Fix Your Gut - Fix Your Life
Your brain makes you human. It is certainly not your cells that make you so. Confused? Consider this: there are more bacterial cells in and on our bodies than there are cells of which we are made. There are between 40 trillion and more than 100 trillion bacterial cells cohabiting with each of us while only 30 trillion human cells comprise our bodies. As an ecological community, a ‚biome,‚ we are the minor player in our own existence, being more bacteria than humans.
To build and support a healthy gut microbiome:
Eat a wide variety of foods:
This leads to a diverse microbiome, which is supportive of good health. In particular, fresh vegetables ‚ and a broad selection of them ‚ plus fresh, whole fruits can promote the growth of healthy Bifidobacteria. Legumes and whole grains are also good sources of gut-friendly fibers but are conversely loaded with toxic, gut-destroying lectin proteins. Be sure you soak, cook, ferment, or otherwise heavily prepare legumes and grains to diminish or eliminate their lectin content.
Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, natto, pickles, and kefir all contain healthy bacteria, mainly Lactobacilli, and can reduce the amount of disease-causing species in the gut.
Get a boost from prebiotics:
Prebiotics are fibers that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria. Prebiotic-rich foods include artichokes, bananas, asparagus, oats, root vegetables, and more. Nearly every vegetable contains some form of fiber that will serve a prebiotic function.
Breastfeeding provides the second major inoculation of the human GI tract. Mother‚s first secretions are loaded with probiotics. Breastfeeding sets up the baby‚s immunity and fuels healthy growth deep into his or her future. Breastfed children for at least six months.
Pile on the veggies:
Vegetarian diets may help reduce levels of disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli and Bilophila wadsworthia, as well as help tamp inflammation and manage cholesterol.
Pile on the polyphenols:
Polyphenols are the colorful pigments of plants. They are potent antioxidants and came to fame after being discovered in red wine, green tea, pine bark, pomegranates, dark chocolate, olive oil, and numerous peppers and other fruits. They can not only help combat intestinal and whole-body inflammation but also are broken down by the healthful members of the microbiome, stimulating colonization.
Take a probiotic supplement as long as you must:
Live probiotics can help restore the gut to a healthier state after dysbiosis.
If you must take antibiotics:
You will want to restore the diversity of the gut microbiome and boost colony size as quickly as possible after using antibiotics to avoid body weight gain, metabolic syndrome, cardiac, neurological, or other problems reliant on a foundation of dysbiosis. Take a potent probiotic supplement and consume fermented foods (e.g. yogurt, kefir, miso, kimchi, natto, sauerkraut, etc.) between doses of antibiotics to minimize long-term bacterial suppression of healthy bacteria.
Get good sleep and reduce stress:
Emotional and physical fatigue and stress, especially when combined, diminish the diversity of gut microbes, reduce beneficial bacteria in variety and colony size, and allow harmful bacteria to expand and proliferate.
Sidestep artificial sweeteners:
Artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame can reduce the amounts of beneficial bacteria in the gut. These microbial changes are believed to be the reason why artificial sweeteners drive glucose intolerance more than natural sugars.
Three Simple Rules For Gut Health:
1. If you can't recognize it on your plate as a whole food, don't eat it.
2. If it comes out of a box, bag, or can, don't eat it.
3. Remember, eating is a duty, one must get one's recreation elsewhere.
Ron Sender, Shai Fuchs, Ron Milo, Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body, PLoS Biol. 2016 Aug; 14(8): e1002533.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by a competent health care professional. You should not use this information in diagnosing or treating a health problem. No claim or opinion in this blog is intended to be, nor should be construed to be medical advice. If you are now taking any drugs, prescribed or not, or have a medical condition, please consult a competent physician who is aware of herb/drug interactions before taking any herbal supplements. The information presented herein has not been evaluated by the FDA or the Department of Health and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure, mitigate or treat any disease or illness.