Tag: supplements

Plant Based Protein Vs Plant-Based Meat

If you need a detox and digestion makeover, “V” encourages a pretty strict plant-based diet. That’s because meat is hard to digest and if your digestion is sluggish you should give it a rest.

But that doesn’t mean you should be eating vegan fast food burgers every day. There’s a big difference between plant-based meat and plant-based proteins. In fact, eating mock meat may be worse for your health than regular meat. Instead, find out what the healthiest plant-based proteins are…

Plant-Based Meats Vs Regular Meat

Which type of protein does your body absorb more of: plant-based meats like the Impossible Burger or regular meat such as beef or chicken?

The surprising answer is regular meat.

A recent study, published June 22, 2022 in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry compared protein absorption from plant-based (fake) chicken with regular chicken. And what they found was that plant-based protein was absorbed less during a test-tube simulation of digestion than protein from chicken.

The plant-based chicken was made from soy and wheat gluten. Those are two big strikes against your health right there. That’s because soy and gluten are two of the biggest food allergy triggers.

Consuming lots of soy can not only bloat your tummy if you’re sensitive to it. It can also cause estrogen dominance in pre-menopausal women.

That means that there’s an imbalance of sex hormones caused by too much soy, which is a phytoestrogen (an estrogen found in plants). A little bit of fermented soy in miso soup is healthy. But I highly recommend avoiding processed soy if you’re looking to improve your digestion and detoxify your body.

And as for wheat gluten, well, we all know how that can trigger major inflammation in the body.

Getting back to the fake meat vs. regular meat study…

Another problem associated with the lower absorption rate of plant-based meat is that it contains antinutrients like phytates. Phytates interfere with mineral uptake by the cells. The problem with phytates is that they bind to nutrients like iron, zinc and calcium. And not only does it block the absorption of these minerals, antinutrients like phytates also interfere with the digestion of other starches and proteins that you eat.

OK, but what about other plant-based meats? Might they be healthier than the fake chicken used in the study.

Unfortunately, not really. A study in the journal, Nutrients suggested that the nutritional benefit of plant-based MEAT is minimal. In fact, according to SciTechDaily, which summarized the study, “Diets that substituted animal products with the plant-based alternative were below the daily recommendations for vitamin B12, calcium, potassium, zinc and magnesium, and higher in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat.”

Plant-Based Meat Doesn’t Mean Healthy

The moral of the story here is, just like gluten-free doesn’t mean healthy (gluten-free chips, gluten-free crackers, gluten-free pizza), plant-based meat doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, a strong case could be made that grass-fed, grass-finished beef grown on a regenerative farm is way healthier than an Impossible Burger.

But what to do if you want to take a break from meat for a little while in order to reboot your digestive system?

The answer is to focus on plant-based proteins that are 100% natural. Out of the 20 amino acids that form all the proteins in your body, nine of them are considered essential. The problem with plant-based proteins is that they don’t always contain all 9 essential amino acids. But some of them do. Here are the ones I like the best:

  • Nutritional yeast
  • Quinoa
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Tempeh (a fermented, healthy soy)
  • Spirulina

In addition, you can combine veggie proteins to get all 9 nine essential amino acids.

The most famous combo is beans and rice. But just make sure you eat beans that are soaked overnight in water to remove the antinutrients I talked about earlier.

Other plant-based protein combos include:

  • Tahini or hummus with whole wheat
  • Broccoli with whole grain pasta
  • Oatmeal with almond butter

Eat “Real” Plant-Based Food 99% Of The Time

This article isn’t meant to be a crusade against meat. Well, maybe against factory-farmed meat. A small amount of high-quality, organic meat can be part of a healthy diet.

But if you want a do-over for your digestive system, skip breakfast, do intermittent fasting, break your fast with Organic Green Drink and get your protein from real (not lab-produced) plant-based foods.

To your health,

V

Turmeric & Ginger: Twin Gut-Healing, Inflammation-Fighting Powerhouses

“V” loves adding turmeric and ginger to her protein smoothies, which she always has about 30 minutes after breaking her fast with Organic Green Drink. Ginger and turmeric are powerful  anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammation fighters. But did you know that they’re also great for your gut microbiome? Here’s how…

If there’s one easy thing you can do to support your health starting now, it’s the simple act of sprinkling ginger and turmeric into your Green Drink or plant-based protein smoothie. But the catch is that unlike candy-tasting cinnamon, both ginger and turmeric have a very strong earthy and pungent taste.

One way to get both of these incredibly healthy spices is to follow my recipe for Golden Milk, a frothy, delicious blend of almond milk (or any plant-based milk), cinnamon (another healthy spice) and coconut sugar. Yum. You’re going to absolutely love it. And thanks to the cinnamon and coconut sugar, you won’t notice the sharp taste of ginger and turmeric.

Over time, you’ll probably learn to love the taste of ginger and turmeric without needing to sweeten it. And if you want to love your gut and have your gut love you back, there are several reasons why you should consume ginger and turmeric daily. In fact, they are 2 of the 6 spices that I frequently use not only to spice up my healthy meals but also to prevent belly bloating.

Ginger for Gut Health

Everybody knows that ginger helps with nausea. So it’s great to take some ginger chews with you before you go on an airplane, roller coaster, whale watching tour, or anything else that can make your stomach queasy. And if you’re a sushi lover like I am, you know how ginger pleasantly cleanses the palate between each roll.

But here’s why I use ginger practically every day to support my gut health. You see, not only does it prevent nausea, this study shows that it pretty much helps resolve every gastric discomfort like bloating, reflux, indigestion and constipation. It’s also been shown to help prevent gastric ulcers (although only in animal studies so far).

A little bit of ginger can also help prevent vomiting during pregnancy. Another way that ginger helps with gut health is by actually changing the composition of the gut microbiome, according to this study.

In other words, this spice has the power to introduce more friendly bacteria in the gut and reduce the number of potentially-harmful bacteria. So in a way, it’s like a food-based probiotic.

And wait, there’s more to ginger for gut health. If you’re someone who gets a bad case of gas every now and then, a study in Food Science & Nutrition says ginger can help as well as resolve belly cramping.

Want to boost your digestion? Then definitely start taking ginger on a regular basis. Research shows that it helps activate your body’s own digestive enzymes, making it easier for you to digest protein and fat.

I’ll leave you with one more possible ginger benefit for gut health. Many people who have taken lots of over-the-counter pain pills have really bad gut health. These OTC pills just destroy the gut microbiome. The good news is that spices like ginger have been shown to repair the damage to the gut lining. That’s sweet … even if ginger isn’t.

Turmeric For Digestion

Now let’s look at the power of turmeric to improve your gut. Turmeric’s gut-healing potential is mostly because of the compound curcumin.

OK, so like ginger, curcumin has been shown in research to act like a natural probiotic, helping the good guys in your gut flourish while killing off the bad dudes. In fact, in one study, turmeric/curcumin was shown to destroy 36 species of harmful bacteria in the gut.

Not only that, turmeric was shown to help with leaky gut by supporting the intestinal barrier. That barrier is everything because without a strong barrier, undigested food particles, viruses, toxins and bacteria will leak into your blood.

That’s bad news because then your own immune system will recognize those things and say, “Hey, that’s not supposed to be here,” and then it will tell chemicals in your body to activate so that it can mount a defense against them. This is what causes inflammation. And if you don’t repair your gut barrier, the inflammation will be chronic.

So turmeric is like an anti-inflammatory ingredient for your gut. Many people take curcumin supplements for the joints. But relatively few people realize just how powerful turmeric/curcumin can be for preventing inflammation in the gut and repairing the gut barrier.

Turmeric And Ginger Supplments

If you can’t stomach the taste of fresh turmeric or ginger, I encourage you to get them in supplement form. They are definitely among the two most healing natural ingredients I use every day.

But if you create some of my smoothie recipes that feature turmeric and ginger, there’s a great chance you’ll love the taste of these two amazing gut-healing spices.

Want to Live Longer & Avoid Cancer? Don’t Take Supplements (Do This Instead).

wall of supplements bottles

Do you spend a couple minutes every morning popping pills? I’m not talking about dangerous, addictive ones. I’m talking about supplements. Lots of people take health supplements in the hopes of living longer and avoiding chronic disease like cancer.

But according to an article on the Consumer Reports website, if you’re popping supplements like candy, you might not only be wasting your money … you may actually also be harming your health.

The Consumer Reports article requires a subscription (a great website). So for your benefit, I’ll give you the brief skinny on what Consumer Reports found out about why supplements just might be not what the doctor ordered for living a long, healthy life…..

The Verdict Is In: Whole Food Is Better Than Supplements

Nothing shocking about this headline, right? You don’t need to be a scientist or certified nutritional therapist (like me) to know that eating whole foods is better for living a long, healthy life than relying on supplements.

Nonetheless, that’s the conclusion of the Consumer Reports article. What is shocking, however, from the study, involving 27,000 people is this: 90 percent of people don’t eat the daily recommended 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Seriously? 90 percent? That’s absurdly high.

cdc results

Good thing I created an Organic Green Drink that makes it ridiculously easy to get your daily dose of veggies and then some.

So if 90% of the 27,000 people in the survey weren’t getting the recommended servings of fruits and veggies, could supplements be the answer for making up for the nutrient shortfall?

Nope. Not according to a source from the Center for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

The source says dietary supplements shouldn’t be a substitute for healthy food. That’s because something you eat (or drink, like the 7 certified organic green veggies in Green Drink), might not just contain a certain vitamin. It’s also going to have a variety of other plant chemicals. These chemicals synergistically react with the other compounds. And scientists don’t yet fully understand how these compounds work. Isolated nutrients from capsules and pills simply don’t have the same effect.

kale varieties

Say No To (Most) Isolated Nutrients 

Here’s another reason to not rely on supplements to keep you healthy: isolated nutrients like vitamin C pills aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Companies can therefore get away with having heavy metals in protein powder.

Some supplements may contain far less of the isolated nutrient that what the package says.

If you can afford it, get a subscription to Consumer Reports or ConsumerLab.com. These two organizations are independent and test for purity and accuracy in supplements.

And if that’s not enough reason to ditch popping isolated nutrient supplements, let me give you a more compelling one.

Taking certain supplements may give you cancer. It’s true. It has been reported that if you take 1,000 mg per day of calcium in pill form, you might have a substantially increased risk of cancer. But when you eat foods rich in calcium your cancer risk doesn’t increase. Speaking of which, just one cup of kale supplies you with 100 mg of calcium. There’s 2 different types of kale in my Organic Green Drink.

water bottle

Are Supplements Necessary?

Sometimes they are. Especially if you’re trying to get pregnant or are already with child. Folic acid and vitamin D are critical for fetal development.

Vitamin D is also good if you’re stuck inside all day and can’t expose some of your skin to sunlight for at least 10 minutes.

And if you’re vegan, you might want to take a vitamin B12 supplement as well as algal oil, a vegan-friendly substitute for fish oil.

Speaking of fish oil, if you’re eating wild salmon a couple times a week along with plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts) you really don’t a fish oil supplement.

(Want to know how to cook salmon to perfection? Check out my recipes in my cookbook Making Cleansing Easier.)

Now, I’m not suggesting supplements don’t have their place. I believe certain supplements, especially ones that are time-tested such as traditional Chinese medicine formulas or Ayurvedic herbs can balance your system and make you healthier.

But eating whole, real food is always better than relying on popping pills for optimal health. Of course, you really didn’t need me to tell you that, did you? (Sometimes, though, the best health advice is hearing something you already know; the repeated message helps reinforce it until finally it sticks.

And I hope that if you’re not getting your daily dose of veggies, especially the healthiest kind–green, leafy ones–you’ll give my Organic Green Drink a try.

Chef V delivers Low Sugar Green Drinks nationwide. It’s the easiest way to get your daily dose of whole-food nutrients.

To your health,

Chef V

Chef V and kale

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.