All health begins on a molecular level…. which means it all starts with what we eat and how our bodies process it.
Everything we consume is absorbed and processed into your body via our gut, which then has the amazing task of digesting our food and pulling the nutrients, vitamins and minerals out of the food so that they can be absorbed into our bloodstream.
But what and where is our gut? Our gut (gastrointestinal tract) is the long tube that starts at our mouth and includes our esophagus, stomach, small intestine (where our food is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream) the large intestine and our colon.
In your gut you have healthy, helpful bacteria called MICROBIOME – which has been found to control everything in our bodies from digestion to hormones, our skin, energy levels, moods, and even our ability to fight disease.
Our bacterial cells in our body far outnumber our human cells: we are only 10% human and the rest of us is bacteria!
We can help maintain the health of our microbiome by:
1. The food we eat
Eating fresh, whole fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains with the right kind of fiber are amazing for our gut and healthy bacteria.
Fiber rich foods include flax & chia seeds, berries, almonds, green beans, cauliflower, peas, broccoli, asparagus, leeks, onions and carrots.
Eating naturally-occuring bacteria in Fermented foods like kefir, raw sauerkraut, kimchi and fermented vegetables is another way to keep friendly bacteria levels up.
Stay away from processed and packaged foods – the antimicrobial preservatives that they use on the food to keep it fresh longer is what kills off all the good microbes in our gut.
Our Gut Healthy Smoothie balances our digestive system and helps build the good microbiome.
2. Avoid excessive antibiotic use
Antibiotics should always be used with probiotics. Some people take probiotics daily to help renew healthy bacteria and improve their immune system.
Probiotics that contain Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, two genera often depleted from our microbiomes with age, help minimize the impact of taking antibiotics and have been associated with improved mood and resilience to stress.
3. Eat prebiotics
Prebiotics are plant fibers that feed your good bacteria (think food for bacteria).
Your prebiotic foods ferment in your gut, creating an environment in which a healthy and diverse microbiome can thrive, helping them to flourish.
Favourite prebiotic foods include: Oats, banana’s, asparagus, flax seeds, chia seeds, edamame, avocado, raw garlic and onion and dandelion greens.
4. Manage stress
I know it’s easy to say “stress less” but try find ways that help you de-stress.
Stress interferes with digestion and increases inflammation in your gut, creating conditions in which the bad microbes flourish and kills off a lot of the good bacteria.
Less stress = healthy microbes = healthy body
For more reading on microbiome – Dr Robyn Berlin, MD