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Whole Grain Benefits

Best Foods For Gut Health – Forbes Health

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More and more research is pointing to the tremendous role your gut plays in your health and wellbeing. The good bacteria in your gut not only aid digestion, but also keep you healthy by producing vitamins, boosting the immune system, and fighting off harmful bacteria. In fact, more than 70% of your immune system is in your gut.

Most people can naturally improve their gut health through diet. Here are the types of foods that offer the greatest gut health benefits.

High fiber foods like beans, oats, and fruits

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plant foods and is classified as soluble or insoluble.

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that is ingested by gut bacteria, says Alicia Romano, a specialist clinical nutritionist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In the meantime, insoluble fiber will pass your digestive tract largely intact, helping to add bulk to your stool. “This allows food to pass through the gastrointestinal tract more quickly, promoting regular bowel movements,” says Romano.

Both types of fiber contribute to intestinal health by helping digestion and preventing constipation. Eating foods high in fiber will also protect you from being overweight and developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer. This is evident from a review of studies in The Lancet.

Good sources of fiber are:

  • Beans, dried peas and lentils
  • Bran (oats and wheat)
  • Dried fruits like plums and raisins
  • Food made with whole grain products such as whole grain bread, whole grain cereals and whole wheat pasta
  • Whole grains like barley, quinoa, bulgur, and brown rice
  • Fresh fruits, especially apples with skin, pears with skin, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
  • nuts
  • seed
  • Vegetables, especially artichokes, broccoli, green peas, winter squash, and white potatoes and sweet potatoes with their skin on

Probiotic foods like kimchi, kombucha, and kefir

Probiotic foods contain live microorganisms like the health-promoting microbes in your intestines. Eating probiotic foods can help increase the population of beneficial bacteria in your body.

Common groups of bacteria in probiotic foods are Lactobacillus (often abbreviated as “L.” on food labels) and Bifidobacterium (abbreviated as “B.” on food labels). Probiotic foods are made by adding microbes to food and / or allowing a process known as fermentation.

Examples of probiotic foods are:

  • Fermented soy foods like tempeh, miso, and natto
  • Kefir (fermented milk)
  • Kimchi (fermented vegetables)
  • Kombucha (a fermented tea drink)
  • Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
  • Yogurt, both dairy and non-dairy products

When choosing probiotic foods, check the labels for live, active cultures, which indicate that the bacteria in the foods are still living. For example, when buying probiotic sauerkraut, reach for chilled brands with live cultures. Storage-stable, pasteurized sauerkraut in a can or jar – the type of sauerkraut your mom might have bought as a hot dog seasoning – is unlikely to contain live microbes. Live microbes are beneficial because they join the community of living microbes that are already in your gut.

Probiotics are also available in over-the-counter diet supplements. However, there is mixed evidence of their benefits, and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) does not recommend the use of probiotic supplements for most digestive disorders. If you choose to take probiotic supplements, the AGA recommends doing so under medical guidance.

Prebiotic foods like asparagus, bananas, and garlic

It’s not enough to eat lots of probiotic-rich foods – you also need to eat foods that help keep these health-promoting microorganisms alive.

This is where certain types of soluble fiber called prebiotics come into play. Think of these as nutrient-rich food for your healthy gut microbes. When you eat prebiotic foods, you are effectively feeding the good bacteria that keep your intestines in balance.

Prebiotic foods contain compounds like fructooligosaccharides, inulin, and galactooligosaccharides, which are types of soluble fiber. “Prebiotics act as fuel for certain bacteria in the intestine and can thus encourage the formation of more good bacteria,” says Romano.

Good prebiotic foods include:

  • asparagus
  • Bananas
  • chicory
  • garlic
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • leek
  • oats
  • Onions
  • Soybeans

Synbiotic foods like yogurt paired with blueberries

Synbiotic foods combine prebiotics and probiotics into a single, over-healthy meal that supports the gut microbes. These foods offer the benefits of both prebiotics and probiotics all at once, support existing gut bacteria, and provide your gut with additional live cultures.

Some examples of synbiotic foods are:

  • A banana smoothie made from kefir or yogurt
  • Fry with tempeh, asparagus, garlic and leek
  • Yogurt with blueberries

To make these foods even better for your intestines, add high fiber ingredients like whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, or legumes.

Anti-inflammatory foods like oily fish, flax seeds, and walnuts

Inflammation occurs when your body releases white blood cells and other compounds to protect you from infection. This response benefits you when you actually have an infection, but sometimes your body gets into some sort of inflammatory overdrive, even when there is no infection, distributing inflammatory chemicals like cytokines when you don’t need them. This process can contribute to or worsen gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.

Anti-inflammatory foods contain nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids that can help cool down inflammation. “These play a role in the body’s natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pathways, which can also promote gut health,” says Romano.

Helpful anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and anchovies
  • linseed
  • Fruits like berries and grapes
  • Vegetables like broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes
  • Walnuts

A varied diet naturally improves intestinal health

Filling your daily diet with a range of foods is an excellent way to boost your gut microbiome and overall health. “Having an abundance of nutrients from a wide variety of foods is key to having a positive impact on your gut,” says Romano. “The more varied the diet, the more access the intestines have to a number of useful nutrients.”

And don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Not only does water allow fiber to do its job properly in your intestines, it also helps keep your digestive system – and the rest of your body – functioning properly. “Adequate fluid intake is vital for the health of all organ systems as well as the health of our intestines,” says Romano.

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Hills RD Jr., Pontefract BA, Mishcon HR, Black CA, Sutton SC, Theberge CR. Gut Microbiome: Profound Effects on Diet and Disease. Nutrient. 2019; 11 (7): 1613.

Singh RK, Chang HW, Yan D. Influence of diet on the gut microbiome and effects on human health. J Transl Med. 2017; 15 (1): 73.

Frati F, Salvatori C, Incorvaia C. The role of the microbiome in asthma: the gut-lung axis. Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 20 (1): 123.

Reynolds A, Mann J, Cummings J, Winter N, Mete E, Te Morenga L. Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyzes. Lancet. 2019; 393 (10170): 434- 445.

Soluble vs insoluble fiber. MedlinePlus. Accessed on March 17th, 2021.

Carlson JL, Erickson JM, Lloyd BB, Slavin JL. Health effects and sources of prebiotic fiber. Curr Dev Nutr. 2018; 2 (3): nzy005.

AGA does not recommend the use of probiotics for most digestive disorders. American Gastroenterological Association. Accessed on March 17th, 2021.

Monda V., Villano I., Messina A. et al. Exercise alters the gut microbiota with beneficial health effects. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017.

Probiotics used to treat gastrointestinal disorders in adults. American College of Gastroenterology. Accessed on March 17th, 2021.

Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News

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For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, theatre@parkland.edu or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at TKleparski@parkland.edu or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.

STEVICK CENTER ACTIVITIES

Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Bingo:

  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.

Bridge:

  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.

Euchar:

Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.

HOT LUNCH PROGRAM

The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.

Sunday:

  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.

Tuesday:

  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.

Tuesday:

  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.

Tuesday:

  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.

Friday:

  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at rsvpchampaign@gmail.com or 217-359-6500.

CURRENT NEEDS

Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at rsvpchampaign@gmail.com or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

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Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice

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By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?

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In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.

Summary

Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!

Summary

When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.

Summary

Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

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