At last, what you can do if you believe Dr Perlmutter and his theory in his book Brain Maker. As I said at the beginning, there are critics, but, apart from the book itself, he doesn’t point you to buying proprietary brands of anything – instead giving some recipes to make!
Let’s assume you want to make some change: that you want to encourage the correct balance of the bacteria that would be best for your body. How do you do it?
Firstly, the message that has run throughout this book – go gluten free. Or, at the very least, cut your gluten intake to the minimum.
Secondly, Go low carb & embrace high-quality fats. Wherever possible eat organic, grass fed, free-range.
Make sure you include plenty of leafy green vegetables, plus, mushrooms, onions ( and any in the oinion family) ginger, parsley and water-chestnuts.
Low-sugar fruits lemons, limes, and avocado, cucumber, tomato, courgettes, bell-peppers, aubergines.
Eat Fermented Foods. Yoghurt, Pickled (fermented not in vinegar) fruits and vegetables: sauerkraut, kimchi, Fermented meat, fish or eggs.
Healthy Fats: extra-virgin olive oils, sesame oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, grass-fed lard, pasture-fed butter, ghee, almond milk, avocado, coconut, olives, nuts, nut butter, cheeses (except blue cheese) and seeds.
Protein: Whole eggs, wild fish, shellfish, molluscs, grass-fed meat, fowl, poultry, pork, wild game.
Herbs, seasonings and condiments: mustard, horseradish, tapenade, and salsa – as long as they are free from gluten and sugar or soy.
Thirdly, include in your diet the foods that the right bacteria like to feed on – so that these thrive. Perlmutter recommends that you make sure you eat at least 12grams of foods that are these prebiotics a day – this is easy.. just 12 grams each day – a mixture is fine, just one, all of them – you choose. The easiest of all of these is ONION. Cooked or raw. The others are all RAW: Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, garlic, leek, asparagus, chicory root – plus acacia-gum (gum-arabic)
What all these have in common is that they are fibre-rich non-digestible (by us) though perfect for our gut bacteria to feast on.
Fourthly, drink filtered water (Perlmutter believes that the chlorine added to the water supply to kill pathogenic bacteria – and thereby make the water safe – will also kill off our good bacteria) – so he recommends filtering the water to remove the chlorine before drinking.
Fifthly, enjoy wine, tea, coffee and chocolate.. yes – drinks without sugar or sweetners – and yes – good dark chocolate with high levels of cocoa mass
Sixthly, and lastly – Fast every season. At least four times a year – maybe on the equinox, fast for a day. Do drink water, but avoid caffeine.
Permutter suggest you do this – a one day fast – before you start your change of life-style to one that cares for your gut-biome more.
He also suggest you might like to take a one month course of probiotics (not telling you whose to buy) but listing the five core species of bacteria that need to be in them – and thereafter maintain these colonies and keep them thriving by eating the foods recommended above.
Lactobacillus planatarum – also found in sauerkraut, kimchi other fermented vegetables
Lactobacillus acidophilus – also found in yoghurt, kefir
Lactobacillus brevis – also found in sauerkraut & fermented vegetables
Bifidobacterium lactis – also found in yoghurt
Bifidobacterium longum – also found in some yoghurts – fermented vegetables
But as you can see – you could do it the slower way – build up the bacteria required by adding fermented foods to your diet. He lists these on his website here.
Fermented foods were, and are, used in all parts or the world, in all cultures at one time. In many these have been forgotten, overtaken by the quicker dousing in vinegar instead of an anaerobic fermentation that both preserves and grows a community of certain bacteria.
The world of fermented foods, some only bacterial, some a symbiosis between yeasts and bacteria, is fascinating once you start and there is plenty of help to be found on the internet as interest in these old methods of preserving and keeping healthy grows.
A last word on Vitamin D – a hormone really rather than a vitamin, made by your skin when in sufficient sunlight – is required for many of your body functions. When you realise that in the UK we do not have strong enough sun from October to May to make vitamin D we may all need a vitamin D boost (simple tablets) during those months.
Go to Dr Perlmutter’s website for plenty more information…
I continue my nutrition journey – and the more I read the more I believe we need to look back to how people ate before the industrialisation of food.
Does this ring bells with you?
Are you on your own nutritional journey
Do share – you know I love to hear from you