kris ulland

Your Nutrition Partner

The effect of drug on a person may be different than expected because that drug interacts with another drug the person is taking (drug-drug interaction), food, beverages, dietary supplements the person is consuming (drug-nutrient/food interaction) or another disease the person has (drug-disease interaction).

Make yourself aware of food-drug interactions that when ingested simultaneously can alter the body’s ability to utilize a particular food or drug, or cause serious side effects.

Digoxin (Digitalis, Digitek, Lanoxin) is used to strengthen the contraction of the heart muscle, slow the heart rate, and promote the elimination of fluid from body tissues. Dietary fiber, specifically insoluble fiber such as wheat bran, can slow down the absorption of digoxin and lessen its effectiveness. To prevent this, take digoxin at least one hour before or two hours after eating a meal.

Lanoxin will deplete calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, Vit B1 and potassium. Hawthorn might enhance the activity of digoxin in a positive manner. (Look for a tea – Traditional Medicinals)  Use of laxatives can cause potassium loss leading to increased toxicity of Digoxin. Licorice can also increase the toxicity of Digoxin. (Deglycyrrhizinated licorice like what is found in heartburn remedies does NOT have this adverse effect.) St. John’s Wort will reduce the serum level of Digoxin.

Herb use can also affect digoxin. For example, ginseng can elevate blood levels of digoxin by as much as 75%, while St. John’s Wort decreases blood levels of this drug by 25%.

Digoxin has serious interactions with at least 49 different drugs. Digoxin has moderate interactions with at least 292 different drugs. Digoxin has mild interactions with at least 34 different drugs.

Diuretics – There are potassium-depleting diuretics like Lasix (furosemide) and Thiazide diuretics like HydroFIURIL (hydrochlorthiazide) which deplete magnesium, potassium, zinc, thiamine, Vit B6, and Vit C. There are potassium-sparing diuretics like Aldactone (spironolactone) and Dytac (triamterene) which deplete folic acid, iron, and Vit C. Have these levels checked if you regularly take diuretics.

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, oxaprosin) deplete folic acid, iron and Vit C. Taking NSAIDs could cause sodium and potassium retention in salt-depleted individuals. Patients on salt-restricted diets should be monitored carefully.

Aspirin depletes folic acid, iron, potassium, sodium, and Vit C. Talk with a doctor about which form of calcium supplement to take as some cause hypocalcemia. (The best way to get calcium in your diet is from food. Add almonds, kale, tofu, yogurt.)  Omega-3 fats might improve aspirin’s anti-platelet activity.

Statins/ Antilipemics (cholesterol reducers like Mevacor, Pravachol, and Zocor) will deplete Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and is easily prevented with supplemental CoQ10. Look for one with ubiquinone which is the most effective form of delivery into your system. Niacin should also be added when taking a statin. Current research indicates that niacin significantly improves lipoprotein abnormalities and is safe and effective in combination with statins for improving lipid levels and decreasing coronary risk. Avoid red yeast rice because it contains a naturally occurring statin and should not be taken at the same time. Long-term statin use may increase blood Vit A levels. Patients should avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking statins.

Compounds in grapefruit called furanocoumarin chemicals cause an increase in medication potency by interacting with enzymes in the small intestine and liver. This interaction partially inactivates a number of medications.

There is evidence that confirms that grapefruit juice gives a boost to blood levels of erectile dysfunction drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra). It could trigger terrible headaches, flushing, or low blood pressure.

In order for oral antibiotics to be effective, they must be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, make their way into the bloodstream, and be delivered to the infected area. Many factors influence the body’s ability to accomplish this feat, including the relative acidity of the stomach, the presence of fat or other nutrients in the stomach, and whether certain elements such as calcium are present. The classic family of antibiotics that cannot be taken with milk are tetracyclines because the calcium in the milk binds the antibiotic and prevents gut absorption.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) are a class of drugs that are best known as powerful anti-depressants, as well as effective therapeutic agents for panic disorder and social phobia. They are particularly effective in treatment-resistant depression and atypical depression. They are also used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and several other disorders.

One downside to MAOIs is that they come with dietary restrictions because of the elevated tyramine levels in the blood. A couple of examples of MAOIs are:

  • rasagiline (Azilect)
  • selegiline (Eldepryl, Zelapar)
  • isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • phenelzine (Nardil)
  • tranylcypromine (Parnate)

When this class of drug first entered the market, no one knew about the concerns over tyramine and blood pressure. This caused a wave of deaths that prompted further research. Now we know that certain foods contain excess tyramine, and these should be avoided when taking MAOIs. The more food ages, the more concentrated the levels of tyramine become. This is true for aged meats, cheeses, and even leftovers in your fridge. Foods with dangerously high levels of tyramine include:

  • soy sauce and other fermented soy products
  • sauerkraut
  • salami and other aged or cured meats

Other foods that contain high levels of tyramine are:

  • aged cheeses, such as Brie, cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan, Swiss, and blue cheese
  • alcohol, especially chianti, vermouth, and beers
  • fava beans
  • raisins, dates, and other dried fruits
  • tofu
  • all nuts

Antithyroid drugs are compounds that interfere with the body’s production of thyroid hormones, thereby reducing the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and Graves disease. According to a broad body of research, Americans’ high-iodine diets account for the lower remission rate of hyperthyroidism in those who are prescribed antithyroid drugs. Antithyroid drugs work by preventing iodine absorption in the stomach. A high-iodine diet requires higher doses of antithyroid drugs. The higher the dose of antithyroid drugs, the greater the incidence of side effects that include rashes, hives, and liver disease.

The richest dietary sources of iodine are seafood and seaweed, such as kelp and nori. Iodine is also found in iodized salt and to a lesser extent in eggs, meat, and dairy products.

Delicata Squash

The delicata squash is part of the same species as the acorn and spaghetti squashes. Because the rind of the delicata is edible and not as tough as some other squash varieties, it’s vulnerable to disease and fell out of favor.

Delicata squash is an heirloom variety, and is an edible gourd related to the cucumber, watermelon and the muskmelon. With a flavor similar to the sweet potato, chestnut and corn, the flesh of the delicata squash is sweet. This squash is cylindrical or oblong shape, yellowish, tan or cream in color with green stripes.

Delicata squash is a winter squash that’s also called Bohemian squash, sweet potato squash or peanut squash, and because it holds its shape when cooking, it’s the perfect edible bowl that can be stuffed and baked. Similar to butternut squash nutrition, it’s a healthy alternative with no fat or cholesterol and is low in carbohydrates, gluten-free, and a fiber-rich food.

Delicata squash is nutritious! One cup contains:

  • 82 calories
  • 21.5 grams carbohydrates
  • 1.8 grams protein
  • 0.2 gram fat
  • 2–4 grams fiber
  • 22,869 IU vitamin A (457 % DV)
  • 31 milligrams vitamin C (52 % DV)
  • 0.4 milligram manganese (18 % DV)
  • 582 milligrams potassium (17 % DV)
  • 59.4 milligrams magnesium (15 % DV)
  • 2.6 milligrams vitamin E (13 % DV)
  • 0.3 milligram vitamin B6 (13 % DV)
  • 0.1 milligram thiamine (10 % DV)
  • 2 milligrams niacin (10 % DV)
  • 38.9 micrograms folate (10 % DV)
  • 84 milligrams calcium (8 percent DV)
  • 1.2 milligrams iron (7 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram copper (7 percent DV)
  • 55.4 milligrams phosphorus (6 percent DV

Delicata squash and other high-fiber foods can help prevent digestive issues such as constipation, bloating and diarrhea. Fiber also helps to lower cholesterol levels and control blood sugar levels.

Delicata squash benefits include healthy cell production because of it iron content. Iron aids with the formation of proteins that are able to provide oxygen to the body, muscles and bloodstream. Growth of cells requires iron to help with the process.

Thanks to the calcium it contains, eating delicata squash helps build strong bones. To gain healthy bone mass, something crucial for the prevention of osteoporosis, we need plenty of calcium to help restore or minimize any bone loss. It helps early in life, especially those involved in athletics, as well as later in life, particularly for women.

Delicata squash benefits include the ability to enhance eyesight. One cup contains 457% of your daily requirement for Vitamin A. The body uses Vitamin A to help produce pigments in the eyes that enable the eyes to see the full spectrum light. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, vitamin A deficiency is the No. 1 cause of preventable blindness in the world. It reports that about “250,000 to 500,000 children become blind every year because of vitamin A deficiency.” Regularly consuming delicata squash and other foods that are rich in Vitamin A can help prevent eye problems such dry eyes and night blindness.

Delicata squash contains a high amount of Vitamin C, which acts as a powerful antioxidant to help strengthen the immune system. Studies have shown that Vitamin C provides numerous health benefits for the body, including the ability to fight off both bacterial and viral infections.

How to Buy

It’s best to choose a squash that does not have any scratches or bruises to void quick spoilage. When choosing delicata squash, look for one that is firm and heavy with a cream color. One that’s ready to eat usually is yellow or cream with green striations.

How to Store

Delicata squash can be stored in a cool, dry place for about three months.

How to Cook

Because the walls of the delicata squash are thin, it tends to cook quickly. To prepare delicata squash, you can slice it in quarter-inch rings, remove the seeds, then sauté it until soft and a little caramelized.  Similar to the acorn squash, you can halve it, then bake it for about 30 minutes. Broiling it with olive oil or coconut oil until caramelized is delicious, too.

The sugar loaf and honey boat varieties have been crossed with the popular butternut squash and are very sweet. You may notice a bit of a caramel, hazelnut and brown sugar flavor.

Three Sisters Deep-Dish Pie

Terry Walters, Clean Food

6 Servings


  • 2 medium delicata squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 cups organic corn, fresh or frozen
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 frozen 9-inch pie crust, defrosted – Look for gluten-free in the freezer section. This is optional but a delicious topping.


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Roasting Squash

Wash squash well, cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds and rub each section with oil. Place cut side down on cookie sheet with parchment paper or in glass baking dish and roast 25 minutes or until soft throughout. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preparing Filling

In Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, sauté onion in olive oil until soft (about 3 minutes). Add carrots, celery and mirin and sauté 3 minutes. Cut green beans into bite-size pieces, add to pot along with corn and sauté 5 minutes or until beans start to soften. Chop squash into bite-size pieces and fold into mixture.

In small bowl, whisk together water, liquid aminos and arrowroot until smooth. Pour into pot with vegetables and stir until liquid starts to thicken. Season to taste with pepper. Remove from heat and transfer to deep casserole.


Crumble pie crust over top of casserole and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 8 minutes longer or until top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve.


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