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June 11, 2013

Food As Medicine
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Evidence-Based Therapeutic Digestive Healing Recipe

There are hundreds if not thousands of foods to choose from these days. The key word here is “choice”. Based on our food choices, we have the power to choose health or disease.

In my work with clients I begin by establishing a foundational diet specific to their needs. Then we move on to therapeutic foods. Therapeutic foods are not only nourishing as a food, but they also have healing properties specific to the client's main concern.

Many people come to see me regarding digestive issues and I have thus searched far and wide for the best therapeutic foods and supplements to speed up and encourage digestive healing.

I have used each of the individual ingredients in Better Gut Ghee with many of my clients in therapeutic ways, but never have I thought of combining them into a functional therapeutic food. Dr. Elizabeth Lipski introduced me to this healing recipe and I have modified it slightly based on the ingredients I had available.

Better Gut Ghee Recipe

  • 1 small jar (1/2 lb) organic GHEE, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin, cold pressed
  • 3 teaspoons of probiotic powder
  • 3 teaspoons colostrum powder
  • 2 teaspoons L-glutamine powder
  • 6 tablets zinc carnosine, crushed to powder
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

Mix with a whisk or food processor briefly until all ingredients are evenly mixed. Refrigerate. It will store in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. Use 1–2 tablespoons daily on warm food as a butter substitute. It is also great on warm vegetables, brown rice, and winter squash. Enjoy!

The Science

Ghee

Ghee is also known as clarified butter. It is called this because it is butter, but without any of the protein or carbohydrate components (whey, casein, lactose). After going through a simple process of boiling the butter and then pouring off the fatty portion, you end up with a golden clear liquid.

Unfortunately, butter and ghee have gotten a bad wrap over the past thirty years with the “fat is bad” message that's been indoctrinated into us. Fortunately though, we can use our highly evolved homo-sapien brains (which were developed by consuming mostly fat!) to notice that for the past 2.6 million years we've been eating a high-fat diet. That's got to count for something.

Ghee offers a wide array of benefits for digestive healing. It's greatest attribute is the high amount of the fatty acid butyric acid. This is a short-chain fatty acid that nourishes the cells of the intestines. It also impedes the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria.

Other benefits of butter and ghee can be found at The Weston Price Foundation website.

Probiotics

Probiotics are the good bacteria that inhabit our digestive tract. They have many different implications in gut and immune health. They help to decrease inflammation, allergies, and intestinal permeability, to name a few. 1

Colostrum

Colostrum is the “first milk” that is produced by mammals just before or while they are giving birth. It is critical for the development of a baby's immunity as it contains over 90 immune factors and over 80 growth factors. (More information here)

L-Glutamine

L-glutamine is an amino acid that is literally the food of our digestive cells. The gastrointestinal tract is by far the greatest user of glutamine in the body, as the intestinal cells use glutamine as their principal metabolic fuel. 2

Zinc Carnosine

Zinc carnosine is a specific type of zinc that has been used for healing all sorts of ulceration along the digestive tract. I have included a couple of slides presented in my talk at the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada.

Zinc Carnosine 1

Zinc Carnosine 2

When combining the best of the supplement world with the best of the food world, we truly get therapeutic foods that will serve as both food and medicine.

– Josh

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References:

  1. Isolauri E, et al. Gut. 2002;50(S3):III54-59.
  2. Alternative Medicine Review Volume 6, Number 4 2001