Your gut is a complex place made up of its own microbiome within your body. It is home to many different bacteria (10-100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells) and flora that aid in digestion, nutritional uptake and overall health. Our gut health is linked to nearly every ailment that affects us-- brain function, emotions, cancer, diabetes, autism, and more.
Bacteria line the intestines and are the workhorse of your digestive system. They create vitamins from food you consume and communicate with the immune system and brain. Some bacteria work to protect and strengthen our immune systems, while others have adverse effects on our bodies.
The presence of one type of bacteria or the absence of another can result in inflammation. That inflammation can result in the start of many different diseases and chronic illnesses. An imbalance in our gut’s microbiome has also been shown to affect our mood and behavior. Some of the symptoms of an unhealthy gut are often blamed on a bad meal, but that is not accurate. Many times these are recurring symptoms. Some include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
If you find yourself frequently affected by the above, it is time to address the underlying issue and get your gut healthy again. These symptoms can be the result of bacteria, yeast or parasites. Fortunately, we have the ability to control what goes into our bodies and to choose foods and supplements to make us healthier inside and out.
Prebiotics are the fuels that feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. They are un-digestible fibers found in raw foods such as garlic, jicama, asparagus, leeks, onions and dandelion greens. They move through our digestive system without being broken down and finally land in our colon. Then they are fermented by our gut’s microflora and work together with the beneficial bacteria found in probiotics. The benefits of prebiotics are:
- Weight maintenance and weight loss
- Hormone regulation
- Improved bone health
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Lower inflammation
- Better digestion
- Cancer fighting agents
- Higher immunity levels
Prebiotics help create a diverse microbiome in our lower intestine that aids in a healthy digestive system and optimum nutrient absorption.
Probiotics are full of bacteria that are beneficial for you gut. These bacteria aid in breaking down food, absorbing nutrients and directly affect your immune system, mood and overall health. Our skin and gut contain 2,000 different kinds of bacteria. While some of them are bad, most are good. When you don’t have enough of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system, you will likely experience issues arise such as inflammation, candida, leaky gut syndrome, irritability, headaches and skin issues.
It is all about a healthy balance!. Adding more prebiotic foods to your diet and start taking probiotics as a part of your daily routine. Probiotics can be taken in supplement form like those created by Dr. Nuzum. They can also be found in a number of foods.
Choose supplements with 10-30 different strains and 15 to 100 billion CFU count. Some may need to be refrigerated to preserve the life of the active bacteria contained in them.
Lactobacilli is a strain of bacteria that produces lactic acid and is useful in maintaining the health of your gut flori. “Living” foods such as non-commercial yogurt, kombucha, kefir and lacto-fermented vegetables contain active cultures of Lactobacilli that fill your gut full of beneficial bacteria. The other major probiotic bacteria to look for is Bifidobacterium.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is beneficial in repairing damage to the gut lining. It is one of the fundamental amino acids is helping maintain balance and health inside of us. It aids in cellular regrowth, cell repair, and reducing sugar cravings.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome happens when the semipermeable wall of your digestive tract becomes permeable. Like holes in the ozone layer, it is harmful t your health. Even though it is repairable, it is still cause for concern.
The most dangerous leaky gut occurs in the small intestine. The small intestines are only small in diameter, but they make up the bulk of our digestive tract. This is where the vast majority of nutrient absorption occurs. When the small intestine is irritated it swells and becomes easy for toxins and other materials to pass through. Even large, undigested particles of food can pass directly from your gut to your bloodstream and straight to your liver, which eventually becomes overrun with this waste, and dysfunction begins.
These breaches in your intestines are caused by toxins from our environment, food preservatives and as a result of eating foods that we are unaware that we have an allergy to. You can heal yourself from leaky gut by taking control of your diet and eliminating processed foods. You should also eliminate foods related to common allergies such as gluten, dairy and peanuts. Our bodies are miraculous things that have the ability to repair themselves when treated with care.
Wide variety in your diet is the key to maintaining a healthy microbiome. The varying vitamins, minerals and nutrients offered by many foods offer something different to our digestive system. Avoiding inflammatory foods will help you keep your gut in a healthy state. Some researchers and doctors believe that testing your gut bacteria to evaluate its composition may become as routine as blood testing in the near future.