My best friend is vegan.
She’s been vegan for about a year but all because of her health. Last summer she got diagnosed with Gilbert syndrome.
I had never heard of it before her diagnosis but the common inherited illness affects how the liver processes b￼￼ilirubin – a yellowish pigments made in the liver and I component of file – and causes yellowing of the skin and eyes. Other than a change in skin colour and the eyes, it’s relatively benign. But there are plenty of courses that can bring on the symptoms of Gilbert syndrome, like stress, overexertion and going too long without eating. This is all news to me in until it was confirmed in letter last year, I’ve been reading up about the type of foods that can help keep your liver well and the importance of good fibre and a mix of healthy￼￼￼ nutrient-rich foods.
With the new year comes crazy decisions about losing weight and getting healthy. Usually with this some diets can push your body to the unthinkable, but one way to trigger symptoms associated with Gilbert syndrome is fasting. If you’re going to lose weight, you need to eat a healthy meal plan that includes regular scheduled meals and snacks. This goes for anyone. No one should starve themselves to lose weight￼. There is a reason behind this.
Whether or not you have Gilbert syndrome, you need to think outside the box. By starving your body of essential fats, nutrients, proteins and fibres, whilst you may lose the weight￼￼￼ in the short run, you’re more than likely to put it back on when you return to regularly eating.
Something I’ve witnessed myself on several occasions.
By eating regularly not only helps control the symptoms associated with Gilbert syndrome but also help to keep energy levels up and aids in hunger control.￼
Whatever diet you choose to follow, make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet that can help keep your liver healthy and prevent you from getting sick. A good healthy diet includes a variety of nutrient rich foods from all the food groups – fruits, vegetables, whole-grain’s, lean sources of protein such as poultry, seafood and tofu, low-fat dairy and healthy fats such as Olive oils and avocados￼￼￼.
Protein is an essential part of nutrition, making up about 17% of the bodies weight and it is the main component of the muscles, skin, internal organs, especially the heart and the brain, as well as our eyes, hair and nails￼. Plus, our immune system requires protein to help make antibodies that are required to help fight infections and protein plays a vital role in blood sugar regulation, fat metabolism and energy function. ￼But if you’re vegan, you’re not going to be getting your proteins from meat, so you need to look elsewhere like tofu, tempeh, edamame, chickpeas and most varieties of beans, lentils, quinoa, nuts like almonds and peanuts.
The key to getting the right amount of protein, and all the necessary amino acids, is to combine different grains for different vegetables and pulses such as beans and rice, or tofu with broccoli. The idea is you need to have variety in your diet and not use processed foods to make up for the foods you can’t eat due to your diet.
Step away from the vegan cheese!
As well as eating protein rich foods it’s important that you eat fibre as well. ￼ Fibre isn’t just for digestion, it can help keep your heart healthy too. Fibre can be found in foods that come from plants, and specifically and starchy carbohydrates, fruit, vegetables, beans and then tiles. The current recommendation is that adults should eat 30 g of five a day. Currently, most people are eating around 20 g a day, but we need to increase the intake. To reach 30 g a day, people need to make sure they are choosing higher fibre options at meal times￼.￼
Make sure you drink plenty of water to carry on normal functions as well. Not drinking enough can cause dehydration which can also trigger Gilbert syndrome. 2/3 of our body is made up of water so it’s very important to keep yourself hydrated.
Hydration is needed for digestion, for a heart and circulation, temperature control and for a brain to work well. Water without a doubt is the most essential component of the human body. Here in the UK the Eatwell guide, suggest you should aim for 6 to 8 glasses of water and other liquids each day to replace normal water loss. This accounts for around 1.2 to 1.5 L of water a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar free drinks including tea and coffee all count towards your intake￼.￼￼￼
With all this in mind, some of the recipes I’ll be sharing on my blog will include meals that are Fibre rich diets for both ￼Gilbert syndrome diets and vegans.
If I can help spread awareness of Gilbert’s Syndrome and help, then I will.
Besides, what’s the harm of eating healthier? There isn’t.
I hope you enjoy.