Why I Love…Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast – magical hippy dust that is loaded with health benefits. If you have never tried nutritional yeast, you’ve been missing out!

NutritionalYeast

Nutritional yeast is not the same as baking yeast, active dry yeast or brewer’s yeast. It won’t cause or exacerbate an overgrowth of Candida, doesn’t contain alcohol and won’t help in baking. Rather, nutritional yeast is made from a single-celled organism, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, which is grown on molasses and then harvested and dried to deactivate it (which is why is won’t make your baked goods light and fluffy).

Besides the nutty, cheesy flavour, nutritional yeast is packed with benefits to help you optimise your health.

  1. It contains high levels of B Vitamins

The B Vitamins are critical is assisting AI diseases. The B group vitamins support energy metabolism, the nervous and digestive system, red blood cell production, brain development and function and the immune system.

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast contains 640% of the recommended daily intake of Thiamine (Vitamin B1), 570% of Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), 280% of Niacin (Vitamin B3), 480% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B6, 60% of folate and 130% of Vitamin B12.

  1. It can help enhance immunity and reduce inflammation

Nutritional yeast contains high levels of glutathione which helps to enhance immunity and reduce inflammation – which for us suffering from AI diseases is extremely important!

  1. It’s a complete source of protein

This magical hippy dust is a great way to add extra protein to meals and snacks. Just 2 tablespoons of it contains 9 grams of protein.

  1. It’s gluten free

Does this benefit even need an explanation? We all know that products containing gluten + AI diseases = serious problems.

  1. It can help relax our nervous system

A serve of nutritional yeast provides 6% of the daily recommended intake of magnesium. Magnesium is an extremely important mineral as it relaxes our nervous system and calms us. This is especially important for those suffering from AI diseases as excess stress can further inflame our body and exacerbate our symptoms.

Nutritional yeast is a great dairy free substitute for cheese (check out our zucchini cheese recipe) and can also be added to roast veg, used to give flavour to kale chips and sprinkled on top of eggs. Give it a go – just be careful, you’ll easily become hooked!

 

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Keto Bread

Keto Bread Recipe

Keto Bread1.png

Ok, so we don’t normally advocate paleo-fying addictive foods (like cakes, pancakes etc. because of the unhealthy relationship we can develop with doing so), but sometimes you just need to eat a piece of bread.

Here’s our recipe for keto bread that won’t leave you feeling bloated or running to the toilet (and since it is keto, it is grain-free – meaning you’ll also be avoiding that nasty substance called gluten).

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7 Reasons to Avoid Coffee

We all like (like, or have to?!?!) start our day with a coffee. Unfortunately, this habit of ours might be causing some damage to our health (especially if you are sensitive to caffeine). Here are seven reasons we are avoiding coffee.

coffee beans

1. It wreaks havoc with your gut

As you know, we’re firm believers in the saying ‘health starts in the gut’. And a healthy gut is dependent on its acidic level. Changes in gut acidity can be caused by coffee (among other things). Your stomach creates hydrochloric acid, which is essential for digestion. However, if hydrochloric acid is chronically over-produced (i.e. from drinking too much coffee) it can eventually reduce the body’s ability to create it, resulting in low stomach acid. If you have read our previous posts on low stomach acid, you would know that low stomach acid means poor digestion and malabsorption of protein and minerals.

2. It impacts your thyroid meds

The standard drug treatment for hypothyroidism, L-Thyroxine, is absorbed in the gastro-intestinal tract. Studies have shown that drinking coffee shortly after taking your thyroid medication can lower the absorption of it. This means that even if you have been prescribed the optimal amount for your health, your body might not be receiving the optimal amount.

3. It can expose you to BPA

The plastic lids on takeaway coffee cups contain BPA. BPA is a chemical which binds to hormone receptors and impairs all kinds of endocrine functions, hence the name endocrine disruptor (read more about endocrine disruptors here). When you drink your hot coffee through the plastic lid, BPA leaches out of the plastic.

4. It boosts stress hormones

When we enter our fight or flight mode, our body releases cortisol to combat the stress we are occurring. If the stress is acute, our body returns to normal once the stressor has passed. However, if the stress becomes chronic, as it can with drinking coffee regularly, our body is continually exposed to high levels of cortisol. High levels of cortisol can result in compromised immune function, among other things.

5. It can worsen Th-2 dominant illnesses

All illnesses are either Th-1 or Th-2 dominant. In a healthy person, with an optimal functioning immune system, T-helper Cells (Th) 1 and 2 recognise foreign toxins and signal to hormonal messenger proteins to go to the source of the inflammation and reduce the inflammation, working together to make your body healthy again. However, if you suffer from an autoimmune disease, drinking coffee can interact with your Th-1 and Th-2 and affect their function.

6. It can ruin your blood sugar

Caffeine impairs your reaction to insulin. One or two coffees a day is unlikely to affect blood sugar levels significantly in healthy people. However, for us who suffer from autoimmune diseases, drinking coffee can lead to both blood glucose and insulin spikes after meals. The more coffee you drink, the more your insulin sensitivity is reduced. This makes it harder for the body to respond to blood glucose spikes when they occur.

7. It disrupts your sleep

If you read our series of posts about copper toxicity, you would know that last year I didn’t sleep. At all. Unfortunately, it is when we are sleeping that our body repairs all of the cell damage that occurred during the day. For us suffering from an autoimmune disease, our sleep is hampered at the best of times and drinking coffee can just exacerbate the problem.

Vegetable Oil: The Ugly Truth

Veg Oil

You know when you roast pork, all of the fat swamps the roasting pan. That fat is lard, natural, healthy lard. Now picture roasting vegetables…when you take them out of the oven, they’re not swimming in their own fat. So what is vegetable oil then?

Vegetable oil is typically made from applying heat and pressure to seeds (sunflower, canola, corn, grapeseed, safflower, rice bran and soybean oils) and them treating them with chemicals to make sure they look like natural fats, such as butter and lard.

These seed oils are now a core component of our food supply and the world is sicker now than ever.

Unlike animal fats, vegetable oils are very high in polyunsaturated fats and in particular, omega-6 fat. Anthropological research shows that our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed omega-6 and omega-3 fats in a ratio of roughly 1:1. It also shows that these hunter-gatherers were free of the modern inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Today, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats ranges from an average of 10:1 to 25:1. The problem with omega-6 fat is that it is pro-inflammatory. This means a diet with a lot of omega-6 fat (and not much omega-3) will increase inflammation.

When vegetable oils interact with oxygen they release neurotoxic chemicals. These toxic molecules are dangerous because they interact destructively with our DNA.

But aren’t vegetable oils ‘heart healthy’?

It’s been drilled into us that the cause of heart disease is too much saturated fat and the secret to curing it is to eat vegetable oils instead. Unfortunately though, if you’ve read our post ‘The Truth about Fat’, you’d know that the people actively encouraging us to eat these toxins are doing so because of their industry sponsors and BIG Food.

So what? A little vegetable oil wouldn’t hurt right?

Wrong. Every spoonful of vegetable oil is doing damage to your body. Elevated omega-6 to omega-3 ratios are associated with increases in all inflammatory diseases (aka pretty much all diseases). These diseases include:vegetableoilpoison

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Macular degeneration
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome & inflammatory bowel disease

So in short, avoid vegetable oil if you want to stay healthy and live a long life!

MTHFR

MTHFR – it’s not our abbreviation for a swear word! MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene. But since the scientists who discovered this gene didn’t think that was confusing enough, they went on to label both the gene and the enzyme the gene produces MTHFR.

dna

What is MTHFR?

Really simply, we have two MTHFR genes – one from our mum and the other from our dad. MTHFR is a gene that produces the MTHFR enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for regulating our methyl cycle – the biochemical pathway that helps our body detoxify, produce energy, balance our mood, control inflammation, manage our immune function and maintain our DNA.

When the MTHFR gene is healthy, it produces sufficient, highly functioning amounts of the MTHFR enzyme. However when the gene is mutated, the enzyme isn’t produced correctly. Since we have two MTHFR genes, none, either one or both can be mutated.

Why does it matter if the MTHFR gene is mutated?

If both MTHFR genes are healthy it doesn’t matter. However mutated MTHFR genes can cause a range of health problems. Common health problems include:

  • Autism
  • Addictions
  • Miscarriages
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Chemical Sensitivity
  • Bipolar
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Low HDL
  • High homocysteine
  • Asthma

For a more detailed list of medical conditions relating to the MTHFR gene mutations, check out MTHFR.net.

Mouldy Foods

Typically, when we think of mould and food we picture mould covered bread, or that fuzzy green stuff that covers fruit and veg when it has gone off. When we talk about mouldy foods here, it is not these gross, fuzzy mould covered foods, but rather foods that are sources or binders of mycotoxins.

Unfortunately, mouldy foods are very common. Because of the way we treat our soils when farming, we’ve created an environment perfect for the cultivation of mycotoxins. Farming chemicals such as glyphosate/RoundUp significantly increase the amount of toxins fungi in the soil disperse. The strongest moulds survive pesticide spray and antifungal treatment and in response to being sprayed, the moulds that don’t survive release more toxins.

Moreover, destructive factory farming methods – such as disrupting the animals’ hormones right before slaughter to gain more weight by feeding them mouldy feed – have further increased the level of mycotoxins in our food.

 

Platter of mouldy food

What’s troubling is that farmers will ensure their animals aren’t fed mouldy food until the days right before their slaughter. Mouldy feed makes cows extremely sick and can even lead to pregnant cows having miscarriages. Agricultural companies are spending ridiculous amounts of money to make sure their animals’ health isn’t impacted by mouldy food.

The scary thing is, these farms produce the conventional food that we see in the supermarket, buy and eat.

To reduce our exposure to mould, via our diet, we should be eating foods that are organic and rich in antioxidants, grass-fed protein, contain high-quality fats, responsibly sourced foods and those that are low in sugar.

Foods that are high in mould and should be avoided include:

• Corn
• Wheat
• Barley
• Rye
• Peanuts
• Sorghum
• Cottonseed
• Cheeses, including stilton and blue cheese
• Sour dairy products such as buttermilk and sour cream
• Alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer, rum, gin, brandy, whisky and cider
• Oats
• Fungi (mushrooms and truffles)
• Processed meats
• Fruit juice (and any other product that contains fast releasing sugars)
• Rice
• Nuts such as pistachios and brazil nuts
• Oil seeds
• Black pepper
• Dried fruits
• Figs
• Most coffee

The Thyroid, Your Hormones and Endocrine Disruptors

Endocrine Disruptors hormones thyroid BPA

You’ve eliminated gluten, started eating more saturated fat, stopped eating that white poison, sugar, and tried to minimise stress, yet you’re still feeling crappy. Maybe it’s time to look at how your thyroid and hormones are being effected by the environment you live in?

Ok so it’s not feasible to live in a bubble of fresh air, free from toxins and chemicals, eating only organic food and drinking pure water (you know, that fancy, wind dried stuff that you pay $50 a bottle for at your local artisanal juice bar…). But realising what sort of chemicals and toxins you are exposed to everyday can help you minimise the bad of the bad and hopefully quick start your hormones into doing their job properly.

You’ve probably come across the term ‘endocrine disruptor’ before, or at least heard of the negative effects chemicals can have on your health. So what is an endocrine disruptor we hear you ask? Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with our body’s endocrine system, producing adverse reproductive, neurological, developmental and immune effects in both us and wildlife.

As the Environmental Working Group (EWG) says:

“…there is no end to the tricks that endocrine disruptors can play on our bodies: increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormone signalling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones”.

Simply, endocrine disruptors mimic our naturally occurring hormones, tricking our bodies into thinking they actually are them. But once we start to use these ‘hormones’ are body reacts differently to how it would if they were the actual hormones.

BPA Hormones thyroid

When absorbed in the body, an endocrine disruptor can decrease or increase normal hormone levels (left), mimic the body’s natural hormones (middle), or alter the natural production of hormones (right).

Endocrine Disruptors and the Thyroid

Given the essential role the thyroid has in our hormone production, exposure to endocrine disruptors can significantly impact its functioning. In fact, endocrine disruptors can interfere with nearly every step in the thyroid system.

Examples of Endocrine Disruptors’ impacts on the thyroid:

  • Endocrine disruptors can alter the thyroid-pituitary-hypothalamus axis through increasing T4 and stimulating the thyroid which can result in thyroid follicular cell proliferation, and in some cases, result in thyroid cancer.
  • It is well established that thyroid hormones are of special importance in the development of the brain, which, in utero, is dependent upon normal levels of thyroid hormones. Studies have shown that exposure to endocrine disruptors during pregnancy can result in significant cognitive problems for the unborn child.
  • Dioxin-like compounds and certain flame retardants, have a high degree of structural similarity with the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. When we are exposed to these chemicals, they compete with our naturally occurring hormones for the thyroid hormone receptor and transport proteins.
  • Exposure to PCBs (or fire retardants) can reduce circulating levels of thyroid hormone, resulting in hypothyroidism.
  • Studies have shown that endocrine disruptors such as PCBs (or fire retardants) interfere with the way the thyroid hormone functions, but they don’t actually change the amount of the hormone found in the body. This is of interest as we know, our thyroid function is measured by hormonal tests.

Unfortunately, chemicals are not currently tested specifically for their ability to mimic, disrupt, or otherwise act as hormone disruptors.

Here are the most common endocrine disruptors and what you can do to best minimise your exposure to them.

10 Easy Paleo Brekky Ideas

Hands up if breakfast is your favourite meal of the day! Well breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and I absolutely love having something delicious after my morning workout. I normally have the same thing every week day then treat myself to something extra indulgent (and often more timely) on the weekend.

I’ve put together this blog post as I want to open your eyes to a whole new world of brekky ideas in case you’re sick of plain old bacon and eggs each day (I don’t know how people can tire of bacon but that’s just me)! You will notice that most of these ideas are savoury; this is because it is best to avoid fruits in the morning given their effect on blood sugar and electrolyte imbalance – you won’t find any ‘paleo pancakes’ here!

breakfastideas

  1. Bacon and Egg Cupcakes
    Grease a muffin hole with coconut oil and line with bacon. Crack in an egg, sprinkle with chives and bake in the oven until the egg is cooked.
  2. Breakfast Pizza
    Heat a pan over medium and add in a knob of coconut oil or lard. Whisk a few eggs and add to the pan. Wait a few minutes for the eggs to set then add any toppings you like (I love capsicum, tomato, crispy bacon and cooked chicken). Place under the grill for a few minutes until it has puffed up a bit and serve with fresh rocket.
  3. Pork Breakfast Sausages
    Combine organic, grass fed pork mince, some chopped lard, salt and fennel in a bowl. Mix with hands until well combined then form into little sausages. Pan fry in coconut oil or lard until golden and cooked through.
  4. Eggs and ‘Soldiers’
    Halve some pre-cooked pork breakfast sausages and pan-fry in coconut oil or lard until crispy all over. Boil some eggs for 4-5 minutes (4 minutes if you like runny yolk, 5 if you like slightly harder) and serve with the crispy sausages. I love to spread the runny yolk on the crispy sausage or dunk the sausage in like a vegemite soldier!
  5. Homemade Scotch Eggs
    Grease a muffin hole with coconut oil or lard and press some pork mix from the homemade breakfast sausages in to form a pastry. Crack in an egg and bake until the mince and egg is cooked. You can also top with some crispy bacon; yum!
  6. ‘Sweet’ Omelette
    Whisk a few eggs with coconut cream, cinnamon and vanilla beans and cook in a pan with some coconut oil. Once the bottom is cooked, place under the grill for a few minutes until puffy. Top with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and some whipped coconut cream or coconut butter.
  7. Bacon Wrapped Meatballs
    Combine organic, grass fed pork or chicken mince with chopped lard and salt. Mix until well combined and form into small meatballs. Wrap each meatball in a piece of bacon and bake until the bacon is crispy and the mince is cooked through.
  8. Meat Floss
    This is what I have for brekky most days! -Place a good heap of slow-cooked meat (I use 150-200g) in a hot pan with 1-2Tbs of coconut oil; cook until crispy and sprinkle with Celtic Sea Salt, pepper, chilli and a pinch of truffle salt.
  9. Brekky Burger
    Combine organic, grass fed beef mine with chopped lard, salt, pepper and a splash of coconut aminos or coconut barbecue sauce. Form into a patty shape and pan-fry in coconut oil or lard until cooked through. Serve in a lettuce leaf with tomato, avocado and crispy bacon.
  10. Bacon Devilled Eggs
    Boil a few eggs for 5 minutes or until hard boiled. Peel and remove yolk. Place yolks in a bowl with 1-2 teaspoons of homemade mayo and chives then mix to combine. Scoop (or pipe if you’re feeling fancy) the yolk mix back into the egg whites and top with crispy bacon, extra chives and a pinch of truffle salt.

I hope this gives you a few ideas for the week and doesn’t leave you craving paleo pancakes, paleo muesli or paleo bread (or any other processed food product that’s been paleo-ified)!

Chocolate? Yes Please

Did you know, good quality chocolate (the stuff with minimal sugar, toxic oils and a high percentage of cacao) can actually be beneficial for gut bacteria? Chocolate, once thought of as a food of the gods, actually has a range of health benefits.

Chocolate

  1. Chocolate acts as a probiotic

Good quality dark chocolate can help stimulate the natural digestive juices and enzymes that keep our digestive organs functioning properly. Interestingly, the benefits are greatest when the chocolate is eaten before the meal!

  1. It can help reduce inflammation

AI diseases are characterised by inflammation. Chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce and even prevent our body’s inflammatory responses. Epicatechin and other flavanols found in cacao inhibit the actions of leukotrienes, the body’s inflammatory messengers.

  1. Chocolate as an antidepressant

You know that happy feeling you get when you eat chocolate? That’s actually the chocolate stimulating the release of the feel good chemicals serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine. Cacao beans also contain the amino acid tryptophan and monoamine oxidase inhibitors which allow serotonin and dopamine to circulate in the bloodstream longer. It is this effect that helps alleviate depression and promote feelings of wellbeing.

  1. Eating chocolate can prevent weight gain

Yes, you read that right, eating chocolate can help prevent weight gain! The antioxidant oligomeric procyandins found in cacao effectively improves our body’s glucose tolerance, lowering blood sugar levels and preventing weight gain.

  1. Chocolate as a stress buster

A study recently found that dark chocolate can dull the body’s reaction to the brain’s stress signals. In particular, the response of the adrenal gland and its production of cortisol, was significantly less in the participants who consumed dark chocolate before being placed in the stressful situation.

Good quality dark chocolate is also beneficial at reducing blood pressure, your risk of stroke and heart disease and can protect your nervous system and cells from damage.

And that is why, here at Healed by Bacon, we like to have a piece of dark chocolate with every meal!

Zucchini Cheese

Zucchini Cheese Recipe

If you have never tried this magical hippy dust called nutritional yeast, hold on tight, because you are about to get hooked on it!

Nutritional yeast contains high levels of glutathione which helps to enhance immunity and reduce inflammation. Added bonus – this magical hippy dust is a great way to add extra protein to meals and snacks. Just 2 tablespoons of it contains 9 grams of protein.

This recipe for zucchini cheese is perfect for anyone following healing diets such as a Paleo diet, Paleo Autoimmune Protocol and a low-FODMAP diet. Whilst it doesn’t contain any dairy, the nutritional yeast adds a nutty, cheesy flavour that is very satisfying. ZuCheese

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