Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast, the weekly podcast, where Dr. G gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.
Speaker 2 (00:14):
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Dr. Gundry (00:41):
How are your health resolutions going so far in 2021, you know, sadly studies show that only 8% of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution actually keep them all year, and 80% have failed by the start of February. But on the Dr. Gundry Podcast, I’m dedicated to helping you reach your goals; be it losing weight, reversing serious ailments, or simply boosting your energy levels, so you can do more of what you love.
Every week on the Dr. Gundry Podcast, you’ll learn simple cutting edge tools to reclaim your health from top wellness experts or from my talks on specific topics, based on my 20 years of research, treating patients seven days a week, simply by diet and lifestyle changes.
So let’s do this. Let’s make 2021 your year to realize your best, most vibrant self, for yourself and your loved ones. Subscribe now to the Dr. Gundry Podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts. Because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast. It’s no secret, there’s a major health crisis in this country. Nearly three out of four American adults is overweight or obese. Tens of millions of Americans have gotten sick with COVID-19, and auto-immune diseases are drastically on the rise.
But there’s one other major problem, and while it’s not something you’ll read about in the news, it is something that I see in my practice every single day. I’m talking about chronic low energy levels and fatigue. And it seems like it’s even beginning to affect people at younger and younger ages. It’s not uncommon for me now to see people in their 40s, 30s, and even younger, complaining about low energy levels.
Well, I decided to do something about it. So on today’s episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast, I’m going to give you an exclusive sneak preview of my brand new book, The Energy Paradox: What to do When Your Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Gone.
You’re going to learn the surprising cause of low energy, the two foods you need to start eating to increase your energy, and the three simple things you can do at home today to start revving up your body’s batteries. Believe me, I am incredibly excited to share this knowledge with you today in an exclusive preview.
Okay. So what causes low energy? Well, first, low energy is not something that’s all in your head, as so many of my patients have been told by other well-meaning healthcare providers. If you’re experiencing chronic fatigue or low energy levels, it actually is probably a sign of bigger health problems down the road. And it’s important to look at these signs and do something about it early, because your long-term health is on the line.
Second, there are a lot of sources of low energy. Many having to do with what, and also when you eat. And I’m going to talk a lot more about that later.
So let me talk about the problem with chronic inflammation. Now, many of us have been told that most of chronic diseases or pre-existing conditions are traced to chronic inflammation. But what you may not know is where that chronic inflammation is coming from. And in my research and many others that we discuss in the book, chronic inflammation is actually caused by your immune system, generating literally the fire of inflammation to douse out invaders, including bacterial and lectin invaders that come from leaky gut. And unbeknownst to most people, that fire consumes much of the energy that you would otherwise is have for your every day activities.
Now, one of the best examples, I think one of the most startling examples that is in The Energy Paradox, is a study that I read many years ago, looking at a hunter gatherer tribe in Tanzania called the Hadzas. The Hadzas are well-studied, but not prone to Western interference. The men typically walk 8 to 10 miles a day in search of big game, which they kill with bows and arrows and tracked down. The women in general, walk three to four miles every day, gathering berries, gathering tubers. They are extremely active. They’re extremely fit, and they’re very thin and vital.
So researchers said, “Gee, I wonder the energy production and consumption is with these hunter gatherers versus the typical office worker?” So they studied that and imagine their shock when they found that the office worker consumed produce the same amount of energy as these hunter gatherers.
Well, as a researcher, I can tell you that when you design a study and it doesn’t quite get with what you thought you were going to find, you still have to make a conclusion. And these researchers said that, “Well, that just proves that all of us have a baseline energy production and energy consumption. And it really doesn’t matter whether you’re a hunter gatherer or whether you’re sitting at a desk all day.” Now that quite frankly, doesn’t pass the sniff test.
So I looked at this data and I said, “Well, why is it that a guy who sits on their rear end all day consumes the same amount of energy as somebody who’s walking 10 miles a day?” And the point is that the office worker is consuming as much energy as the hunter gatherer because most of the energy consumption is going to the fire of inflammation.
Now, sadly, some of the only feeling of that fire of inflammation is the fact that you have low energy. And that’s one of the first telltale signs that something is wrong with our society. In fact, one of the interesting things is, our society has now been convinced that chronic low energy, chronic fatigue, is just part of doing business in our society, with our levels of stress, particularly that have been brought on with COVID, that it’s normal to be exhausted.
And so that’s why we reach for the third espresso of the day, or that’s why we read it for an energy bar or an energy drink to boost our energy levels. But as I point out in The Energy Paradox, that’s actually the word first thing you can do. And it has to do with how we make it energy.
Now our energy is ATP adenosine triphosphate. And it’s literally the currency that your cells spend to stay alive and to do everything you need to do. ATP in general is made in mitochondria. And if you remember from all of our previous discussions, mitochondria are the organelles in most of our cells that long ago, billions of years ago, were living bacteria that were engulfed by other cells, that made all plants and animals possible; the eukaryotic cell.
So those mitochondria are actually bacteria that live inside of our own cells. They have their own DNA and they reproduce separately from the cell and you can actually make more of them as we get into The Energy Paradox, by some really cool tricks. But these mitochondria have to convert the sugars you eat, the proteins that you eat, and the fats that you eat into ATP. And they have slightly different mechanisms for making ATP out of sugar or fat or protein.
Now, normally, if you were eating a whole foods diet, you would actually have, for instance, sugar arrive at mitochondria for turning into energy first, after you eat a whole foods diet. Second would be proteins. Proteins have to be normally broken down into individual amino acids to be absorbed and into your bloodstream. And then last, because they have a totally different absorption process, fats would arrive much later for processing. So ordinarily your mitochondria would only have to process sugars, or proteins or fats.
But what happens in our modern diet with processed and ultra processed foods, your food manufacturers have figured out how to make sugars instantly absorbable, proteins instantly absorbable and fats instantly absorbable, in all of the food we eat, whether it’s fast food, whether it’s energy bars, whether it’s energy drinks. And so a huge influx of material arrives at the energy processing plant, your mitochondria. And literally like any of us living in LA now, you have rush hour traffic, which might only occur a couple of times a day. But the average American, studies out of the Salk Institute show the average American eats 16 hours a day with only time off for about eight hours during night’s sleep.
So in us, we produced an energy flow traffic jam of literally 16 hours a day of rush hour. And when you think about rush hour, you realize that too much traffic is jamming into a freeway and it has nowhere to go. And rather than anyone moving anywhere, we actually have traffic stop or just grind to a slow crawl. That’s exactly what’s happening to our mitochondria. Our energy production freeway has ground to a slow crawl or a full stop. And that’s one of the big reasons we’re so chronically tired.
Now, the second thing that happens, is the mitochondria actually do not want this to happen to them and they set up a number of defense mechanisms. Let’s call them traffic lights onto a freeway, to try and control the amount of materials mitochondria have to work with. Unfortunately, how they do this is to produce insulin resistance. Now, many of us have heard of insulin resistance. Some people call it pre-diabetes, other people call it metabolic inflexibility. At its basis is number one, mitochondrial dysfunction, and number two, the mitochondria trying to protect itself from being overused.
One of the leading causes of this insulin resistance is our high fructose diet. Now, before you jump up in arms, table sugar is half fructose. High-fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose. The sugar in fruit is mostly fructose. And in our current diet, fructose is actually one of the biggest tools that the mitochondria has to protect itself from sugar. And it actually produces a number of fats called ceramides that prevent insulin from doing its job. So the next time you grab that healthy apple, like I’ve talked about before, you’re actually contributing to insulin resistance. So at its basis, almost all chronic disease comes from a leaky gut and from mitochondrial dysfunction. It all starts in your gut.
Now, one of the big surprises in The Energy Paradox, which I alluded to in The Longevity Paradox, is the role of postbiotics. Okay? Now everybody’s heard about probiotics. Those are the friendly bacteria that you eat when you eat yogurt, just as an example, or you take a probiotic capsule. Then hopefully you are beginning to understand that probiotics need food that they like to eat. And those are prebiotics. Now the nice thing about prebiotics is that in general, we can’t digest prebiotics and we can’t absorb prebiotics. But they’re exactly what the gut microbiome needs to survive.
In turn, the gut microbiome produces postbiotics. So these are chemicals, these are fatty acids, these are gases that the gut microbiome uses to talk to you and more particularly your mitochondria, which are actually their sisters. This is a bacterial to bacterial communication system, that’s now called trans-kingdom communication.
Now for years, we’ve conjectured that this system had to happen, it had to be there, but we didn’t know the language. And recently, the language has been discovered and the language are these postbiotics, where bacteria in our gut literally tell our mitochondria to make energy or to throttle back on making energy, depending on whether they make these gases. So these are called gasomessengers or gasotransmitters. And the exciting thing is, believe it or not, you’re supposed to make gas. And that gas is seeps into your bloodstream almost instantaneously, and promotes energy production.
One of the most exciting research findings recently in Japan, was the finding that people with Parkinson’s disease, which is a neurodegenerative disease from neuroinflammation, is actually associated with an absence of hydrogen producing bacteria in these people’s guts. Whereas, normal people have hydrogen gas producing bacteria.
When they gave these Parkinson’s patients hydrogen water, which is hydrogen gas dissolved in water, their Parkinson’s symptoms got better. Again, showing the profound effect that these gases that we just fart off, actually have in improving your health.
And there’s a number of these gases, but for instance, methane or most of us think about methane as cow farts that contribute to climate change. But methane rather than being a cow fart, is actually a communication system between our gut bacteria and our mitochondria.
Another fun one. Imagine this. Hydrogen sulfide gas, the rotten egg smell, was once thought to be a toxic gas. Well, believe it or not, no hydrogen sulfide is bad for you. Some hydrogen sulfide production is really good for you. And a lot of hydrogen sulfide is in fact toxic. And all these gases follow what I’ve talked about before, the hormetic curve or the Goldilocks rule; where none is good, none is bad, some is just right, and a lot is terrible. So this book is going to teach you the Goldilocks way of producing just the right amount of gas.
Okay. Now, if you listen to my recent interview with Dave Asprey, you heard us talk about fasting. That’s because when you eat is one of the most important things you can do for your energy and your health, but I’ve got an exciting tweak that will help you gain the benefits of fasting without fasting.
There’s a lot of people, including myself, that believe Edison is the cause of all modern disease. That’s because up until 120 years ago, we all lived in sync with daylight. Today though, blue light coming from our phones, TVs, computer screens, and most modern day light bulbs, is making us hungry, sick, and tired. That’s why in all my Paradox books, I recommend limiting your screen time a few hours before bed and wearing blue blocking glasses, like BLUblox, when you’re watching TV or working on your computer.
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I just ordered a pair of their blue light glasses; they galaxy style if you’re wondering, and I can’t wait to try them out. I’m in the throws of writing my next book, so I’ll be grateful for the blue light protection from all the computer time. So get yourself a pair and get your energy back, sleep better by blocking out that unhealthy blue light.
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So in this book, I’ve got a very simple program that will help you increase the length of time you go without eating, and that includes sleeping time, without suffering. And it’s a six weeks program where it slowly but surely, I’m going to teach you how to go a little longer, a little longer each week, starting your break fast, which breakfast means break the fast, a little bit later each day. And then good news in this program, we let you take the weekends off. So there’s a time for you to have some variation rather than just trying your hardest to keep working at a program.
Why did I do this? Because quite frankly, we know that almost all food dietary programs, time restricted eating programs, 80% of people give up; they fail. No matter which program people choose, they fail. And that’s because it’s too rigid.
And some really exciting research with human beings, show that if we can get you to concentrate for five days a week on limiting the time period where you eat, and then take the weekends off, this is a program that you can live with literally and figuratively. And I’ve had 20 years of experience of teaching patients to do just that.
Okay. Now, as important as it is to limit how often you’re eating, a lot of people want to know if my dietary recommendations have changed from my previous book. Well, when it comes to the foods that you should avoid, the bad guys are still the same. And that includes fructose. That includes lectins. That includes whole grains. But there actually are some new foods that are great for increasing your energy levels. And I’m really excited to share a couple of them with you today.
Number one, here’s a shocker: pistachios. So as you know, pistachios have always been in the Gundry nut mix as an essential component. But it turns out that melatonin, yes, that hormone that is used to produce sleep, is actually one of the greatest mitochondrial boosters that’s ever been discovered. In fact, any other antioxidant, mitochondrial booster, pales to the effect of melatonin. In fact, melatonin is so important that your mitochondria actually produce melatonin to protect themselves. Well, the richest source of melatonin is pistachios. It blows everything else off the map. So get some pistachios into your diet.
Now, the second thing that I alluded to a little bit earlier is prebiotic fiber. Now you can make prebiotic fiber in several ways, but I’ve talked before, but I really do a deep dive into resistant starches. Now resistant starches are resistant to digestion. That’s where the name resistant comes from. They’re still starches, so that if you make them easy to digest, such as for instance, a taro root is a resistant starch, but if you grind that taro root into a fine powder and then make it into a tortilla, you will no longer have that benefit of a resistant starch.
But a great trick with a resistant starch, let’s take a sweet potato, for instance. A purple sweet potato, or some people call them blue sweet potatoes, if you roast or cook or resistant starch, then refrigerate it, and then reheated. The process of cooling that food and then reheating it, will dramatically increase the amount of resistant starch. And again, the more resistant the starch your food has, the more you can’t digest it, which means it’s available for your gut buddies to eat to make them happy and to produce postbiotics. And it turns out that a purple sweet potato cooked and cooled has the highest recorded amount of resistant starch.
But even white basmatti rice, if you pressure cook it and then cool it, and then reheat it, it’s going to give you a lot more benefit than eating it warm the first time. And that’s why most Asian cultures actually cook pot of rice at the beginning of the week, and then dole it out throughout the week. They cool it in between. And so that’s probably why they get the benefit that we don’t from eating for instance, rice.
Okay. I actually share many other energy enhancing foods, plus all new recipes in The Energy Paradox. So if you want to find out the best and the worst foods for energy and better health, then pick up a copy in your favorite bookstore today.
Okay. I want to finish this special Energy Paradox preview by leaving you with a few energy tips you can incorporate into your routine today. Number one, energy snacking. Now many, many times when we feel like we’re hungry or we need a boost of energy, what’s actually happening to us is boredom.
And research has shown that if I can get you to do little energy snacks, little exercise snacks throughout the day, for instance like doing jumping jacks, while you’re watching this podcast for a minute, or walking up and down the stairs for a minute, or taking your dog for a walk for 5 to 10 minutes, twice a day, you will get number one, a huge burst of energy. You will actually stimulate your mitochondria to grow and you will actually lessen those feelings of hunger. So it’s a win-win-win. So every time you feel the need for a energy snack, I want you to think what I’m really looking for is a little exercise snack, and you’ll get a win-win out of that.
Number two, the more I can get you to break the break fast habit, the better we’re going to do. The idea that we’re supposed to eat breakfast is culturally ingrained in us, but it actually has no physiologic reason. In fact, you and I were designed not to eat breakfast. The idea of eating breakfast is a very modern phenomenon. It was actually introduced in Victorian England during the Industrial Revolution. Where workers would have to work often 12, 14 hours a day without a break, there were no unions. And so the idea of eating something very early in the morning before they went to work and then eating when they got home late at night started. So that’s the original reason where breakfast came about.
And I even give you a trick. If you’re a true breakfast eater, we’re going to duplicate that way of eating. It’s called the Ramadan fast or what I call, eat, pause during the day and eat, and you’ll get much of the same benefits.
Finally, I need you to really power down for at least three hours before bed. What do I mean by that? Number one, please, please, please, don’t put anything in your mouth except water for three hours prior to go to bed. I talked about this in the Longevity Paradox.
The second thing is, I need you to power down your exposure to blue light. We are surrounded by blue light. All of our devices are based on blue light. Almost all the lighting in our home is based on blue light. Our TVs are based on blue lights, so with our computer screens.
Blue light actually activates a central system in your brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, there won’t be a test, that actually keeps you awake, number one, and number two makes you hungry, and number three, suppresses melatonin production, which helps your mitochondria. So, dim the lights, get blue light restricted light bulbs, or better yet, get yourself a pair of blue blocking glasses. There’s even blue blocking clip-ons. There’s reading glasses that are blue blockers now. We’re going to have more to say about that. We’ve talked about it before with blue light experts.
But the minute the sun goes down, change over to blue blocking glasses for the rest of the day. And it’ll make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep and in your energy levels and in those hunger pains that you get when you get up in the morning. So those are three great tricks. All right.
So I’m really excited about The Energy Paradox. It’s got some really great mindblowing concepts for you to munch on, and I can’t wait for you to get it in your hands. So order it today.
Okay. It’s time for our audience question. This week’s question comes from David Zcar on DrGundry.com, who writes, “Are raw mushrooms safe to eat. How about argaritine that raw mushrooms contain? Generally in my country, Slovakia, raw mushrooms are always considered not good to eat because of toxins. Eating raw mushrooms is something really new to me. I’ve never heard of it before.”
Well, that’s a great question, David. First of all, the research on argaritine in mushrooms is very mixed. There is some very interesting research that argaritine is actually a potent anti-cancer agent and certainly a potent antiviral agent. And just across the GNC from you in Italy, raw mushrooms are prized. And quite frankly, I probably have raw mushrooms two or three times a day, either by themselves as a mushroom carpaccio or absolutely sprinkled on salads. And there is extremely strong evidence that the polyamines in mushrooms, maybe one of the most longevity activating compounds there is.
Lastly, mushrooms contain ergothioneine, which is probably the strongest stimulator of neuron growth for your brains. And they’re very, very good studies showing that eating about a cup of mushrooms per week reduces dementia by about 80 to 90% in those people who have been studied.
So don’t be afraid of the traditional humble button mushrooms, porcini mushrooms eaten raw. Now most of the hard wood mushrooms, it’s almost impossible to eat them raw, so please enjoy cooked mushrooms as much as you want. Interestingly enough, there are some mycotoxins in hard mushrooms that are killed by heating. So if you want to eat them cooked, bless your heart. The point is get mushrooms into your diet.
And I tell a lot more about mushrooms in The Energy Paradox, because mushrooms are actually a great source of not only melatonin, but the darker mushrooms are a great source of melanin, which you use to produce ATP when you’re exposed to sunlight. So great question. Thanks.
Okay. Finally, it’s time for our review of the week. This week’s review comes from Laura Butler on DrGundry.com.
Kimberly Snyder (33:53):
Welcome to the Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder. My goal is to help you develop a holistic lifestyle based on our four cornerstone philosophy: food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth. This holistic approach will help you feel good, which I define as being connected to your most authentic, highest self. And this is the place from which your energy, confidence, creativity, true power and true beauty will start to explode. Every week, we provide you with interviews from top experts in their field or a solo cast from yours truly, to support you in living your most beautiful, healthy, and joyful life.
I’m your host, Kimberly Snyder, founder of Solluna, New York Times best-selling author and holistic wellness, nutrition and meditation teacher. Let’s get started.
Dr. Gundry (34:48):
Wrote this about my interview with allergy expert, Dr. Kari Nadeau. “Dr. G., this podcast, like all of your podcasts helps put perspective on an issue that affects so many of us personally, your website and show notes are especially helpful, so that I can go back to do searches and review what I’ve learned here in relationship to yours and other’s information.
The best thing about you, okay, one of really good things of many, is that you continually add information and adjust your perspective. There’s a new nugget or two of informational gold every week.” And she goes on if I can get the card apart. Well, thank you, Laura. It’s always great hearing from my audience. So please, continue writing in on Apple Podcasts, YouTube, DrGundry.com or wherever you get your shows.
And I really appreciate that you notice that I do change my perspective, and I think that’s important. I have learned so much in the last 20 years from my patients, from their questions, from you, my viewers. And boy, if I wasn’t changing my perspective based on new information, I can tell you, I wouldn’t trust me. And yet there are many people, quite frankly, who haven’t changed their perspective in the last 30 years of nutritional advice. So thank you.
That’s why I do that. I’m welcomed to change my mind. And in fact, I hope my mind gets changed with each new batch of information. And you’ll see in The Energy Paradox that I learned a bunch of new things that you should know as well, and I’ll pass them on to you. So thanks very much. And I changed my perspective because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind you that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you want to watch each episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast, you can always find me on YouTube at youtube.com/DrGundry. Because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.