripped of their nutrients. Poor soil health results in poor plant health and as a result, pests come, hence the use of pesticides to get rid of them!

As a result of this ongoing chain reaction, our food becomes nutrient deficient and this leads to lousy energy, body aches, failing eyesight and just about everything else. The World Health Organisation released a report telling us that the worlds most used herbicide, glyphosate is ‘probably carcinogenic’ to humans.

Although organic produce is generally more expensive (unless you buy it at farmers markets), the more of us who buy it, the more organic foods will be supplied and thus the price will go down. I know that organic isn’t possible for everyone and things like cauliflower for me I want all year round so when it’s not in season I have to buy conventionally grown cauliflower, so WHEN POSSIBLE buy organic.

Another way to get rid of MOST of the pesticides is to fill your sink with 1/3 vinegar and 2/3’s water and soak them and dry them

I try to buy organic veggies when ever possible, however, this isn’t always the case especially when you are travelling so don’t stress about it.

When you do have a choice, try to choose the following fruits and veggies as ORGANIC:

  • strawberries
  • apples
  • nectaries
  • peaches
  • celery
  • grapes
  • cherries
  • spinach or any leafy greens
  • tomatoes
  • capsicums
  • cucumbers

As a general rule, if you’re eating the skin try to get organic.
These 15 aren’t sprayed as heavily:

  1. sweet corn
  2. cabbage
  3. peas
  4. onions
  5. asparagus
  6. mangos
  7. papayas
  8. kiwifruit
  9. eggplant
  10. cauliflower

Avocados are one thing you NEVER need to buy organic. Most experts do not believe that you need to buy organic ones as their thick skin protects the inner fruit from pesticides. Also, it has been rated as one of the safest commercial fruits in terms of pesticides so there’s no real need to buy organic avocados.

My most recommended resources

Just click the words and you’ll be taken to the link to buy the book/podcast!

Books:

Health

Women’s Wellness Wisdom

Rushing Women’s Syndrome

Deep Nutrition

The secret life of fat

The Mindful Diet

Eat Fat get Thin

Healing with Wholefoods

Sweet Poison  

Toxic oil 

Gut

All of the IQS books

The Healthy Life

That Sugar Guide

Life

Dear lover

The Female Brain

Pussy

Mastering Your Mean Girl

Podcasts

Untame The Wild Soul

Bulletproof Radio

The mindbodygreen Podcast

The Tony Robbins podcast

SERIES: How I got the first signs of my period after a year of it going to la-la land #3

Today I’ll be talking about the major endocrine disruptors that can cause your period to either disappear or go seriously out of whack. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and can produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. The endocrine system is made up of all the body’s different hormones and regulates all biological process in the body from birth to old age.

  • Eating low fat or not much fat. Your body needs various types of fat to create hormones including saturated fat and cholesterol. They are fundamental for hormone production and keep your inflammation low and boost your metabolism. E.g. coconut oil, avocado, grass fed ghee, wild caught salmon, egg yolks
  • You are eating too many omega 6 fats, due to your highly processed diet. The use of vegetable oils in foods has meant that the omega 6 fat to omega 3 fat ratio has skyrocketed and this causes inflammation which can halt the reproductive system. Avoid vegetable oils at all costs and you can read more this here. The ratio in your diet should be about 1:1 which can be achieved through eating a wholefoods diet. One type of omega 6 fat that is healthy is called Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA) and is found in hemp seeds and can support healthy progesterone levels
  • Poor gut health. This is usually caused from a diet high in inflammatory foods like grains, dairy, sugar, alcohol, coffee etc and having a leaky gut can cause autoimmune reactions like thyroid disorders, also affecting your hormones and endocrine system. The best foods to consume are bone broth, kefir, fermented veggies and high fibre foods like vegetables and sprouted seeds and nuts. Repairing your gut lining will in turn balance your hormones as literally everything is controlled by the gut.
  • Kitchen, beauty and skin care products. Chemicals that interfere with the production, release, transport, metabolism and elimination of the body’s natural hormones, can occur through air, water, soil, food and consumer items. These toxic chemicals can actually mimic hormones in our body, that can cause the overproduction or under production of our real hormones. Any conventional body care product is made with potentially harmful chemicals. Check the label for the following:
    • DBP, DEKP, SLS, SLES, Methyl, proply, butyl, ethyl, DEWA, TEA, MEA, petrolatum
  • Over exercising. This causes your body to possibly enter into a state of ‘flight or flight’ and as a result your body thinks that you are running from a saber tooth tiger like in the cavemen days. Thus it will shut down your reproductive system and divert energy into running away from the stressor…after all it’s clearly not a safe environment for a baby. Try yoga, pilates, swimming, powerwalking or any movement that you enjoy doing that isn’t too stressful on the body. Stressful forms of exercise like running actually creates free radicals and thus inflammation in the body.
  • A lack of sleep. This can be the one of the worst things for hormonal balance because your hormones work on a schedule! Cortisol is regulated at midnight and therefore people who go to bed late don’t actually get a break from their flight or flight response. A lack of sleep will increase your cortisol levels, putting your body into a constant state of stress and thus your reproductive system will turn off to protect yourself from this ‘stressor’. Ideally you should get to bed by 10pm and wake up at a regular time
  • Caffeine has a chemical that affects your central nervous system and raises your heart rate, increases alertness and changes the way you produce your hormones. Caffeine can increase your cortisol levels and adrenaline, putting your body into a state of flight or flight, and turning off your reproductive system and digestive system. Decaf coffee (1 a day), Green tea, black tea with some lemon (1 a day) or herbal teas are a great substitute.
  • Alcohol. Alcohol impacts your ability for your liver to detoxify and get rid of unwanted hormones. Too much alcohol can contribute to estrogen dominance and cancers. The liver is vital for balancing hormones and having too many liver loaders (toxins, sugar, alcohol, coffee) will interfere with a normal elimination process. Load up on Brassica vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts, broccoli) to help detox the liver. Broccoli sprouts are particularly amazing for liver detoxifying.
  • Birth control pills. So many women today use the birth control pill to mask an underlying hormonal issue. Things like PMS, cramps, clotting, no period, acne, endometriosis, a crazy heavy period, headaches, etc are all signs from your body that your hormones aren’t balanced. Your period is designed to come and go and anything else is a warning from your body that you need to support it through food, lifestyle or supplements. Birth control doesn’t cure any of these conditions, it just masks them and they will one day catch up with you. The longer your stay on the pill, the longer it will take to fix the issue when you come off the pill. It took me a year to fix my issue when I came off it!
  • Cultural conditioning. Somehow over the years, women have gone from being goddesses, confident, powerful women who men bowed down to, to now being these scary creatures where we are shameful of our bodies, hate what we see in the mirror and don’t know the true essence of our femininity. We have been conditioned to think that our period is shameful and disgusting and so we disconnect from our bodies, and this toxic mind-body conversation tips us in a downward direction, affecting our hormonal balance. Instead, start to embrace your femininity. Read up on the power of the female body. I recommend the books Womancode, Pussy and The Female Brain
  • Our modern diet and the desire for ‘quick fix’ solutions. The exposure to literally every fad diet we can think of can lead to your body consuming too few nutrients, too much sugar, too many carbs, too little fat and too much alcohol and caffeine. In addition, many food like products contains antibiotics, added hormones, insecticides and more – all which can harm your hormonal balance. Organic products don’t have these. Although some say ‘an apple is an apple’, the difference is that conventionally grown apples contain pesticides, organophosphates and other farming chemicals. Now you don’t need to go 100% organic, but I suggest that when possible you go for organic, or at least for the ‘dirty dozen’ 
  • Stress. I’ve mentioned stress in the body a number of times. But I’m also referring to mental stress. Constantly running around and pleasing everyone else can leave you depleted and running on an empty tank. Your body will always be in ‘fight or flight’ and your reproductive system may turn off because it deems the world an unsafe place. It is important that you try to take at least 5 minutes out of your day for yourself. Nourish your body in other ways that food – have a bath, dance around the kitchen in your undies, read a book, meditate, do some yoga, watch the sunset.

I know that this is a long list but this doesn’t mean you need to do this all at once!!! Everyone is different so it is important to have a range of options that you can try. But stressing about the endocrine disruptors also won’t help…and you know why by now 😉