NY times best selling author Dr B joins host Amelia Phillips to discuss gut sensitivities and their solution. They discuss latest research, the gut brain axis, how it really works. Why food sensitivities can arise for no apparent reason, and how to diagnose them. They discuss histamines, FODMAPS, the best ways to heal our gut and Dr Bs favourite gut healing foods.
About the guest:
NY Times best selling author Dr Will Bulchewiz, otherwise known as Dr B, or the Gut health MD on instagram. Dr B is a gastroenterologist, a researcher with over 40 medical publications, and regularly gives sold out keynotes on gut health. Dr B has just released a brand new book; the Fibre Fuelled Cookbook not only filled with delicious gut healing and mood boosting recipes, but also groundbreaking new research on gut health.
Below is an unedited transcript of the podcast episode:
You know that gut feeling we get or butterflies in our stomach before we maybe get up to make a speech. These sensations emanating from our belly suggests that our brain and our gut are connected. What’s more recent studies show that our brain affects our gut health, and our gut similarly affects our brain health.
So this communication system between our gut and brain is called the gut brain axis. So if we really wanna feel good, we. To focus on our gut health.
This is healthy her with Amelia Phillips. Chances are if you haven’t already had gut and food sensitivity issues, at some point you will, especially after children. Thanks guys. And as we inch closer to Perry and Prise, But the healthier our gut, the better our moods will be and the less chance we’ll have of these sensitivities arising, or if we already have them, there are now ways that we can more effectively heal our gut, which in turn can help to heal our mind.
So to discuss this today, I’m delighted to be joined by New York Times best selling author, Dr. Will Bol Shavitz, otherwise known as Dr. B, or the Gut Health MD on Instagram. Dr. B is a gastroenterologist, a researcher with over 40 medical publications, and he regularly gives sold out keynotes on gut health.
Dr. B has just released a brand new book. The Fiber Fueled Cookbook not only filled with delicious gut and mind boosting recipes, but also groundbreaking new research on gut health. Dr. B, thank you so much for joining me today. It is a great pleasure to be with you here today, and I’m listening to this intro and I’m like, Oh.
This is gonna be good. I need some popcorn. I’m like, I wanna kick back and relax and listen to this wonderful episode. But then I realized, oh wait, I’m the guy who needs to talk about it. So I’ll have my popcorn later. Yes, please. You’re our poo guy. You’re our guy that loves to get down and dirty and tell us what goes on in our gut, aren’t you?
Yeah. What can I say? This is, this is who I’ve become. My wife knew who she was marrying when she chose to marry me. You know, it’s just something I feel a little too comfortable about and sometimes I don’t even realize. It’s just like, this is what I do for a. Been a couple of years since we last spoke, and I really encourage you, all my lovely listeners to listen to our previous episode on IBS or irritable bowel syndrome and bloating specifically for moms.
That’s episode 11, and I just walked away from that episode mind completely blown, but it has been a couple of years. So what has changed in the world of gut health research and particularly I wanna focus on that food sensitivity and mood. It is an exciting time in gut health research. I think that we are actively.
In the midst of a revolution of biology and human health, I’m, I’m sincere when I say that I am not trying to be hyperbolic in any way. We knew nothing about this and we are still on the tip of the iceberg. And yet just being on what I would describe as the tip of the iceberg, I already feel that it is radically transforming the way that we approach human health.
Yeah. Okay. Why is that? We spent most of the last 15 years. Describing what we were seeing in the microbes. So, you know, two years ago when I was here, okay, a big part of what we were doing was just kind of, Hey, this is what we’re finding in the microbiome. This is what it does, this is how it works. When now we’re starting to get into how do we manipulate it?
And there’s exciting stuff. So use, if it’s okay with you, Amelia, just as an example, cancer care, which is being transformed by the micro. So specifically there’s research out of MD Anderson, which is one of the top American cancer institutions looking at melanoma, which is the most deadly skin cancer that you could have.
Yeah, we’re pretty familiar with that here in Australia. Yeah, . Yeah. You’ll have a lot of sun in a lot of beaches. Anyway, so. They’re trying to figure out like how do we properly treat melanoma? And what they’ve been using is a therapy called immunotherapy. And the point of immunotherapy is basically to help shape the immune system, to allow your immune system to fight the cancer.
Okay. And what does gut health have to do with. Immune therapy. 70% of our immune system is right there in close contact, Close proximity to our gut microbiome. There’s a single layer of cells, a single layer of cells called the epithelial layer. This is our gut lining, by the way, or our gut barrier. And on one side of that gut barrier, this single layer of cells that’s so thin that like the naked eye, can’t pick this up.
On one side, our 38 trillion microbe. And on the other side is 70% of your immune system. Okay. So when you’re talking about the gut here, we are basically talking about the large intestine, the small intestine that, you know, meters and meters of tubing that all our food passes through. Yep. And particularly we find that the immune system is in this part of our body called the gut associated lymphoid tissue.
So you will see it abbreviated as the G A L T. But I think that the point for the listeners at home is that you can’t really separate the gut microbiome. From the immune system, they are intertwined because they’re in such close proximity to one another that they’re speaking to one another constantly.
So when you say the immune system, you’ve got this lining or this, this layer here where the gut microbiome sit. What is the immune system on the other side? Are we talking about all these tiny little genetic markers that switch on and switch off based on the chemicals that get secreted by these gut microbiome?
Can you explain it a little better than. Yeah. Yeah. Think of them as soldiers. These are your soldiers. This is your army. This is your defense system. Okay? Now an army is not like perpetually hiding and in the barracks sometimes you have the army strategically located in places just to stand guard. So you like, you would have security at, you know, for example, in the United States, the White House.
And the security is very visible. You see them there. Well, guess what? The place where you were interacting with the outside world is in your gut. It’s not your skin. It’s in your gut. And so if you wanted to create security for your body, what you would do is you would position the immune system right there in your gut to protect you, protect you from viruses or bacteria or noxious chemicals or whatever it may be.
But the point is the immune system is intended to be there to offer protection to. And it is strategically focused, the majority of it there in your gut, because this is where you’re coming into contact with the outside world. So it makes sense to have your protective mechanism already in place there.
So with this melanoma research, it’s very interesting because they’re given this immunotherapy and here’s what they noticed, Amelia. Number one, if you give antibiotics to a person before you administer the immunotherapy. Now of course, like antibiotics destroy bacteria. Yep. That’s what they’re designed to do.
But they’re designed to. When you do this, if you give a person antibiotics and then you give them their cancer therapy, the immunotherapy, they are way less likely to get a good response in terms of treating their cancer. So this opened up their mind. They said maybe it’s the microbes. So they tried something.
They gave a fecal transplant. So they, they basically are like giving a boost to the microbiome and they did this immediately prior to immunotherapy and they discovered that people actually got better outcomes. Amazing. So they can be given the antibiotics to do whatever it needs to do, and then they do the fecal transplant to replace the destroyed gut microbiome.
They put a healthy fecal matter. That’s a horrible. And then they can administer the immunotherapy. Yeah, so the implication is if you destroy the microbiome, you are negatively affecting the immune system, which is negatively affecting your ability to mobilize the immune system to use it against cancer.
And when you build up the microbiome, you are building up the immune system, which allows it to function in a stronger capacity in terms of protecting you from cancer. Now here’s one last element to this. This just was published in December, so you’re asking me like what’s new? Okay, this is. Published in December in the Journal of Science, one of like literally the top, probably four or five scientific journals on the planet.
And basically they looked at fiber consumption. So what are people eating prior to receiving immunotherapy? Now, this was not a randomized trial, this was observational data, but now they’re moving into randomized trials to study this and what are people eating? And they found that the majority of people.
We’re not consuming 20 grams of fiber. The majority people are less than 20 grams of fiber. And by the way, 20 grams of fiber is a very small amount. Yeah. But it’s our recommended daily amount is, is it 25 grams? I think in Australia? Uh, so in, at least in the US I’m not sure the Australian governing recommendations, but in the US the recommended amount for women is 25 grams per day.
And for men it’s about 38 grams. In this study, the vast majority of people, like close to 80% of people were consuming less than 20 grams of fiber. But what if you were consuming at least 20 grams of fiber per day? We know, and if you’ve listened to our first episode together, we know that fiber is great for the microbiome.
It feeds it and makes it stronger, and it also transforms into short chain fatty acids, which are very important to making our immune system work the way it’s supposed. In this study, they found that when people were consuming more than 20 grams of fiber per day and they receive immunotherapy for their melanoma, they were far more likely to achieve a cure, and their survival rates were way higher.
Wow. To the point, this is like insane, but I’m just gonna say it. For every five grams of fiber that you were consuming as an increase, Crank it up by five grams, you increase your likelihood of surviving cancer by 30%. That is groundbreaking research. That is incredible. Simply like, yo, you eat an extra salad.
Yeah. Once you’re eating a high veggie diet, you can get your 20, 25 grams pretty easily. Yeah. And even if you weren’t doing that great with it, let’s pretend that you’re eating whatever you typically eat for lunch, but now you add a side salad. And you get five grams of fiber per that. Yo, you just increased your likelihood of surviving cancer by 30%.
That’s crazy. That is insane. And all of us are touched by cancer in some way, shape, or form. But how do you translate that into the everyday person, for example, and research like that showing the impacts on cancer. Surely if we also followed a similar protocol as far as upping our fiber, what benefits would we see just as everyday people?
Well, you know, the issue is that when we’re talking about cancer, we’re talking about a body under du. Like we are in a vulnerable position because we’re facing something that is life threatening. Now, most of us, thankfully, are not in that type of scenario, but what I’m showing you is the potential power that exists if you simply nurture your gut microbial.
And part of what I’m selling here today is not just, Hey, the gut is important. If you are suffering with, for example, digestive issues, or you mentioned the brain gut access, like mood related issues or neurologic issue. That’s not the only scenario where this matters. The answer is that it matters for all of us.
It matters for every single person listening right here, right now, every day going forward. This is something that we should be nurturing. It’s that important. On that note, let’s talk about the gut brain access and how it affects mood as well. Cause I know there’s approximately a hundred billion that’s with a B in neurons in our brain.
But then we also have around 500. Million neurons in our gut and we’ve got neurons in our spinal cord. How does a hierarchy work and how does this affect mood? So when medical doctors or scientists think about the body, or even the lay person, we think about the body, we separate it into separate organs, right?
So you talk about the brain and you talk about the gut, and they’re these two separate things, but they are far more intertwined than we realize. It’s actually incredibly difficult to truly separate these things because they’re in constant communication with one another. They’re doing it. You and I are talking to one another, we’re hanging out and the brain is talking to the gut, and the gut is talking to the brain.
And let me kind of share how this works. So starting with the way that the gut sends signals, it’s kind of like, look, there’s many ways that we could communicate with one another, right? I could send you a text message, I could send you an email, and if I’m feeling really cheeky, I could do smoke signals, but they’re not gonna get to Australia from the United States, unfortunately.
So that would be pretty much a waste of time. But still, there’s a lot of ways that I could try to communicate with you. Ame. The gut has multiple ways to communicate with the brain. So part of it is these nerves, your gut is completely carpeted with nerves. It’s actually the second most nerves that you will find in any part of the body, outside of the brain.
It’s only the brain has more nerves than your gut. Wow. And they’re constantly feeling and sensing. And collecting information. They’re there for a reason. They’re not turned off. They’re active and they’re collecting information, and that information will actually run up a super nerve. This nerve is like the information highway called the vagus nerve.
And the vagus nerve will bring all of this information from 500 million nerves that exist in your gut all the way up to your brain, and then your brain will actually adapt based upon that information that it’s. And that information is derived from what we’re eating. So say for example, I’ve eaten a packet of bright yellow chisels that are packed with preservatives, thickeners, chemical flavorings, et cetera, what would that do to this kind of communication pathway that you’re talking about?
What you’re trying to do is you’re trying to get your body in a rhythm, and so these nerves are part of establishing that rhythm and allowing things to move forward in a very nice, pleasant. If the rhythm gets outta whack and it starts going too fast, you get diarrhea. If the rhythm gets outta whack and it goes too slow, you get constipation.
So the nerves are helping to contribute to establishing this rhythm and keeping things moving forward. Part of this is also that you can negatively affect the microbiome. Right? So these things that you’re describing that, uh, they’re chisels. Yeah, chisels. Do you have chisels in the states? We probably have something very similar.
We have like cheese. Its cheese, nis. I don’t have chisels, let’s call it junk food in general. Highly processed foods, which a lot of us eat all the time. Uh, completely. And, and none of us, none of us are pure. We’re all doing our best. None of us are perfect. It’s okay. That’s okay. I’m not perfect either. But in the United States, and I don’t think it’s radically different in Australia, about 60% of our calories in the US are coming from ultra processed foods like this.
So that’s the majority of our calories. That’s problematic because these foods did not exist a hundred years ago, and they come into contact with your gut microbes. Every single thing that you put into your mouth is ultimately in one way or another, going to come into contact with your gut microbes, and you have to understand like preservatives.
What do they do? How do they work? Well, preservatives work by by basically retarding by bacteria. That’s how you keep something fresh. So what happens when that comes into contact with 38 trillion microbes? It can be very disruptive. That’s, that’s actually not something that we really want to happen on a routine basis.
If you actually damage the microbiome to an extent, it will actually allow these nerves to fall out of balance and you develop something that we see in people to have iol, bowel syndrome, Amelia. Which is that they develop visceral hypersensitivity. Visceral hypersensitivity means that you have these 500 million nerves in your gut, and they are jumpy.
They react to things that they’re not supposed to react to. So if you have ibs, it’s not that your pain is fake, it’s not that you’re being a wimp, it’s that your brain is receiving an intense pain signal because the nerves are telling your brain, Yo, this hurts. And it’s because they’re hyper concepts.
Yeah, they’re jumpy, they’re overreacting, or they’ve decided that for whatever reason, whether it’s because after children, what are those reasons why foods as we get older, and particularly with women approaching perimenopause, menopause, or after we’ve had kids, why food sensitivities seem to arise more frequent.
Anytime that you disrupt the gut microbiome, there’s a high probability that it will manifest with food intolerances or food sensitivities. If you look at people with irritable bowel syndrome, they say statistically that 80% of them have food intolerances. I think 80% is underestimated. I think it’s a hundred percent.
Yeah, I think it’s a hundred percent because I think it’s just a matter of what do you describe? What do you truly formally describe as a food intolerance? If you have to avoid certain foods because you don’t think you can consume them, you have a food into. Even if it’s not manifesting, cuz you’re avoiding it.
Right. I wanna actually circle back because mood is really important and we just went down the amazing rabbit hole of food sensitivity. But just you were explaining how say something like, you know, a poor diet, highly processed food. What does that do to these signals in the gut that makes us feel bad?
Is it just the pain signal, or is there something more than that that can impact how we feel? So getting back to the way that our gut communicates to our brain, it’s more than the nerves. It’s also that your gut produces neurotransmitters. There’s 30 different neurotransmitters produced in. And when your food comes into contact with your gut microbes, those gut microbes actually produce chemicals that have the ability to affect your brain and your brain function.
So there’s all these different things that are all occurring simultaneously, and it all converges in one place, which is your brain, and it manifests there. Your brain interprets these signals in this information, and then it has a response. It will actually, your brain will respond to what it’s hearing from.
And that includes that when there is stress, your brain will activate the stress response, which is the sympathetic nervous system. And release a hormone called corticotropin releasing hormone CR H. If you follow CRH and what the effect that it has on your body, and you follow this down, look, there’s a reason why we have it.
There are advantages to it when we need it, but when we activate it and we don’t need it downstream, there’s a consequence. It damages our gut microbiome. This is the reason why in times of acute stress, you mentioned in the very beginning of the intro, you get those butterflies, you get those gut feelings, or it could be worse than that.
It could be diarrhea, it could be cramping, pain that folds you over. Why does that happen? Because you are activating the stress response. Your brain is actually affecting your gut, and this is the reason why you’re manifesting those symptoms. That’s the brain gut. I love this. Well, let’s move on now to dealing with food sensitivities and talk me through, in your book, you’ve got this three step approach to dealing with patients that struggle with sensitive stomachs or food sensitivities.
You start with hope, and I love that because for anyone out there that has struggled with. IBS food sensitivities for a long time, they can lose a lot of hope. So you start with hope, you move to root cause, understanding of what has caused this, and then you put forward the plan for healing, and then you work through something that you call the Growth Strategy, which is an acronym.
Talk us through what the growth strategy is. Yeah, totally. I feel like the book is your source of. And I feel like this is very important because what I’ve observed in my experience as a medical doctor is that when people lose hope, they don’t get good results. And sometimes it can be d. You have to believe that you are capable of healing, and I want you to believe that you are capable of healing because you are.
Guy was gonna ask you as a gastroenterologist, do you have hope with your patients? Do you feel like, is there no problem too big that you don’t feel like you can solve it? I’m realistic in the sense that it’s not always easy. There’s not always gonna be a quick fix. Sometimes there are complex layers to the onion that we have to peel apart, but I believe that every single person is capable of healing and achieving the life that they want.
I believe that that is the. And so the growth strategy is me moving into the second two parts of what you described as my three steps. You know, where we identify the root cause and then we create solutions. I’m just gonna walk through the letters and the book unpacks this in a lot more detail for people who are really interested, but just to walk quickly through them, G stands for Genesis.
What is the root cause of your symptoms? We have to know that. If you have celiac disease, we need to know so that we can put you on a gluten-free diet and then you will be better. Yeah. Is it fructose intolerance? Exactly. Sucrose. Intolerance. Is it constipation? If you have constipation, you’re gonna have food intolerances.
I can fix that. Let me fix your constipation. It’s not even about the food. It’s about your constipation. Let me fix that. Right, so that’s G R O W, or three letters that I pair together because basically they are working in tandem. They’re not in isolation. Restric. Observe, work it back in. There is no reliable test for food intolerances or food sensitivities.
So it’s essentially an elimination diet of some sort, has to be an elimination diet, right? So you temporarily eliminate, you see how you feel and you reintroduce and you see how you feel. And by creating those shifts in current, you can tell. And then the last two letters, T stands for Train Your Gut. Your gut is like a muscle.
It can be made stronger, it can be trained, it can be made capable of things that you didn’t think it was capable of doing. Do you think we’re born expecting to run 26.2 miles a marathon? ? No. We train. We build up. And then we accomplish something magnificent. So you are talking about training the gut as in teaching it to adapt to, for example, a higher fiber diet.
Is that what you mean by training the gut? Yes. And any of these food intolerances for the most part. I mean, there’s caveats of course, like, you know, I, it’s hard to speak in Es, but for the vast majority of these food intolerances, if you followed this approach and you train. Then you actually become capable of restoring function and the foods that you believe are your enemy turn out to be your friend in the end because they’re actually good for your gut and we just need to get you reaped to them.
Yeah, because I think a lot of people fall down as well if, if someone’s had a really low fiber diet and an unhealthy, highly processed diet for a long time, and then they suddenly go on that eight week program, or they go and completely revolutionize their diet in three days, times, some people might be doubled over.
Crippling agony when they’ve been eating this beautiful, clean, healthy diet. And that’s just because it’s literally like telling your gut to go from sitting on the couch to running a marathon, isn’t it? That’s exactly right. You’re basically going from sitting on the couch to trying to run a marathon. No one in the right mind would ever do that.
You would always build up to the marathons. You have to go low and slow in building up. I’ll give you this great example, Okay. I make the best homemade baked beans and they’re so healthy and I put lots of veggies in, and my family, we all. Anyone comes to stay and they have like a few scoops of these.
They are fighting all day and they’re like, What did you put in those baked beans doesn’t do that to any of us in the family where like baked beans, we throw ’em around like dumbbells in our house. They’re fine. Our guts love ’em. Well, you guys are adapted. You’ve been eating a lot of baked beans, right?
But then the person, you’re right, the person who comes to your house has never tried this before, and then they’re like too tuned all over the place and they’re, they’re being humbled by the Phelps family. beware when you come to stay Dr. B, although I’m sure that your gut’s fine with my baked beans.
These are shots fired and I will be training on bake beans for weeks on prior to coming to Australia.
The last letter real quick. Amelia’s age H stands for Holistic healing. We are talking a moment ago about the stress response and how stress can activate these hormones that basically can damage your gut. Holistic healing means that this is more than just gut health. It means taking a look at the complete person and understanding.
For example, if you’re not happy in your. If you are miserable, it’s gonna be hard for you to really, truly heal your gut. If you have a relationship that you’re struggling with, it’s gonna be hard to really, truly heal your gut if there are things that are unsettled in your life. This is very real. This is a part of who you are.
You are not being a wimp or something like that. It’s quite simply that this is negatively affecting you because it’s activating your stress response on an ongoing basis. You have to fix that, which impacts things like sleep, which also impacts gut health. I mean, again, the body is one whole organism.
It’s very hard to separate those out. So in your book, you’ve got two main protocols for healing these gut sensitivities, and for someone listening today that is kind of struggling with these sensitivities, can you give us a high level approach to each protocol in a way that our listeners can decide whether it might be something that they would like to follow?
The two main protocols that I include, and by the way, there’s information on other types of food intolerances as well. But the two ones that I focus on, and I actually have recipes for both of. Our FODMAPs and histamines. So starting with FODMAPs first. FODMAPs is actually something that, it’s a concept that originates out of Australia.
Y’all should be proud of. It does. I’m so proud of us. FODMAPs is another acronym stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides. Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polys. And these basically, Cover the large majority of food sensitivities. Is that correct? It covers a very substantial portion. Right? Because basically these are the fermentable parts of our food.
So you think about lactose, which is milk. A lot of people struggle. They have lactose intolerance. Well, that’s a FOD map. You talk about people who say, Oh, I’m, I’m gluten intolerant. Well, gluten intolerant actually, it’s not usually gluten. Usually it’s the FOD map, which are the fructans that you will find in wheat, right?
Or garlic or legumes. Like, you know, your, your friend who comes and visits and they can’t stop blowing gas all day like that. Because they’re getting exposed to a lot of FOD maps, but the FOD maps are actually good for. They’re actually really, really good for the gut microbiome. We want them. We don’t wanna avoid them, and so I help in the book to teach you how to actually identify which FOD maps you are sensitive to and then to build back up so that you can become accommodated to them because it’s essentially a FOD map is an elimination diet where you eliminate these FOD maps from your diet.
And then using the protocol over a set period of time, you carefully reintroduce, you eliminate them. What, How many weeks do you say you eliminate it? Is it for, in this case, it’s typically two weeks now. You could go four weeks if you’re eating a more broad diet, I’m offering a plant-based diet. Of course, people can adapt it.
Like if you want to et check inner shrimp or whatever you want. That’s totally cool. But because it’s a plant-based diet, I don’t want to keep people on a restricted diet for four weeks. So it’s two weeks on a plant-based diet, low FOD map, and then you start to do these reintroductions and there’s an entire process that I teach.
Yeah. One warning I would say for people, cuz there was confusion. FODMAPs is quite popular now. It’s not a healthy diet that you follow. I’ve met more people than I’d care to that say, Oh yeah, I live on a low FODMAP diet. That’s not healthy. It’s an elimination diet. You’re taking these foods that are potentially triggering your food sensitivities out of your diet, letting your gut rest for a while, and then you reintroduce them in a strategic way.
You go, Oh, okay, so I reintroduced the Oligosaccharide foods and nothing happened. But then a few days later, I reintroduced the Disaccharide foods and all my, all my sensitivity symptoms came back again. Yeah, that’s exactly right. And you know, if you look at the way that it was taught at Monash University, them being the world’s experts on this topic, they’re the creators of it.
It was never meant to be permanent illumination of FODMAPs ever. They have never taught that it was always meant to be temporary restriction and then reintroduction. And look, it’s funny, when I went through a really bad IBS period after baby number three, it was much easier to identify the foods and it turned out to be fructose and gluten, and it was actually really easy to identify them.
And I eliminated them for a little while, and then I slowly reintroduced them and now I’m fine with it. Don’t feel overwhelmed if it is something that you do have to go through. What about the second protocol? What’s the other one you like? Yeah, so the second one is histamines, and so histamine is very interesting.
I could talk for like literally a half hour on this topic, but let’s put it this way. Histamine is a normal part of your body. It’s already there. We have histamine in us right now. What is it? It’s a signaling molecule that basically. Interact with receptors in your brain, in your gut, in your heart and your blood vessels.
But histamine, if it falls outta balance, and we have this like massive excess that causes problems such as inflammation, I’m gonna list a bunch of symptoms. And the job for the people listening at home is to say, Do you have two or more of the symptoms that I’m gonna list? And by the way, they’re pretty broad, so don’t be surprised if you do.
Okay. The number one symptom of histamine intolerance is gas and bloating. You could have other digestive symptoms, cramping, pain. You could have diarrhea. You could have constipation. You could have acid reflux or nausea, but beyond the gut, it manifests in other places. You could have headaches, migraines, runny nose after a meal, sinus congestion issues.
You could have skin issues that could include a rash or hive. Or flushing where you get like red. It could include heart related things, not necessarily something scary, certainly not a heart attack, but it could include like lightheadedness or a rapid heart rate. And so if you take all those things, this is affecting your whole body.
That’s what you can hear. And if you have two of them, I’m not saying that you have histamine in tolerance. What I’m saying is if you don’t have a clear explanation for why you have these symptom, Maybe you do. Yeah. Cuz you pretty much described all of us listening right now. If there’s someone listening that’s not nodding their head and shaking their head going, Oh no, I don’t have any of those things, can you please contact me?
Because , I’ve got about eight of those things that you just mentioned. The key here is if the answer is yes, it’s possible. Again, not saying you have it, I’m just saying it’s. Then the what you do is much like the FODMAPs, you follow a protocol of eating low histamine for two weeks. In your book, do you actually have the plan that you can follow?
Yes, so this is the beautiful thing because I’ve always, as a doctor, wanted to hand recipes to my patients, and I’ve never done that. This is me collectively handing recipes. There are 26 low histamine recipes. There are 30 Bo FODMAP recipes, and I could pull up the book. I have it right. I could have you eating a low histamine diet.
You would not know that anything is going on. You would just be like, Oh, Dr. B, there’s food. Oh, it’s delicious. That’s what you would be saying. That’s a Mickey. Sound weird. I’m sorry about that. sounded like I was saying it with a massive mouthful of food. The problem I have, Dr. B is when you look at high histamine foods, you’ve basically described my.
Well, alcohol, I’m okay on the alcohol, but lots of my listeners aren’t. But we’ve got avocado, banana, chickpeas, chocolate, citrus fruits, coffee dried fruit, energy drinks, eggplant fermented plant foods. I’m not gonna go on, but guys give it a Google High histamine foods, there’s a lot there. It can feel very overwhelming.
I’m gonna be honest. It can feel very over. Don’t feel overwhelmed. Okay? Don’t feel overwhelmed. I got you. Okay. I’m here for you because I’ve done the work and so just eat the food. Don’t overthink it. Eat the food for two weeks. How do you feel? Do you feel better? You do. Cool. We just empowered you. We just like found some really important information that we can help you, and then I teach you how to make it better.
All right. For those listening, their symptoms aren’t serious enough to go on, say a low FOD map or a low histamine and and do this discovery. If we wanna just improve our gut health and brain access connection, what are some of your top foods that are gonna help with. For kids too. Cuz I want, as we’re listening now, I wanna think about this not just for us as moms and parents, but also for our kids.
So as you’re talking through these, if there’s any that’s specifically relevant for kids. Yeah. So when it comes to trying to optimize our gut, let me start here. It’s about the plant foods. Because if you think about what are prebiotics, this word prebiotic basically means the food that feeds your gut microbiome and then gives you better health.
This is the part, by the way, that’s been mostly missing from our. And the prebiotics are fiber resistant Starche. Polyphenols, by the way, we’ve talked about fiber resistant starches are basically fiber. They’re very similar. That’s just not exactly biochemically the same, but think of them as the same thing.
Just throw a few resistant starch foods at us. Green bananas, White potatoes, when you let them cool like it, for example, you make mashed potatoes and then it cools off. Boom resistance starch over the place. Whole grains and legumes have resistant starches like you cook legumes and then you let them cool down.
There’s resistant starches in there. This is part of the reason why they’re so darn. And then the polyphenols are the colors. So like, eat the rainbow, right? We say eat the rainbow. That’s cuz every single color has polyphenols backing it up. So these three things, fiber resistant starches and polyphenols, guess where we find them?
Plants. So, and this doesn’t mean that it has to be a plant exclusive diet. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m here to help the person who’s eating 10% plant based. That’s what the average person is eating these days. Wow. I wanna help you get up to 60, 70, 80. Yeah. That, that low is it? Not only is it that low, but the number one plant is french fries.
like, I’m not kidding. So I’m a dad. I have three kids. One of ’em, by the way, is an infant, so she’s not eating plants yet. She’s doing breast milk. But I have two older kids, five and eight years old. How do I get my kids deep plants? Well, we’re all, first of all, just doing our best. We’re imperfect. How do we create an environment within the home that benefits the gut microbes for the entire family?
And the answer is this. Focus on ways to sneak a variety of plants below the radar. Variety is key. And there are simple ways that we can do this. Here’s what I will bring forward. And then I would love, like if you hear this episode and you got ideas about how to do this for your own family, I want to hear, What I will do is like for.
You make a delicious, let’s say tomato sauce, and it’s like, okay, what are we throwing in the sauce? Tomato sauce by itself is not enough. You got your carrots, you got zukin, you got your mushrooms, you’ve got graded bero, onions, garlic, spinach. Let’s get the fresh parsley. Let’s get the basil. Like there’s so much good stuff.
You’re making a smoothie. What are you throwing into the blend? Teaspoon of hemp seeds, hemp, chia, flax, all three boom. Frozen berries, then it’s like an ice cream. But I Dr. B, because I love to do this, I’m gonna challenge you on that one. And I’m gonna say the problem with sneaking vegetables in is that then they don’t get to enjoy the rainbow and they don’t get to see the vegetables.
So here’s my take on sneaking veggies in. If you have kids that are fussy eaters and you’ve really struggled, sneak away, but you know what I. That’s cuz I’m also a slight tiger mom. Whatever is on their plate has to stay on their plate. And this started from day dot. As soon as I introduce solids, you know, you know, they pick up what they don’t like and they peg it generally at you or at the floor or the wall.
I put it back on the plate. You don’t have to eat it, but that avocado is staying there. I hate avocado. It’s disgusting. I’m not touch. The mushrooms, eh, it’s so slimy. It looks like a frog. I don’t care. You don’t have to eat it, but it is staying on your plate. When I line my kids’ lunch boxes, I just put a handful of spinach in and they gotta suck it up.
They don’t have to eat the spinach, but it’s staying there and you know what happens? They end up eating it, and I’ve probably wasted a couple of hundred bucks on dropped avocado. But one day, I’ll never forget the day that Charlotte, at about the age of three, picked up a piece and she looked at me with this big smile and she said, Mommy, I like this now.
And she started eating it. And now my kids who are, you know, 8, 7, 5, and four, they love salad. Like now I’m at a point where I can put a bowl of salad on the table and they know, Oh, I love butter lettuces, mommy, And trust me. Like I’m not perfect by any means. And they’ve also had macers and you know, they’ll also buy the bright blue slushy and cheeses.
Yeah, Tess. Anyway, so that’s my little rant. I mean, I love that. You know, I think we’re all just doing our best and some of this stuff has worked for us. So my daughter is eight, my son is, Sort of a similar range to you. I think normalizing this way of eating is a part of the process. If mommy and daddy have a different diet than the kids, you can’t expect your kids to do something you’re not gonna do yourself.
That’s not gonna work. Yeah. Yeah. I do think like having fun with a game. So this is one of the things that we’ve done cuz my kids are old enough now, is we’ll gamify it and we’ll have a competition. Who’s got the most different varieties of plants in their food. Oh, I love that. And daddy somehow does not winning.
Like these kids are destroying me. Right. And, which is great cuz then I feel good. It’s like, look, I lost, but I’m really winning because they don’t even know that I’ve just Jedi mind tricked them. Yeah. Oh, that’s awesome. I love that. Well, look, I love to do another episode on kids because obviously for all of us out there that do struggle with our diet, often you can stem your fussiness or whatever back to being a.
So I often think to myself, I don’t want them to have the hangover of the food issues I had about being a fussy eat or, or not liking greens or whatever. So I’m trying to set my kids up so that they’re gonna have a really healthy, not only a healthy diet and crave the healthy foods, but also a healthy relationship with food.
Just to finish up Dr. B. Such a fascinating chat today, and it just makes me even more passionate about thinking and observing what we put in our mouth. For someone listening today that really does wanna boost their gut health, what is the biggest bang for buck that they can go away and implement today?
All right, so I’m going to say that first of all, we’ve mentioned variety. . So diversity within your diet, this is actually critical to the gut health. So if I only get one, I’m going there, but I’ve already said that. So let me move on to my number two. And this is an update since our last episode together, Amelia, New data in the last year, less than a year old.
Stanford University showing the benefits of fermented food. They basically had a clinical trial and people consumed increased amounts of fermented food. They went from not eating fermented food to eating it every single day, and over the course of 10 weeks, they increased the diversity within their gut microbiome, which is a measure of health and reduced measures of inflammation.
Most of us are not eating fermented food. This is why I bring this. If you’re not eating fermented food, you should try it. There’s a lot of choices. Throw your top ones at me. For me, the optimal fermented food also includes fiber, cuz that’s also good for your microbes. And so like I love sauerkraut or kimchi.
In my new book I have a fermented salsa. Yo salsa was meant to be fermented. It’s delicious. Oh wow. So for the kids, take carrot sticks or celery sticks and like dip them in hummus. Right? Well you can ferment those carrot sticks. And you can get a boost of microbes to your kids. Great idea. I love that.
Yeah. So then they’re eating like ave, like a veggie, you know, we would call it as adults, we call it a veggie crude diet for kids. We call it a snack. They’re eating that and they don’t even realize, but it’s, it tastes good. And it’s got the, the boost of the probiotics. So those are examples, but also kombucha and miso.
And if you consume dairy products, Kiefer and yogurt, these are other examples of fermented foods. I love it. So good. Dr. B, we could talk all day, but look, thank you so much. Such a fascinating chat. And I guess the main resounding message. Food sensitivities affect all of us, but there is hope and there is a lot that we can be doing to help prevent them and then help heal our guts and our mind.
Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Melia. It was great to see you again.