There is a lot of buzz today about gut health and your microbiome. Research has shown that the bacteria in your gut contribute large amounts of genetic information to your inner ecosystem. This means that they have a great deal of influence on how well the systems in your body function. When the bacteria in the gut are out of balance, living in the wrong location, or there are too many of one type, or not enough of another, your health can suffer.
Improving your gut health is not as simple as eating a cup of yogurt now and then. There are thousands of species of bacteria potentially living in your intestines, and only a handful in yogurt. Even probiotic supplements are limited by the fact that many of them will not survive the transit in the digestive tract.
In order to encourage the beneficial bacteria to grow in your gut, you must create an appropriate ‘home’ for them. This involves improving the health of your intestines. The first step is to be tested for ‘bad’ or pathogenic bacteria and parasites by having your stool examined. Not a popular notion, I know, but this is a very important test. You cannot improve your health if you don’t know what needs to be addressed. Many people today have something living in their gut that should not be there. Why?
We are exposed to many organisms in our environment, and, unfortunately, that same environment offers insults to our gut that prevent it from maintaining a natural balance. From an overly processed diet, the use of antibiotics, chemicals, and genetically modified foods, our friendly microbes are under constant assault.
The first step is to eliminate the bugs that you do not want growing in your gut. This is best done with the guidance of a knowledgeable Functional Medicine practitioner https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/ The next step is to heal the lining of your gut. Leaky gut is a term that means that the spaces between the cells lining your intestine are too wide, causing particles to enter your blood stream that should not be there. This leads to a whole other discussion on auto-immunity, but the important thing to note is that the gut needs to be healed. This is accomplished by eliminating inflammatory foods and treating your gut with healing supplements.
Now, let’s add in some beneficial bacterial spores. It is important to use a product that can survive the transit in the digestive tract. Most commercial products cannot. Products that require refrigeration to remain viable are not likely to survive the 98 degree temperature of the body and a bath in hydrochloric acid in the stomach. See http://thriveprobiotic.com/ to learn more.
Finally, the good guys need proper nutrition. The best bet is a large variety of fresh, organic foods. Eat as many different types of green vegetables as you can manage. Minimize sugar, even the sugar in fresh fruit, honey, molasses, maple syrup, and other ‘natural’ sugars to keep from feeding yeast and other unwanted beasts. Most of all eliminate processed sugar, and especially high fructose corn syrup. Naturally fermented vegetables provided added nutrients.
Creating a healthy gut is SO important, and all you need is a bit of information and some guidance. This is completely doable, it just isn’t common knowledge.
If you would like to learn more, join us for a group discussion on gut health: