|HAPPY NEW YEAR!|
I have been using Standard Process and MediHerb supplements both personally and with my patients for over 20 years and the 21 Day Purification Program has been an integral part my practice. In assisting 1000’s of patients with this program over the years, I know that sometimes it helps to have a little guidance, tips, and extra recipes to keep you on track with the program.
I have spent the last few months creating a FREE online resource for all of our patients and customers to use with the detox program. I have created an online, self-guided program that will walk you through the 21 day purification program step by step.
My goal in creating this program is to provide the perfect self-study course to compliment your detox program.
I’ve taken everything I’ve learned from over 18 years in clinical practice working with 1000’s of patients and channeled it into a comprehensive, step-by-step implementation of the 21 day purification program that not only teaches you the high level theory, but the actual EXECUTION of how you can do the same.
Want to see what is included with this amazing bonus? This link here lists all of the program perks and info and the step by step instructions on how to redeem access to the free program!
When you purchase your 21 Day Purification Program kit through my office’s authorized website, you’ll receive my online program ABSOLUTELY FREE! You can also order via phone – 843.214.2997
Just forward a copy of your order number or receipt to us at email@example.com and we’ll email you back with the details needed to access the course.
I can’t wait for you to jump in!21 Day Purification Kit
Our 21-day purification program helps patients purify, nourish, and maintain a healthy body and weight. We offer eight different purification product kits based on the preferred protein and fiber choice.
Included in the program are:
1 SP Cleanse–purification
2 SP Complete, SP Complete Chocolate, SP Complete Vanilla or 2 SP Complete Dairy Free–nutritious supplement shakes
2 Gastro-Fiber or 2 Whole Food Fiber–fiber support
1 SP Green Food–phytonutrients
1 patient purification program guide
1 recyclable bag
Click this LINK to learn more about the 8 different kits or to purchase.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, ACN, CNS, CCN
Health Benefits of Onion
Onion is a main household food staple that can enhance practically any savory dish. In the culinary world, it is considered both a spice and a vegetable, but botanically, it is a fruit. Whatever you may want to call it, one thing for sure is that the onion holds a special place in our hearts and for our overall health.
Let’s dive in and uncover the health benefits of onion.
Stabilizes blood sugar levels
Offer a healthy food infused with onions at your family gathering because this spice is known to regulate blood sugar because of its flavonoids.
The sweetness and umami flavor of onion is truly a treat but the biggest takeaway is its ability to improve your digestion, therefore, strengthening your immune system and minimizing inflammation.
Onion is dense with nutrients that can improve your overall health. It is rich in potassium which increases your energy levels and metabolism, manganese promotes the creation of connective tissues, and bones.
Be happy with the tears that onion brings because that strong smell is the compound called allicin which eliminates bacteria and toxins in our bodies.
French Onion Soup
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 pounds Vidalia onions (about 4 medium), halved lengthwise, peeled, and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 6 cups homemade beef broth or store-bought beef broth
- 10 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 baguette or gluten free baguette
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons sherry, preferably Fino or Manzanilla
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
- Kitchen twine, six 8-ounce or four 16-ounce oven-safe ramekins or bowls (optional)
- In a large Dutch oven or other large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the oil and onions; cook onions until softened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown and caramelized, and reduce heat slightly if onions seem to be browning too quickly, 35 to 45 minutes more.
- Add wine and raise the heat to high. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Tie thyme and bay leaves into a bundle with twine. Add broth and herb bundle to the pot with onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until broth is thickened and flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Heat the broiler. Cut two 1/2-inch baguette slices for every serving of soup. Place baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until crisp and dry but not browned, about 1 minute per side. Rub one side of each toast with the garlic clove and set aside.
- Place ramekins or oven-safe bowls on a rimmed baking sheet, add 1/2 teaspoon of sherry to the bottom of each, and ladle soup on top. Top each serving of soup with two garlic-rubbed toasts. Divide cheese among the servings, covering the bread and some of the soup. Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 4 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, if using regular soup bowls: Top each garlic-rubbed toast with some cheese and return to broiler to melt, about 2 minutes more. Divide sherry and soup among bowls, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top each serving with two cheese toasts).
Adapted from epicurious
Why YOU Need a Detox this New Year
Toxins are Everywhere
You are exposed to toxins Every. Single. Day. There are approximately 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S., and 800,000,000+ pounds of herbicides are used yearly on our crops. 1-3 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that hundreds of these chemicals are present in our bodies. Research shows that certain chemicals may affect our immune, endocrine, nervous, and reproductive systems.
fact, your body produces its own toxins, or waste known as endogenous toxins,
simply by functioning. Your body also encounters external (exogenous) toxins,
or chemicals made outside of your body. They are in the air you breathe, the
food you eat, the water you drink, and the products you touch.4,5
- Air and Water Pollutants
- Cigarette Smoke
- Certain Personal Care Products
- Dyes and Paints
- Heavy Metals
- Household Cleaning Products
- Pesticides and Insecticides
- Preservatives and Additives
- Trans Fats
- Carbon dioxide
- Free radicals
You become what you eat
The typical America diet favors processed foods that tend to be high in refined sugar, trans fats, and salt. Processed foods often contain pesticides, artificial ingredients, and genetically modified organisms that can contribute to toxin build up in the body.6 Exposure to these toxins can overburden your system’s natural ability to detoxify.
Reducing your toxic burden can reduce your odds of asthma, cancer, Alzheimer’s, infertility, hormonal and period problems and so much more. Reducing your toxic load can help you lose weight, restore your energy levels and balance your hormones. It can help you conceive a healthy baby and raise a healthy child.
When the body is overloaded with toxins, these toxins cannot be eliminated from the body and they slow down cellular function. This translates to decreasing your body’s function; the brain won’t fire as quickly so you become foggy and forgetful. This can mean you gain weight or feel tired and/or unmotivated. Many people experience symptoms of toxicity but don’t recognize what these signs really can mean. How many of the symptoms below do you have?
Symptoms of Toxin Exposure
- Fatigue or difficulty sleeping
- Indigestion and other gastrointestinal upset
- Food cravings and weight gain
- Reduced mental clarity (brain fog)
- Low libido
- Skin issues – eczema, acne, dark circles under the eyes
- Joint or muscle pain
- Female hormone disturbances
- Sinus issues
- Water retention
- Bad breath
Your Organs of Detoxification
My 21 day Reset Detox Programs are designed to stimulate specific detoxification organs in the body—the liver, kidneys, and intestines. With help from these organs, your toxic load can decrease, and your body can concentrate its energy on detoxifying and cleaning up. This can help you achieve optimal health by cleansing your body from the inside out. The goal is to learn how to enhance your body’s ability to detox and remove these toxins on a daily basis. No matter where start, everyone can benefit from a detox program.
- Filters toxins
- Aids the body in metabolizing fat, protein, and carbohydrates
- Helps transform many toxins into harmless agents
- Filter waste and excess fluid from the blood
- Regulate and release the right balance of sodium, phosphorus, and
potassium for the body to function properly
- Digests food so that nutrients can be absorbed into the blood and transported to the liver
- Provides a barrier that blocks toxins from the rest of the body
- Absorbs water and electrolytes, forming waste that is excreted from the body
- Produces antibodies for gastrointestinal health
- Contains bacteria that create fatty acids and some vitamins for extra nutritional support
Why you may not be losing weight
If your body can’t release toxins through your intestines (poop) or kidney (urine) then they can be deposited and stored in the body. Over months, years, or even decades these can build up in the body and create havoc.
One of the most common sites for us to deposit toxins is in our fat cells since many of the chemicals in today’s environment and food are lipotrophic, meaning that they LOVE FAT. The challenge is that we have to release those stored toxins from the fat cells before the fat cells can shrink. This is one reason why you may have been eating better and working out more but still seeing NO weight loss results.
Where We Store Toxins
- Fat Cells
- Bone Marrow
- Central Nervous System
What the heck is metabolic detoxification anyway?
Metabolic detoxification is your body’s natural process of neutralizing and eliminating toxins from your body. This three-phase process unlocks fat-soluble toxins and converts them to a water-soluble state that is easier for your body to remove. Your body needs key nutrients and phytonutrients to support each of these phases.
Three phases of metabolic detoxification
- Phase I: Unlock – Stored fat-soluble toxins transform into an “unlocked” state that is more water-soluble, and in many cases, more toxic than its original form. The foods and supplements recommended in the 21 day Reset Detox program delivers nutrients that activate enzymes required for Phase I reactions. It also supplies antioxidants that reduce stress on your body, such as tissue damage sometimes caused by these enzyme activities.
- Phase II: Neutralize – The highly toxic substances produced in Phase I convert to non-toxic molecules and become even more water-soluble. The foods and supplements recommended in the 21 day Reset Detox program supplies key nutrients and amino acids needed to support Phase II enzymes. These enzymes enhance the water solubility of toxins.
- Phase III: Eliminate – Water-soluble toxins leave your cells, and your body eliminates them. The foods and supplements recommended in the 21 Day Detox Program provides your body with plant-based fiber and water, which aid in toxin elimination.
A Simple, Effective Answer is HERE!
You can create more efficiency around detoxification by modifying your daily food choices, and habits to support your body’s natural ability to detoxify. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or feel like it’s just time for a reset, I encourage you to check out my upcoming Virtual Group 21 Day Detox Reset Program. The 21 Day Group Detox Program is designed for balancing hormones, resetting your digestive system, weight loss, improved energy, better sleep and so much more!
My hope is to provide you with easy, effective tools to help you liver YOUR. BEST. LIFE.
Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, CNS, CCN is a licensed chiropractor, certified clinical nutritionist, and owner of Lime and Lotus, LLC with offices in both Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia. She utilizes saliva testing, herbs, and whole food supplements to correct female hormones imbalances in her patients. Download her free guide: Dr. Stephanie’s Naughty List – The Top Five Foods that Wreck Your Hormone Health here.
- “About,” National Toxicology Program, US Department of Health and Human Services, accessed March 13, 2018, https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/about/index.html.
- Arthur Grube, David Donaldson, Timothy Kiely, and La Wu, “Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage 2006 and 2007 Market Estimates,” Washington, D.C.: United States Environmental Protection Agency, February 2011, PDF e-book, http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/iles/2015-10/documents/market_estimates2007.pdf.
- Michael N. Antoniou et al., “Concerns Over Use of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risks Associated with Exposures: a Consensus Statement.” Environmental Health 15, no. 1 (2016): 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-016-0117-0.
- Romilly E. Hodges and Deanna M. Minich, “Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application,” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (2015): 16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/760689.
- Joseph W. Thornton, Michael McCally, and Jane Houlihan, “Biomonitoring of Industrial Pollutants: Health and Policy Implications of the Chemical Body Burden,” Public Health Reports 117, no. 4 (2002): 315-23, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1497458/pdf/12477912.pdf.
- Ian A. Myles, “Fast Food Fever: Reviewing the Impacts of the Western Diet on Immunity,” Nutrition Journal 13 (2014): 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-13-61.
Empowering Men’s Health With This New Product!
MediHerb® Tongkat Ali for Testosterone Support
Many men imagine themselves maintaining muscle mass, fitness, vitality, and a healthy sex life throughout the aging process. However, this is not always the case. Age-related testosterone decline — the key masculine hormone — can contribute to poor energy levels, sedentary lifestyles, and loss of libido.
Tongkat Ali contains a clinically trialed and standardized root extract of the revered Southeast Asian herb, Eurycoma longifolia, also called ‘Malaysian ginseng’ or ‘Long Jack’. This specific Tongkat Ali extract has been studied extensively in clinical trials.
Long used throughout Southeast Asian countries as a traditional tonic to promote healthy sexual interest and vitality, Tongkat Ali uses are also now supported by scientific evidence. Many of the benefits of Tongkat Ali are thought to be due to its positive effects on testosterone synthesis and free testosterone levels.
How Tongkat Ali Supports Men’s Health
The amount of testosterone in a man’s body naturally decreases with age. Levels tend to peak between the age of 25 and 30, but then decline gradually over time. At age 60, testosterone levels may have fallen by more than 50% with everyday stress, diet, exercise, and sleep also affecting normal levels. Testosterone levels strongly determine levels of sexual interest, mental and physical energy, and general well-being.
A special, standardized proprietary root extract of Tongkat Ali has been investigated in a number of research studies in men of Asian and American descent aged 40 years and over. These studies clearly demonstrate beneficial effects in various areas of men’s health that include sexual interest, healthy testosterone levels, free testosterone levels, overall well-being, and vitality.
Why Consider MediHerb® Tongkat Ali?
Tongkat Ali, an herbal testosterone support supplement for older men, supports normal testosterone production and healthy sexual interest.
It can be used in older men to help:
Support healthy sexual interest
Support normal testosterone production/synthesis
Support normal healthy testosterone levels
Maintain free testosterone levels
Support general well-being and vitality
You can read more about it and check it out now!
Read the Product Brochure – here.
Health Benefits of Fennel
This bulbous vegetable may not be as familiar as some of the other veggies, but its flavor, texture, and benefits surely deserve to be a part of your list of healthy foods. What does fennel taste like? Well, it has a light, bright, and licorice-like aroma but is not overpowering. Incorporate this vegetable into your diet and you’ll surely reap the benefits as it boasts an abundance of health-protective nutrients.
Let’s discover the benefits of this vegetable and make sure to stay tuned till the end of this article to uncover the recipe perfect for this veggie!
Food for the Guts
Fennel is your digestive system’s best friend! Snacking on some fennel seeds (1/4 tsp.) or drinking fennel tea can help provide relief to your stomach. This is due to fennel’s abundance in prebiotics which is the food source for probiotic bacteria which it restores balance in the gut. Also, this veggie is rich in fiber which softens your stool.
Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin which transports oxygen from your lungs to various parts of your body. Fennel is rich in iron therefore it helps replenish your body’s iron needs.
Source of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant known for its ability to improve your immune system, keep your skin healthy, prevent macular degeneration, and shield your body from oxidative stress. The good news is, fennel is rich in Vitamin C, and now is the time to munch on these veggies!
Roasted Fennel with Garlic & Herbs
- 2 large bulbs of fennel
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove any of the stalks from the fennel bulbs and then cut them in half lengthwise. Cut each halved fennel bulb into 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange the slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet ensuring that they are all laid out evenly and do not overlap.
- In a bowl combine the olive oil and minced garlic and brush it over the sliced fennel and then sprinkle the thyme, salt and pepper overtop to ensure they are all well-seasoned.
- Roast the fennel in the oven for 25 minutes. After 35 minutes of baking, the fennel should be tender and caramelized on the edges (cook for another 5-8 minutes if it’s not yet tender). Serve warm.
Adapted from Every last Bite
Order Standard Process and MediHerb Online
I have some very exciting news that made me jump for joy when I heard it because I know this is a GAME CHANGER for many of you.
The current pandemic has brought lots of change – I’ve redesigned how I see patients by offering more virtual and zoom style appointments. We’ve been shipping out your protocols to you and offering curbside pick ups as well.
Last week I was invited by Standard Process to be one of their health care practitioners with a full integrated website!!!
I jumped with joy!!!
What this means for Lime and Lotus is that our office is now an approved and authorized distributor and seller of Standard Process and MediHerb products online!
What this means for you is that you can now order and buy Standard Process and MediHerb products online through this website. Products will be shipped from the company directly to you anywhere in the United States.
Online orders through the site over $100 also receive FREE SHIPPING!
I am happy and excited to be able to bring you this additional resource. We will still continue to offer curb side pick up and products from the office but this will be one more option to make your life easier!
Let us know if you have any questions.
Yours in Health and Wellness,
Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, ACN, CNS, CCN
** Order your Standard Process and MediHerb Products Here **
Turkey Zoodles Recipe – Paleo, Gluten Free
Can I tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! It’s super fresh, fast, healthy, detox friendly, paleo and gluten free. What’s not to love?!? This is a dish even YOUR KIDS are going to eat. My dog Brie enjoys any leftover zoodles!
This is a 20 minute one pan dish if you follow my preparation and kitchen tool techniques and I especially enjoy it during the summer. I keep the zucchini cold and cover the cold zoodles with the heat meat, veggie, sauce combo and it becomes a fresh summer dish for these hot hot hot Southern summer days.
You can also substitute grass fed beef for the organic turkey if you wish.
In this recipe I use a jar of marinara in order to save time for those quick weekday meals. When choosing your sauce choose one without any added sugars and I always buy one that has the least amount of sugar/carbs listed on the label. Some fantastic brands are: Organico Bello, Cucina Antica,
Also, be sure to have your tools on hand to make your life EASIER – Two kitchen items I cannot live without is my garlic roller/peeler – seriously if you don’t have one of these you need one. I can peel my garlic in 3 seconds flat with this bad boy. Also you’ll want a spiralizer to make those yummy zoodles. With this tool I can zoodle a zucchini in about 20 seconds. Dinner in 20 minutes? BOOM!
Here’s to healthy quick meals!
Italian Turkey Zoodles
- 2 medium zucchini – spiralized
- 1 lb organic ground turkey
- 2 tsp olive oil
- One medium onion – diced
- 8 oz mushrooms – diced
- 3 cloves garlic – peeled and minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 24oz jar of no sugar added marinara sauce
- Fresh basil chopped
- Spiralize your zucchini and put the spiralized zucchini on a paper towel to drain while you prepare the rest of the meal.
- In a large nonstick skillet heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat.
- Add organic turkey, onion, mushrooms and garlic and cook until turkey is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; breaking up turkey into crumbles, 8-10 minutes; drain.
- Put pan back on the burner and turn the heat down to a simmer
- Add your marinara sauce – I usually use ¾ of a jar – just depends on how wet you want your dish.
- Stir in your spices.
- Let the pan simmer until all ingredients are well mixed and warm.
- Place a cup of spiralized zucchini on your plate, spoon your turkey, veggie, sauce mixture over the zucchini. Garnish with chopped basil.
Baked Chicken Wings
Who says you can’t have your wings and eat them too? With football games and colder days I wanted to create a healthier version that would also be detox friendly for those who still want to enjoy a tailgate party or cheering on their favorite team this season!
THESE ARE SOOO GOOD – I promised you won’t even miss that they are not fried!!! I’m also giving you my secret on how to make them oh so crispy and yummy – It’s an extra step but a necessary one if you want those crispy wings. First you’ll need to parboil the wings for a few minutes to boil out some of the fat. This will make for the best baked wing you’ve ever put in Yo Mouth!
Dr Z’s Baked Hot Wings
- 2 lbs organic chicken wings
- 4 Tbs butter
- 1 12oz bottle of your favorite hot sauce
- 4 cloves of garlic – minced
- 1 Tbs onion powder
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add the chicken wings to the pot, reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.
- Drain wings in a colander and place on paper towels and pat them dry – This is important because if they are still wet they won’t crisp up as much in your oven.
- Grease a metal sheet pan.
- Place the chicken wings directly on the sheet pan.
- Bake the chicken wings for 25 minutes on the first side; flip the wings and bake for another 5-10 minutes on the other side, until the skin looks crispy and golden brown.
Buffalo Sauce Instructions:
- Heat butter in a saucepan on medium heat
- Once butter is melted add hot sauce, garlic, onion powder and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add your chicken wings to a large bowl; pour the buffalo sauce over to coat thoroughly.
- Plate and enjoy!
- The best place for me to buy affordable organic chicken wings is at Costco – at the time of this post they were $2.50 per lb.
- When choosing your hot sauce read your ingredients carefully. Choose a hot sauce with the fewest ingredients and ones you can understand what each ingredient is – some of my favorites are Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and Crystals (MY FAVORITE).
- For metal sheet pans be sure to purchase stainless steel instead of Aluminum ones.
Black Eyes Peas Recipe
Black eyes peas usually only receive acclaim during New Year’s for luck and prosperity but these legumes can be eaten all year long! Here’s my take on a healthy year long recipe that is also friendly for those doing my detox program.
Healthy Black Eyed Peas
- 3 cups water or organic chicken bone broth
- 1 Tbs olive oil or butter
- 1 red onion diced
- 3 ribs celery diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 pound black eyed peas – dry
- 14 oz diced organic tomatoes – canned (get fancy and use the fire roasted ones 😉
- 1 tsp basil – dried
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse black eyed peas and remove any debris. Place in a bowl and soak at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain black eyed peas from the soaking liquid and give them a quick rinse under cold water.
- In a large stock pot add organic broth and bring to a boil.
- Heat a medium pan with olive oil or butter.
- Add onion, celery, and garlic and cook until slightly tender.
- Add onion mixture, drained black eyed peas, red bell pepper, basil and tomatoes (undrained) to the pot and simmer 50-60 minutes or until black eyed peas are tender.
- Salt and pepper to taste
** If you want an easy button to this recipe you can use already rehydrated black eyed peas and cook/simmer time will only be 20-30 minutes! **
Quench the Fires of Gut Inflammation
Decrease gut inflammation naturally
Currently, it is estimated that 60 to 70 million Americans are affected by all digestive diseases combined.1 Nearly a decade ago digestive disorders accounted for approximately 13.5 million hospitalizations, and 236,000 deaths annually.2
Inflammatory diseases of the digestive system include both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The prevalence of Crohn’s disease is approximately 360,000 Americans with 141,000 hospitalizations, 1.8 million prescriptions and a mortality rate of 622 deaths annually. The prevalence of ulcerative colitis is approximately 620,000 Americans with 82,000 hospitalizations, 2.1 million prescriptions and a mortality rate of 311 deaths annually.3
It is estimated that the prevalence of all digestive disorders is on the rise, and although a patient may have not be specifically diagnosed with either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, inflammation can be playing a key factor in his/her overall digestive health.4
Currently there is not one recognized cause of inflammatory bowel disease, but rather a number of combined factors that increase the risk of developing either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. A number of possible environmental risk factors for the development of inflammatory bowel disease have been investigated, including smoking, appendectomy, psychological stress, and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-biotics, and oral contraceptives.4 Dietary risk factors include high intakes of total fat, omega-6 fatty acids, refined sugars and meat, while high vegetable and fruit intake decreased the risk for inflammatory bowel disease. One study even looked at a link between increased consumption of saccharin and sucralose in the increased development of inflammatory bowel disease in people due to artificial sweeteners ability to inhibit non-pathogenic gastrointestinal bacteria.5
The best natural approach to gastrointestinal inflammation is to control the inflammation in the digestive system! The traditional approach achieves decreased inflammation through medications, but there are many foods and additional therapies that can be utilized to provide this approach from a natural perspective that will go hand in hand with traditional treatments. The following is the list of approaches to consider:
- Remove all inflammatory foods from the diet – sugar, wheat, corn, cow dairy, night shade vegetables, alcohol, caffeine
- Remove all chemical additives from your diet – high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors/dyes, mono sodium glutamate
- Avoid all processed and refined foods
- Increase consumption of anti-inflammatory foods – salmon, walnuts, olive oil, avocados, dark green vegetables (if the patient can tolerate those foods)
- Drink plenty of water each day to facilitate the bowel’s ability to detoxify substances – at least 8 8oz glasses per day
- Find an outlet to keep your stress levels in check as increased stress can exacerbate symptoms – exercise, yoga, meditation, watching a comedy movie, reading a good book, soaking in a hot bath
- Smoking – Smoking increases the risk of developing Crohn’s disease and can exacerbate symptoms, so it is best to quit the habit
- Reset your digestive tract with a whole food focused detox program. My online 28 Day Autoimmune Reset Detox Program is designed not only for autoimmune challenges but also all inflammatory conditions.
A variety of foods and herbs exist in nature that provide anti-inflammatory effects on the digestive system and human body. In recommending supplements, I prefer to use supplements made from whole food ingredients to ensure that you receive all of the nutrition that would be available from eating the foods that are in the product as opposed to receiving a high dose of just one nutrient. The following remedies are ones that can easily be utilized.
- Green tea – Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originated in China over 4000 years ago, but is currently consumed around the globe. Green tea has been shown to moderately enhance the growth of some bifidobacteria and selectively inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholerae, Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter pylori.6 Experimental in vivo studies have indicated that tea catechins improve intestinal flora and reduce intestinal inflammation. The preferable method of consumption is 3-4 cups of green tea daily or a green tea supplement can be used.
- Fish oil – Marine and some plant oils, namely flaxseed oil, fall into the category of omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered essential and need to be consumed in the diet. Some recent research has found that replacing omega-6 fatty acids with omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, reduced inflammatory markers and help support immune modulation in patients with both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.9 A daily fish oil supplement can be taken or you can consume cold water fish such as such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, tuna, and sardines two to three times per week.
- Probiotics -Probiotics are live non-pathogenic microorganisms administered to improve microbial balance in the gastrointestinal tract. They consist of Saccharomyces boulardii yeast or lactic acid bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp. Probiotics confer their beneficial effects through various mechanisms, including reduced intestinal pH, decreased colonization and invasion by pathogenic organisms, decreased inflammatory markers, and modification of the host immune response. Some research has shown probiotics effectiveness for increased remission rates and decreased disease symptoms in both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.7 Foods that contain naturally occurring probiotics include fermented vegetables, kimchi, komboucha, soy sauce, miso, sauerkraut, and kefir. Take a daily broad spectrum probiotic and eat increased amounts of the fermented foods with naturally occurring non-pathogenic bacteria.
- Turmeric – Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family that has been used for a variety of health ailments in India and China since 700 A.D. The key constituent in turmeric that provides its anti-inflammatory effect is curcurmin. Since turmeric is more bioavailable in the digestive tract, it has been proposed that it is most useful for restoring function in bowel disorders.8 Turmeric can be added to vegetables, homemade salad dressings, or brown rice dishes. However, in order to achieve a therapeutic dose, turmeric supplementation may be prudent.
Because there is a good opportunity to help alleviate symptoms by small changes in the diet, it is imperative to learn which foods to consume in greater quantities, and which foods should be eliminated completely. Hippocrates once said, “all disease begins in the gut.” Whenever a person’s body chemistry is altered, it can never fully function. Elimination of dietary issues, nutritional whole food supplementation and simple dietary modifications are integral in order to decrease gut inflammation and achieve digestive health.
Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, CNS, CCN is a licensed chiropractor, certified clinical nutritionist, and owner of Lime and Lotus, LLC in Charleston, South Carolina. She utilizes saliva testing, herbs, and whole food supplements to correct female hormones imbalances and balance digestive health in her patients.
Download her free guide: Dr. Stephanie’s Naughty List – The Top Five Foods that Wreck Your Hormone Health here.
- National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Opportunities and Challenges in Digestive Diseases Research: Recommendations of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases. Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health; 2009. NIH Publication 08–6514.
- Everhart JE, ed. The Burden of Digestive Diseases in the United States. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2008. NIH Publication 09–6433.
- Molodecky NA, et al. Increasing incidence and prevalence of the inflammatory bowel diseases with time, based on systematic review. Gastroenterology. 2012 Jan;142(1):46-54.
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