Category Archives: health

Addicted to Nightshades?

Scientists are just starting to understand the relationship between the microbiome in the gut and overall health. and new knowledge is emerging as more research is completed. One area relates to leaky gut and immune system problems.

That interests me because I have had immune system issue my whole life. It started with rather severe allergies with a touch of asthma. I developed periodic iritis (eye inflamation), sinus issues, and so on. Throughout my life, I never thought that his might be related to diet.

Bt more recently, I found that I had developed chronic asthma. Self-experimentation revealed that I could control it by avoiding white bread. I had no idea why, but my experience has been consistent. If I eat pizza, for example, I will start coughing. If I avoid bread, I cough less. Interesting.

Around this same time, a close relative was diagnosed with MS. – an immune system illness. That person found that he could control it, at least to a certain degree, by following a restricted diet. So far, he has not had significant symptoms when he stays on this diet and is not on a medication protocol because he believes that he is doing as well using diet control. Interesting.

My experiences convince me that there is much to learn. And one of the areas that I would like to learn more about relates to proteins that we injest from certain foods, called lectins. I have posted about this before, and I offer this link today that explains why nightshades might cause problems for people with immune system issues because of their lectins.

The weird thing is that those problems arise from eating things we have always thought are inocuous – like tomatoes and potatoes. BTW, I am adjusting my diet to cut down on nightshades and other lectin heavy foods and will keep you posted on how this goes.

Stay tuned!

A Follow Up on Lectins

I posted a while back on the theory offered by a Dr. Gundry that a major cause of gut disorder is a protein called “lectins”. My brother gave me the links to Gundry and I passed them on here.

Since then, I have altered my diet to try to reduce lectin consumption. You can’t eliminate lectins — they are in many foods — and you don’t want to. Your body needs a small amount. But if you have auto-immune issues like I do, you probably want to reduce consumptoin of lectins.

So how to do it? This article by Dr. Jockers is the best quick entry point that I have found for doing that.  I have eliminated eggplant, tomatoes, zuchini, and potatoes from my diet. I also have cut back on cheese. I will also try a “bioavailable enzyme” to see if that helps.

To be honest, I don’t notice any huge change yet. But apparently, it takes a bit of time for the auto-immune system to calm down after lectin levels are down..

I will keep you posted and welcome any experiences that you might have.

Have You Had Your Vital Reds Today?

Over the years, I have had a number of autoimmune issues. Allergies were the main symptoms. But I also had iritis, asthma and later on, a sensitivity to white bread. More recently, a close relative was diagnosed with MS, also an autoimmune problem.  So I have developed a keen interest in how researchers are coming to understand the immune system and its disorders.

A few years ago, I read a lot of posts and articles about the connection between the gut and the immune system. Vastly simplifying the literature, there are apparently friendly and not so friendly bacteria in the gut, and the not so friendly bacteria stimulate inflammation — an immune system reaction. So we can improve our immune system health via diet.

BTW, this way of thinking has so far been confirmed. So far, knock on wood, the MS that I mentioned, has been kept in check with a strict diet. But I recognize that the above is a simplification of a complex process. And I have been wondering if and when researchers would get more sophisticated in assessing how gut health can be improved. First, by developing better explanations of the biochemical processes that are involved in digestion, and then in recommending more healthy diets.

With that long wind up, this morning my bro sent me a link to several videos by Dr. Gundry. Yes, he has some products out there. But he is also a scientist, and he has some very interesting ideas about stuff that we all need to know. I was impressed by his reserach. he also explains stuff very well.

Watch out for those lectins and high protein diets!

Check it out! Enjoy!

Fermented Garlic Honey for Breakfast?

You learn something new every day!.

I was checking out this BA post on how to improve your wooden cutting board maintenance when I saw this video on how to make fermented garlic honey.  it is at the bottom of the article – just scroll down!

You might wonder why one would do this. It is a way to boost the immune system. Aha! And kind of cool!

Image result for fermented garlic honey

It turns out that this is quite the thing. Here is why

A change from the common fermentation brines and salt solutions…Fermenting in Honey. This fermenting process with honey has lots of health benefits and the pinnacle of that benefit – both items after the ferment, taste absolutely incredible! Much like the dual benefit when you make mozzarella cheese, and then make ricotta as a secondary product from the whey. Fermenting in honey gives you a double bonus without adding an additional step or additional food products. You get the fruit or vegetable that is engulfed in the honey and you get the infused honey that’s filled with residual flavor. Wham…

Activity and Aging – The Latest Thinking

We have known for some time that as we age, our bodies need physical activity more. If we get that activity, we live well longer.

We are learning that the mind also needs special care as we age. It seems to need more mental stimulation in order to maintain our cognitive capacity. That might mean taking on a new learning challenge.  It might also mean getting re-connected with friends.

This is yet more evidence that our old way of thinking about aging is bass ackwards.  Hmmm … I wonder if this at all explains what is wrong with the presdient.

You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks!

Full confession: I am the old dog.

A while back, I wrote that my doctor advised me to learn a new trick: lose weight and get blood pressure down.  I was persuaded by the data  which will not be discussed here —  that the advice had merit. And so I  set about on the task.

But how to achieve this? There were a few obvious villains that had to be eliminated – morning coffee raises blood pressure and had to go. Same for evening wine. And no more huge late night dinners. And more determined exercising. All good first steps.

And then my dear sister offered a piece of wisdom. My weight had gone up in a sneaky sort of way as my metabolism slowed down. Stress played a role as well as some bad habits.  But I might lose weight more easily if I could speed up my metabolism.

This led me to a few counter-intuitive ideas. I had boasted that I did not eat anything after breakfast until dinner. Bad idea. That signals “starvation” to my body. Then,  when dinner arrives,  my eyes glaze over and I am ready to devour a live elephant. mea culpa! Time for a new mantra. Eat more frequently, but never in large amounts.

Let’s see if adding this new viola to the orchestra produces sonorous music!

Dealing with Hypertension

It was just a few days ago that I received some bad news from my doctor. I had seriously high blood pressure and needed to lose weight. My reaction to this news was, as you might expect. I went into a funk.

It is a bit scary when your sense of well being is suddenly changed. One minute you think you are healthy, except for a few minor issues. The next minute you wonder if getting out of bed will trigger a massive stroke.

I am still in a funk, though I am a bit less funky than I was. I have decided to approach this like  an adult. No panic. Just step by step changes in life style that produce results. I have cut back wine consumption to a glass with dinner. Tomorrow coffee is out. And I am replace coffee with a probiotic – kefir. I add a turmeric based supplement to my kefir 2 times a day. Also I am doing cod liver oil )for vitamin d) 3 times a day.  Finally, I am also walking 2 times a day and doing floor stretches 3 times a day.

I have a fancy new blood pressure monitoring kit that I am using morning and night and of course the mandatory scale. BTW, I did not buy the fancy IPhone computable monitor at the I Store, but I was tempted to.

Will this turn things around? Hmmm … we will see!  In the meantime, I feel a bit better knowing that I have taken some steps. That already helps.

Stay tuned.