Until you have a health crisis in your home, you may never come across all the different dietary approaches to help heal the body that basically have their foundation in Hippocrates famous quote:
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
I started this post over a month ago, and have kept editing it and editing it because there is just so much information that I would like to present, but I have wanted to keep it as consice as possible. My goal in writing this post is to create an awareness of dietary approaches to health, and then to encourage others to pass that information along so that many may benefit, just as our family benefited from Jim and Nancy Abrahams faithfulness in getting the word out on the ketogenic diet for epilepsy.
There are thousands – if not millions – of sites you can find on the internet discussing the diets/topics I am listing below. I am just giving a brief overview (or this would be hundreds of pages long!) of the highlights of each one. There are many other great books on dietary therapies to health- these are just the books that I have come across in my own reading that I thought might be helpful to others.
To begin, I think a great place to start in an attempt to understand why the diets discussed below help the body heal, is to read the following article.
“It’s Big Science…It also promises the biggest turnaround in medical thinking in 150 years.”
Yes, the article is more than several paragraphs, but it is worth the read. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/microbes-the-trillions-of-creatures-governing-your-health-37413457/?no-ist Once you have read the article, you will better understand the premise of the following dietary approaches to health:
1. Gut and Psychological Syndrome (GAPS)
I have been familiar with the “GAPS” diet for several years. Someone actually suggested it when Autumn first started to have seizures, and before we knew about the ketogenic diet. I personally feel that the Ketogenic Diet is THE DIET for epilepsy. However, the GAPS diet would certainly be one of the diets I would consider trying if I had a child that exhibited any autistic symptoms, behavioral problems or bowel issues.
The basic premise is exactly what the above article proposed – heal the gut, heal the body. This article specifically deals with Autism and the Gut:
and why this information is not getting out:
On the GAPS protocol You heal the gut by eating bone broths, cultured dairy, fermented veggies, and staying away from grains and sugar. The GAPS diet has been instrumental in helping MANY people find good health – both physical and psychological. I have read that people who have a problem with candida and go on anti-candida diets may never really get “cured” until they heal the gut, so some find better relief doing the GAPS protocol. You can also find many sites on the internet of parents who have found that the diet brought their children back from autism.
Following are sites for more information:
If you are interested in starting the diet, I found this website to be helpful. “What Can I Eat Now?” and it was very helpful:
2. Nourishing Hope for Autism, Nutrition and Diet Guide to Healthy Children
This author review the tops diets used for treating Autism and then individualizes them for each patient.
From Julie Matthews website:
There are many special diets that help children with autism, ADHD, and other childhood conditions: Gluten-free Casein-free (GFCF), Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) or GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Diet, Feingold Diet, Body Ecology Diet, Low Oxalate Diet, Low Phenols (Feingold and Failsafe) and Weston A. Price.
Though the are many effective diet choices, beginning nutritional intervention need not be overwhelming. Ten years ago, there were few choices, it was just – do diet! And, “do diet” meant do the Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet (GFCF). Eliminating gluten (the protein in wheat) and casein (the protein in dairy) was the primary focus of diet for autism for many years and the GFCF diet has proven to be very beneficial for many children on the spectrum.
Today, additional advances in nutrition research and parent experience have resulted in the broader application of dietary strategies such as SCD and GAPS Diet and Low Oxalate Diet. Because each person has unique chemistry and underlying conditions, it’s important to identify, follow, and customize the varied approaches to meet each situation. Be sure to read my Get Started Guide.
Her website is: http://nourishinghope.com/start/
3. Breaking the Vicious Cycle – Intestinal Health Through Diet
Another diet that is similar to the GAPS diet is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Just as the Ketogenic diet became better known by Jim Abrahams due to Charlie’s seizures, the SCD became more widely known after Elaine Gosstchall cured her daughter from many health problems. Elaine and her husband Herb were given an an ultimatum by their doctor; either consent to surgery to remove their daughter’s colon and attach an external bag for the collection of waste, or watch her slip into further debilitation, even death. Instead, they went to see a 92 year-old specialist, and thus began the recovery of their daughter.
You can read their whole story here: http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/p/about-the-author/
Topics covered in BREAKING THE VICIOUS CYCLE are:
The relationships between food and intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis of the pancreas, and other forms of chronic diarrhea.
A discussion of the cycle of events occurring in the intestine of those with problems and how the Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ can break this cycle and permit the body to regain normal functioning.
I had actually brought Kendall Conrad’s Cookbook when I started ordering all our keto books, but found that it was not conducive to the the strict ketogenic diet needs to control seizures. However, for those on SCD, the recipes look amazing!
4. Digestive Health with REAL FOOD.
Aglaee Jacob discusses both the GAPS, SCD and Paleo diets in her book: Aglaee got very sick after a trip to the Peruvian jungle – with a list of symptoms that first started intermittently but then became non-stop. At one point she was limited to eating only 5 different foods! She wrote the book to help some of the millions of people who suffer and are given bad dietary advice. She focuses on make sure you are eating REAL food!
From her website:
Health begins in the gut. In addition to digestive disorders, many other health problems can stem from damage to your intestines, including migraines, skin problems, autoimmune conditions, and weight abnormalities, so tackling your digestion first is smart if you want to maximize your chances of obtaining optimal health.
Beyond simply managing your symptoms, Digestive Health with REAL Food will teach you how to address the root causes of your digestive troubles to achieve optimal digestive and overall health.
The information in Digestive Health with REAL Food will help you build your own optimal diet by identifying the best foods for your digestive system: ones that are easy to digest, anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, healing and low in irritants and allergens.
The nutritional protocol in this book, developed by registered dietitian Aglaée Jacob, addresses numerous digestive problems, including:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) | Crohn s disease | Ulcerative colitis Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) |Fructose malabsorption FODMAP intolerance | Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Gallbladder issues | Abnormal intestinal permeability (leaky gut) Gut dysbiosis (gut flora imbalance) | Celiac disease | Non-celiac gluten sensitivity Multiple food sensitivities | And many more…
Her blog is at: http://radicatamedicine.com/about/
5. The Paleo Approach:
Author and scientist, Sarah Ballantyne, writes a paragraph-long list of illnesses she has suffered with, with a mile long list of of medication she was on – and has now reversed them all using the “Paleo Approach,” enjoying a life she never imagined she would have. Sarah saw 6 different doctors in 5 different cities over the course of 8 years, when finally she said, “I was never prescribed any treatment other than strong topical and low-dose oral strides. I had to figure it out on my own.” So, on goes the scientist hat and out comes the book that has been called “The Most Thoroughly Researched and Well Explained Book on Paleo & Autoimmunity.” Indeed, this book has a lot of science in it – but in a very understandable and useful way. She does discuss how her book was built “on the shoulders of giants” listing the books/dietary approaches I have mentioned above, in addition to others. If you have an autoimmune issue – you will want to have this book! Sarah’s blog is http://www.thepaleomom.com
6. The Wahls Protocol
“Like many physicians, Dr. Terry Wahls focused on treating her patients’ ailments with drugs or surgical procedures—until she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2000. Within three years, her back and stomach muscles had weakened to the point where she needed a tilt-recline wheelchair. Conventional medical treatments were failing her, and she feared that she would be bedridden for the rest of her life.
Dr. Wahls began studying the latest research on autoimmune disease and brain biology, and decided to get her vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids from the food she ate rather than pills and supplements. Dr. Wahl’s adopted the nutrient-rich paleo diet, gradually refining and integrating it into a regimen of neuromuscular stimulation. First, she walked slowly, then steadily, and then she biked eighteen miles in a single day. In November 2011, Dr. Wahls shared her remarkable recovery in a TEDx talk that immediately went viral. Now, in The Wahls Protocol, she shares the details of the protocol that allowed her to reverse many of her symptoms, get back to her life, and embark on a new mission: to share the Wahls Protocol with others suffering from the ravages of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune conditions.”
Dr. Wahls website is: http://terrywahls.com/about-the-wahls-protocol/
Almost all of the above mentioned books have used the principles from the Weston A. Price Foundation and the the book Nourishing Traditions – A great resource to have on hand that discusses the best foods to eat to maintain good health.
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