Today on the Gut Health Reset Podcast, we are discussing the benefits of plant-based diversity in your diet with Dr. Megan Rossi! It’s no secret that gut health is important for overall health and well-being. What you may not know, however, is that the key to a healthy gut is diversity – specifically, plant-based diversity. Plants are an excellent source of fiber, which helps to keep your gut microbiome healthy. They also contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support gut health. And adjusting your diet to include more plants is not as difficult as it may sound – as we’ll discuss, just a few simple changes can make a big difference!
In this episode, we will answer these questions:
– Why is eating a diverse range of plants important for gut health?
– What are some practical ways you can increase the amount of plants in your diet?
– What benefits will you see by diversifying your diet with veggies?
– What is Dr. Rossi’s “plant point” system?
– What can your gut tell you about your overall health?
– What are the top 3 “must-do” things for optimizing your gut health?
– And more!
Still want to learn more? Schedule with Dr. Barter today!
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About Dr. Megan Rossi:
Dr. Megan Rossi, also known as The Gut Health Doctor, is an internationally influential gut-health specialist. A practicing dietitian and nutritionist as well as a leading Research Fellow at King’s College London, she is the founder of The Gut Health Clinic, where she leads a team of gut-specialist dietitians. Her first book, Love Your Gut, is available now and she has recently released her new book – How to Eat More Plants.
How To Eat More Plants:
Kindle – https://amzn.to/3o5Wvtp
Her website: https://www.theguthealthdoctor.com/
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Dr. Ann-Marie Barter is a Functional Medicine and Chiropractic Doctor at Alternative Family Medicine & Chiropractic. She is the clinic founder of Alternative Family Medicine & Chiropractic that has two offices: one in Longmont and one in Denver. They treat an array of health conditions overlooked or under-treated by conventional medicine, called the “grey zone”. https://altfammed.com/
*As always, this podcast is not designed to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any condition and is for information purposes only. Please consult with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your current lifestyle.*
Dr. Megan Rossi: We’ve known for a very long time that people who eat more plants seem to live longer, have lower risk of chronic conditions and betterment of health. You know, except we never really understood the mechanism until recently. And that all comes down to our gut microbiome.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this podcast is educational and not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions.
Intro: Are you struggling with bloating, gas, constipation and fatigue but don’t know what’s causing these problems? The Gut Health Reset Podcast with Dr. Ann-Marie Barter dove deep into the root causes behind these issues that start in the gut. This podcast will give you the knowledge you need to heal your gut and reset your health.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Today on the Gut Health Reset Podcast we are talking about why plant based diversity is a cornerstone of a healthy diet. What are simple steps that you can take to begin integrating more plants into your diet? What immediate benefits can a plant based diet offer other than just gut health? Why is optimizing our gut so important for our overall health and well-being? Thank you so much for joining us here today on the Gut Health Reset Podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Ann-Marie Barter. And today my special guest is Megan Rossi, Ph.D. and R.D., she’s known as the gut health doctor. She’s an internationally influential gut health specialist. She’s a practicing dietitian and nutritionist, as well as a leading research fellow at King’s College London. She’s also the founder of the Gut Health Clinic, where she leads a team of gut specialist dietitians. Her first book, Love Your Gut, is available now and she has recently released How to Eat More Plants. Megan, thank you so much for being here today. And I was just super excited when I got the notification about your book and what you were covering in your book. So I am super excited to have you today.
Dr. Megan Rossi: Thank you. It’s an absolute pleasure. And I’m sure you share that same passion about really getting at the importance of how life changing, nourishing you’ve got really conveys. And eventually that’s what how to eat more plants. All of that is taking I guess that hard scientific evidence and translating into a really simple and delicious way of eating that we know is going to really gain change in terms of gut health.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Well, you are also practicing you’re a clinician as well. And so as clinicians, we decide to write certain books because of what we see in practice. Is that why you decided to write this book?
Dr. Megan Rossi: Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, I first got into the whole realm of golf based on my my patients and clients coming to me with all different backgrounds complaining about issues that was like 15 or so years ago and before a lot of the golf research should really come to the forefront like, gosh, what is it that we got? So that’s when I got to the day looking at whether you talk at the got through, whether that can improve things like not just have gut health or things like our mental health, brain health and it was really that which game changed everything for me and it became clear that we could improve lives a very real and often surprising ways literally by targeting the got. So yeah absolutely I, I actually am Australian by background and went over to the UK to work as a research fellow at King’s College London. And I do research study that. But I’ve always kept my head in clinical practice because it does make sure your research is very relevant. And I guess my first book, Love Your Gut, was very much about how people get on top of their digestive issues, whether it’s bloating, food intolerances, IBS, etc. And the second book I wrote really just is out of people wanting a follow on. And I think right got on top of those kind of those gut issues. But now I want to get on top of things like my hormonal health, my mental health, and I hear that that is the way to do that. And my skin health, how all of those sorts of got axes that I talk about. So that’s that’s what I had Abel plants really came in that practical guide to translating that new scientific evidence around what we need to eat to make the most of, I guess, this new order we’ve discovered.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: So why is eating more plants and diverse plants the cornerstone of health?
Dr. Megan Rossi: Yeah, look, I think, you know, you’ll appreciate that we’ve known for a very long time that people who eat more plants seem to live longer, lower risk of chronic conditions, better mental health, etc. But we never really understood the mechanism until recently, and that all comes down to our gut microbiome. So I’m sure everyone listening is, quote, up to speed on that, that we’ve got these trillions of microorganisms, the bacteria mostly predominate, we’ve got that the parasites and fungi which actually synergistically work together to to make up that my clients, that community. And what the research is as shown is that in all that different types of plant based food groups, I call them the Super Six in the book, they each contain a different category of these things called phytochemicals. Now, most phytochemicals that these polyphenols human cells can’t digest plant like dietary fiber, human cells on our right, we don’t have the enzymes to absorb them from our guts to get into our blood, to feed the rest of our body. That’s where the bacteria come in. They are the unique ones with the can’t with the enzymes break down five as in these polyphenols 20 to absorb it and do really beneficial things with it. So actually the mechanism of why these plants are beneficial is because it nourishes the gut bacteria and enables them to not only produce beneficial chemicals, but really to work optimally with, I guess, human metabolism.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: And I think when you say, okay, you know, please, hey, we really need some biodiversity in your guy but I’m going to have you do is eat different vegetables each week and you give folks some tips to do that. But generally, when you have suggested dietary change, people’s faces, white bike, they kind of can cook what they can. They can do what they can do. And they don’t they’re it’s it’s hard to get outside of that box. So what are some tips for maybe increasing plants in your diet?
Dr. Megan Rossi: Yeah, look, I mean, I want people to basically know that, you know, you can increase plants who die at no extra cost and no extra effort. It’s just about when you go to stop having that diversity mindset. So instead of just getting your broccoli, get you seed, mix a veg, you know, instead of just getting one like a chickpea, get you mixed types of of legumes, for example. So thinking diversity where you can and my food philosophy is all about inclusion. So what can we add to our plate that’s going to really nasty gut bacteria. So make sure whenever you’re eating, they also have something that’s going to nourish you, gut bacteria. So some type of plant. And that’s why a lot of the recipes in the book is, you know, just the really easy ways to sneak in some extra veg. Like, for example, the smoothies. They all have things like veggies blended in, like frozen cauliflower in. It makes me so creamy and smooth. And you wouldn’t actually even know that it’s got a vengeance. And my husband, when I first met him, was very anti veg. Now I used to do stuff like that. And in the book say, I got like this and call it the the super pasta. And actually it’s mostly based on brussel sprouts because a lot of people go, oh, yuck, a hateful sprouts. So I make them that don’t tell them as sprouts in it. And then they’re like, Oh, that’s delicious. And then I tell them this brussel sprouts and it so it’s all about, I guess work with the flavors. And that’s what I guess the whole recipe element of the book is about showing how you can make veggies actually really taste delicious and moreish. And I think the more people find that out, then they’re more likely to make a few small changes in their diet. So if you’re not really into vegetable, I would say literally pick one veg that you’re going to adding to your diet each week and then you kind of build up your rapport of getting a little bit more confident and showing how, you know, with a little bit of olive oil and some sea salt mixed in, you can make vegetables so delicious that you’ll be going back for seconds.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: And I think that’s a great idea. That’s always what I suggest. Just a little bit here, a little bit there and just add it into your smoothie. And people seem to really resonate to that. It doesn’t seem too overwhelming to pick this huge recipe, for example. So what benefits can people see by adding in more diverse veggies into their diet?
Dr. Megan Rossi: Yeah, just on that point around the taste component, because I think that is another barrier for a lot of people. And in the book I talk through some case studies of some of my clients who came to be going, look, I know there’s so many health benefits attached to. I just don’t like the taste. And, you know, I think it’s important to highlight the science, which shows that if we slowly start to increase more plants and even if it’s seeking them in initially and actually our own microbiome changes, the bacteria in our mouth changes and that can change our taste perception. So after about four weeks, actually, we can start to crave plants more. And I’ve taste like actually ten over every ten or so days. So there’s a lot of science that goes into that. So people are just going, Oh, but I just do like a certain type of veg. I’d say, make it initially and you watch the magic, your taste buds will change. It’s like, you know, when you don’t you hate the taste of coffee and all of the chocolate or even wine. And now we kind of love and crave not just because we kind of let our taste buds evolve by having small amounts and adjusting to it. But so I just wanted to make that slight deviation because, you know, I hear all of my and I want to kind of miss that or give people, I guess, empower them with the information that they make. So changes it will, you know, the taste buds will catch up with them. But in terms of the far reaching benefits, you know, I talk about the different five axes in a little bit more detail. So the gut axis, the gut brain axis, the gut metabolism axis, and we’ve got hormone axis and the axis. So these axis essentially is highlighting the science around nourishing the gut bacteria by doing things like adding more plants into it can improve things like your skin health, your mental health, your lower your risk of of getting the common cold. And also studies have shown that even carbon 19 like a case study in the book of that were really helpful research and that’s because we know that 70% of our reach is the. Lives in the gut. So the gut bacteria, they train our immune system to keep it really strong so we can fight off anything that kind of comes that way. And then things like hormonal health, we know that the gut bacteria actually help regulate things like our estrogen levels. They produce this enzyme, which helps recycle the estrogen in our body. And that’s why we see people going through the menopause. If they increase the plasma diet, they reduce their risk of things. That hot flushes by around 20% according to some clinical trials. So, you know, again, it comes down to the far reaching benefits of this kind of newly discovered organ within us.
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Intro: And now back to our episode.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Wonderful. Wonderful. And then why did you decide to create a meal plan based on points? Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Dr. Megan Rossi: Yeah, look, so in the in the book, I have these different menu plans. So one for busy families, one for sensitive thoughts and one for. So what’s the families want? Busy people, expensive cuts. And the one of the sensitive gods I thought was really important to include, because as you experience in clinic, so many people saying, look, I want to increase whole plants, but it makes me more bladed or I’ve got issues with legumes, I can’t eat them, etc.. So what I’ve done, based on some of my research from from King’s College London is produced many products still very high in dietary fiber, but it’s cut out some of these fermentable types of fiber. And so I call it the fodmap lite approach. Sorry. I’m sure, Ann-Marie, you know, how about the people that stop and take out certain types of fibers to give you a bit of rest, and then we systematically reintroduce it, but we know that that can be quite restrictive. And you know, if you can’t really do that on your own very well, you often run into a lot of trouble. So I’ve come up with a kind of a safer way to do that by just cutting out some of the really highly fermentable types of food and fibers. And that seems to work really well with people sensitive dots to include more fibers and help kind of retrain the got. And in all of the menu plants, I’ve got this plant point system because it makes it a little bit more fun to think about how many one way to add actual plants. And so it’s about getting people to count how many plants that they would have normally on it on a daily or weekly basis. And then, you know what? I’m going to challenge myself, my family and my colleagues to increase that number by two each week. And the thing that we know about each individual plant has got, you know, hundreds of different plant chemicals. It’s unique to that. So, for example, you know, the humble apples, about 300 plant chemicals in it, things like German feel good hormones in detail, which is good for PCOS. It’s got 100 million bacteria and not just a whole black, but if you extrapolate that out to berries and you know, it’s all the other veg and things like that out there, you would appreciate as literally thousands of plant chemicals for your body and bacteria to enjoy, but you need to get that diversity in. And that comes with the plant point system.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Very, very nice. And then what do you feel like our gut can tell us about our overall health?
Dr. Megan Rossi: Yeah. I mean. It just got so much information out within our gut. And I know I told you at that point that I don’t recommend sharing sharing widely, but I think it is work that people kind of check in with that every fortnight or so and I’m sure you very well the bristles don’t chat they talk a lot about that because of the different types of proof in the first book and love you got. Well you know there’s seven types of skills. One is like humble teaser. Seven is like a liquid movie. What we’re aiming for is a top three or four or five. It’s kind of what’s healthy. And then the frequency, it’s anywhere according to like what the general guidelines is, anywhere from a minimum of three times a week, up to three times a day. If you’re outside of that normal, then definitely worth kind of seeing that health care professional investigating that in the Technicolor and a lot of the stuff. So it does actually provide us with a lot of information. And, you know, it’s not just I guess about gut symptoms as well. So when I was writing that first book, you know, people always ask me, how do you know if you got healthy? And I’m like, well, kind of tricky. There’s like a few elements to it. So I came I came out with this ten question assessment, which I can link for your viewers. I’d be wonderful all out. Yeah. And in it are things like how often. Yes. About symptoms that have to be getting sick, how much sleep you’re having, how stressed to you and then, you know, scale you from a score of 0 to 20 to see where you got how this car reacts and the key areas you can really work on to maximize your your gut health, because everyone’s journey is different.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Awesome. That’s wonderful and I’m really excited to see that. I think a lot of people would love to fill that out to see really where they are. So I’m excited about that. And then you also talk about the 28 day challenge. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Dr. Megan Rossi: Yeah. So again, you know, we know from from clinic that a lot of people when they are thinking about making that true challenge changes them. They want to make a big change. They’re really worried about it at some point when they come and see us and like, I just want to make that change. That’s what the 28 challenges about is to over the period of the 28 days, showing you how you can very easily make some significant changes to your diet by, you know, each day focusing on a new challenge, whether it’s one day adding cauliflower to your smoothie, whether it’s, you know, the next day is try a new veg that you haven’t tried before. The next day, you know, each day you’ve got a bit of a challenge. So it kind of motivates you. And across that 28 days, you’re really trying a wealth of new clients that perhaps you wouldn’t have in the past. So it’s just a fun little way to encourage people to get more clients, really reap the benefits of their gut health and even challenge it with, you know, some friends or family members. That’s wonderful. What are for you personally what are kind of three must do things every day for your gut. One. It’s a simple one, but a lot of people don’t do it. Enough is enough. Well, it sounds really simple, but a lot of people who come with some sort of gut issue, I say to them, go on for a week and just start doing that. And well, 30% of them get complete resolution of things like that, bloating by literally just doing that. And, you know, I would say 90% get some sort of benefit from it. So we know that we not only physically break down food, but we have enzymes enough not to chemically break it down. So I recommend people. I release 15 to 20 chews most mouthfuls. Obviously it depends. You’re going to chew your soup or anything like that. But that’s kind of guidelines are chewing it very well, I think is a really important one, taking some time out to really nourish that brain axis. That two way communication between you’ve got your brain because you’re stressed up here, you’ll know that’s going to strangle. You’ve got a no matter what you eat, it’s not going to feel right and it can lead to hormonal issues, etc.. So whether it’s doing some belly breathing, I’ve got in the book some books, breathing exercises or whether it’s going to walk in the forest, know all those sorts of really simple things and practical strategies we can do just to give ourselves kind of 10 minutes got brain rest. I think that is a really important kind of second tip. And the third one of course is around diet. So I would say at each meal time think, okay, maybe I’ve got some of my favorite meals here. I’ll say favorite foods. You always at snack time, but what? Oh, my flight is going to feed my gut bacteria because, you know, if you’re having friends for dinner, you’re going to make sure you always cater for them as well. And I like to think of the bacteria as nerdy as it is, like this little in a community of support for me. So, you know, they have my back. I just have to have this by nourishing them. Right. And they will help me live longer, have better skin, you know, have better mental health. I just kind of need to nourish them.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here and sharing your wonderful knowledge with us. It’s an absolute pleasure.
Dr. Megan Rossi: Thanks so much for having me.
Dr. Ann-Marie Barter: Awesome. Thank you so much for everybody else out there listening to the Gut Health Reset Podcast. Please subscribe and say hello. We want to hear more from you and make sure to send us a link of something that you would like to hear topic wise. We always love to hear from you. Take care. Bye bye.
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