Living with MS

The Effect of Gut Bacteria on MS

Studies have shown that the bacteria in our gut play a very important role when it comes to the development and progression of autoimmune conditions.

Researchers have discovered that MS patients have a distinct microbiome compared to their healthy peers. One specific study divided RRMS patients into groups that separated those with active disease and those in remission.  They found there was less diverse gut bacteria in the patients in active relapse compared to those who stay in remission for longer periods of time.

One cause of this gut bacteria imbalance is caused by an overgrowth of candida, a type of bacteria that lives throughout different regions of the body. Even though it’s natural to have a certain level of these types of bacterial colonies in the body, problems arise when the levels grow to unhealthy levels.

Not all gut bacteria are created equal!

Some of the good bacteria in the gut help to digest food, some manufacture specific vitamins, and other strains of bacteria even help protect the lining of the digestive tract. When there is an imbalance, too many strains of certain types of bacteria outnumber the beneficial strains. This can cause digestive problems and is an irritant to the cells that line the digestive tract. When left untreated, any irritation in the digestive tract can lead to inflammation and something called leaky gut syndrome, which can be linked to autoimmune reactions.

Anything that irritates or stresses the digestive system can lead to systemic, wide-spread inflammation. By controlling inflammation in the digestive tract, we can begin the process of bringing balance back into the body and potentially stop the immune system from misfiring.

To learn more about the different underlying causes of candida and how balance gut bacteria, visit the second module of my free online program: A Holistic Approach to Living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Sources:
Specific Gut Bacteria May Drive Progression of Multiple Sclerosis, Study Finds
Gut Microbes Could Help Trigger Multiple Sclerosis
Gut germs play role in multiple sclerosis, studies show.

 

 

 

 

Articles, Living with MS

It all starts in the gut!

The reason why Module 1 of my MS program starts with addressing gut health is because according to the holistic model of health, the underlying cause of autoimmune reactions is triggered by intestinal hyperpermeability, commonly referred to as leaky gut syndrome.

In this scenario within the digestive system, the intestinal lining becomes irritated and inflamed and allows substances such as undigested proteins, microbes, and toxins to slip into the bloodstream (where they do not belong). The immune system detects and registers them as foreign substances. This puts the immune system on high alert to attack these substances as a method of self defense.

A mechanism called molecular mimicry, in which these foreign antigens in the blood stream share structural similarities with self-antigens now has the body attacking your own tissues. In order to stop this misguided immune system response, it’s important to remove foods and other factors that could be contributing to inflammation in the body. This is crucial because anything that irritates (the body or mind), can keep the body in a state of low-grade inflammation.

We start with the basics in this program by addressing digestive health. The reason for this is because we could be doing all the right things and eating the healthiest diet possible, but simple eating habits we might be practicing could be undoing all that good.

For example, if we’re drinking large amounts of water with meals or eating too fast, these type of eating habits stress the digestive system and impairs the way the body digests and absorbs nutrients. This is a stressor to the body and the digestive system. If we want to stop the body from initiating an autoimmune response, we need to be aware of some very simple habits that could be causing irritation to the gut lining.

Check out the first module of the program. It’s free, seriously no catch.
Check it out >> HERE <<

 

Articles, Living with MS

A Holistic Approach to Living With MS

Are you ready to take a holistic approach to managing your MS?
Module 1 is now up and running. Enroll in this FREE online course and start steering your life in a healthy direction!

Never let any medical diagnosis stop you from pursuing the best health possible!
~Chantale

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2001.
Health conscious and relapse free since 2007!

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Articles, Living with MS

Online MS Program Now up and Running!

Finally, I’m ready to release the first module of my online program: A Holistic Approach to Living With Multiple Sclerosis. I’m actually really excited about this program. It’s one of the most important things I’ve ever done and I’m so happy to finally share all this information with you.

I believe this is the most important module in the entire program because it addresses the root cause of why autoimmune reactions happen. I’ll be uploading one module every week until it’s finished. Come see what I’ve been up to!

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I’ve also created a private fb group for anyone who decides to follow this program to discuss the information. I’ll be there as much as I can to answer any questions you might have!

 

 

 

Articles, Living with MS

6 Week Program: A Holistic Approach to Managing Multiple Sclerosis

Starting this January, if you’re living in the Kitchener/Waterloo area,  I’ll be offering a FREE 6-week program on how to take a holistic approach to managing multiple sclerosis.

If you can’t make it out to these classes, don’t fret, the full 16 module program will be available online this December!

Multiple Sclerosis is a complex, multifaceted disease with many possible outcomes. Nutrition should never be considered an alternative, but rather an integral part of any health protocol. Taking a holistic, nutritional approach to managing MS involves addressing the body as a whole in order to modulate the immune system and stop your body from initiating an autoimmune attack against itself.

Whether you’re recently diagnosed, or your condition has progressed to advanced stages, it’s never too late to start incorporating healthy diet and lifestyle habits.

To register for this 6 week program, send an email to: chantale@eatheallove.com.
Please include your name, phone number and how many people you are registering for.

This class takes place at the location below. 
Sobeys – Northfield Community Room
640 Parkside Drive
Waterloo, ON
N2L 0C7

Please register early to reserve your spot!

Holistic Approach to Managing Multiple Sclerosis: 6 Week Program Details

Class #1: Autoimmunity and Gut Health
Tuesday, January 16
1:00 pm-2:30pm

In this class, we’ll discuss the very important connection between multiple sclerosis and gut health. This is one of the most important topics in this program because it addresses the root cause of why autoimmune conditions develop.

Class #2: Putting out the Fires of Inflammation
Tuesday, February 6
1:00 pm-2:30pm

If we know anything about multiple sclerosis at all, we know that it’s an inflammatory condition. In this class, we’ll discuss very specific ways to reduce inflammation in the body.

Class #3: Brain Friendly Foods and How to Repair Myelin
Tuesday, Feb 20
1:00 pm-2:30pm

Class #4: Correcting Nutritional Deficiencies and The Crucial Role of B-Vitamins
Tuesday, March 6
1:00 pm-2:30pm

This class details the most important nutrients one needs to get when battling MS.

Class #5: Sleep, Stress management and the Importance of Exercise
Tuesday, March 13
1:00 pm-2:30pm

Class #6:  Putting Your Wellness Plan into Action and Symptom Relief Tips
Tuesday, March 27
1:00 pm-2:30pm

To wrap up the program, we’ll discuss how to put your holistic wellness plan and discuss effective symptom relief tips. 

 

 

Articles, Living with MS

Are You Getting Enough Potassium?

Muscle cramping, weakness, fatigue, tingling or numb extremities, heart palpitations…are you getting enough potassium?

There can be several different underlying causes for some of the symptoms above. In my nutrition practice however, I analyze a lot of food diaries submitted by my clients and over the years I have noticed that many people are not getting enough potassium.

Potassium is both a mineral and electrolyte. It is the third most abundant mineral in the body and required for the proper functioning of several organs, including the heart, kidneys, brain and muscular tissues.  Potassium also plays an important role in keeping the body hydrated and works with sodium to support cellular function with your body’s sodium-potassium pump. Low levels of potassium can have severe effects on the heart, nerves and muscles.

Signs of Potassium Deficiency

  • Muscle cramping
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling or numb extremities
  • Heart palpitations
  • Passing large amounts of urine or feeling very thirsty most of the time
  • Low blood pressure
  • Depression, confusion, irritability

Factors That Deplete, Destroy or Compromise Potassium Absorption
Dehydration, diarrhea, excessive sweating and laxative abuse are common causes of low potassium levels.

A blood test can check potassium levels, kidney function, glucose, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous if an electrolyte imbalance is suspected. 

Recommended Dietary Allowance
The recommended dietary intake for potassium is between 2,500 – 4,700 mg. Aim for the higher end if you are more active and sweat a lot, or if you experience frequent loose stools. 

The kidneys control the balance of potassium by removing excess potassium into the urine. Those with kidney disease should use caution when it comes to eating potassium-rich foods. In some people with chronic kidney disease, the kidneys may not remove extra potassium from the blood.

Potassium-Rich Foods
The great thing about this wonderful mineral and electrolyte is there are so many foods that contain large amounts of it. For example, just one avocado contains 1,067 mg.

Potassium Foods

Avocado 1 whole

1,067 mg

Acorn Squash 1 cup

896

Spinach 1 cup (cooked)

839

Salmon 1/2 filet

777

Tomato sauce 1 cup

728

Yogurt 1 cup

573

Beets 1 cup (cooked)

518

White beans ½ cup

502

Banana 1 large

487

Sweet Potato 1 large

438

Coconut water 1 cup

395

Black beans ½ cup

369

Lentils ½ cup

365

Kale 1 cup (cooked)

329

Soy milk 1 cup

300

Almond milk 1 cup

190

Oats 1 cup

140

Quinoa ½ cup (cooked)

125

Hemp Seeds 1 Tbsp.

120

To give you an idea of what the ideal amount of potassium for the day might look like, I made two sample meals plans. These meal plans do not take into account other nutritional needs. They are just an example of how to include more potassium-rich foods into your diet if you are deficient. If you still have a difficult time meeting your potassium needs, try adding fresh salads, green smoothies, more fruit and vegetables or coconut water into your meal plans!

Plant-Based
Sample Potassium Meal Plan #1

Food

Potassium in mg

Breakfast
1 cup rolled oats (cooked)

140

1 banana

487

1/2 cup blueberries

57

1 cup soy milk

300

1 Tbsp. hemp seeds

120

Snack

1 medium apple

108

Almond butter – 1 Tbsp.

119

Lunch

1 cup quinoa

250

1/2 cup cooked spinach

419

1 cup broccoli

278

1/2 sweet potato

219

Dinner

1/2 cup black beans

369

1/2  cup lentils

365

1/2 cup cooked spinach

419

1/2 avocado

533.5

Total

4183.5 mg

Sample Potassium Meal Plan #2

Food

Potassium in mg

Breakfast

1 cup rolled oats (cooked)

140

1 banana

487

1/2 cup blueberries

57

1 cup almond milk

190

2 Tbsp. hemp seeds

240

Snack

1 medium apple

108

Almond butter – 1 Tbsp.

119

Lunch

1 salmon fillet

386

1/2 cup quinoa

125

1/2 cup broccoli

139

1/2 sweet potato

219

Dinner

1/2 chicken breast

191

1 cup cooked spinach

839

1 carrot

160

1/2 avocado

533.5

Total

3,933.5 mg

 

Living with MS

MS and the Connection to Gut Health

On September 28th, 2017 I was invited to do a talk for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada to discuss the fascinating link between multiple sclerosis and gut health.

I’m always so grateful to be given the opportunity to do these talks. I received such good feedback from the lecture that I decided to release an audio recording for those who either missed the talk, or for who don’t live in my area.

If you’re interested, you can also download a free copy of the handout that was given out.  If you follow the along while listening to the audio recording, it will be like you were right there in the room with us!

Topics include:

    • The impact of gut bacteria on MS
    • Multiple sclerosis and the leaky gut connection
    • 7 causes of that lead to an imbalance of gut bacteria
    • Tips to balance the gut microbiome
    • Nutrients and substances that help reduce gut related inflammation

Download a free copy of the Autoimmunity and Gut Health handout using the link below.
MS_talk_Sept28

Articles, Living with MS

Is Juicing Good or Bad For Multiple Sclerosis?

To Juice or Not to Juice?

Juice cleansing. Juice fasting. Juice feasting. Is it right for everyone?

Juicing is a centuries-old health practice that can be traced back to ancient cultures. Some sources state that juicing was even mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls that date back before 150 BC and over the last 10 years, the popularity of juicing has really soared.

So what’s the hype all about?

Juicing and blending provides an easy and delicious way of increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables we consume each day. Fresh juice also provides the body with an easy way of absorbing all of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants contained within these foods. There are however, a few things one needs to consider before rushing out to buy a juicer.

Every single one of us has different nutritional needs based on our current state of health, stage of life and activity level. Whenever someone is looking to make a change to their diet, it’s wise to start with small changes and introduce new foods or ways to prepare food, in a slow manner. We never want to shock our system or quickly throw our bodies into detox mode.

Toxins, chemicals and heavy metals store and bio-accumulate everywhere in the body including the brain, bones, organs and fat tissue. Whenever one makes a dramatic change to their diet, like quickly moving to a raw foods diet or doing a juice cleanse, there is a possibility of toxins quickly releasing into the bloodstream. This can cause many problems and holds the potential to exasperate any health condition. One thing that isn’t mentioned too often in the juicing world, is the symptoms of detox and health complications related to detoxification. Those with cancer or autoimmune conditions should always use caution and consult a certified natural health practitioner before radically altering the diet or embarking on a juice cleanse.

Common Symptoms of Detox Include:

  • headaches
  • lethargy
  • muscle aches and pains
  • mucus or other discharge
  • skin rashes, hives, acne breakouts
  • white coating on the tongue
  • flu-like symptoms
  • irritability
  • difficulty sleeping
  • weakness
  • cravings
  • nausea
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • digestive upset

Considerations

1. Autoimmune Conditions
There are many factors which have been known to exasperate autoimmune conditions. For those diagnosed with an autoimmune condition such as Multiple Sclerosis, you are probably aware of how stress affects your condition. Any kind of stressor, whether it be nutritional, emotional, mental, physical or environmental can have a negative impact on MS. A sudden change of diet is no exception.

Myelin, the fatty covering the nerves is also a target site for toxin accumulation. Whenever the body begins to cleanse the accumulation of toxins in this area, the nerves may become irritated and trigger symptom flare-ups.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start including fresh juices into your diet. It just means it’s best not to make any sudden or drastic change like doing a juice cleanse if you haven’t already cleaned up the diet, or if your condition is unstable.

My own personal experience in taking a holistic approach to managing MS is that I transformed my diet slowly, making small changes over the course of a year. It wasn’t until I was completely off of processed food that I started juicing. I wouldn’t say that I planned it that way, it’s just how my life and health transformation played out.

2. Diabetes and Blood Sugar Imbalances
Anyone with blood sugar imbalances should use caution when juicing. In order to avoid spiking the blood sugar, it’s best to juice more vegetables than fruit and to juice fruit in small amounts, sticking to those low on the glycemic index.

Do you have any of the following symptoms of unstable blood sugar?

  • Are you cranky, irritable or suffer from headaches if meals are late or missed?
  • Do you get light headed or dizzy if meals are late or missed?
  • Do you often crave sugary snacks, carbs and caffeine in the afternoon?
  • Are feelings of anxiety or nervousness relieved by eating?
  • Do you often experience fatigue or hunger a few hours after meals?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you could be suffering from unstable blood sugar levels. In this case, it’s best to eat fruit and vegetables in their whole form, where the fiber is still intact. Protein and fiber is what helps stabilize blood sugar levels. When you eat the whole fruit with the skin, which contains the fiber, the natural fruit sugars are released into the bloodstream much slower, resulting in better blood sugar control.

3. Thyroid Conditions
No doubt cruciferous vegetables possess many antioxidant, cancer-fighting nutrients, but they also contain isothiocyanates, a compound which acts as a goitrogen. Goitrogens are naturally-occurring substances that can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland.

In healthy people who do not have a thyroid condition, these compounds will not cause a thyroid imbalance or negatively impact your health, but for those with a pre-existing thyroid condition, one should consider limiting their consumption of raw cruciferous vegetables. In studies, cooking has been shown to inactivate these goitrogenic compounds. As much as one third of this goitrogenic potential may be deactivated when foods are steamed and boiled.

For those with thyroid conditions, the following list of foods are best eaten cooked, not juiced or consumed raw.

Kale • Spinach • Collard greens • Swiss chard • Arugula • Watercress • Bok choy • Broccoli • Cabbage • Cauliflower • Mustard greens

4. Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
Juicing can be a healthy way of getting more nutrients to an expectant or breastfeeding mother, but it is not advised to quickly transition from a nutrient poor diet to drinking an abundance of fresh juice. Even a mild detox can release toxins to the fetus. Numerous studies have shown that breast tissue is a major site of toxic build-up and these toxins can be released into the breast milk. It is recommended that one cleans up the diet at least six months prior to becoming pregnant and it is not advised to practice a juice fast while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Take Home Message
It’s always best to make small changes to your diet slowly over time. Add one fresh juice a day, but watch for symptoms of blood sugar imbalance or any other symptoms related to detoxification listed above. Keep a food/symptom diary and write down how you feel, both emotionally and physically after eating. Record symptoms you experience after meals or when new food is introduced into the diet. Pay attention on how your body reacts to stress, food, sleep and exercise.

Learning to be in tune with your own body allows you become your own personal health expert!

Living with MS

Autoimmunity and Gut Health

The human body is host to trillions of bacteria – at least 1,000 different strains. There are exciting studies on this subject, which are constantly emerging, and they explore the connection between gut bacteria and several inflammatory, autoimmune conditions. Modern day researchers are even suggesting that an imbalance of gut bacteria may have a direct link to multiple sclerosis.

The gut microbiome (which is just a fancy expression for the microscopic bacteria that live within the intestinal system) play a very important role when it comes to the development and progression of autoimmune conditions. In a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, a team of researchers found that MS patients have a distinct microbiome compared to their healthy peers.

The study in question found that the gut bacteria in patients with remitting relapsing MS was not significantly different from that of the healthy controls. However, when RRMS patients were further divided into groups that separated those with active disease and those in remission, there was less diverse gut bacteria in the patients in active relapse compared to the healthy controls.

 It would seem that not all gut bacteria are created equal!

The “good” bacteria in the gut help to digest food, manufacture specific vitamins, and protect the lining of the digestive tract. The “bad” bacteria, concurrently, can lead to digestive disturbances, contribute to brain fog, and inflames the digestive tract. Any factors that irritate or stress the digestive tract can lead to systemic, wide-spread inflammation. By controlling inflammation in the digestive tract, we can begin to balance the immune system and potentially stop it from sending an inappropriate immune system response, which causes the body to attack its own tissues. The more we learn about our own inner ecology, the more we discover just how influential this internal environment is.

7 Factors That Contribute to an Imbalance of Bacteria in the Gut

1) Poor Digestive Health
One of the major ways we can work towards balancing our gut bacteria is by improving digestion. An inability to fully breakdown and digest proteins can result in a meal that takes longer to digest. The longer food remains stagnant inside the intestinal system, the more gases and toxins are created (which act as fuel for the wrong types of bacteria). To improve digestive function, try following the simple suggestions listed below:

  • Eat slowly and chew well – to stress and rush through a meal impairs digestion by allowing too much air to mix with the food, and prevents saliva (which contains digestive enzymes to thoroughly coat the meal as we eat).
  • To maximize digestion, it is not advised to drink water (or any other liquid) 30 minutes before or after eating. If you have difficulty swallowing, small sips are acceptable, but take the time to eat slowly and properly chew the food until it becomes a paste in your mouth before swallowing.
  • Avoid over-consumption – stop eating at a comfortable spot (when you are 80% full). Overeating causes undue stress on the body, which impairs the integrity of the intestinal walls, and can lead to widespread inflammation.
  • Populate the gut with “friendly bacteria” by consuming foods that are rich in probiotics. Probiotic foods are those that have been cultured or fermented (such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kimchi and kombucha).
    NOTE: If you are using yogurt as a probiotic, it must be plain and unsweetened. If yogurt contains fruit or added sugar, it has no probiotic benefit, no matter what the label may suggest. The healthy bacteria in the yogurt will feed on the fruit in the yogurt, instead of balancing out the bacteria present in your gut. If you use yogurt as a probiotic, choose plain, unsweetened kefir.
  • Avoid antacids – the body needs stomach acid to release protein-digesting enzymes, kill harmful microbes, and to trigger the release of other digestive enzymes from the pancreas so that food may be properly digested and absorbed.
    If you suffer from heartburn and/or indigestion, consult a natural health practitioner about addressing the root cause of instead of masking symptoms with antacids or proton pump inhibitors.
  • Consider taking a digestive enzyme before meals, but always consult a qualified health practitioner before taking any supplement(s).

2) Yeast/Candida Overgrowth
Candida is a type of yeast that is generally found in the flora of the intestinal system. Although candida organisms are naturally present in the body, they can cause problems if overgrowth occurs, resulting in candidiasis. In chronic candidiasis, rapidly multiplying candida can spread systemically throughout the body. Candida organisms are known to produce over 75 toxic substances. These toxins are absorbed into the bloodstream and carried throughout the body, causing a wide array of symptoms. Yeast produce their energy by converting sugars into carbon dioxide and ethanol, which can cause symptoms such as digestive disturbances, joint pain, and brain fog.

The good bacteria in your system are responsible for keeping candida under control – however, there are many factors which can disrupt this balance, such as antibiotics, birth control pills and oral corticosteroids.

 3) Slow Bowel Transit Time
“Bowel transit time” is the length of time that it takes for food to travel through the digestive tract (an elapse between the time food enters the mouth until it is eliminated as waste). The longer food remains sedentary in the intestinal tract, the more it will ferment and produce gases. Candida organisms feed off putrefying waste in the intestines. If you suffer from constipation, increase your consumption of high fiber foods, ensure you are drinking enough water, and include healthy fats in your diet.

4) Food Sensitivities
Food sensitivities (or allergies) can also contribute to irritation and inflammation in the digestive tract, which can result in an imbalance of gut bacteria. Each person has their own unique biochemistry – what contributes to inflammation in one person, might not be an issue for another. All food is capable of initiating an inflammatory response in the body. Food sensitivity testing, followed by an elimination diet, is key in determining diet-related causes of gut-related inflammation.

5) Inflammatory Foods
Over-consumption of stimulants (such as caffeine and sugar), as well as heated oils, alcohol, artificial additives and preservatives, stress the digestive system and can interrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut. It is recommended that you focus on whole foods – fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and high quality protein.

6) Blood Sugar Imbalances
“Bad bacteria” in the gut are fed by elevated blood sugar levels, which allow them to grow quickly out of control. The elimination of refined sugars is recommended, as well as ensuring that protein and fiber-rich foods are part of every meal and snack.

Any food that creates dramatic spikes in blood sugar should be avoided – these include white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and concentrated fruit juice.

 7) Chronic Stress
Stress taxes the adrenal glands, and elevates cortisol (a stress hormone). These factors raise blood sugar levels, which can feed the unwanted forms of bacteria in the gut. Chronic stress, anxiety and/or negative thinking all add to the total body burden of internal toxins that can interfere with proper digestion, and disrupt the balance of “good” gut bacteria.

We would be wise to adapt new and healthier/positive methods of dealing with stress. It is critical to maintain healthy amounts of sleep, and practice stress-reduction techniques (such as deep breathing, meditation, journal writing, listening to music, enjoying nature, and spending quality time with family and loved ones).

Interested in learning more about how to improve your digestive health?
Click here to take our online course: A Holistic Approach to Digestive Health

Sources:
http://www.nature.com/articles/srep28484
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25843302
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5326653
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/could-multiple-sclerosis-begin-in-the-gut

Living with MS, Recipes, Soups & Stews

This Soup Can Help Get Rid of Inflammation Fast

Last week I did another talk for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and I mentioned this delicious anti-inflammatory soup that I use to help reduce inflammation in my body whenever I start to feel an MS flare-up coming on. * Knock on wood* no major relapse in 9 years now! You can read that story here.

Even when I suffer a minor hiccup (that’s what I call little random symptoms I might experience when I stray a little too far away from my healthy diet or experience a lot of stress), I’ve been able to avoid a relapse all these years by eating, living and thinking in a certain way.

Of course, there are often several factors that contribute to imbalances and inflammation in the body such as food intolerances, an inflammatory diet, overconsumption of sugar and refined grains, lack of good gut bacteria, poor sleep quality and chronic stress. Even though it’s always best to address the root cause of inflammation, adding anti-inflammatory foods and spices to your diet can help dampen some of the flames of inflammation.

This recipe uses many anti-inflammatory spices, including turmeric, which helps reduce pain and inflammation throughout the entire body. The beta-carotene in the butternut squash is also extremely healing and loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve even used this soup to help get over colds faster, due to the antibacterial properties in the purple onions and garlic.

Anti-inflammatory Butternut Squash Soup

  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1/2 purple onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. curry power
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • Dash of ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Wash the butternut squash thoroughly and poke several holes in it using a sharp knife, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Roast squash for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven and set a side until cool. When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and cut squash into cubes.
  4. While squash is cooling, dice the onions and garlic and sauté in half a cup of vegetable stock.
  5. Add the squash, remaining vegetable stock and spices to a pot with the onions and garlic.
  6. Gently simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Puree until smooth. Add the coconut milk, stirring well and gently simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes.

* Anti-inflammatory Cooking Tip: Vegetable stock can used as a substitution for cooking with oil. Refined oils not only adds empty calories to a meal but when heated, oxidizes and can contribute to inflammation.