Tag Archives: gut

Foods that are good for the GUT


The digestive tract houses 100 trillion microbes. This is referred to as the microbiome. These bugs have tremendous influence over our health and mood. We hope that in our microbiome there are more good than bad bugs. Simply put, if the bugs are good we are healthy and happy, if they are bad we suffer. There isn’t a health condition to which the microbiome isn’t linked. Seriously. (some examples: anxiety/depression, ADHD, Autism, IBS, IBD, Parkinson’s, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, All autoimmune diseases, eczema/psoriasis). If you have a health condition, your gut may need a full overhaul, not just probiotics and prebiotics as outlined below.

Most of us have heard of probiotics. The research on probiotics is overwhelmingly strong and positive. You can ingest probiotics in a pill form. This is a good option for anyone. But especially those who have histamine intolerance or Candida overgrowth or some other condition where eating fermented foods is a bad idea. Make sure your probiotic is a reputable brand (which guarantees to have in it what it says it has in it). The best brands can be bought through Wellevate, create an account and shop away!

In this blog post I wanted to just touch upon the foods that are good for our microbiome.

Fermented foods:

Fermented foods have probiotics in them. Some foods were produced with live probiotics (such as yogurt), make sure these say “active live cultures”. Some foods are fermented with whatever wild bacteria are on the original vegetable (sauerkraut). These need to be found in the refrigerated section and not be pasteurized.

Examples of fermented foods:

  • acidophilus milk
  • buttermilk
  • cheese (aged)
  • fermented meats
  • fermented vegetables
  • fermented grains
  • kefir
  • kimchi
  • kombucha
  • kvass
  • miso
  • natto
  • pickled vegetables (raw)
  • raw vinegars
  • sauerkraut
  • sour cream
  • tempeh
  • yogurt (plain, no added sugar, active cultures)

Prebiotic foods

Prebiotics are fibers that feed the beneficial probiotics in your gut. These are helpful to feed the good so they can proliferate. Sometimes prebiotics are added to foods (bars, probiotic supplements, etc). These are:  galactooligosaccharides (GOS), fructooligosaccharides (FOS), oligofructose (OF), chicory fiber, or inulin.

Foods we find prebiotics in:

  • Asparagus
  • Apples
  • artichokes
  • banana
  • berries
  • black beans
  • cherries
  • dandelion greens
  • chicory root
  • chickpeas
  • eggplant
  • endive
  • flaxseeds
  • garlic
  • honey
  • jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes)
  • jicama
  • kefir
  • kiwis
  • leafy greens
  • leeks
  • legumes
  • lentils
  • mangoes
  • oatmeal
  • onions
  • peas
  • pears
  • quinoa
  • radicchio
  • tomatoes
  • white beans
  • whole grains
  • yogurt


These are chemical compunds that come from plants. They are used by your gut bacteria to make beneficial substances. These chemical compounds have names such as flavanones, isoflavones, flavonols, anthocyanins, flavones.

Foods that we find them in:

  • cloves
  • cocoa powder
  • flaxseed meal
  • dried sage
  • berries
  • pomegranate
  • apples
  • hazelnut
  • dried peppermint
  • dried rosemary, dried thyme
  • grapes
  • capers
  • pecan
  • celery seed
  • dark chocolate (70% or higher)
  • chestnut
  • black olives
  • plums
  • lemons
  • tea

How many of these can you eat on a regular basis?


Heal Your Gut Talk

Heal Your Gut, Reclaim Your Health

Protected individual repelling bacteria and viruses show on tablet made in 3d software isolated on white

Come to an illuminating discussion on how to heal the gut!

January 27th 7:30pm-8:30pm

Set in the intimate setting @ Roots and Wings in Natick (317 N Main St, Natick, MA 01760)

Your body operates as a whole integrated system and the connection is your gut. 99% of the DNA in your body belongs to the microbes living in your gut. And their DNA communicates with yours. Research comes out every day linking another health issue to the gut. The challenge would be to find a condition that is NOT linked to gut health.

Do YOU have any of the following conditions and symptoms that are linked to an unhealthy gut?

  • Digestive disorders (IBS, IBD, GERD)
  • Gut symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea or constipation
  • Joint pain, muscle pain and/or fibromyalgia
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Allergies, asthma, skin conditions
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Fatigue, memory issues, brain fog
  • Anxiety and depression, ADHD & Autism
  • Overweight, Obesity, and/or inability to lose weight

Come to this valuable presentation and leave with the tools to fix and optimize your gut so you can heal your whole body and reclaim your health!

What you’ll learn:

  • The integrative and functional medicine protocol for healing the gut
  • Tools and tricks to get rid of bad bacteria and yeast and to optimize the good bacteria and yeast
  • How to improve your mood and energy, lose weight and improve health conditions
  • The one key step that holistic practitioners usually forget!

Email or call Dianne to register. $17 per person

The Best Smoothie

Rishkoff Smoothie 3

Every single ingredient in this smoothie is a superfood. This smoothie is gluten-free, dairy-free, low in FODMAPs, and contains gut-healing ingredients. And with ingredients like strawberries, bananas and pineapple juice, and coconut oil, it is delicious and nutritious (for anyone). I developed this recipe for me, as a way to heal and seal my gut after all my struggles. It’s a rare and useful drink to fill my gut with everything it needs (and nothing it doesn’t!).

Pineapples contain bromelain, an anti-inflammatory compound. Coconut oil is easy to digest and it’s fatty acid structure causes it to be utilized for energy and not stored in our fat cells. But the heavy hitters in this smoothie are the L-glutamine and gelatin. Both of which can help repair leaky gut.


3-4 strawberries, cut up
2/3 of a whole banana, sliced up
organic fresh pressed pineapple juice
1 tb of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of gelatin (Knox brand)
1 teaspoon of L-glutamine powder (pharmaceutical grade)


Put the cut up pieces of fruit in the blender.

Add pineapple juice just enough to cover the empty spaces between the fruit.

Put the coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and heat it for 30 seconds to turn it liquid. Then add it to the blender.

Add the gelatin and L-glutamine

Blend and enjoy!!!

If you want a full meal-add a little of your favorite protein powder too!

PS: While the sugars in this smoothie are ALL natural (no added sugar), it is not a low carb drink and may be too high in sugar for some people.

(My recipe also appeared on Further Food Photos courtesy of Further Food as well! Rishkoff Smoothie 2)

Share this delicious drink with your friends using the social media buttons below!



SIBO (pronounced see-bo) is an acronym for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Your colon has 100 billion bacteria per milliliter but your small intestine should have less than 100,000/ml. When too many bacteria migrate or colonize in the small intestine, SIBO develops and all hell breaks loose.

SIBO is responsible for all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms, such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. More importantly, it causes damage to the small intestine leading to a ton of non-digestive problems as well. It is estimated that 84% of people with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) also have SIBO. Similarly, people with Crohn’s Disease and Celiac are likely to have SIBO as well.

When bacteria are in your colon (large intestine), they eat what’s left over (mostly fiber) after you have absorbed all the nutrients that your body needs. But when the bacteria in your small intestine (before your body has absorbed all that it needs), they get VIP access to your food (carbohydrates are their favorite). As described in the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle: “The presence of undigested and unabsorbed carbohydrates in the small intestine can encourage microbes to take up residence and multiply. This, in turn, may lead to the formation of products, in addition to gas, which injure the small intestine…. bacterial growth in the small intestine appears to destroy the enzymes on the intestinal cell surface preventing carbohydrate digestion and absorption and making carbohydrates available for bacteria” This is the cycle. Injury to the intestine–>impaired digestion and absorption–>bacterial overgrowth–>damage to the intestine–>impaired digestion…and so on. When the bacteria injure the intestines and impair digestion, the small intestines become less able to digest carbohydrates, leaving more for the bacteria to digest, and allowing for more bacterial multiplication. They are preventing you from digesting the very thing they need to eat.


  • Abdominal bloating and distention
  • Gas
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or a mix of the two
  • Heartburn or GERD

Systemic symptoms and associated conditions:

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Leaky Gut (where your intestinal wall let’s things into your blood that aren’t supposed to be let in)
  • Fatigue, brain fog
  • Food sensitivities
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Mental Disorders (Autism, Depression)
  • Obesity
  • Skin problems
  • Autoimmune disorders

How does this start?

  • Insufficient stomach acid (acid kills bacteria)
  • Impaired cleansing waves (a wave of muscle contractions that sweeps the debris out of the small intestine and into the colon in between meals and at night)
  • Anatomical issue (such as having no ileocecal valve, the valve at the end of the small intestine, that keeps colon bacteria from migrating up)
  • GI infections or disease (Crohn’s or Celiac)

There are a few treatments for SIBO, antibiotics being the best. But the underlying cause might still be a problem and the SIBO will likely reoccur. There are a few diet options as treatment: The Specific Carbohydrate Diet, GAPS diet, Elemental Diet or a low FODMAP diet. Each of these manipulates the type and amount of carbohydrates in your diet to starve the bacteria.

Nutrition therapy with a Registered Dietitian (who specializes in digestive disorders) is essential. Besides being necessary to attempt one of the therapeutic diets mentioned above, nutrition is critical for:

  • Preventing the SIBO from returning
  • Correcting vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Healing the gut lining
  • Increasing stomach acid
  • Encouraging cleansing waves. (There are a few ways to do this, but my favorite is with lemon water)

Talk to your doctor if you suspect you have SIBO. And get a qualified Dietitian.

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