Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Beetroot Bacon Salad ~ The Power of Purple


Beetroot Bacon Salad with Purple Potatoes and Purple Romaine with homemade Caesar dressing. The lemon juice and raw apple cider vinegar from the dressing soaked into the potates giving a higher fiber (RS) enrichmen and resistance to (human) digestion. Not shown but we also had 1/2 cup brown rice (frozen coz didn't want it to spoil, then reheated) which had powerful 1-2 g oligosaccharide fiber in the rice bran and 4-5 g RS (and hopefully not much cadmium and arsenic LOL). Beets have over the top nutrients including various fiber for the microbiota and antioxidants that chelate and detoxify. When you eat the skin, beetroots have both pectin (which yield arabino-oligosaccharides when the microbes chomp it up) and other fantastic fermentable substrates.

Everything was purple last night:
  • purple cabbage + pork belly
  • purple romaine
  • purple baby potatoes

Purple rich foods have more antioxidants, polyphenols and anthocyanins, and even brings about more profound butyrate and fermentation in the gut microbiota. Why, I have no idea, except that all polyphenols are loved by the intestinal inhabitants who use it as a substrate. It endows them with special skills I suspect just as we get benefits from eating berries or bitter vegetables.

Howz about some summer tunes? So grateful the cycles around the sun are hitting the side I prefer again. Aren't you?

Ann Nutr Metab. 2008;52(1):1-7.
Feeding potato flakes [white, red, purple Hokkai Japanese tubers] affects cecal short-chain fatty acids, microflora and fecal bile acids in rats.
Han KH et al

Br J Nutr. 2007 Nov;98(5):914-21.
Effects of anthocyanin-rich purple potato flakes on antioxidant status in F344 rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet.
Han KH et al

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2007 Feb;53(1):90-3.
Effects of dietary administration of plant-derived anthocyanin-rich colors to spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Shindo M et al

Animal. 2007 Sep;1(8):1126-33. PDF HERE
The source of fermentable carbohydrates influences the in vitro protein synthesis by colonic bacteria isolated from pigs. [SCFAs for sugar beet pulp about the same as raw potato, pun; pulp had 7X-more insoluble fermentable substrates]
Bindelle J et al

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Dec;77(23):8336-44.
In vitro fermentation of sugar beet arabino-oligosaccharides by fecal microbiota obtained from patients with ulcerative colitis to selectively stimulate the growth of Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp.
Vigsnæs LK et al

J Appl Microbiol. 2006 Feb;100(2):407-14.
In vitro fermentation of sugar beet arabinan and arabino-oligosaccharides by the human gut microflora. [increases Bacteroidetes, lowers Clostridia]
Al-Tamimi MA et al


Anonymous said...

Dr. BG I am obsessed with you! You are such a welcome light to my crazy gut obsession and I am forever indebted to your knowledge, light heartedness, humor and ability to share it all! Thank you! I found you by way of all the crazy guys, Richard, cooling inflammation, heisenberg, jeff leach etc. My new friends in the field of gut health.

Ok so here's my story, I know all about how much havoc antibiotics can wreak on your body after being on long term antibiotics for minor acne in high school (I know completely inane! but they know not what they do) anyway, we made some big life changes and are now pretty healthy. I've had two babies and the first I started eating solids on poi! We were in Hawaii. I was going to ask you about this days ago then I saw this post about the power of purple. From your work I feel like poi is such a wonderful food for gut health, fermented, resistant starch, purple etc. I'm thinking of having some sent to us now that we've left the islands. But I'm wondering if it'd be just as good to start my second baby on fermented yams that I make myself?

I'm obsessed with his gut because he was hospitalized at 1 month with RSV (note the V! virus) but he was still given broad spectrum iv antibiotics for 36 hours (rocephin, I had to fight them to take him off them) we immediately used probiotics and he's been exclusively breastfed for the past 5 months. (since birth) Still I'm concerned. I've sent his sample off to the American Gut project but we won't have results for the next 6 months. I know you bring up the flu vaccine, do you think all childhood vaccines have a relationship with gut health and should I be concerned about his gut after the antibiotics (now that they have aluminium in lieu of mercury? (I know this is a point of GAPS). Anyway, lots to say! and even more to learn from you. I'm open to other tests if there are faster ways of learning about his gut. He is big, healthy and happy.

Tim Steele said...

The power of purple! Fields full of wild blueberries are one thing that make Alaska bearable.

Re: Poi

I love the stuff! My first stop when we go to Hawaii is the ABC store to get a carton of poi. If I lived there, I'd figure out how to grow and make fermented poi just like the old-timers did. Poi, raw fish, coconut, and green bananas talk about a feast for the gut bugs.

Anonymous said...

I know Tim, it's a completely incredible food. You know the ancient Hawaiians see the taro as their ancestor. I'm thinking of having it shipped! It'll be frozen and reheated but I guess that's better for the rs, not sure if it'll kill the ferments?

Dr. B G said...


Thanks for your comments and kind words! I love your energy and 'power of purple'!! I just edited the title to include that. U ROCK!!

I think both of your children are so lucky to have a mom obsessed with guts and starting them on a path with as strong guts as possible.

Never heard of fermented yams? Do you have a recipe? I'm sorry about the Rocephin... OUCH but no worries the gut can recover so many things. Yes I'm not anti vaccine but they have to be done with a prudent schedule and metal and mercury free as possible (I concur with GAPS).

Definitely GDX stool test and urinary organic acids would yield awesome confirmation if his gut is going well. The stool doesn't tell me the degree of dysbiosis, thus the urine information is vital as well.

Also you can’t wrong with eating dirt from healthy exposures
–volunteer at your CSA or garden more and let children play in dirt
–organic veggies and their skins
–making smoothies out of above (not juicing as it wastes the skins)
--fermented everything are great including poi and yams

Have you read the book the physician who is recommending dirt as therapy? Dr Daphne Miller MD FARMacology? lol it’s great!

LL said...

Dr. B G HERSELF! what a thrill. thank you so much for answering me! It's Lindsey btw.

I found this recipe through Dr. Art's blog, he recommended their book and they know how to ferment just about everything! http://www.fermentista.us/blog/2013/3/1/fermenting-sweet-potatoes

I'll definitely check out the book recommendation, I am a voracious reader about all things health and well being, so grateful to have found you after many a night a'googlin' away!

If I get the GDX tests do I need to find a provider to work with?

My kids are in the dirt most days. We have a great garden in our backyard and I try to keep them naked and dirty in the backyard as much as I can.

I just love your positive natural attitude mixed with such a thorough scientific research base.

I have about a million more questions but my main question is about what your thoughts are on being born in the caul? Pretty much both my babies were and I was. I wonder the role this plays in gut health? My midwife broke my son's bag in his mouth so he definitely got some microbes that way, but I'm just curious about it. It seems a very natural way to be born.

Also do you have a vax schedule that you recommend? I know it's such a contentious topic I hate to even bring it up but the whole thing is kinda overwhelming to me.

We ate purple cabbage for dinner.
To the GUT the seat of all health!

Much Obliged,

Butch Pornebo said...

Dr BG,

you commented on the "Family Science Project" blog nut for some reason I can't leave a comment so I'm posting my question here if you don't mind.

potato starch = "refined full of sulfur, metals"

Is this true fro Bob's Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch ?

Green Banana Flour cost way bit more.

How much of a dosage is required fro green banana flour ?


Grubby jeans said...

Hello, I've been trying to eat more RS and supplementing with 2 tbsp potato starch most days and having good results. My lactose intolerance and allergies are much better. However I just read what Ray Peat has to say about persorption of starch granules and how they get into the blood and can block small arterioles causing tissue death (especially potato starch due to it's large granule size) and how this may lead to dementia long term. I think that you may have written about this somewhere but I have searched and can't find more than a passing mention either here or at Free the Animal. I am now really worried, have I been damaging my families long term health by giving them raw starch? Have you or Tim or Richard read up on this and written about it anywhere? If so please point me in the right direction.
I love your blog and all the work you do. Thank you

Unknown said...

This salad might benefit with some crunch. How about almonds to raise butyrate-belching clostridia?

How do almonds remove impurities from the bowels? "Significant increases in the populations of Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. were observed in fecal samples as a consequence of almond or almond skin supplementation. However, the populations of Escherichia coli did not change significantly, while the growth of the pathogen Clostridum perfringens was significantly repressed." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24315808

Finely ground almonds significantly increased the populations of bifidobacteria and Eubacterium rectale (clostridium cluster XIVa):

Ulcerative colitis found decreased colonization of these commensal clostridia:

Tim Steele said...

Hi, Grubby - Yes we've talked extensively about persorption. It's a real thing! The starch particles are persorbed into circulation via Peyer's Patches exactly like oligosaccharides from human milk are. When in the bloodstream, starch granules attract and remove pathogens, just like the oligosaccharides in human milk do.

100% of all humans persorb starch granules after a meal of starch, resistant or otherwise. 100% of humans have no starch detectable in blood 2-3 hours after a meal.

If one of those starch granules cause you to have a stroke, well, it will probably be the first time in 2 million years that it has happened, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I see this argument as fear-mongering from a goup of people who think that potato starch is the anti-christ. They need to get a life.

Where persorption does concern me, however, is that man-made particles the same size as starch granules can also be persorbed. All of the studies on persorption end the same way: "persorption of starch granules is a natural occurrence, the persorption of man made microparticles and toxins may be harmful." More reason to stay away from foods with man-made stabilizers, flavor enhancers and coloring.

Tim Steele said...

Keith - Thanks, you are right, almonds are great. I just read a great paper that makes it seem that the skins are better for gut bugs than the meat and oil. Full of flavonoids and antioxidants.

Hopefully we see more research in this area.

Dr. B G said...

UR TOO CUUUUL~ and you had a baby in the caul. I have no thoughts on that except how fascinating.

Contact me (control-F, click on 'profile') but I admit I'm very behind and buried but will love to connect with you!

Sorry about the confusion -- the sulfur and metal are not much. For me I think it's problematic but most others unlikely. G banana flour is milled with a stone so if anyone is concerned with stainless steel, I think, it's an alternative but as you mentioned pricier.

Thx always for your thoughts -- love those Clostridium cluster XIVa. WHY R U SUCH A GUT ROCKSTAR?

~Please see Tim's comments, HE'S BRILLIANT. I haven't read the persorption studies yet. Ray Peat tends to hyperventilate without thoroughly scouring the literature IMHO. Have you tried g banana or g plantain flour? Other fiber or whole foods? Raw carrots or beets?
Thx for visiting.

RS foods (forgot carrots! shame on me)

LL said...

Tim and Keith,
Do you think almond butter is much better than peanut butter? I remember reading something about peanuts on the blog but can't remember what. What about other nuts? We eat lots of macadamia nuts, cashews and pecans. As always I'm indebted to your knowledge fellow gut warriors!

Tim Steele said...

LL - I think anything is better than store-bought peanut butter, although there are some decent brands. Almond butter with only 1 ingredient (almonds) is much better, but easy to over-do.

But, I think in general, almonds are better than peanuts.

Unknown said...

Peanuts, which are legumes, may be more directly antifungal than almonds. There are several studies about antifungal properties of peanuts. and a few about almonds, as well, but from other angles such as the bacteria in almond plants which guard against fungi. Almonds may be more prebiotic than peanuts having indirect antifungal activity as bacteria control fungi.

And what about the deadly peanut allergy? That's being chalked-up to peanut oil in vaccines.

Peanuts are also packed with antioxidants as beans top the antioxidant food list. I believe highest antioxidant intake in the USA is attributed to coffee (too many addicts). But almonds also have lots of antioxidant activity perhaps due in large part to high vitamin E.

Grace, as you know, I'm just into the gut-brain thing mainly from environmental perspective because I believe if more people were aware of it we'd have a happier, more sustainable, less polluted world. We'd embrace diversity and wouldn't cause so much extinction and mutation.

Grubby jeans said...

Dr. B.G. and Tim, Thank you both so much for taking time out from your busy lives to answer my question. I have managed to find the only blogs where my google account name, Grubby Jeans, sounds like a boast rather than an admission of slovenliness! Today I have been sowing beets, onions and potatoes in the garden with a view to a harvest of food for my gut bacteria and some new SBOs to join them.

LL said...

Keith! what a beautiful sentiment and reason to be involved with gut brain health. You must be a very incredible person and I'm glad you are devoted to the fight to save the earth. I have to say after years of yoga and meditation etc. the calm vibe I feel after adding resistant starch is really the most amazing part about it. I love the idea of healing the flora of humanities guts to heal the flora of the world. It's all the same thing after all. Thank you so much for your knowledge. I wish I could just hook up my brain to yours.

Also another n=1, started my husband on the sibo cure and within 2 days his skin has remarkably healed.

Interesting about the peanut allergy. I looked into it and the interesting thing is that there is hardly any peanut allergy in Israel (or africa) but Israel has a 95% vaccination rate. thoughts? http://www.jpost.com/Health-and-Science/95-percent-of-Israeli-children-get-their-recommended-vaccinations-350313


Tim, I'm forever indebted to you to publicizing your insight about RS. It has been a truly amazing ride so far. Already my mood and health is vastly improved and I started my husband a few days ago and his skin is so much better. How'd you discover it? I think I read on FTA that you have a blog now, I gotta check it out, maybe it'l answer my question. I saw some of the early stages about you mentioning it to Grace in the comments on this blog long ago. Fascinating to see the start of a revolution.

Tim Steele said...

LL - No blog for me! That was just a joke. I have a hard enough time keeping up with comments on other blogs, I like the freedom of traveling from blog to blog and uniting ideas. I have no desire to start my own.

I 'discovered' RS just from googling around after reading about it and seeing news articles, there is a wealth of info on RS out there, but there was no real way to implement it and there were no RS calculators. When I saw they were using raw potato starch in many of the studies, and then found out the the potato starch sold in grocery stores is 'raw potato starch' I did a bit of experimenting and then needed a couple thousand guinea pigs so I took it to the blogosphere.

What all my prodding revealed is that almost everybody has a messed up gut. I had really thought potato starch was going to be the solution to our woes, but it turns out it was just the tip of the iceberg. When Grace and I started talking we realized that prebiotics and probiotics were both somewhat ineffective without the other.

Still lots left to learn!

Unknown said...

Thanks, LL, how did you get so perceptive lol? And that's an interesting angle about Israel's low rate of peanut allergy with a high vaccination rate. The study you posted may hold the answer as babies are given peanut early and often . . . but there's something else about Israel which may put it in a bubble of gut health and that's soil and soil microbes.

Israeli arthritis rates have been found extremely low compared to USA rates and arthritis is linked with gut bacteria. Some people believe it's about high boron in soil where boron controls protozoans as cause of arthritis, but I think it may be more about high silica content in soil. The same may apply to Africa.

Silica is a little known component of the GAG, hyaluronic acid, a crucial part of synovial fluid and intestinal health, also attributed to longevity in a town in Japan with lots of hyaluronic acid in soil generating their staple, sticky potato diet. It's due to soil microbes generating hyaluronic acid. Bacillus subtillis is now being used to manufacture hyaluronic acid.

Tim Steele said...

Keith - Interesting you should mention silica. We have a weed that grows in Alaska called Horsetail. Apparently is contains very high levels of silica and is used by the Alaska natives as medicine. I eat quite a bit every summer in salads, at first by accident because it grows very well in my lettuce patch without any effort on my part. I spent years attempting top eradicate it organically (hint: impossible). Now I just let it grow and I eat it. Maybe worthwhile for others to look into:



Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is an herbal remedy dating back to ancient Roman and Greek medicine. It was used traditionally to stop bleeding, heal ulcers and wounds, and treat tuberculosis and kidney problems. The name Equisetum is derived from the Latin roots equus, meaning "horse," and seta, meaning "bristle."

Horsetail contains silicon, which plays a role in strengthening bone. For that reason, it is sometimes suggested as a treatment for osteoporosis. It is also used as a diuretic, and as an ingredient in some cosmetics. However, very few studies have looked at horsetail's effect in humans.

Plant Description

Horsetail is descended from huge, tree like plants that thrived 400 million years ago during the Paleozoic era. A close relative of the fern, horsetail is a nonflowering weed found throughout parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. The plant is a perennial (returns each year) with hollow stems and shoots that look like asparagus at first. As the plant dries, silica crystals that form in the stems and branches look like feathery tails and give the plant a scratching effect. That accounts for its historic use in polishing metal, particularly pewter.

Parts Used

The aboveground parts of horsetail (fresh or dried) are used for medicinal purposes.

Medicinal Uses and Indications

Few studies have been done of horsetail's effect in humans. Horsetail has traditionally been used as a diuretic (helps rid the body of excess fluid by increasing urine output). One study examined the use of horsetail by people who had a history of uric acid kidney stones. The people who took horsetail did see an increase in diuresis (urine output). Other studies suggest horsetail has antioxidant properties and may inhibit cancer cell growth.


Horsetail has been suggested as a treatment for osteoporosis (thinning bone), because it contains silicon, a mineral needed for bone health. However, only one study has examined horsetail for osteoporosis. In that study, 122 Italian women took horsetail dry extract or Osteosil calcium 270 mg twice daily (a horsetail/calcium combination used in Italy for osteoporosis and fractures). Although both groups who took horsetail experienced improved bone density, the study was poorly designed. More research is needed to see whether horsetail has any effect on bone density.


Horsetail is sometimes suggested for the following conditions, although there is no evidence whether it works or not:

Kidney stones
Urinary tract infections
Brittle nails
Minor wounds and burns (applied topically -- you should never apply herbal supplements to open wounds).

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Awesome that you eat horsetail, Tim. I've used a lot to make tea mixed with hawthorn berries, green tea and yellowroot stems, high in berberine and very hard to find these days.

Anonymous said...

Tim, here is more on horsetail:

Common horsetail (Equisetum arvense)
Spore-bearing and sterile shoots eaten by Northwest Coast peoples; roots and root nodules ground up and eaten with animal fat and berries or cooked in soups by Western Eskimo; young tubers eaten raw, plain or with grease, in spring by Tanaina of Alaska

Branchless horsetail (E. hiemale)
Strobili eaten with salmon eggs by the Cowlitz; water sucked from hollow stems by Halkomelem, Gitksan, Ditidaht (Nitinaht) and other groups

Meadow horsetail (E. pratense)
Tubers eaten by Ojibwa, and by Alaska Eskimo; gathered from vole caches and eaten raw with seal oil

Giant horsetail(Equisetum telmateia)
Young shoots eaten in spring by Northwest Coast peoples

(see detailed discussion)

Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. BG,

I'm curious how you prepared the brown rice for this meal. Perhaps you've come across this before, but a long time ago Stephan Guyenet wrote an article about soaking brown rice in an attempt to increase mineral availability:

What are your thoughts about that?

Thanks for all the content on the blog, all very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Dr. BG

Great talk on the llvlc,
But i didn't hear clear what was the the probiotics, you said to take to rebuild what the antibiotec couses?

Thank You,

Natalie said...

Dr. Grade,

Please forgive me if this has been asked/answered elsewhere on your blog. I've been reading posts and comments for hours! I'm addicted to your work :)

I'm wanting to do the weed, feed seed protocol you have posted on how to rid SIBO. My question is basically do you weed first with the clay/charcoal then after a while seed/feed? Or can they all be done at the same time? I bought all the probiotics you recommend and don't want to waste them by doing things wrong!! Thanks so much for the information you provide, you ROCK!

Unknown said...

Dr. BG, There is a question I've been trying to find answered on the google but if its there, it is too dense for me to interpret. Women who go thru menopause usually have changes in how their adipose tissue is deposited. My Gynie confirmed that I wasn't crazy (a constant belief during and after menopause) and yes fat goes where, for some women, it had never been, the abdomen. That was me; always hip, thigh, butt. Couldn't this change be related to some subtle change in gut bacteria? So, what I want to know is how does menopause change the gut and how do you get fat to go back to its former neighborhoods? If the answer is as simple as less estrogen changes species which changes fat deposition, couldn't all the healthy stuff, RS, prebiotics, probiotics, fermented foods, prevent those changes? I also experienced changes in my oral health as well; gums and extra plaque.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. G,
I have been reading you and Free the Animal for a while now, and I love your blogs. You and Richard, and Tim have transformed my diet! I am now a "Post-Paleo".
Recently I think I saw you recommending that people with very compromised immune systems must not take pro-biotics and RS--that increasing their immune systems could cause an attack on their own body.
I have a friend who has a severe case of RA. She of course takes immune suppressants. She also has had numerous rounds of anti-biotics, in the past 2 years due to very poor health. I was going to encourage her to start with some decent pro-biotics and pre-biotics, now I think I must not.
I hate to be so excited about resistant starch, etc., but tell her she must not try it. What do you think about this? And, thanks!

Anonymous said...

If it's not possible to do a gdx2200, would these two tests combined provide roughly the same info?