Posted: May 3rd, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: Naturopathic Medicine, Nutrition, Uncategorized | No Comments »
All the beautiful desert trees and flowers are in bloom and most of us are suffering from itchy eyes, runny noses and headaches this potent allergy season. If you are pounding Allegra and Zyrtec and are tired of feeling horrible, its time to consider a more alternative approach.
Hyperactive immune response
Our immune system is the reason we respond to allergens, and normally we are over reacting to particles in the air or food we eat. Allergies are caused by a histamine response, which causes the itching of our eyes, running of the nose and head pain. A certain type of cell in our body, called a Mast cell, secretes histamine when it is exposed to a foreign particle. This is our body’s innate protective mechanism.
Most over the counter allergy medicines, such as Allegra and Benadryl, block histamine. Although, a more effective approach, is to stop the histamine from releasing in the first place.
Well, how do we do that? Stabilizing the Mast cells is the answer and there are multiple ways to do that.
This is one of the best nutrients to take daily. It is a potent antioxidant that protects us from pollutants in our environment, as well as pollens. It coats and protects our cells from oxidation and damage. Taking a good dose of Vitamin C a day can prevent allergies and other diseases from occurring.
Quercetin is another antioxidant derived from the skins of onions. It is especially good at coating the Mast Cells and preventing the release of histamine. If you are an allergy sufferer, this could be your best friend.
Once again, this is an antioxidant, derived from the skins of dark berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, dark cherries or blueberries. Bioflavonoids also help stabilize the Mast cells and protect the cell from releasing histamine. Eating dark skinned berries daily provides an excellent defense during allergy season.
For persistent and chronic allergies, food allergies become a concern. Testing for your reactivity to foods is an important component of treatment. Food allergies can contribute to our hyperactive immune response. Lets take dairy for example, if you are allergic to the protein in milk and eat it daily, those proteins can leak into your blood stream through you intestinal walls. These proteins are viewed as foreign invades to the body and cause your immune system to be on alert. This hyperactivity of the immune system in turn amplifies your response to environmental allergens, making you more reactive to pollens and pet dander due to increased activity of the immune system. It is basically on high alert at all times and anything foreign will provoke a response.
Food allergies often present with a history of asthma, allergies and skin rashes. When these three issues present themselves together food allergy testing is the first place to start.
You just read a little about food allergies and how the proteins leak into your blood system and you are probably wondering how that happens. The integrity of our intestines and colon are very important and are the foundation of our immune health. Good bacteria line the gut and protect the tissue from breakdown and gaps, helps digest foods and contains immune factors. If we disrupt the delicate balance of good bugs in our gut, then a whole cascade of problems are likely to occur.
One of the biggest disruptors of this balance is antibiotics. When we ingest an antibiotic for an infection, it kills all bugs, even the good ones in our gut. Over time, using many rounds of antibiotics causes a major dysbiosis in the system and if it is not replaced this can place a huge burden on our bodies.
Once the important layer of good bacteria is a destroyed, then bad bacterium or Candida can over take our gut, this can cause poor immune defense in the gut and poor digestion of food. This can also cause a disruption of the cells that line the digestive tract, which may allow undigested proteins to leak into the blood stream. This is when we see the leaking of proteins into the blood and an activation of the immune system.
Over time, if this cycle persists, the foods you eat every day can become foreign invaders, causing allergies, asthma, skin issues, headaches, muscle pain, ADHD, depression, etc.
Where do I start?
So, how do you correct this? Food allergy testing is the first place. Once your allergies are determined we can begin to remove those foods for a certain period of time and heal up the gut and replenish the good bacteria.
This may seem like a pretty long tangent from our initial topic of Allergies, but you can see how intricate our body’s balance can be and how important it is to find the cause and correct those imbalances.
If you are interested in food allergy testing or more information, consider seeing your local Naturopathic Physician to assist in the process.
Dr. Erin Fitzgerald ND
Posted: March 8th, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: Naturopathic Medicine, Uncategorized, Weight Loss | No Comments »
The HCG diet is a safe and effective method for weight loss when high quality HCG is administered and under the supervision of a doctor. Yet, many people have been purchasing homeopathic drops from internet sites. This has produced some significant alarm with the public and the FDA, who claims to crack down on these sales. The homeopathic drops are unsafe for use due to their lack of hormone levels. They can cause serious side effects, such as lightheadedness, fainting and headaches, to name a few.
Dr. Oz has recently breeched this topic on his show. He posed the positives and negatives for attempting this diet and frowned upon the use of Homeopathic HCG as well. Yet, he supported the use of HCG injections when patients are under physician supervision.
I completely agree with Dr. Oz, we should be questioning the use of HCG purchased over the internet and in homeopathic forms, we just don’t know the quality of the product. It is also unsafe, in my opinion, to attempt this diet at home. Prior to beginning this diet with my patients, blood work and a thorough medical history are required to ensure the patient is a good candidate for rapid weight loss and a 500 calorie diet.
Monitoring patients weekly, as they follow the program, is very important as well, since questions and concerns do often arise. For example, some patients may require more calories on the diet due to their specific needs. Medications also may need to be adjusted, such as diabetic and high blood pressure medications, since weight loss can great influence glucose and blood pressure levels.
If you decide this diet is the right one for you, I suggest you find a qualified physician who has been trained in the use of HCG.
For more details on the HCG diet, please visit www.naturecurend.com.
Thank you for reading,
Erin Fitzgerald ND
Posted: December 23rd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
This holiday season I have decided to make some healthy gifts for friends and family, rather than spend an excessive amount of money at the mall. Soothing bath salts are a gift most people can appreciate, especially during this time of year, when we need to take time to relax and take care of our bodies.
Bath salts are easy to make and only require a small amount of prep time. Here is how you can start:
- Purchase pint size mason jars
- Epsom Salts
- baking soda
- Essential oils: lavender, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus
- loose herbs from the garden: lavender and rosemary
Types of Salt Mixtures:
- 2 cups epsom salts
- 2 tbs baking soda
- 5 drops Rosemary essential oil
- 5 drops Peppermint essential oil (add more or less as desired)
- 2 tbs dried rosemary leaves
- 2 cup epsom salts
- 2 tbs baking soda
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 tbs dried lavender leaves
- 2 cups epsom salts
- 2 tbs baking soda
- 2 tbs whole oats
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
Mix all the ingredients together and add contents to a pint sized mason jar. You can then add ribbons and labels to your jars. 1/3 to 1/2 cup of epsom salts to your bath and enjoy!
Epsom salts are great relaxing salts that contain magnesium, which absorbs into your skin and muscles.
Lavender oils: relaxing herb which is calming to the mind and spirit.
Eucalyptus oils: muscle relaxing and opens the respiratory passages
Peppermint oils: energizing, opens the respiratory passages and soothes indigestion
Rosemary oils: increase blood flow to the brain, muscle soothing and opens the respiratory passages.
Baking Soda and Oats: soften the bathwater
Have fun mixing different combinations of oils and make a specialized gift for everyone on your list!
Dr. Erin Fitzgerald ND
Posted: November 22nd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Nutrition, Uncategorized | No Comments »
I know this may sound crazy, but healthy eating is possible on Thanksgiving. Here are a some ways to save you a few hundred calories this holiday.
Avoid sugary drinks and soda during pre-dinner festivities. These drinks provide hundreds of extra calories with no added nutrient benefit. Add a little lemon juice to your water, which also stimulates your digestion or add a splash of 100% fruit juice to your drinks to add a hint of flavor. Stevia is also a great sugar alternative, it is an herb, which is 100 times as sweet as sugar. It provides no additional calories and can be found in a variety of flavors, such as Vanilla, Root Beer, Grape, etc.
You might want to save your extra calories for the red wine with dinner, which is packed with antioxidants.
Take a morning stroll with the family or play a round of football on the front lawn before you sit down to your feast. This additional exercise will assist you in burning extra calories after you meal.
Keep it Simple
Try avoiding making heavy caseroles with creams and cheeses, these only add extra calories and heaviness to the meal. Dariy foods are also a very common food sensitivity, which if avoided can benefit you and your family. They also cover up the normal flavors of fresh vegetables. Try steaming veggies and using organic butter or vegetable butter spreads to enjoy the delicious flavor of food.
Try making your own stuffing this year with whole grains or alternative gluten free grains like quinoa. You will be greatly reducing your sodium levels and boosting your overall nutrient value.
Buy Local Organic
Try to avoid chain food stores if possible, instead shop at your local farmers market, which supports your local community and provides fresh and organic food. You will notice a huge difference if the quality of your food. How impressive for friends and family!
Make your own Desserts
This may sound crazy, but try making homemade pies and cakes this year. Or look for a local baker who uses fresh organic ingredients. By cooking yourself you can control the ingredient and avoid added sugar and transfats. Crisps and crumbles are easier and quicker to make than pies and are equally tasty.
You can find some amazing reciepes online, one of my favorites is the Gluten Free Goddess. She has a plethora of gluten free treats and main dishes, which even the pickiest family member will like.
Start New Family Traditions
Your family might be a little resistance to changes at first, but you can also explain how much you are giving back to the community and your health. Your family will be healthier and happier in the long run!
Happy and Healthy Holidays,
Dr. Erin Fitzgerald
Posted: October 19th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Naturopathic Medicine, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Women's Medicine | No Comments »
As we all know this month is Breast Cancer Awareness month, although we really need to focus on how to prevent this cancer in our female population. Recent statistics estimate women born today have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer at some point in their lives.
This seems like an awfully high number!
The sad thing is, that no one is talking about how preventable Breast Cancer and other cancners really are. Our environment is a huge contributor to the effect cancers have on us by making our bodies more susceptible to cellular mutation.
The word environment is very comprehensive and includes, the food we eat, the air we breath, the water we drink and the people we surround our selves with. All of the facets of our life play a role.
This is the word we all fear and by diet I do not mean trying to lose weight, I am referring to what you put in your mouth on a daily basis.
A diet full of fast food and processed foods contains many chemicals in the form of preservatives and additives and very little nutrients. Meats raised with hormones to boost their taste often contain estrogenic chemicals that can increase our chances of developing a hormone dependant cancer. Vegetables sprayed with chemicals also increase our chances of developing cancer by affecting the very genes that protect us.
These toxins eaten on a daily basis accumulate in the body and increase our toxic burden. Certain foods can turn on and off different genes in the body that accelerate or slow down cellular division, etc.There are a number of foods and vitamins that have shown to decrease cancer development. Wouldn’t you like to incorporate some of these in your diet?
Cruciferous veggies are the key! These include Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, Kale and Cabbage. You might be making “eww” sounds right now, but including a few 1 cup servings of these vegetables daily could possibly save your life.
These vegetables contain compounds that assist the Liver in clearing hormones It is the buildup of hormones, specifically estrogenic hormones, which leads to breast cancer development. I am sure you have read or heard on the news the increase in BPAs, an estrogen- like chemical, which is present in many plastics, receipts and even drinking water. These chemicals are causing young girls to begin puberty at age 8 or 9, which is way too early. Just think, if these estrogens are building up the body from a very young age, then Breast Cancer risk is also increasing.
Dark skinned berries are another super food to be eaten daily, such as blackberries, cherries, raspberries and blueberries. These berries contain antioxidant compounds called Flavanoids, which protect our body from oxidative stress. Oxidation happens continually in our environment and bodies, which has been linked to cancer and aging. Vitamin C is another potent antioxidant that should also be incorporated on a daily basis.
Lack of Vitamin D in the body has also been linked with increased levels of breast cancer. As little as 400iu a day has shown a 25% decrease in the breast cancer risk.
Make a Change
It is never to late to change your diet and your family’s diet. Incorporating healthy vegetables at lunch and dinner will go a long way. You can be sneaky and add a little broccoli into your pasta sauce or throw it in a salad. If you don’t like the taste, then try adding seasonings to spice it up. This is your chance to get creative with food.
Berry smoothies are so tasty and can become a wonderful morning meal. Try adding rice or whey protein, frozen berries and almond or rice milk to a blender, whiz and voila, you have a protein rich and antioxidant potent breakfast. You can also add a 1,000 iu of liquid vitamin D and really start off on the right foot.
Start a Garden
In Arizona, it is the perfect time to plant all those winter veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, salad greens, etc. Try building a raised garden bed with your family and enjoy fresh picked veggies at every meal.
Erin Fitzgerald ND, Scottsdale, AZ
Posted: September 22nd, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Naturopathic Medicine, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Most of our society would say “Yes” to this question, but have they done their research? Or have they simply followed the line into Walgreens for their injection?
The problem is that there is not much convincing evidence showing the benefit of injecting ourselves with the vaccine. Some due diligence is in order before you take the plunge.
Some questions that need to be answered are: is it safe? does it contain mercury? how will I benefit?
Is is safe?
This is a good question and we don’t know! It has been reported that the new H1N1 vaccine has NOT been tested for safety or efficacy. Yet, it has been suggested for pregnant and nursing mothers with no substantial evidence regarding dangers to the mother or child.
The 2010 Influenza vaccination contains strains of H1N1, Influenza A and Influenza B. The problem is that these strains mutate so quickly that the strain you receive now may not have any effect due to viral mutation.
Does it Contain Mercury?
The CDC reports that the inactivated or killed form of the vaccine contains Thimerosal, which is a mercury containing preservative. Mercury is a neurotoxin that should NOT be given to any children, pregnant or nursing mothers. It is also not wise for adults to receive mercury as well, as it places the body at risk. The CDC states that non-Thimerosal versions of the vaccine are available upon request, so if you find the need for the vaccine, ask for that version.
How will I benefit?
It is hard to say, considering there is little research to support the effectiveness of the vaccine. Dr. Bob Sears, author of The Vaccine Book, states that 20 infant deaths and 100 total pediatric deaths occur in the US every every year from the flu. With this said, studies have shown that of 100 flu vaccinations administered, only 1 person will see a reduced risk of contracting the flu. Therefore, only a small percentage of the population will even benefit from the vaccination.
What should I do?
This is up to you. You need to decide for yourself if the Influenza vaccination is right for you and your family. Please educate yourselves about the risks and benefits before following the line into the drug store. Even thought the CDC is suggesting that everyone 6 months and older should receive the vaccine does not mean you are required. You have a choice.
Prevent the flu
You can start preventing the flu right now. Start taking your vitamins. Vitamin D in particular has been found to be more effective than the Influenza vaccination at preventing the flu. Schedule an appointment with your local Naturopath for more information on prevention.
Dr. Erin Fitzgerald
Posted: September 15th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Naturopathic Medicine, Nutrition, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Are you suffering from abdominal bloating, stuffy noses, headaches, joint pain, brain fog, asthma, skin rashes or fatigue? If so, you could be suffering from food sensitivities, which is one of the most common problems I see with patients everyday.
*Listed above are only a few health problems that are a result of food reactions, the list is endless.
What are Food Sensitivities?
Food sensitivities are caused by a immune reaction to food proteins in the blood stream. These aggravating proteins in the blood cause an immune reaction, called an IgG reaction. This is when an immune complex is formed in the blood and the body sees it as a foreign invader and attacks it. These circulating complexes cause inflammation in the body and depending where they accumulate various symptoms or conditions may develop.
Why does this happen?
There are a few theories on why this may occur. One theory relates to repetitive stress. For example, if we eat the same foods every day our body can become sensitive and reactive to these items. Let’s take cow dairy, for example. This is a staple in most households in the country and has been used for hundreds of years. By eating this same protein everyday the body starts to think it is an invader and starts attacking it. This reaction is basically causing the body to think it is sick every day. This can transfer into a stuffy nose, asthma, dermatitis, acne, ADHD, Rheumatoid arthritis or many other conditions, depending on how your body reacts.
Another theory is Intestinal Permeability or leaky gut. Leaky gut is basically when the intestines have become damaged, either by stress, diet or most commonly, antibiotics. The Gut contains many beneficial bacteria that act as some of our strongest immune defenders. When we take antibiotics we kill off many of these good bacteria along with the bad ones. This leaves our Gut defenseless and can also allow proteins to easily flow from our intestines to our blood stream through little gaps in the cells. This continual leak of protein often causes multiple food sensitivities.
What can I do to Avoid this from happening to me?
Rotating the foods you eat on a daily basis is a great start. For example, if you eat cow dairy everyday, try rotating in other forms of milk, such as goat milk, rice, soy, almond, etc. By rotating these milks you give your immune system a break and can decrease your response.
Avoiding antibiotics unless necessary is also a good idea and if you do undergo a course of antibiotics make sure you take some probiotics to replace those which were killed off. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria which you can take orally that replenish those that may have been affected. You can buy them in most health food stores, although make sure they are refrigerated, since they are live cultures.
Healing the Gut
This is another important part of treatment if you are suffering from multiple food allergies. There are many ways treat the Gut with herbs and nutrient supplementation.
Glutamine is a great way to treat the gut. It is an amino acid that heals the GI mucosa. Slippery Elm is another powerful gut healing herb that coats the tissue and assists in regeneration. There are also many others that you can discuss with your Naturopathic Physician.
How do I get tested?
Blood testing is the only way to determine if there is an IgG food allergy. There are a variety of different labs used and each doctor has their preference. I use a finger stick blood test which makes testing easier and less painful for even the youngest patient. This test examines 96 different food reactions.
Normally, I have patients avoid the moderate to high sensitivity foods for 2 months and during this time work on healing the GI tract. Once the two months is complete the sensitive foods can be added back one by one to see if there are still any reactions.
For more information about testing call to schedule: 480-621-8935 or log on to Nature Cure’s website: www.naturecurend.com.
Dr. Erin Fitzgerald
Posted: August 24th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Naturopathic Medicine, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Feng Shui has been an integral part of our home for years and with the start of a new business my Feng Shui guru was much needed. Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese tradition that dates back 3500 years. It helps balance the Qi, or life force of a building or space, much like acupuncture is used to balance Qi in the body.
Lisa, my Feng Shui master, entered my new office space and took out her compass, orienting herself with the directions of the building and proceeded to walk through the rooms familiarizing herself with the layout.
The waiting area was the first space to tackle and she noted a few essential items I was missing.
First, a fountain was needed in the space, which produces a continuous stream of energy, bringing in new clients.
Second, I needed to add my business name to the wall in RED. The business name needs to be very visible to clients so they never leave the office without a memory of who YOU ARE. The RED color is important since it draws one’s eye to the name. This is also important on business cards, to have your name in red.
Lastly, a tack board was needed by the front door to place any thank you notes from clients or business cards, which will continue to circulate the business and drive new customers through the door.
My first treatment room presented an issue: it was a five star location, due to it facing southwest. The five star can bring much bad luck to a business, including misfortune, financial accidents, fights, death or general bad luck. Lisa explained that this area could be cured by hanging a 6 rod metal wind chime in the room. Sounds simple enough.
My office and patient consultation room was the next room to tackle. Lisa was impressed with the good energy in this room, although she disliked my choice of tall brown sticks in a vase. She explained that brown sticks contain no Qi and do not contribute to any energy flow; green sticks are a better alternative. Green plants in general are a good choice for any room and green can encourage money flow.
Lisa also suggested placing a jar in the north corner of the room that I would place any ads that I run in order to promote the influx of clients, as well as monthly client goals. This jar was to be placed under a large green bamboo plant or grass, again green = money!
The last stop on the office trip was the break/storage room, which was a cluttered mess. This she informed me was the happiness space, of all places! Apparently, this room has to make me happy every time I walk in it, so yellow is a good color choice for paint. Lisa also suggested I paint a canvas with the word happiness, which I would see each time I opened the door. This room seemed to be the biggest challenge so far.
Our last task was to physically clear the energy in the office, which can be done by chanting. Once this was completed the space literally felt lighter. Lisa then brushed all the energy out the front door with swoops of her arms to push out the stagnant Qi.
Chinese coins: place one under your office phone
More tips for your office:
- Never position your desk with your back to the wall; you should always be able to see the door and windows.
- place crystals and fountains throughout the office to ensure fluent energy
- Orange oil diluted with water in a spray bottle can be spitz throughout the office to clear the energy. Oranges are the primary way to lift energy.
- Place live plants in the office to cleanse the air and add the green spark you need to generate money.
I kid you not, within minutes of Lisa entering the office I had a patient call and schedule an appointment. There really is something to this!
Erin Fitzgerald ND
Posted: August 19th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Minor accidents can happen anytime and they usually occur at night, weekends or vacation. It is a good idea to have a natural first aid kit available at all times so you can treat minor issues, easily and naturally.
Lavender essential oil is beneficial for a wide range of ailments. It is a natural bug repellant so you can mix a few drops in a spray bottle and sprits yourself to repel mosquitoes and other insects. It is also beneficial for burns and wounds. It is best to dilute this oil prior to Appling to the skin and never take it internally. You can also use lavender to calm the spirits, if you are feeling anxious or having trouble sleeping, either run a bath with a few drops of the oil or apply a few drops to the temples or your pillow.
Arnica Montana is a very common homeopathic remedy for acute injuries, bruises, sprains and pain. Arnica gel or cream is also a great alternative that you can apply directly to the bruise or scrape. If you do not respond to Arnica for your acute condition you may need to see a physician, do not delay care if you are seriously injured.
Arsenicum Alba is a homeopathic preparation that is a useful tool for traveler’s diarrhea or food poisoning. An Arsenicum picture normally has watery diarrhea that is relentless and debilitating. You also will feel extremely cold and restless.
Herbal Salve with Calendula and/or Comfrey
Scraps, blisters and bug bites will benefit from the soothing effects of calendula and comfrey. These two herbs help to heal the skin and sooth the tissue. Calendula has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, while comfrey can help regenerate new tissue. Caution: you never want to apply these herbs to a deep wound, which can cause the upper layers to heal before the deeper tissue. Seek medical assistance for a deep wound.
Aloe Vera is a staple for every first aid kit. Its soothing action is beneficial for burns, bites and wounds. You can purchase pure Aloe Vera gel in the health food store of grow your own Aloe Vera plant at home and slice off a piece when you are in need.
Zinc and Titanium dioxide Sunscreens
These are the safest sunscreens on the market currently. You should always have sunscreen to protect your skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays if playing around in the sun all day. Even if the weather is overcast, you can still burn!
Tea Tree Oil
This essential oil is extremely antiseptic and anti-fungal. This is excellent to have around for ringworm, acne, and athlete’s foot to name a few. Tea tree oil is very potent, so you always want to dilute prior to application.
Peppermint and Chamomile tea bags
Peppermint is a very cooling herb and can sooth a sore stomach after a large meal or cool the body down if you are over heated. Chamomile is also a soothing herb, which is sedative and calming to the stomach. These are important herbal tea bags to have handy for any outing.
Goldenseal capsules/ Oregon Grape Root
Goldenseal or the more environmentally safe alternative, Oregon Grape root, are excellent for bacterial infections or diarrhea. You can also apply the powder of these capsules to wounds or abrasions to stop bleeding.
Now, don’t forget all those convention first aid items as well:
Adhesive bandages: you always need these in various sizes to protect any scrapes or cuts.
Hydrogen Peroxide: to clean any wounds, although do so carefully, it may sting the skin.
Rubbing Alcohol: to cleanse skin of any bacteria.
Tweezers: for removing any splinters or cactus stuck in the skin.
Have you kit ready in your home as well, because you never know when an accident can occur.
With Labor Day around the corner, don’t hesitate….put together your first aid kit today.
Erin Fitzgerald ND
Posted: August 10th, 2010 | Author: admin | Filed under: Nutrition, Uncategorized | No Comments »
The smell of fresh sourdough bread baking in the oven is heavenly, making everyone in the house salivate like Pavlov’s dogs. I never thought baking bread could be so easy and nutritious.
One of my students gave me a piece of her sourdough starter, which began my itch to make bread and research the benefits of sourdough.
Sourdough bread is a special type of bread that needs a starter to allow the rising process. The starter contains strains of lactobacillus and bacteria that assists in digesting the grains prior to baking. Sourdough bread takes much time to rise, about 18 hours, which allows time for the bacteria and lactobacillus to digest the starches and gluten in the flour. This releases carbon dioxide and lactic acid, giving the bread its characteristic flavor and fluffiness.
Bread was made in this fashion for tens of thousands of years until the last hundred or so when baker’s yeast was introduced. This shortened the rising time and the speed of producing bread. In the 1950’s, Celiac Disease was discovered, which was not long after the widespread use of baker’s yeast. This is a disease in which patients cannot digest gluten due to abnormal intestinal absorption and must avoid gluten-containing products. Patients with this disease must avoid eating any gluten containing products. Could it be that the use of starters, which predigested the gluten, masked potential Celiac Disease for thousands of years?
A variety of studies have shown that this may certainly be the case. Numerous studies have shown that Celiac subjects who consume sourdough bread have less negative outcomes, compared with conventional wheat bread. Studies have also shown that sourdough starters do in fact digest gluten proteins during the rising process. This poses a huge potential for Celiac patients, who may no longer need to avoid wheat bread.
How do I make it?
First, you will need to obtain a sourdough starter, either from a friend or online, www. Breadtopia.com is a great resource for starters and recipes.
Here is a great recipe from Breadtopia:
* 1-cup whole-wheat flour
* 2 1/2 cups white bread flour
* 1 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1 1/2 cups purified water
* 1/4 cup starter
Mix flour (organic is best), water (filtered), salt, and starter, stir until combined and let the dough sit for 18 hours.
Then, dust a cutting board and your hands with flour and empty the content of the bowl gently. Stretch the dough slightly into an oblong shape and fold it in thirds and then fold in half. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it sit 15 min.
Then, transfer the dough to a flour dusted cloth and cover with another cloth over the top at let it sit for 1.5 to 2 hours. This is the final rising step.
Preheat your over to 500 degrees and place dough in a preheated La Cloche clay baker or on a cookie sheet covered with tin foil for 30 minutes. Then lower temp to 450, uncover bread and continue baking for 5 more minutes.
Remove bread and let the loaf sit for 1 hour, slice and enjoy!
It is delicious with jams, olive oil, pesto or even organic peanut butter. This is a healthy addition to any balanced diet and whole grains such as sourdough bread is essential. Try baking a loaf with your family today and even your gluten sensitive family members can enjoy bread again!
Your Naturopathic Physician at Nature Cure ND can also test to make sure you do not have Celiac’s Disease, which is a serious medical condition. Schedule today for your free consultation in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Thank you for reading and enjoy your bread making,
Dr. Erin Fitzgerald