What Is Edamame?
Edamame beans are whole, immature soybeans.
Edamame beans are low in calories, and are an excellent source of protein, iron and calcium.
150 grams of edamame beans contain 97.6 grams of calcium, 18.5 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of iron.
Research has suggested that soy isoflavones in edamame beans improve mental health by reducing cognitive decline.
These beans are also high in fibre and antioxidants and are therefore great for bowel health.
Edamame also contains folate which is an important nutrient for preventing high blood pressure, reproductive health and mental health.
Soy & Health Concerns
There is some controversy about the effect soy products have on the risk of breast cancer. Some isoflavones appear to act in a similar way to oestrogen, high levels of oestrogen may increase the risk of specific cancers.
However, a 2021 study by Feng et. al. concluded higher levels of certain serum isoflavones and lignans (phytonutrients) were associated with reduced odds of breast cancer in premenopausal women.
Are they hard to prepare?
No, these little nuggets of goodness can also be bought ready to use, in the freezer section of most supermarkets, add them; raw to salads, to soups, stews, casseroles, or eat them as a snack!
I have 24 recipes ready to go that include edamame beans, let's chat soon about how we can incorporate these into your meal plan.
Food intolerances can present in a variety of ways, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, rashes, headache, low energy, brain fog, just to name a few. For some people this can be due to a histamine intolerance.
What is a histamine intolerance?
Histamine is a natural chemical, but an intolerance can occur when your body has trouble flushing histamine compounds out of your system.
Histamine is ingested via food and stored in nearly all tissues of the body. When released, it plays a role in a ton of different actions that all keep your organs functioning and body working healthily — things like helping the smooth muscle tissue of the lungs, uterus, and stomach contract (that keeps your organs working); dilating blood vessels; stimulating gastric acid secretion in the stomach; accelerating your heart rate.
Those with a histamine intolerance are often low is essential enzymes that help break down histamine in the body.
What foods are high in histamine?
Dietary amines such as histamine occur naturally in certain foods and come from protein breakdown. Levels increase in protein foods (meats, fish, cheese) as they age or ‘mature’, and in fruits as they ripen (e.g. bananas, tomato, avocado, pawpaw, olives. High levels are likely to be present in sauces, fruit juices, chocolate, flavoured spreads, nut and seed pastes, jams, and in fermented products (e.g. beer, wines, yeast extracts)
Histamines increase with maturation so some of the foods and drinks that you might think are healthy are often the culprits, including kefir, kombucha, vinegars and sauerkraut.
Can I get a test to check to see if I have a histamine intolerance?
An intolerance is different to an allergy so it can be difficult to diagnose. Food intolerance testing such as an IgG Food Intolerance test are an option, but an elimination diet, where you avoid aggravating foods and then slowly reintroducing them can help identify the problem.
It takes 3-4 weeks for histamine levels to clear out of tissues to a level that reduces most symptoms.
Okay, I think this sounds like me what can I do next?
I can design you a well-balanced four-week program that contains a wide variety of delicious, colourful and fun low histamine recipes.
Alternatively, I can arrange an IgG food intolerance test for you to do in the convenience of your home.
What is SIBO?
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) refers to a condition in which abnormally large numbers of bacteria are present in the small intestine and the wrong types of bacteria in the small intestine, which begin to more closely resemble the bacteria of the large intestine. Unlike the large intestine, which is rich with bacteria, the small bowel usually has a lot less and different types of bacteria. In a healthy person, bacteria are moved out of the small bowel into the large bowel via intestinal muscle contractions and a valve prevents movement of bacteria from the colon back into the small intestine. However, disruptions can inhibit this natural defensive pattern and bacteria begin to accumulate in the small intestine.
SIBO is associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Bacterial overgrowth may break down bile acids, which are needed for fat digestion, thus reducing absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E and the metabolism of other hormones. In severe cases, bacteria may damage small intestinal wall impairing carbohydrate and protein absorption resulting in malnutrition. Anaemia may also develop, when bacteria interfere with B12 reabsorption.
SIBO may include all or some of the following symptoms
Testing for SIBO is an option
Hydrogen breath tests - Breath tests have been developed to test for bacterial overgrowth, based on bacterial metabolism of carbohydrates to hydrogen. The hydrogen breath test involves giving patients a load of carbohydrate (usually in the form of rice) and measuring expired hydrogen concentrations after a certain time.
Bacterial culture - Bacterial culture is now seldom used due to the invasiveness of endoscopy, contamination of the endoscope and catheter, inaccurate sampling and because many bacterial species do not grow in routine culture media and quantitative culture may underestimate the bacterial population. Furthermore, due to the location of the small intestine it is not easily accessible to obtain a sample.
D-xylose - The D-xylose test involves having a patient to drink a certain quantity of D-xylose, and measuring levels in the urine and blood; if there is no evidence of D-xylose in the urine and blood, it suggests that the small bowel is not absorbing properly which is often an indicator for SIBO.
Small bowel bacterial overgrowth syndrome is commonly treated with antibiotics, which may be given in a cyclic fashion to prevent tolerance to the antibiotics.
Alternative natural treatment options include diet and lifestyle changes and the inclusion of nutraceuticals. Diet changes may include gluten free, FODMAP diet, or an elimination diet depending on your particular profile. Supplements such as specifically selected probiotics, herbs such as, dandelion, ginger and slippery elm and digestive enzymes made from papaya and pineapple.
Regardless of which treatment you choose the condition that predisposed the small intestine to bacterial overgrowth should also be treated.
Menopausal hot flushes are experienced by up to 75% of menopausal women and an astounding 85% of Australian women suffering from hot flushes remain untreated.
Disturbingly, those who are treated are often given HRT (hormone replacement therapy) as their only option, with symptoms often returning upon cessation of treatment.
So, what causes these flushes and what can you do?
A woman experiencing a hot flush is not significantly hotter than normal. In fact, it is the brain that is perceiving itself to be hotter and is therefore producing a cooling response known as a thermoneutral zone.
The main trigger for flush is due to a decline in oestrogen but a contributing factor is increased sympathetic nervous activity, resulting in increased adrenaline often activated by stress and anxiety.
Data collected by Dr Robert Freedman, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Wayne State University, indicates that reducing the sympathetic drive in women experiencing hot flushes may be a useful strategy for reducing hot flushes and eliminating the need to use HRT.
It’s not a one size fits all approach
Treatment should be approached holistically and address the following:
A holistic approach including a comprehensive health assessment should be conducted before making a decision on whether to choose HRT or a natural alternative option. Make an appointment with your health provider today to discuss what is right for you.
Try the free detox questionnaire to see which areas you can work on.