Seizure activity can be exacerbated and or triggered by many different things. Food intake, mineral deficiencies, endotoxins (from things like polyunsaturated fats), and hormonal imbalances are the typical, well known triggers for many dealing with seizure activity and or epilepsy. Each time my daughter would have an episode with seizure activity, I would dig deeper and scour medical journals, forums, and whatever else I could get my hands on to try and find something that would help me understand ‘why’ she kept having these episodes. The knowledge that the seizures were initially triggered by a series of vaccines didn’t negate the underlying health issues that accompanied her inability to heal and the fact that there was more to her story.
I started to come across information about the role that certain foods could play in making seizure activity worse. The very first piece of information that I came across was from Dr. Ray Peat, as he was discussing the effect that ‘endotoxins’ played in promoting seizures. I was dumbfounded that certain common cooking oils could either help or hurt her already fragile nervous system. Polyunsaturated fats, known as PUFA’s, can have a devastating effect on our bodies, and particularly our brain and nervous system. Thinking that I was doing good using safflower oil and such, I came to learn that those oils, in their processing, become toxic to our systems (let alone the fact that most of them are made from GMO crops). Couple that with finding out that cooking on high heat with those same oils makes toxicity even worse and affects things like our thyroid as well. I realized that our well oiled machine known as our body, was delicate when bombarded with toxins.
Taking one step at a time in the seizure recovery process, I began to remove unhealthy PUFA (polylunsaturated) oils from our diet and began to add coconut oil to our diet as part of the ‘switch’. In order to rid of the excess endotoxins that are created by unknowingly using oils that are actually harmful to us, I came across a recipe for a salad that actually helps your body to rid of unwanted endotoxins in a way that your body is unable to do on its own. Dr. Ray Peat explains:
“Although thyroid, progesterone, and a high quality protein diet will generally correct the epilepsy problem, it is important to mention that the involvement of unsaturated fats and free radicals in seizure physiology implies that we should minimize our consumption of the unsaturated fats. Even years after eliminating them from the diet, their release from tissue storage can prolong the problem, and during that time the use of vitamin E is likely to reduce the intensity and frequency of seizures. Coconut oil lowers the requirement for vitamin E, and reduces the toxicity of the unsaturated fats (see Cleland, et al.), favoring effective respiration and improving thyroid and progesterone production. Endotoxin formed in the bowel can block respiration and cause hormone imbalances contributing to instability of the nerves, so it is helpful to optimize bowel flora, for example with a carrot salad; a dressing of vinegar, coconut oil and olive oil, carried into the intestine by the carrot fiber, suppresses bacterial growth while stimulating healing of the wall of the intestine. The carrot salad improves the ratio of progesterone to estrogen and cortisol, and so is as appropriate for epilepsy as for premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, or arthritis.” -Ray Peat, PhD (1)
I sometimes prepare the Endotoxin Reducing Carrot salad ingredients and keep them ready to go in the refrigerator, and other times I just prepare the salad all together and keep it in the fridge for a quick grab of a bite on the go. I have found that it keeps well in the fridge for several days, so even if you aren’t wanting to have it as a side dish every day, you can at least take a bite or two as a snack mid day and still manage to aid your gut in healing without much extra work.
If you are estrogen dominant, or come to realize that you need to rid yourself of endotoxins, especially for hormonal and thyroid health, I encourage you to add the Endotoxin Reducing Carrot Salad into your diet!
Endotoxin Reducing Carrot Salad
1 Cup Shredded Organic Carrots
1 Tbsp (more or less as desired) Coconut Oil
1/8 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Sea Salt to taste
- Shred, grate or peel carrots.
- Drizzle Apple Cider Vinegar over the shredded carrots.
- Mix in Coconut Oil to the desired texture.
- Add a pinch of sea salt to taste.
- You can be creative with the flavors and add some lemon juice or orange juice, for example, to shake things up – use your imagination!
(1) Endocrinology. 1992 Aug;131(2):662-8.