Gazpacho

Gazpacho By Marta Diaz Megias Gazpacho is a cold soup from Spain with a long history and one of the best representation of Andalusian cuisine. Made with local produce, easy and fast to prepare and best eaten during the hot Summer months. History: Gazpacho was first made in Al-Andalus in the VIII Century. The original recipe contained no vegetables and was made with only water, olive oil and vinegar. All very easy and locally grown. Later some people cooked Gazpacho with almonds or even garlic was added. This soup is closely associated with the Mediterranean and specifically the area of Andalucía in Southern Spain. In the XVI century, with the discovery of America, additional elements were added from the other side of the Atlantic, such as peppers and tomatoes. The combination of all these simple ingredients gives this dish its truly unique flavor. In those days workers would drink gazpacho to cope with the long hours of labor, refresh themselves during the hot sunny days. Gazpacho was first consumed in the fields and later in the factories. In the XIX century gazpacho became very popular amongst the bourgeoisie who started to add small pieces of chopped veggies into it. Today Gazpacho is the most popular summer soup in Spain. Ingredients: 2 lbs ripe tomatoes 2 oz green pepper 2 oz cucumber, not peeled 1 garlic clove ½ oz vinegar 2 oz virgin olive oil ¼ tsp of powdered cumin 1 tsp salt (to taste) Preparation: Wash all the vegetables, cut them into pieces and place them with all the rest of the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend for 3 minutes. Once it’s all blended keep in the refrigerator at least 2 or 3 hours before you drink it, as this soup has to be eaten very cold. Optional: When served, Gazpacho can be garnished with any or all of the following: small-diced green/red peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, croutons or boiled eggs. Enjoy!

The Link Between Type 2 Diabetes and the Gut Microbiome

The Link Between Type 2 Diabetes and the Gut Microbiome By Colleen Cutcliffe, PhD and The Pendulum Team The gut microbiome is an ecosystem that exists deep within our gut and is intimately linked to our health. Like any ecosystem, the gut microbiome is resistant and resilient to change, but at the same time highly adaptable to new challenges. These gut microbial changes can either help or hurt us. Decades of research have shown us that changes in our microbiome that increase the presence of specific types of bacteria may help protect us from conditions like type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, a reduced abundance of certain gut microbes can result in an increased likelihood of developing these common metabolic diseases, like type II diabetes.17 Fortunately, there are steps you can take to encourage the growth of the beneficial bacteria and reduce the risk of diabetes. Overwhelming evidence supports a role of a healthy diet in this risk reduction. In addition, there is recent evidence (study) to support the concept that certain probiotics can also be of benefit. The Relationship Between Type 2 Diabetes and The Gut Microbiome There is a close relationship that exists between the gut microbiome and human health. Both are capable of influencing the other in ways that we don’t fully understand yet. However, research over the past few decades, carried out using everything from Petri-dishes to mice to humans, has uncovered a particularly strong link between the development of type 2 diabetes and the bacteria inside your gut. The gut microbiome is home to trillions of individual bacteria, each belonging to one of hundreds of potential species. It is often described as being similar to rainforests or tide pools—ecosystems where many diverse species co-exist in some state of competition, synergy and harmony. And, like these other ecosystems, the gut microbiome is highly resilient and resistant to change, and at the same time highly adaptable. Such changes are not always of benefit to our gut and our metabolic health. What species of bacteria live in your gut depend on several factors including: Your diet Your exercise levels and routines Medicine you may be taking Travel to foreign countries Your stress levels Your sleep habits Your genetics Because of this, the exact composition of any one person’s microbiome can change over time and differs substantially from another person’s.1 In many instances, these interindividual differences have no…

The Remarkable Rediscovery of Magic Mushrooms by Modern Medicine

The Remarkable Rediscovery of Magic Mushrooms by Modern Medicine By Sarah Abedi, MD Recently there has been a re-emergence of psychedelics in clinical research for its therapeutic benefits. These compounds have been used for centuries by indigenous people and ancient civilizations in ritual practices and are beginning to regain popularity in the scientific community for its potential role in depression, anxiety and PTSD among others. Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound of psychogenic “magic mushrooms” has been showing particular promise in creating substantial and sustained therapeutic benefits in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer. Countless research studies continue to show the benefits and safety of psilocybin and its beneficial effects on end-of-life suffering. The most rigorous type of trial, a randomized double-blind study, led by Dr. Roland Griffiths at the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research showed that high-dose psilocybin produced large decreases in depressed mood and anxiety.1 The study also showed a significant increase in the quality of life, life meaning, and optimism as well as decrease related to the anxiety of death. Remarkably, when the participants of the study were followed up in 6 months, 80% of them continued to show clinically significant decreases in depressed mood and anxiety. Currently, there are few ways to help those who are suffering from the severe emotional distress associated with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis. However, several studies have shown a marked reduction in demoralization and hopelessness immediately after the psilocybin medicine session. Up to 70% of participants reported it as either the single most important, or as in the top five most meaningful experiences of their lifetime.2 Participants may recount their experiences when using psilocybin. Patrick Mettes, was a participant in a New York University psilocybin cancer study and recounts what his psilocybin session felt like. He was diagnosed with terminal cholangiocarcinoma, a cancer of the bile ducts, which had metastasized to his lungs. The following is an excerpt from what Patrick wrote regarding his session which was chronicled by researcher and psychiatrist Dr. Charles Grob: "From here on, love was the only consideration. Everything that happened, anything and everything that was seen or heard centered on love. It was and is the only purpose. Love seemed to emanate from a single point of light... It was so pure. The sheer joy…the bliss was indescribable. And in fact, there are no words to accurately capture my experience… my state……

Why Do Healthy Foods Give Me Gas?

Why Do Healthy Foods Give Me Gas? By Markham Heid In my household, for reasons that are obscure even to me, fart is a bad word. At some point, my wife and I must have decided that we didn’t want to hear our kids use the F-word all the time, so we adopted “toot” as a gentler substitute. Beans and other legumes are often on our menu, and things can get pretty toot-y around here. The medical term for gas is flatus. While gas production varies from person to person, research has found that healthy people “pass flatus” up to 25 times a day. According to a 2013 study in BMJ, a lot of plant-based foods—legumes in particular, but also whole grains, some fruits, and many vegetables—are common gas triggers. Why is this so? Fiber is the part of plant foods that your gut can’t absorb. It passes through the gut tract relatively intact—improving the healthy flow and absorption of other food molecules—until it reaches the colon, which is where the bulk of your gut’s bacteria live. The majority of these bacteria feed on fiber, and one of the byproducts of this feeding is gas. The bacteria that break down fiber also produce a number of metabolites, including short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which turn down gut inflammation and do other good work for us. Butyrate, for example, supports the health of the epithelial cells that form the gut’s protective lining. Fiber is also considered a prebiotic because it encourages the proliferation of healthy gut bacteria. Despite all of these benefits, some people purposely avoid fiber-rich foods—especially legumes—in order to dodge gas. This is a problem. According to nutrition resources from the University of California, San Francisco, the average American only gets about 15 g of fiber each day, while national diet guidelines encourage intakes in the range of 25 to 30 g. Some experts have speculated that fiber-deficient diets may be contributing to the rise of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and could also be a factor in type-2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions. It’s important to note that, for people who have digestive health issues, beans and other fibrous plant foods can in some cases exacerbate gut symptoms. For these people, eating large amounts of these foods may only cause more trouble. But for everyone else, fiber-rich foods—despite any gas they may cause—are an important and healthy addition to one’s…

What You Should Know About Probiotic Supplements

Title By Ana Schilke and Emeran Mayer, MD “It has been generally assumed, but rarely proven, that these positive effects can be enhanced by taken probiotic pills.” The human microbiome is composed of 3 major classes of resident microorganisms, bacteria, viruses and fungi. In an effort to maintain the delicate balance of this vast microbial ecosystem in our gut, and to restore such a balance after disturbing it through the intake of an antibiotic, many people have turned to probiotics which have become as popular as multivitamins and many other “health-enhancing” supplements. Many of these bacterial species, in particular those belonging to the class of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus reside in the adult digestive system in small numbers, where they aid in several beneficial processes such as digestion and nutrient absorption. It has been generally assumed, but rarely proven, that these positive effects can be enhanced by taken probiotic pills. “…there is a small number of studies which have shown that certain probiotics are effective in reducing common digestive symptoms.” According to the World Health Organization, “Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in an adequate dose confer a health benefit on the host.” This is an ambiguous definition, as it includes both the possible benefits of ingested microbes on gut and overall health in individuals without any specific gastrointestinal (GI) disorder (probably the majority of people who take probiotics), as well as the possible benefits in treating or preventing a specific disease (a small fraction of the overall market). Even though there are a number of clinical trials which have aimed to demonstrate an effect on GI disorders (most of which according to the report have not been conclusive, were of low quality or have been negative), there is a small number of studies which have shown that certain probiotics are effective in reducing common digestive symptoms such as rumbling and abdominal discomfort in otherwise healthy people. There is also recent evidence that the ingestion of a cocktail of probiotic organisms can improve metabolic health in patients with type 2 diabetes (see post by Colleen Cutcliffe, PhD). Unfortunately, for most probiotics such well-designed and controlled studies do not exist. “The most common question I am being asked by patients and audiences is “which probiotic do you recommend for my gut health?” Probiotics are consumed in many forms, whether it is in the form of fermented foods (originating from fish, vegetable…