Category Archives: Nutrition

Gut Health and Nutrition

Your digestive, or gastrointestinal (GI), tract is a long, muscular tube that runs from your mouth to your anus. It’s about 30 feet long and works with other parts of your digestive system to break food and drink down into smaller molecules of nutrients. The blood absorbs these and carries them throughout the body for cells to use for energy, growth, and repair.

With such a long GI highway, it’s common to run into bumps in the road. About 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases, like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). GERD happens when your stomach acid and/or contents come back up into your esophagus (swallowing tube) or throat. This causes uncomfortable symptoms like heartburn and indigestion. IBS is a group of symptoms that includes pain in the abdomen and changes in bowel habits. People with IBS may have constipation, diarrhea, or both. Many more people have other digestive problems, like bloating and stomach pain.

“There are many factors that can impact gut health,” says Dr. Lin Chang, a GI expert at the University of California, Los Angeles. How your body’s built, your family and genetic history, how you manage stress, and what you eat can all affect your gut.

“I see a lot of lifestyle-related GI issues, and there are often no quick fixes for that,” she says. “In general, people do well when they create a more routine schedule, eat a healthy diet and smaller more frequent meals, add in some exercise, and get a good amount of sleep.”

Chang studies the connection between stress and IBS. Her research group has found that people who have early life stress are more likely to develop IBS. “However, this increased risk for IBS went down when people confided in someone they trust about the stress they experienced,” she explains. “Finding healthy ways to manage stress is important for GI health, and your health overall.”

What you eat can help or hurt your digestive system, and influence how you feel. “Increasing fiber is really important for constipation,” says Chang. “Most Americans do not eat a lot of fiber so you have to gradually increase the fiber in your diet. Otherwise you might get gas and more bloating, and won’t stick with [the changes].”

Chang says you should eat at least 20–30 grams of fiber a day for constipation. You can spread out your fiber in small amounts throughout the day. Start with small servings and gradually increase them to avoid gas, bloating, and discomfort.

Try to eat fruits and vegetables at every meal * cooked well for post-C.diff. infection patients until tolerated.

A variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains can provide a healthy mix of different fibers and nutrients to your diet. An added benefit is that the more fiber and whole foods you eat, the less room you’ll have for less healthy options.

But some fiber-rich foods, called high FODMAP foods, can be hard to digest. Examples include certain fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and wheat and rye products.

If you have IBS, your doctor may recommend a diet low in FODMAPS.

Researchers are coming to understand the complex community of bacteria and other microbes that live in the human GI tract. Called gut flora or microbiota, these microbes help with our digestion.

But evidence has been growing that gut microbes may influence our health in other ways too. Studies suggest that they may play roles in obesity, type 2 diabetes, IBS, and colon cancer. They might also affect how the immune system functions. T

his can affect how your body fights illness and disease.

Recent studies have found that microbes’ effects on the immune system may impact the development of conditions such as allergy, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.

You might have heard that probiotics—live microbes that are similar to those found in the human gut—can improve your gut health. These are also called “friendly bacteria” or “good bacteria.” Probiotics are available in dietary supplements and in certain foods, such as yogurt.

There is some evidence that probiotics may be helpful in preventing diarrhea associated with antibiotics and improving symptoms of IBS, but more needs to be learned.

Researchers still don’t know which probiotics are helpful and which aren’t. They also don’t know how much of the probiotics people would have to take or who would most likely benefit from them.

Certain food additives called emulsifiers are something else that may affect your gut health. Emulsifiers are added to many processed foods to improve texture and extend shelf life. But studies show they can affect our gut flora.

“Our work and other research indicate that emulsifiers and other food additives can negatively impact the microbiota and promote inflammatory diseases,” says Georgia State University’s Dr. Andrew Gewirtz. His group has been studying the relationships between food additives, gut bacteria, and disease in mice. The team also plans to examine how different food additives may affect people.

Based on what his team and others have found, Gewirtz advises, “The take home message: Eat a balanced diet and less processed foods.”

“The GI system is complicated and such an important part of our health,” Chang says. “It takes a real partnership between patient and doctor to get to the root of issues. Everyone has to find a healthy routine that works for them.”

She encourages you to take an active role in finding a doctor who makes you feel comfortable. The right doctor will listen carefully to your health history and symptoms. You can help keep your gut in check by talking with your doctor and—together—making the right choices for you.

To Learn More About FODMAP, Probiotics, Prebiotics, C. difficile and post-C.difficile nutrition

join Karen Factor, RD every 3rd Thursday each month for free sessions.  Sign up today through

the website:  https://cdifffoundation.org/cdiffsupport/

To read this article in its entirety click on the following link:

https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/May2017/Feature1

References
Adverse childhood experiences are associated with irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal symptom severity. Park SH, Videlock EJ, Shih W, Presson AP, Mayer EA, Chang L. Neurogastroenterology & Motility. 2016 Aug;28(8):1252-60. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12826. Epub 2016 Apr 8. PMID: 27061107.

Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome. Chassaing B, Koren O, Goodrich JK, Poole AC, Srinivasan S, Ley RE, Gewirtz AT. Nature. 2015 Mar 5;519(7541):92-6. doi: 10.1038/nature14232. Epub 2015 Feb 25. PMID: 25731162.

Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms. Alcock J, Maley CC, Aktipis CA. Bioessays. 2014 Oct;36(10):940-9. doi: 10.1002/bies.201400071. Epub 2014 Aug 8. PMID: 25103109.

Good Reasons to Add Bananas Into a Healthy Diet

Did You Know that a banana gives an instant, sustained, and substantial boost of energy?

They do and bananas have healthy benefits for a lot of diets.

  • If you are allergic to bananas and banana products please do not add this food item into your diet.  Always speak with a healthcare professional prior to making changes in diets.  Thank you.

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose, and glucose combined with fiber. And research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.

How much potassium is in a banana? (4)

We are often asked ‘how much potassium is in a banana?’ Well, the average Chiquita banana contains about 422 mg of potassium (a little less than ½ a gram), making bananas a potassium superfruit—that’s 13% of the daily-recommended amount of potassium from only one Chiquita banana!

And did you know that the potassium in bananas stimulates your muscles, nerves and brain cells, and as a bonus, can also help reduce blood pressure and risk of stroke.

Get the Potassium You Need – Recommended Amounts per Age Group
With all of the incredible benefits of potassium in bananas, it’s no wonder the Chiquita banana is one of the first solid foods new moms feed their babies. The Food and Nutrition Center of the Institute of Medicine has recommended the following potassium amounts per day for infants, children and adults.

(1 banana = 0.422g of potassium)

Potassium for Infants:
0-6 months: 0.4 grams a day (g/day)
7-12 months: 0.7 g/day
Potassium for Children and Adolescents:
1-3 years: 3.0 g/day
4-8 years: 3.8 g/day
9-13 years: 4.5 g/day
14-18 years: 4.7 g/day
Potassium for Adults:
Age 19 and older: 4.7 g/day

Quick Protein Powder Banana Smoothie Recipe

Here’s a simple and delicious way to add protein to fresh fruit and juice.

 Ingredients:
  • 2   whole Bananas, sliced
  • Add  protein powder of choice, and for a smoother version add 3 oz. non fat , low sugar, Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4   cup chilled Pineapple juice
  • 1/2   cup  of soy or coconut, or rice or *if not allergic to nuts – cashew or almond – milk.

Instructions for quick Protein Power Chiquita Banana Smoothie Recipe

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve immediately or place in a freezer safe container and freeze to make a frozen treat.

####################

Eating bananas can also help prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions when added to the daily diet.

  1. Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so help in cases of anemia.
  2. Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood, and generally make you feel happier. (2)
  3. Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body. When suffering from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
  4. High Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat high blood pressure. So much so, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. (3)
  5. Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
  6. Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins, which help calm the nervous system.
  7. PMS: The vitamin B6 that bananas contain regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
  8. Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain, and regulates your body’s water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.  (2)
  9. Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%  (1)

(1) http://www.jwatch.org/na35633/2014/09/18/banana-day-stroke-prevention

(2) http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM195907022610104

(3) http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/beating-high-blood-pressure-with-food

(4) http://www.chiquitabananas.com/worlds-favorite-fruit/bananas-and-potassium.aspx

Lactose Free Vanilla Pudding Recipe

vanillapuddingglass

Pudding is one of those easy and quick comforting desserts that can be prepared anytime  and enjoyed as an after school snack or dessert. This dairy-free (Lactose Free) pudding recipe is always a hit and it’s easy.

 

Ingredients:  (makes 4 Servings)  (t. = teaspoon, T=Tablespoon)

 

  • 2/3 cups white granulated sugar
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cups unsweetened plain almond milk or other non-dairy milk alternatives   (Soy, Cashew, Rice, Coconut, etc..).
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
 Directions:
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and salt.
  2. In a small dish, combine the cornstarch with 2 T. of the almond milk, mixing until dissolved. Add the cornstarch mixture, remaining milk of your choice and egg yolks to the saucepan, whisking until combined.
  3. Cook the pudding over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and bubbles just begin to form on the surface.
  4. Whisking constantly, turn down the heat to low and cook for about 1 minute more.
  5. Pour the pudding through a fine sieve into a heatproof dish and stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

 

 

Food For Thought, An Overview Of a Low FODMAP Diet and the Importance Of a Registered Dietitian

fruitsveggie

The FODMAP Diet is being discussed at greater lengths with patients experiencing gastrointestinal (GI)  challenges and alterations with their GI systems.

 

There is not a specific “C. diff. Diet,” as Clostridium difficile is an infection, however; we know and understand that the G.I. system is quite effected by this infection causing a disruption in normal dietary intake and difficulties maintaining adequate hydration and nutrition on a daily basis.

This brings us to the Low FODMAP Diet. What is it? What does FODMAP stand for? Can it benefit patients diagnosed with C.diff. ? All good questions and this is yet one more topic patients can discuss with their healthcare providers providing their care and with a Registered Dietician with a solid background in Gastroenterology and utilizing the FODMAP diet plan with patients.

FODMAP is an acronym for:
Fermentable (produces gas in the intestines)
Oligosaccharides (fructans and galactans/GOS)
Disaccharides (lactose)
Monosaccharides (excess fructose)
And
Polyols (sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, xylitol, and isomalt)

FODMAP’s are sugars – the carbohydrates – in foods eaten and are poorly absorbed by the GI system.  The intestinal bacteria in the gut can react negatively to these types of foods and cause abdominal bloating, accompanied by gas,  developing pain and even diarrhea and/or constipation.

When foods high in FODMAP are eliminated from the daily diet of patients diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), patients begin to witness a decline in the negative GI (gastrointestinal) symptoms.  By reducing the intake of FODMAP foods may also help reduce GI symptoms for patients diagnosed with Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis (UC) or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

  • Please Note:  Before changing diets, always speak to the healthcare professional/s monitoring and treating any/all gastrointestinal symptoms.

What foods contain FODMAP’s ?

Here is a partial listing of food high in FODMAP:

  • Fructans and Galactans/GOS:  Wheat, Rye, Barley, Onion, Garlic, Inulin/Chicory root, Most Legumes (bean sources), Artichoke, Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Coconut Milk.
  • Lactose:  Milk, Yogurt, Ice Cream, Soft Cheeses such as Ricotta and Cottage Cheese.
  • Fructose: A major ingredient in many processed foods is High Fructose Corn Syrup, Honey, Agave, and Fruits such as Applies, Pears, and Watermelon.
  • Polyols:  Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Sugar-Free Gum and Candy, and a few fruits such as Peaches, Plums, and Cherries.

Here is a partial listing of foods that are allowed when following a FODMAP Diet:

  • Grains:  Rice, Oats, Gluten-Free Pasta, Breads, and Cereals.
  • Fruites: Oranges, Bananas, Grapes, Honeydew Melon, Cantaloupe Melon, Kiwi, Pineapple and Berries except blackberries.
  • Vegetables:  Carrots, Eggplant, Zucchini, Peppers, Green Beans, Lettuce, Cucumber, Potato, and Tomatoes to name a few.
  • Protein:  Chicken, Turkey, Fish, Eggs, Beef, Pork, Tofu, Nut Butters.
  • Dairy: Lactose FREE Milk products, If there is not a nut allergy then proceed to Nut Milks such as Almond and Cashew Milk, Lactose Free Yogurt, Hard Cheese like Chedder and Feta.

fodmap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Registered Dietitians (RD) with expertise and familiar with this diet help patients live better with any gastrointestinal diagnosis successfully.

Please note: This diet is a two step diet and consists of the elimination process and then the reintroduction of foods back into the diet.

The support and guidance gained by patients working directly with a RD will find this diet less restricting and experience the alleviation of negative symptoms caused by many food items.

The role of a RD is to guide patients and their families to eating nutritious foods and to assist in creating healthy, enjoyable meals that will promote a healthy GI system and reduce the symptoms.

To learn more about Registered Dietitians please take a moment to click on the link below to view a short video and gain a better understanding of the important role a RD provides in promoting well being and improving patient care in the healthcare system.

https://cdifffoundation.org/2013/07/18/what-a-registered-dietitian-can-do-for-you/

Karen Factor, RD is the Chairperson of Nutrition and Wellness Committee
of the C Diff Foundation and is available through the  C.diff. Support Sessions offered each month.  Register for a FREE support session with Karen by clicking on the following link:

https://cdifffoundation.org/cdiffsupport/

 

 

Resources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

ProNourish ™ Nutritional Drink Information For Healthcare Professionals — For Patients With Food Intolerance And Digestive Discomfort

pronourish_main_img

*Please note – The
C Diff Foundation does not endorse any product and/or clinical study in progress. All website postings are strictly for informational purposes only. If you have questions, please contact the companies directly. Thank you.

 

FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS **

………………………

For Patients with Food Intolerance
ProNourish™ Nutritional Drink is a unique option for patients who suffer with digestive discomfort and are following an exclusion diet.

It was specifically formulated with the guidance of healthcare professionals to be compliant with a Low FODMAP Diet and is Low FODMAP Certified by Monash University. Monash University Low Fodmap Certified™
Benefits in every bottle:
Low in FODMAPs*
3 g of Fiber
15 g of High Quality Protein
25 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Suitable for Lactose Intolerance**

NO Gluten
NO High Fructose Corn Syrup
NO Sugar Alcohols or Artificial Colors
NO Inulin
NO Fructooligosaccharides
ProNourish™ Nutritional Drink helps make following a Low FODMAP Diet easier by providing a balanced mini-meal or snack without the ingredients that might trigger symptoms of digestive discomfort. Its just one more way Nestlé Health Science strives to help nourish patients quality of life through the power of nutrition.
HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS ONLY: Order Free Samples!
For Your Patients
To get your FREE samples, use promo code PRON-13851-1016.

Find out more about ProNourish™ Drink at ProNourish.com

or visit LowFODMAPcentral.com

For information and handouts for your patients.

Stop by the ProNourish™ Drink booth during these upcoming events!

2016 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™ (FNCE®): October 16–18
(booth #2951)
2016 ACG American College of Gastroenterology Meeting: October 16–18
(booth #1114)

*Formulated to be low in specific carbs (called FODMAPs) that can be difficult for some people to digest.

**Not for individuals with Galactosemia.

Monash University Low FODMAP Certified™ trademarks used under license by Nestlé.

A strict Low FODMAP Diet should only be commenced under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Signs That Tell If You Are Dehydrated

waterDrinking

With the summer season at its peak and heat indexes climbing each day topped by a diagnosis of a C. difficile infection, dehydration can occur quickly.

Here is a short list of major signs to watch for that will indicate the body is low on fluid and prompt attention is needed to gain proper hydration.  Dehydration is dangerous and can even be life-threatening.

**  When any one is unable to maintain adequate hydration due to vomiting, diarrhea, excessive perspiring, over-exposure in hot weather — seek medical attention as soon as possible.

 

Signs of Dehydration (1)

Muscle Cramping:  The hotter you get, the more likely you are to get muscle cramps, and that’s from a pure heat effect on the muscles. As the muscles work harder and harder, they can seize up from the heat itself. Changes in the electrolytes, changes in the sodium and potassium can lead to muscle cramping.

Fever and Chills

Food Cravings: especially something sweet due to the inability for the liver to release glycogen.  Craving something sweet? Reach for a snack that has high water content. Most fruits and vegetables have high water content and will help maintain hydration.

How to Check If You’re Dehydrated

Here are two other ways to check if your body is dehydrated.

  • Try this skin test. First, use two fingers to grab a roll of skin on the back of your hand (between where your watch sits and where your fingers start), advises Higgins. Pull the skin up about ½ to one centimeter high and then let the skin go. The skin should spring back to its normal position in less than a couple of seconds. Higgins says that if the skin bounces back slowly, you might be dehydrated.
  • Check your urine. If you’re well-hydrated your urine will be mostly clear with a tinge of yellow, Higgins explains. Yellow, chardonnay, and orange are the “warning” colors to watch for. When your body is about three percent dehydrated your urine will be noticeably yellow. When your body is about five percent dehydrated, your urine will appear chardonnay-colored. When your body is more than five percent dehydrated – which is considered severely dehydrated – your urine will appear orange.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

  • Keep your water bottle handy and sip throughout the day.
  • Spice up plain water. Add a splash of fruit juice or chunks of fresh or frozen fruit,
  • Try different teas. unsweetened decaffeinated flavored teas, which are available in lots of different flavors, they all count towards your daily fluid goal.
  • Makeover your snacks. Refrain from dry, carb snacks like chips, pretzels, and crackers which have a very low water content, reach for fresh or frozen fruit, yogurt, healthy smoothies, celery with peanut butter, and cut veggies with hummus,
  • Pile on the produce. Set a goal to make half of the meals plated with produce.  Vegetable and fruit servings will supply water as well as a hearty dose of vitamins, minerals.
  • Room temperature or temped water/beverages. When it comes to fluids, refrain from ingesting  fluids with extreme cold temperatures. When ice water comes into the stomach it constricts the arteries surrounding the stomach, which help the stomach function properly and help with water absorption and Ice water will just sit in the stomach until it warms up. If you hear water swishing around in your stomach, it means the water is not getting absorbed. Fluids that are cool or room temperature are better options.
  • Refrain from alcoholic beverages and high caffeinated drinks.

What is the daily total water intake, which includes water gained from foods and other beverages like tea and milk?  The Institute of Medicine recommends that most women get about 2.7 liters of water a day (or about 12 cups), and most men get about 3.7 liters a day (or about 15 cups).

  • Always discuss fluid intake with healthcare providers as cardiac and kidney conditions may alter the amount of fluids allowed on a daily basis.   When in doubt, contact a healthcare provider or visit a local clinic/hospital for complete assessment.  Stay Safe!

(1) http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/unusual-signs-of-dehydration/

Simple and Basic Vegetable Soup Recipe Because “Soup Is Good Food”

Simple & Basic Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped, juice reserved

1 teaspoon dried parsley or fresh parsley

2 quarts Beef broth OR Vegetable broth OR Chicken broth

DIRECTIONS:

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter.

ADD the carrots and celery to the melted butter and cook until semi-soft.

Stir in tomatoes with their juice, and  parsley.

Pour in beef OR vegetable OR chicken  broth.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender and flavors are well blended.

OPTIONS:

Add 1/2 cup of dry uncooked pasta noodles of choice to the broth and vegetables and cook for 20 minutes until soft

Add 1 cup of cooked chicken cut into cubes for added nutrition (protein) OR cooked beef cut into cubes/small pieces for added nutritional value.

soupchicken3