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Drink Your Way to Gut Health

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: Gut health is the "new frontier" in the scientific and medical world, with emerging research linking the gut to some of the most common diseases our society faces.
Air Date: 5/6/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, DSSD
Molly-MorganMolly Morgan, RD, CDN, DSSD is the author of The Skinny Rules and Skinny Size-It, as well as the founder of Creative Nutrition Solutions. She is a Board Certified Sports Specialist Dietitian as well as the President-Elect of the New York State Dietetic Association (NYSDA).  Morgan works with Fortune 500 companies, national brands, and professional sports teams. Molly is also a blogger for MensFitness.com, and has been featured on CNN, ESPN-Women, Fitness, Glamour, Health, Men’s Health, Readers Digest, Self, Shape, and Women’s Health as a nutrition expert. She completed her degree in clinical dietetics and coordinated practice at the State University at Buffalo and is a Board Certified Sports Specialist Dietitian, as well as the President-Elect and media representative for the New York State Dietetic Association (NYSDA), a past president of the Southern Tier Dietetic Association, and a former member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Consumer Health Informatics Work Group.
  • Book Title: Drink Your Way to Gut Health: 140 Delicious Probiotic Smoothies & Other Drinks that Cleanse & Heal
Drink Your Way to Gut Health
These days, it seems everyone is always talking about juicing, cleanses, and smoothies for detoxing and getting healthy.

Molly Morgan, a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, says that your gut health should be at the core of those methods.

Why is gut health so important?

Morgan says it's the "new frontier" in the scientific and medical world, with emerging research linking the gut to some of the most common diseases our society faces today.

Studies show that a “Western” diet high in fat and sugar results in more porous intestinal lining, causing greater exposure to food antigens and environmental toxins. Ongoing research has linked gut microbe diversity with reduced obesity, improved blood sugar levels, better skin health and mental health benefits.

Probiotics are one step to gut health. Prebiotics are another. These non-digestible and non-absorbable carbohydrates (like bananas, asparagus, and red wine) help feed the good bacteria already living in your digestive system. Up to a trillion microbes live in your intestinal tract, where probiotics begin their work.

Morgan's book, Drink Your Way to Gut Health, brings credentials and extensive knowledge to the topic with 140 healing drink recipes based on kefir, yogurt, kombucha, almond milk, and ginger beer.

The beverages, organized by chapters like Energizing, Nutrient-Rich, and Detoxifying, not only work against a variety of ailments like type-2 diabetes, allergies, and obesity, but are delicious too. Other bonus materials included in the book are nutritional data, health tips, resource lists, and shopping guides, making it an indispensable resource for those looking to improve their gut health.

Morgan also offers these gut-healthy tips:

  • Not all pickles are created equally. Only those that have NOT been pickled using vinegar will be high in probiotics.
  • If you prefer a protein boost in your smoothie, use Greek yogurt instead of regular varieties.
  • Traditionally, a lassi is savory and includes cumin. Fruity varieties, like the ever popular mango, came later.
  • Studies show that a blend of protein and carbohydrates is the best way to refuel after a workout.
  • With fermentation comes alcohol. When making your own kombucha or ginger beer at home, batches usually have 0.5% alcohol or less, but some brews may prove boozier.

Tune in as Morgan joins Andrea and Lisa to share more about the importance of having a healthy gut, the gut-brain connection, and specific foods you can use to improve your own gut health.