A health care professional answered the most frequently asked questions about health and nutrition, and shared the nutrition myths you needn’t believe anymore.
Leading Nutritionist on Harley Street and Research Fellow at King’s College, Dr. Megan Rossi from Queensland explained that while smoothies can be a great breakfast idea, it’s always much better to eat the whole fruit.
Dr. Rossi also revealed how you can improve your overall health if you’re a shift worker or struggling to stay on track with your food intake.
A doctor has answered the most frequently asked questions about health and nutrition and shared the nutrition myths you no longer need to believe (Dr. Megan Rossi pictured).
While fruit smoothies can be a good idea, Dr. Rossi (pictured) that you are always better off either adding some vegetables to your smoothie or eating the fruits whole
1. Are fruit smoothies a good idea?
Many people choose a fruit smoothie to start their day, and while it can be a good idea, said Dr. Rossi that whenever she has a smoothie she always adds vegetables.
“Smoothies can be a great breakfast on the go, but I always add vegetables (carrots or spinach are a treat) and oats,” wrote Dr. Rossi on Instagram.
“Remember, it’s about plant diversity.”
She added that smoothies are only “80 percent as healthy” as whole fruits or vegetables. So if you have the opportunity and like to eat them whole, this is often the better way.
2. Why do some foods cause indigestion?
If you’ve eaten before and immediately realized that your digestive system was suffering, it is likely due to a digestive disorder.
“Some foods cause indigestion because different foods are digested differently,” said Dr. Rossi.
“For example, high-fat foods tend to sit longer in our stomach than high-starch foods, which can lead to indigestion in those who are more prone to it, such as type 2 diabetes or stress.”
If you’re someone who notices a stomach sensitivity after eating, the doctor recommends that you first record everything you eat in a journal, including symptoms, eating feelings, life stressors, poop, sleep, and exercise.
“That way you get a more objective look at all of the patterns,” said Dr. Rossi. “Remember, it’s not always diet related.”
3. How can I improve my intestinal health as a shift worker?
Shift work puts extreme stress on our body, not least because at unusual times we often have to adjust to accepting and refusing food.
In order to stay healthy even during long working hours, Dr. Rossi to keep eating as regularly as possible and always eat three main meals.
“Don’t get into the faucet sniffing your way through a shift,” explained Dr. Rossi.
“So many of the nurses I’ve worked with have done this, and I totally understand why, but preparing your meals in advance is key to maintaining healthy habits.”
Try to include as much fruits and vegetables in your meals as possible and watch out for fast-releasing carbohydrate meals like pasta full of vegetables.
4. Does alcohol destroy the best of a varied diet?
Good news for drinkers: Dr. Rossi said alcohol doesn’t automatically destroy all of your good work.
“But while it doesn’t ruin all of your good work, it really depends on how much you have and also the type,” said Dr. Rossi.
“Excess alcohol can increase the permeability of your intestines in the short term, but it does not directly affect your microbes.”
If you are drinking, the doctor recommends sticking with a good-quality glass of wine or two.
This should mean that your good work with your diet will not be compromised.
Dr. Rossi (pictured) said you shouldn’t peel your vegetables as there is much of their “gut love” there; instead you should just “scrub them well” before eating
5. Should I peel my vegetables?
Dr. Rossi firmly believes that you shouldn’t peel your vegetables.
“Please don’t waste that delicious, good-natured kindness,” said Dr. Rossi.
“Just scrub them well and they will have all of their benefits.”
6. What is the best way to feed your bowels in the morning?
While many people think they need to turn to expensive green juices and things like turmeric in the morning to best nourish their gut health, Dr. Rossi, the answer is as simple as “simple fiber”.
“Look for fiber from whole plant foods, not refined juices,” she said.
Dr. Rossi recommends that we try to eat 30 different types of plant-based foods each week because they “contain different fiber and chemicals that feed the different bacteria in your gut”.
“From whole grains to vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds and nuts, research has shown that those who live to be 30 years old have a more diverse range of gut microbes than others,” said Dr. Rossi.
“This is a sign of good gut health and has also been linked to better long-term health.”
While many people think they need to turn to expensive green juices in the morning to best nourish their gut health, Dr. Rossi (pictured) that the answer is as simple as “simple fiber”.
7. Is Salt Bad For Your Gut? How Much Should We Eat?
Dr. Rossi said salt isn’t generally good for your gut microbe, but it depends on what it’s in.
“Kimchi, for example, has a higher salt content, but the potassium for the vegetables means they are not as harmful,” said Dr. Rossi.
“It’s important to remember that 75 percent of our salt comes from processed foods, and something like bread makes a huge contribution to that.”
In general, she said that you should aim for around a teaspoon per day (six grams of salt or 2.4 grams of sodium) as your limit.
The Gut Health Myths You Don’t Need To Believe Now
* MYTH ONE: A restrictive diet is good for your gut – This is one of the most damaging myths, said Dr. Rossi. Instead, she said it was about inclusivity and the consumption of many different plant foods. She recommends that we target 30 different types of plant-based foods made from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices over the week.
* MYTH TWO: Apple cider vinegar heals digestive problems – While many people say they swear by apple cider vinegar, Dr. Rossi that the studies, as far as science goes, are minimal. “There’s no clinical evidence to suggest that ACV is beneficial for digestion; in fact, it can trigger heartburn and reflux in some people,” she said.
* MYTH THREE: You need a colon cleanse for good colon health and to get rid of toxins – Again, there is no evidence to support this claim. “Leave it to the professionals,” said Dr. Rossi. “These are your liver, kidneys, and other organs that are constantly working to keep you healthy.”
Source: Dr. Megan Rossi