This post is a work in process. It is to be updated and completed in a future article. The ancient advice to “eat the colors of the rainbow” can supply plenty of these phytonutrients.
Prebiotics and probiotics
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, if your gut is healthy, then you are healthy. If you are unhealthy, then the first step is to clear the parasites in your gut. The second step on the road to health is to eat certain foods, known as prebiotics and probiotics, and to feed the healthy gut bacteria, which are also known as the “gut microbiome“.
There are trillions of bacteria inside you, equal or more than the number of cells in your body. The idea is to feed the gut bacteria to nourish them with what they need to stay healthy.
Probiotic foods are fermented foods, such as apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, miso, natto, kimchi, raw goat’s cheese or yogurt (for some people), kvass (an ancient fermented drink found in eastern Europe), and others. Probiotics plant the seeds of healthy gut bacteria.
Prebiotic foods are also known as “fiber”. These include apples, bananas, berries, carrots, beets, broccoli, onions, garlic, artichoke, radishes, seaweed, cocoa powder, coconut flour, sweet potatoes, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and cabbage. Prebiotics fertilize the healthy gut bacteria.
Wendy Myers interviews Spencer Feldman in this fifty-nine minute interview about how to repair your microbiome.
Polyphenols are substances found in plants that are neither vitamins nor minerals, but can maintain health. For example, lemons and other citrus fruit have vitamin C, but they also have polyphenols known as flavonoids. Others are carotenoids and lignans.
First identified in the 1930’s, flavonoids used to be called “vitamin P“. More than six thousands flavonoids have been found, mostly in fruits and vegetables. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid found in blueberries, red grapes, and other red, purple, and blue fruit. Catechins are another type found in green tea and chocolate. Isoflavones are found in soy and chickpeas and are known as a plant hormone. Pycnogenols are found in barley, cinnamon, cranberry, grape seed, grape skin, pine bark, and rhubarb. Quercetin is the most common flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables, such as apples, berries, citrus fruit, onions, and garlic.
Polyphenols are also found in olive oil.
Animal and human studies show that polyphenols can enhance carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and reduce inflammation, among other uses and effects. Polyphenols can be “superfoods” for healthy gut bacteria.
In this forty-minute podcast, Dhru Purohit describes the healing power of polyphenols. Rachel Link, MS, RD, describes what polyphenols are, benefits, and recipes.
Digestive enzymes are also known as pancreatic or proteolytic enzymes. Certain raw foods have digestive enzymes. For example, apples have amylase. Pineapples and papaya have bromelain, which is useful to break down protein. At the same meal, it is better (for digestion) to eat fruits or vegetables, such as apple, pineapple, or papaya before the protein, such as meat, fish, eggs, or tofu, according to food combining.
You also secrete digestive enzymes naturally, starting with amylase in your mouth, when you chew your food. Amylase is used to digest fruits, vegetables, beans, and starch. To digest protein, you secrete pepsin and hydrochloric acid in your stomach and trypsin in your pancreas. To digest fats, you secrete lipase in your pancreas. Your capacity to secrete these enzymes can decline with age or with ill health.
Some people are able to secrete more or less of certain enzymes than others on account of biochemical individuality. Some people are acutely or chronically deficient in digestive enzymes.
Supplements are available on the market. Results of using supplements are variable. They depend on the individual. Furthermore, not all supplements have the same quality. What is the origin of the supplement? Has it been tested for heavy metals? Has it been tested for other possible contaminants, such as pesticides or fungus? There is no “magic pill”, compared with a change in eating habits, starting with food combining.
Enzymes have been researched therapeutically and reported years ago by Dr. John Beard MD in his 1902 book, “The Enzyme Treatment of Cancer” and by Dr. William Kelley DDS in his 1967 book “One Answer to Cancer“.
More recently, the late Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez MD described his protocol and use of enzymes in his books “Conquering Cancer” and “The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer“. For further details, read “The History of the Enzyme Treatment of Cancer” by Dr. Gonzalez, who also summarized his efforts to do clinical research into enzymes in his brief article “Enzyme Therapy and Cancer“.
Another reference is “Enzyme Nutrition: The Food Enzyme Concept” by Dr. Edward Howell, a summary of which is here.
A list of frequently asked questions about enzymes is here. “Enzymes for Digestive Health” by Karen DeFelice is also another excellent reference. Serrapeptase and nattokinase are two other enzymes. When taken on an empty stomach, they can circulate in your blood for up to twelve hours, breaking down fibrin and other accumulated proteins, which can result in healthier circulation and respiration and less inflammation.
Jon Barron describes enzymes in his articles “Digestive Enzymes for a Modern Diet” and “Enzymes Defined and How to Buy Them“. Do Digestive Enzymes Prevent Nutrient Deficiencies & Boost Gut Health?, asks Dr. Josh Axe in his insightful article.
Do your own research.
Polysaccharides, also known as starch or glycans, are long-chain carbohydrates. Cellulose, the starch of plants such as potatoes, rice, and corn, amylose, and pectin are examples of polysaccharides.
Beta–glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharides found in mushrooms, yeast, algae, and oats, among others. Are mushrooms under-rated ?
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is the Japanese name of the mushroom that has been used traditionally since ancient times. It is also known as ling zhi (靈芝 in Chinese). It is thought to control blood glucose levels, support the immune system, protect the liver, and fight harmful bacterial infections, among other uses.
He shou wu (Polygonum multiflorum), also known as Fo Ti, is called the king of herbs. He shou wu can have a lot of zinc in it, depending on the soil it came from and the batch. The roots are harvested. Good quality is obtained by cooking the roots with black beans (and only then drying and making powder). Among other uses, it is thought to be healthy for the hair, nails, and skin. I often add half a teaspoon (two grams) to smoothies.
Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) is sometimes known as the “king of mushrooms“.
Published research also indicates the utility of CBD to relieve various conditions.
Kannall, Erica, “Natural Foods Containing Acetylcholine“, article
“Top 8 Best Natural Dopamine Boosters“, “Dr. Chuang”, article
“The 15 Best Natural Antibiotics (Foods & Herbs) That Work“, Meital James, article
“14 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil“, GreenMedInfo, article
“11 Uses of Castor Oil You’ll Wish Someone Told You Sooner“, Joy Home Remedies, :08 video
“The 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Black Seed Oil“, Joy Home Remedies, :10 video
“7 Most Common Mistakes When Using Face Oils“, Naturally Honest Labs, :08 video
“The Power of Castor Oil For Your Health“, Dr. Marisol Teijeiro ND, 1:44 podcast
“How to do Castor Oils Packs and Their Benefits“, Dr. Marisol Teijeiro ND & Wendy Myers, :32 video
“13 Foods to Increase Progesterone“, ComposedNutrition, article, hormone imbalance?
“Astaxanthin Benefits Better than Vitamin C?“, DrAxe, article, benefits, food sources
“A List of Foods with the Highest GABA“, LiveStrong.com, article
“Powerful Phytonutrients Reduce Blood Pressure, Inflammation and Cholesterol“, Dr. Josh Axe DC, article
“Natural Antihistamines + Why They Can Be Important For Your Health“, Dr. Will Cole DC, article
“Eat These Foods to Starve Cancer Cells to Death“, EpochTimes, article
“Hidden Powers of Vinegar – Detox, Tumor-Fighting, Weight Loss, etc“, EpochTimes, :06 video
“4 Reasons To Eat Garlic For Your Health“, Dr. Andrew Weil MD, article
“Capsaicin Benefits for Cancer, Diabetes & the Brain“, DrAxe, article
“Protect Your Eyes From Blue Light With A Little-Known Nutrient Called Lutein“, mbghealth, article
“Phytonutrients: Natural compounds in plant foods that help lower cancer risk“, NaturalNews, article
“Can Cocoa Benefit Your Brain?“, Dr. Andrew Weil MD, article
“Nutrients for Optimal Thyroid Health“, Dr. Maria “Adi” Benito-Herrero, MD, article with references
“How to Clean Your Arteries With One Simple Fruit“, Sayer Ji, GreenMedInfo, article with references