17 October 2016

Microbiome recipe: butter chicken

According to Cancer Research UK:

  •  42% of cancer cases could be avoided
  • 1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime
  • 4 in 10 cancer cases in the UK each year are linked to lifestyle factors
When I read this, I thought it was absolutely shocking - why aren't we doing more to save ourselves exactly?
Diet is one major thing we have full control of and can help avoid so many disorders and health issues. So today, I'm sharing with you an amazing recipe from The Well-Fed Microbiome Recipe book: butter chicken. I didn't really know why it was called butter until I prepared it, marinated it overnight and tasted it the day after, accompanied by its sauce and rice. It was so absolutely delicious!!

Have you tried any of the recipes yet? What's your favourite?
Want to know more what other ingredrients you should binge on to improve your gut flora, i.e. your health?
See you next Monday

10 October 2016

How do you poo?

I know I know, not the most romantic thing to talk about on a Monday morning...
You may have noticed recently a lot of FB posts about it and probably dismissed them...

It is, however, a very serious matter that we need to address: how to poo!!

You may think - I don't need to know, I'm fairly regular!

But did you know that constipation is defined as experiencing at least 2 of the following symptoms over the preceding 3 months:
  • Fewer than 3 bowel movements per week
  • Straining
  • Lumpy or hard stools
  • Sensation of anorectal obstruction
  • Sensation of incomplete defecation
  • Manual maneuvering required to defecate
I'm 100% sure 100% of us have been constipated at some point in our lives. So no need to be shy about it... Constipation may be one symptom but it can have multiple causes; one might simply be the lack of fibres in one's diet (come over here if you'd like to know more about fibres and diet).

If you are also wondering what your poo is supposed to look like, don't worry, there is a chart for that (I know, right!!!)
Are you a Sausage type 3/4?
But how can I get a perfect 3, or even a 4?

And as a picture is worth a thousand words, here are four:

Picture 1: the puborectalis muscle (A)
E and F are your bottom, poo comes through B, C, and D. Why the hell is there an A there that just cuts the flow... Well I will let you guess why...
Picture 2: a garden hose
Remember using one of those, the frustration when it was all twisted...

Picture 3: the solution
By elevating your knees, the puborectalis muscle relaxes allowing for a no-need-to-strain poo to go through

Picture 4: A stool for perfect type 3/4 stools
A potty training essential for toddlers... and adults!
Have you seen similar topics on FB recently? Have you adopted the correct way to poo?
Let me know (or not) in the comments section

See you next Monday,
The garden hose and the potty training step are affiliate links - thank you

3 October 2016

Microbiome recipe: feta and spinach omelet


This week, I'm sharing with you a second recipe from 'The well-fed microbiome cookbook'.

The recipes are divided in two phases: the first one is about repairing our gut, the second one about revitalizing it.

We are all trying to find something healthy to eat in the morning that doesn't involve sugary cereals, too much bread, and buttery croissants, right?

This recipe is absolutely perfect and only takes 5 minutes to prepare. I was surprised about adding feta in my omelet, but it tasted absolutely divine!

Please note that in this series, I'm not going to give out the recipe as I think it wouldn't be too fair on Kristina Campbell if I were to share her hard work for free, right? I do think, however, that her book is lacking a couple of pictures to show how the recipes are supposed to look like, so here are mine:

Very tasty, filling, and healthy! What more do you want?

Have you ever tried feta in an omelet?

See you next Monday!

26 September 2016

Microbiome recipe: fruity yogurt, nut and seed parfaits


This week, I'm sharing with you a recipe from 'The well-fed microbiome cookbook' I wrote about last week.

The recipes are divided in two phases: the first one is about repairing our gut, the second one about revitalizing it.
The following recipe is taken from phase 1. Recipes from phase 1 follow an adapted low FODMAP diet and are mostly for people with gastrointestinal/digestion issues such as constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and/or bloating, which are linked to IBS or IBD.
IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome, and IBD for inflammatory bowel disease. IBD may be better known as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC), two chronic diseases characterized by various inflamed segments of intestines (Crohn's), colon (both), and/or rectum (UC). IBS is a more obscure condition that is usually attributed when all other diagnoses have been ruled out.
This diet may help these conditions; however, they are not therapy replacement. IBD, as well as IBS, are serious conditions that need appropriate medical attention.
In the first part of the book, she does explain that healthy eating is a commitment and that it may be easier to sort out our cupboards before filling them with new ingredients. So I did, then I went shopping:
My well-fed microbiome shopping trolley
 There was one recipe I had my eye on when I was preparing my menus and shopping list: fruity yogurt, nut and seed parfaits!
Please note that in this series, I'm not going to give out the recipe as I think it wouldn't be too fair on Kristina Campbell if I were to share her hard work for free, right? I do think, however, that her book is lacking a couple of pictures to show how the recipes are supposed to look like, so here are mine:

Soooo good!!

See you next Monday!

19 September 2016

Feed your gut to improve your health

Morning! Welcome back to MBAI!

While researching topics for you, I came across different books on how to feed your microbiome. In a previous post, I dressed a guide to a healthy microbiota that included different ingredients to include in our diet and a couple of useful lifestyle advice that are always worth mentionning (!).

Admittedly though, it is not easy and I find myself struggling to apply my own list - because I'm too damn busy with work, family, and life in general!!
I'm also not in charge of menus and the cooking as my DH has taken on those responsibilities while I look after LO when I'm back from work!

However, this summer, DH and LO went on a second sunny holiday - without me as I couldn't take any more time off work in this busy period (mind you, any period is busy in medical communications!); I took that opportunity to find myself the 'Best' microbiome recipe book to test for you (and for me).

By Kristina Campbell

Written by a scientist - very important for me that it should't be by another self-professed nutritionist, this cookbook explains why, what, and how to do it, with laid out menus for a total of 6 weeks!
Also very handy are her tables of food to enjoy / avoid / limit, which I now refer to several times a day!

Please note, this is not a diet to lose weight per se, but the good habits you will pick up from it will lead to a healthier gut. (For more information about healthy gut and weight, come over here.)

The well-fed microbiome cookbook is also divided in two phases designed to first repair your gut, then to revitalize it:
  1. Repair the gut section is for people who may be suffering from diverse gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, IBD, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, bloating, or constipation. (IBS: irritable bowel syndrome; IBD: inflammatory bowel disease, e.g. Crohn's or ulcerative colitis.). The recipes follow a low FODMAP diet, adapted with a special IBD diet that has shown excellent results in people with IBD. This diet is advised to be followed for 6 weeks only.
  2. Revitalize your gut is about choosing the right ingredients to feed the most beneficial species in your gut so they proliferate and take over the bad ones' territory. This diet is advised to become the new normal.
And if you are keen to experiment with fermenting your own food, this book is definitely for you!

I will share with you my favourite recipes over the next few weeks. One thing I can tell you is that they were sooooooooooooo easy to make and they were absolutely and incredibly delicious (and right now I'm salivating thinking back to how buttery my butter chicken was, mmmm)!

All I need now is to convince DH to change his habist (!) and cook them for us...

Have you ever followed a special diet? Which one was it and what result did you obtain?

See you next Monday,

12 September 2016

Bio-Kult for colds

Well, I didn't expect that! A Summer cold!
I guess my body couldn't really cope with those dramatic temperature changes (15 to 35 to 20 to 30 to 15 in two weeks!) while protecting me from the virus that's been attacking my mum for a few days.

Coincidentally, while on holiday, I haven't been very good at keeping up with my morning probiotics routine. I didn't think it would matter too much, after all I went through winter with only one sore throat and was openly attributing that exploit to my new probiotics supplements Bio-Kult.

As a scientist, I know that correlation doesn't equate causation and with a sample population of 1 (me), my old PhD supervisor wouldn't be very proud of me if I was directly linking my viral invasion to the temporary lack of probiotic supplements in my gut, but... Although my case may well be a coincidence, some studies have shown that taking probiotic supplements helps to reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold:
A major Cochrane review gathered data of 12 controlled clinical trials of 3720 people and concluded that probiotics were found better than placebo in reducing the number episodes of acute upper respiratory tract infections, the rate of episodes of acute upper respiratory tract infection and reducing antibiotic use.
So, is it still a coincidence? Maybe, but as I felt my body weaken under viral invasion, I did my body a favour: I stayed in bed and drank my lemon honey teas... And I upped my daily dose of probiotics. As a result, and similarly to what a 2015 experimental study showed, the severity and length of my infection was shortened to a mere 4 days between the onset of bothering symptoms and full recovery (no more runny nose or sore throat, allow 5-6 days for your body to eliminate the invaders).

Are you taking supplements? What do you do to get rid of your cold?

See you next Monday,

The Bio-Kult photo is an affiliate link.

5 September 2016

Red wine and chocolate on the menu!

Welcome to My Bugs And I!

Thank you very much to all new readers for subscribing during the Summer Break Giveaway, I hope you find my articles interesting; they are all amazing stories about what our microbiota (microscopic world living on and in us) do for us to keep us safe and sane.

Our Summer Break Giveaway Winners are:
Melissa Lee, Melissa Crowe, and Adrian Bold

As a new school year begins all over the world, let's look at an academic study that showed that red wine and chocolate are good for you. Oh yes, let's...

Something that we've discussed in previous posts is that the more diverse your gut flora is (higher number of different species), the lesser your risk of developing various diseases. Another thing is that everyone's composition of species is unique, and it makes it very difficult to say this or that species is essential to be healthy!!

Now, a large study on thousands of people, and their poo (where our gut species end up eventually), came up with what influences our gut flora's diversity: 31 intrinsic factors, 12 diseases, 19 drug groups, 4 smoking categories, and 60 dietary factors that can explain 18.7% of the variation seen in the interindividuality of microbial composition.

Among those factors, we'll be happy to know that drinking coffee, tea, red wine was associated with increased diversity. Drinking buttermilk was also shown to be good as it was associated with abundance of two species commonly used in fermentation.

As expected, no need to stress that sweetened drinks and other alcohols are definitely not good.

I was surprised to see, however, that whole fat milk is contributing to lower microbial diversity: whole milk is recommended for infants between the ages of 1 and 2, so I guess there's a bit of risk-benefit balance to play there.

Another good news is that the absence of calprotectin in people's poo (a good thing), was associated with consumption of veggies, plant proteins, chocolate, and bread; while its presence was associated with high BMI, diabetes, use of statins and metformin (again, let's weigh the risk-benefit balance), and systolic blood pressure.

As for everything, all in good measures!

Want to know the basics on how to promote a healthy gut, follow me here and here!

What do you do to influence your high gut flora diversity?

See you next Monday!

My bugs and I Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon