Drink to Your Digestive Health!

Drink to Your Digestive Health!

Cultured or fermented drinks have been traditionally consumed for thousands of years to aid digestion, heal the gut, build immunity and help with detoxification. Originally though, these food staples still prized in many cultures were borne out of necessity as a way of preserving extra produce after a harvest that would spoil if not consumed at once.

 

The simple beauty of culturing or fermentation is that this process creates a nutrient-dense, enzyme-rich live food that is easily assimilated by the body. By an amazing alchemical process known as lacto fermentation the friendly bacteria naturally present together with those added by a culture starter dine on the sugars and quickly lower the PH creating a more acidic environment where the bacteria are able to reproduce and replicate quite prolifically. They are able to convert the starches and sugars into lactic acid, which as a natural preservative inhibits the growth of pathogens and preserves the nutrients.

 

Culturing your drinks takes your nutrition to a whole other level of wellness by helping to re establish your inner ecosystem. We all now know of the gut- brain connection and how approximately 75% of the neurotransmitters found in our gut also reside in the brain. So it would make sense to find ways of increasing our good gut bacteria and therefore improving mood, cognition, vitality and wellbeing in general. Consuming cultured liquids is a great practice to introduce to children to help build immunity and aid digestion and are especially helpful for those with food intolerances – a perfect example of using food as medicine as a preventative. Using small amounts to start with they can be added to smoothies or yoghurts or as a base for ice cream or ice blocks.

 

A good place to start is Young Coconut Kefir where we can culture the water from a young green coconut (not the hairy brown type) and transform an already nutritious, mineral rich liquid full of electrolytes into a powerhouse of probiotic nutrition.  The culturing process creates a drink where the nutrients are increased one hundred fold and the liquid becomes much more hydrating and bioavailable for the body as well creating a powerful fortress against foreign invading pathogens.

 

There are plenty of other healing fermented drinks you might like to investigate and slowly integrate into your family’s diet: milk kefir, kombucha, beet kvass, water kefir, rejuvalac just to name a few. Like me you might just get the ‘bug’ and wonder how you ever did without them!

 

Article submitted by: Kitsa  –  Kitsa’s Kitchen

 

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Food Allergy and Food Intolerance

Food Allergy and Food Intolerance

Food Allergy and Food Intolerance… the difference.

Prevalence

One in five individuals in Australia have at least one allergy, which places Australia with one of the highest prevalence's of allergy amongst the developed world (1). If the present trend continues it is estimated that there will be a 70% increase in the number of Australians with allergies by 2050, which correlates to 7.7 million people (1).

The high and ever increasing prevalence of food allergy and atopic disease has researchers identifying genetic predisposition as a risk factor, where in children with neither parent having an allergy, the child will have a 20% chance of having one allergy disorder (2). If one parent has an allergy disorder the risk increases to ≈ 40%. If both parents have allergy disorders then the risk increases to 60 – 70%. In addition to genetics some studies reveal the importance of the impact of environmental influences (2).

Researches from the John Hopkins Children Centre believe there is a trend toward more severe and more persistent allergies (3). However it should be noted that the severity of allergy presentation in a family history is not a good predictive guide as to how sensitive a child may be (4). In many cases when the presentation of allergy or food intolerance in the parent is only mild the possibility of allergy or food intolerance being related to a child’s symptoms can be overlooked (4).

The allergen pathway commences before the child is born, with allergens crossing the placenta, programming the immune system down the allergy pathway (4). This impact commences about halfway through the pregnancy, which is the time a mother could start focusing on minimising allergen exposure via modifying the maternal diet and minimising environmental factors (4).

The modification of the maternal diet encompasses a varied diet based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines (4). It discourages bingeing on any food in the second half of the pregnancy and during breastfeeding (4). There should be the total avoidance of egg, seed, peanut and nut (from the household) (4). There are precautions to take with respect to milk and dairy foods, and also fish and other seafood, and a minimisation of one’s intake of soybeans and other legumes (4). With respect to meats, allergies can occur, with pork allergy tending to be more likely to occur when eaten with fat (4).

It is recommended that lean meats are consumed. Wheat, oats, barley and buckwheat can all cause allergy and tend to only cause symptoms in highly allergic infants (4). In relation to vegetables, potato allergy is commonly seen in the highly allergic child, however in general there is no reason to modify vegetable intake during pregnancy (4). This may, however, be necessary during breastfeeding as some infants may react to tomato and spicy foods (5). Of the fruits the avoidance of the citrus family is recommended, with the reactions occurring to fruit often being related to a food intolerance rather than an allergy (5). Kiwifruit is the most allergenic fruit with the possibility of allergy development in the highly sensitive child (4).

The environmental measures include the total avoidance of cigarette smoke, ensuring houses are well ventilated, particularly kitchens where there are gas cook tops, and taking dust mite allergen precautions and pet precautions, particularly with respect to cats, rabbits, guineas pigs and mice (4). There should be total latex avoidance, in particular powdered latex products that cause the allergy to develop (4).

The allergen pathway highlights the possibility of the presentation of allergy related symptoms early in life, with researchers identifying that 2.2% – 5.5% of infants have food hypersensitivity during the first year of life (5). In the presentation of allergy in children we usually find that they are allergic to two or three different foods, with the most common being peanut, egg, milk, other nuts, seafood and sesame. Wheat, soy and rice can also cause allergies (5).

We should also consider the possibility of food intolerances. There is often confusion about the difference between allergy and intolerance and the terms are sometimes used in place of one another. There is a difference between food allergy and intolerance both in the types of foods and the way they affect individuals.

The immunological basis to Food Allergy

In the normal process of digestion food proteins are broken down in to smaller proteins (peptides) by enzymes in the stomach and the small intestine (7).  These smaller particles are prevented from entering the tissues of the small intestine by physiological and immunological barriers (7).

However, on occasions, small proteins (peptides) are absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, which initiates an immunological response (7). Whether this initiates an allergic (Ig-E mediated) or intolerant response (Non Ig-E mediated) is dependent on the genetics of the individual, the characteristics of the food protein and the microenvironment.  It is the interaction of these components, which leads to the development of a Food Allergy or Food Intolerance (7).

The classic allergic response manifest as urticaria (hives), angioedema and anaphylaxis; the more delayed allergic response may manifest as inflammation in the colon or skin or enterocolitis or eczema respectively (7).

Classic IgE – immunological mediated allergic response…. How does it start?

The food protein enters the body via the gut or lung mucosa. Once inside the tissue, these proteins are then engulfed by specialised cells (deneretic cells) (7). This then stimulates B cells to produce Th2 cells (7) this results in a stimulation of cells, which results in the production of antibodies. These antibodies bind to mast cells in the tissue or basophils in the blood and stay in the tissue for months. This process is called sensitization (7). These antibodies are known as specific IgE antibodies. On a subsequent occasion when the body is then exposed to this food protein the protein binds to the antibody. This results in the breakdown of these cells and the subsequent release of histamine, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, platelet activation factors and bradikynin (7). These chemicals result in vascular dilation and hyperpermeability, which attract cells into the tissue, which results in inflammation (7). Skin Prick Tests (SPT) and Radioallergosorbent Test (RAST) are used to diagnose Ig E immune mediated food allergy.

Non – IgE – Immune mediated Food Allergy

The mechanism to non-IgE mediated food intolerant reaction is not always clear.  There have been several research studies, which have investigated the Immunological basis of gastrointestinal non-IgE allergies.  These have clearly identified the involvement of T- cells (Th1 and? Th2) and cells such as oeosinophils (7).  The mechanism encompasses the initial exposure of the protein to the tissue, which results in the sensitization of the T- cell (7).  Then, the subsequent exposure results in the release of inflammatory chemicals (cytokines), which lead to chronic inflammation (7).  The presentation of non-immune mediated food allergy can present at all ages.

There are diagnostic difficulties associated with the diagnosis of non-IgE mediated food allergies.  The diagnostic tools include biopsy and patch testing (7).  Patch testing has a role in eosinophillic oesophagitis and atopic dermatitis, although we sometimes use it to help identify foods that may be causing bowel disturbance. When the food is placed in contact with the skin, the specialized cells in the skin pick up the food proteins and present it to the immune system. If the individual has sensitivity to that food, they will react with inflammation at the site of the food over the next 2-3 days. This gives us a window to what is happening in the gastrointestinal tract with foods.

Non allergic food hypersensitivity / food intolerance

A non-allergic food hypersensitivity is usually characterised by a delayed reaction, which can occur hours or even days after eating (7).  The sensitivity to certain foods is defined as the inability to properly process and fully digest certain foods, leading to chronic symptoms. A food sensitivity / intolerance does not involve the immune system though rather involves the stimulation of nerve endings in tissues by a chemical component which may be naturally occurring, an additive, or a combination (6). These include amines, salicylates, glutamates, preservatives and colours.  Symptoms of food intolerance are extensive and variable. They can be very similar to those of an allergic response. Symptoms of allergic reaction are usually sudden, while intolerance response may sometimes occur straight after ingesting a problem food or have a delayed response. Symptoms may take 12-24 hours to develop. The severity of symptoms can also depend on the quantity of the problem food ingested. They may not occur until a threshold amount is ingested.

Where to from here?

A child that continually screams when being breast fed, has unsettled sleep patterns, wakes moaning with writhing, has loose stools, is colicky, has slow weight gain, reflux, eczema, nappy rash, or displays irritable, impulsive or overactive behaviour, should prompt us to consider the possibility of food allergy/food intolerance. 
An experienced dietician, while awaiting an appointment with an allergist, can undertake the initial investigation of a possible food allergy/food intolerance.  Once identified then an appropriate management plan can be established. Continual guidance and support are key factors in the management of these conditions, through what can be a challenging time for children and their families.

References

1. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, November 2007, Economic Impact of Allergies.
2. Professor Mimi Tang, SBS, TV Allergy program, October 2007, Allergic Reaction: Children and their allergies.
3. Dr Velencia Soutter, December 2007, email communication.
4. Royal Prince Alfred Allergy Resources, Food Allergy Prevention.
5. Scott H. Sicherer, MD, Donald Y.M. Leung, MD, PhD, June 2007, Food allergy, anaphylaxis, dermatology and drug allergy, Journal of Clinical Immunology, Advances in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Series 2007, pp 1462 1469.
6. Dr Robert Loblay, SBS, TV Allergy program, October 2007, Allergic Reaction: Children and their allergies 7. Isabel Skypala and Carina Venter, Food Hypersensitivity, Diagnosing and Managing Food Allergies and Intolerances, Blackwell Publishing 2009.

 

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Fructose in Fruits

Fructose in Fruits

Information on Fructose Malabsorption

•Fructose is a type of sugar found in almost all fruits, honey, and in many vegetables.

•Some people face a problem called Fructose Malabsorption. It occurs if they aren’t able to absorb fructose in their small intestine properly.

•Some of the common symptoms include bloating, pain, nausea and diarrhea or watery stools.

•It can occur in healthy infants, children and adults, as well as those with functional bowel disease such as Irritable Bowel syndrome.

•Fructose tolerance depends on dose, small quantities may not cause symptoms.

•After an initial low fructose diet for 4-6 weeks, high fructose foods may be slowly re-introduced to find tolerance level.

•Fructose can take up to 3 days to pass through the digestive tract, start by trying a small amount every four days. If this is OK, try having it more frequently, build up the quantity. Cut back again if symptoms start to recur.

 

Hereditary Fructose Intolerance (HFI) is a rare genetic condition which causes severe toxic symptoms. It requires strict avoidance of fructose, and ongoing medical treatment. The advice in this pamphlet is not suitable for this condition.

Fructose is found in most fruits, honey and some vegetables, but not all foods that contain fructose need to be avoided. How well fructose is absorbed depends on the concentration of other kinds of sugars in the food, such as glucose, sucrose and sorbitol.

*Glucose and Dextrose can improve absorption, especially if there is more glucose than fructose (a high glucose to fructose ratio)

*Sucrose (cane sugar) is broken down during digestion into equal amounts of glucose and fructose, and may be tolerated in small amounts. However, large amounts of sucrose will release too high a total load of fructose.

*Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol found in some fruits, and is often used as a sweetener. Sorbitol will usually decrease fructose absorption, and worsen symptoms.

*Some people will also have a problem with fructans, which are fructose units linked in long chains. Wheat, in particular, has significant levels of fructans.

 

Dietary Treatment

•In some cases, simply cutting out fruit juice may be enough to alleviate symptoms. For infants, whole or mashed/pureed fruit is recommended instead of juice, Fruit juice intake should be no more than about half a cup per day.

•Some people will need to limit or avoid common problem foods to control symptoms

•Very sensitive people may require even greater restriction of fruit and vegetables, if symptoms persist.

 

Common Problem Foods

The following foods are either high in total fructose content, contain a higher ratio of fructose compared to glucose, or contain significant amounts of sorbitol or fructans.

 

Fruits

 

 

 

*Apple

*Cherry

*Grape

*Guava

*Honeydew

*Lychee

*Mango

*Paw Paw

*Persimmon

*Pear

*Quince*

*Watermelon

 

 

 

*Large amounts of dried fruit or fruit juice

*Foods containing apple or pear concentrate

*Large amounts of stone fruit (sorbitol)

*Plum sauce, sweet and sour sauce

 

Vegetables     (fructans)

 

 

 

*Artichoke

*Asparagus

*Chickory

*Leek

*Onion

*Radicchi

*Spring onion

 

 

 

 

 

*Tomato paste, chutney, barbeque sauce

 

 

*Coconut milk and cream

 

 

*Honey

 

 

 

*Foods with a lot of High Fructose Corn Syrup, or corn syrup solids

*Large amounts of high sugar foods, such as soft drinks, cordials and confectionary

*Large amounts of wheat (fructans)

 

Reference: “Irresistibles for the Irritable”, Sue Shepherd, Dept. of Food and Nutrition Services, University of Iowa Allergy Advisor Digest

 

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What is Dietary Fructose Intolerance?

What is Dietary Fructose Intolerance?

Dietary Fructose Intolerance or DFI is a dietary disorder that occurs when the body’s digestive system is incapable of absorbing fructose properly.  For those who may not be familiar, fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruits, honey and some vegetables. High concentrations in the form of corn syrup are also used to sweeten many processed foods and beverages.

When individuals who are intolerant to fructose consume these foods, they often experience uncomfortable symptoms, such as bloating, cramps, gas, diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss. These symptoms occur because the body cannot fully absorb the natural sugar in the small intestine during the digestive process.  As a result, in the large intestine naturally occurring bacteria break down undigested fructose into carbon dioxide and hydrogen gases, as well as short chain fatty acids.

Research studies show that dietary fructose intolerance is associated with several conditions, including an increase in plasma and liver triglyceride levels, a moderate elevation of amylase and lipase-enzymes in blood levels,  lower Vitamin E, Vitamin C and glutathione activities, the onset of mental depression and more.

Unfortunately, it is not clear exactly what causes DFI. However, some theories suggest that bacteria, health conditions such as celiac disease, intestinal injury and medical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation may be involved.

Dietary fructose intolerance is a fairly common condition. In contrast, it is very different from hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI), which is a genetic disorder and can result in serious health complications, including liver disease and mental retardation if left untreated.

 

Diagnosing Dietary Fructose Intolerance

A series of noninvasive hydrogen breath tests can identify those who have DFI. A Fructose Intolerance Breath Test checks for the presence hydrogen. A high level of hydrogen indicates a positive finding.  Additional tests may be indicated including:

  • Lactose Breath Test

  • Glucose Breath Test

  • Sucrose Breath Test

  • 3C stable Radioisotope

 

Prior to taking the tests, specific instructions will be given on how to prepare, including what can and cannot be consumed during the 24 period before testing.  It is important that patients follow the instructions closely; otherwise, test results will not be accurate.

 

Treating DFI with Diet

To date researchers have not been able to discover an enzyme that would help break down fructose. Until then, fructose intolerance is treated or managed by restricting the amount of foods and beverages containing fructose in the diet. Additionally, a simple sugar, dextrose, may be used as a substitute.

 

RECOMMENDED SITES TO VISIT FOR MORE INFORMATION

http://web.archive.org/web/200502041627 … Basics.htm

http://www.coeliac.com.au/Fructose-Malabsorption-Guide.html

 

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Reading Food Labels for Fructose Malabsorption

Reading Food Labels for Fructose Malabsorption

In the table below there are lists of foods safe to eat, and to avoid in fructose malabsorption (FM), according to several dietitians and fructose malabsorbers recommendations. The list may serve only as the orientation, since absorption of fructose and other nutrients may vary considerably among individuals with fructose malabsorption, so everyone should make lists of not/allowed foods and their tolerable amounts, according to personal experience. In small children, fructose absorption often improves with age.

NOTE: the list of safe foods is pretty strict. A person with mild fructose malabsorption will be probably able to safely eat most foods from to try list and even some foods from to avoid lists.

Individuals with fructose malabsorption often have lactose, glucose or gluten intolerance, so they might need an additional lactose-free, sugar-free, gluten-free or FODMAP diet.

 

Foods to Avoid

Foods Safe to Eat

Agave syrup (in Tex-Mex foods, tequila, margaritas, soft drinks), caramel, Chinese rock sugar, corn syrup solids, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, golden syrup (cane syrup), High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), honey, invert sugar (treacle), licorice, molasses, raw sugar (Turbinado, Demerara, jaggery, palm sugar gur); sweets in excess (>50g), soft drinks with sucrose (>375 mL); Sugar substitutes: hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH), sorbitol, stevia, sucralose.

Acesulfam potassium (Nutrinova, Sweet One, Sunnett, Ace-K, Acesulfame K), dextrin, erythritol, glucose (dextrose, glucodin), glycogen, maltodextrin (modified starch), moducal, trehalose.

Apples, cherries, dates, figs, grapes (black), guava, honeydew melon, lychee, mango, nashi fruit, papaya, pears, persimmon, plumes, prunes, raisins, star fruit, sultana, quince, watermelon. Dried fruits, fruit compotes and jams in general.

Cumquat, grapefruit, lemons, limes.

Artichoke, eggplant, green peppers, green cabbage, kale, leeks, lettuce (iceberg), pickles (e.g. sweet cucumbers), radishes, squash, tomatoes, turnips, watercress.

Bouillon, celery, escarole, hash browns, mustard greens, pea pods (immature), potatoes (white), pumpkin, shallots, spinach, Swiss chard.

Brown rice, sweetened breakfast cereals (or with raisins, honey).

Barley, breads and pasta without fructose or gluten-free, wheat-free rye bread, corn meal (degermed), cornflakes (non-flavoured), grits, grouts, oatmeal, porridge (cooked oatmeal), plain muffins, rice (white), rice or buckwheat noodles, rye flour, tortilla

Meat, fish (if processed, sweetened, or commercially breaded); coconut milk/cream.

Meat (fresh, not commercially breaded), fish (fresh or tinned without sauce), other seafood, eggs, grains, nuts, seeds: amaranth, flax seed, millet, poppy, pistachios, sesame, tahini, sunflower

Sweetened milk products, ice cream

Plain, unsweetened milk, yogurt, cheese.

Sauces: Barbeque, Sweet & Sour, Hot mustard, chutney, ketchup, relish, soy sauce, vinegar (apple cider, balsamic);

Spices: chervil, dill weed, ginger, hot chilli pepper, pumpkin pie seasoning.

Basil, bay, cinnamon, cumin, curry, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme.

Fruit juices (apple, apricot, mango, orange, pear, peach, prune, sweat cherry), soft drinks with sorbitol or HFCS; alcohol (except dry white wine); powdered sweetened beverages, sweetened milk/vegetable/soy drinks, coffee substitutes with chicory.

Water: tap water, non-flavoured bottled water, mineral water, tea, coffee (not chicory based coffee substitutes).

 

Information sourced from healthhype.com

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