Teuko is celebrating easy and fun lunch-packing ideas and tips with thousands of moms and dads around the world, every day. There is one further mission that we hold dear to our hearts: we want to empower families to raise health-conscious children and help prevent diet-related diseases, one lunchbox at a time.
One of our co-founders, Jessica, fell upon a conversation between two doctors on Youtube: Dr. Sabine Hazan, MD, the first-ever woman in gastroenterology in Miami (Florida, USA), breaking the ground in a new field in medicine by studying the microbiome, and Dr. Mobeen, a physician dedicated to innovative and pioneering medical education and who created a platform where you can get access to unlimited online medical lectures.
Even if we don’t have any affiliation, at all, with these two doctors, and if this blog post is in no way medical advice and only for educational purposes(*), we’re happy to share our notes as we feel that what we learned is truly interesting and may help to stay healthy! Enjoy the following insights!
Insight #1 – Any diseases are interconnected, and start with the gut.
Dr. Hazan listed a few diseases. Among them, she named arthritis, alopecia, Alzheimer’s, and Chrone’s disease… According to Dr. Hazan, there are so many patients with chronic diseases that are originating from gut microbiome/gut disturbances. And while Dr. Hazan was doing clinical research, with authorization from the FDA, she found out that some improved with fecal transplant.
She said, at some point, “The microbiome is your poop in the toilet”. Dr. Hazan wants us to come together and finally understand more about the microbiome.
Insight #2 – Diversity in the microbiome is like a healthy individual, non-diversity is like a disease.
The microbiota in your microbiome in your feces is trillions of microbes, the majority is bacteria, and small minorities, viruses, and parasites. In other words, waste is trillions of bugs and each one of these bugs is interconnected with another bug to do something. That means you can’t get rid of one group of microbes because it supports another group of microbes. It’s like species, in an ecosystem, where diversity is extremely important, and yet, all living together with balance.
Dr. Hazan took the example of humanity: “Humanity is beautiful because of diversity”.
So there is no such thing as a “normal microbiome”. Humans are from different parts of the world, eat different foods, and travel to different places, thus you cannot compare two individuals, they’ll have different microbiomes. If you have to compare some diseases, you have to remove from the equation the diet. Indeed, vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores… eat totally different foods. The only thing you can look at is at a family level because there will be similarities. A fecal transplant is like personalized medicine.
Also, actions lead to reactions. When you take antibiotics, you’re killing all the diversity, and essentially you’re leaving this bacteria with toxins to start taking over the bowels and secrete toxins, causing, for instance, diarrhea.
Insight #3 – The importance of bifidobacteria.
A phylum (the way to classify the groups of microbes in this case) is like a whole world, and it seems that Bifidobacteria, is protective. We are born with tons of bifidobacteria and die with almost zero. Cancer patients have zero bifidobacteria. Thus, what we learned is that it is of the utmost importance to replenish the bifidobacteria!
Indeed, if you have little bifidobacteria, cytokines (small proteins that are key modulators of inflammation) are all over your body, circulating through the blood, through the colon… And when you have a cytokine storm, you have diarrhea… somehow that’s great because it means you’re flushing the cytokines. But yet, no one wants that!
Insight #4 – Some foods can be medicine and support your microbiome.
Here is a list of foods Dr. Hazan recommended during this Microbiome Talk:
- Definitely eat fermented foods: sauerkraut, pickles, and kefir, to name a few.
- Out of 29 yogurts bought at the grocery store, Dr. Hazan found out that only 3 were having bifidobacteria. She remained mysterious and did not share any brands, but she advised us to look a the labels on probiotics and kefir!
- She’s not a big pusher of probiotic pills because most contain “dead cells” and have no bifidobacteria.
4. If you eat beef, make sure the cow was not fed with tons of antibiotics.
5. She’s not a big pusher of salads because lots of them have pesticides on them. She’s more fan of vegetables and fruits that are covered, like bananas, apples, coconuts, fennels, beets, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
6. She is fond of regenerative farming…
7. … and she advises that you grow your own greens, and eat your own greens. She said that the only organic farm is the one you grow in your own backyard and that you’ll notice the strawberries and tomatoes you grow won’t be the same as the ones you buy at the grocery store!
If you are wondering if your child would eat these foods and how to add them to their lunchbox, visit Teuko.com. Search and explore kid-approved lunch ideas from parents worldwide by ingredients. You will find an inspiration you and your kid are ready to try!
More about the microbiome
If you want to learn more, all of Dr. Hazan’s papers are available on her website, progenabiome.com, and she is the co-author of the book “Let’s talk sh!t” (again, we don’t have any affiliation with Dr. Hazan, we only found her work astounding!).
As we were editing this article, we discovered a new medical publication on the subject, “Rethinking healthy eating in the light of the gut microbiome”, published on June 8th, 2022. This study confirms and completes what Dr. Hazan said: “Diet is strongly connected to the presence or absence of disease, which is in turn linked to the microbiome.“
(*) Disclaimer: Anything posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. Teuko, Inc. has no affiliation with Dr. Mobeen nor with Dr. Hazan, and expressly disclaims any and all liability following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.
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