Health is in the Gut

Health is in the Gut

Health is in the gut as new research shows that there is a relationship between gut health and some chronic diseases. Research shows that gut bacteria probably causes illnesses like obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression and some types of cancer.

Your microbiome

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said 2,000 years ago that “all disease begins in the gut.”

The human microbiome is the trillions of bacteria and yeast found in the gut and on your skin. About 80% of your immunity and digestive system is in the gut.

New research is showing that the gut bacteria in healthy individuals are different from the ones with certain diseases. Since most of these bacteria are in the intestines and colon, they affect everything from your metabolic rate, your mood, and your overall well being. People who are sick may have too much or too little of a certain bacteria. Scientists are now drawing a link between certain illnesses like heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity and the bacteria in your gut.

Health is in the gut

Health is in the gut when you have a higher level of anti-inflammatory levels of gut bacteria. This helps to protect you from inflammatory diseases like Crohn disease, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Some examples of metabolic syndrome are increased blood pressure, high sugar levels, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Brain – Gut Connection

The gut is packed with nerve endings that communicate with the brain. Research states that there is a link between gut bacteria and disorders of the central nervous system like autism, anxiety, and depression.

Most of the illnesses in your gut is caused by inflammation. Although inflammation comes from many sources, the modern American diet is the cause of most of the inflammation.  They are found in our foods and from the environment. Some of these are:

  • sugar that is found in sucrose, and fructose.
  • pesticides in our foods
  • environmental pollutions from industrial waste
  • pathogens – genetically modified food (GMO)
  • herbicides
  • gluten grains
  • additives added to your cosmetic and food

Inflammation travels throughout the body and causes a host of problems. It affects the production of energy for your cells, and put your immune system in a state of alarm. Research says that a sick gut is the result of hormone imbalance and affecting the way your cells and organs function. Inflammation is the first step toward chronic disease. Getting healing and anti-inflammatory food in your gut is an important decision.

Healing in the gut

Depending on your level of discomfort, it is important to have clear goals to achieve health in the gut. It is mandatory to start eating healthy, healing foods. Also, eliminating inflammatory foods helps to reduce inflammation in your body.

The following is a list of healing foods that will improve your gut flora:

  • Plant foods and vegetables
  • Having gluten-free low sugar diet
  • Eat high fiber foods, fruits. and whole grains
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Fermented foods and vegetables like tempeh, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, pickles, natto, and kombucha You may also read; List of Fermented Foods for Gut Health: Top 11 Best Fermented Foods
  • Remove all refined and processed foods from your cabinet and refrigerator.

The 4 Pillars of a Gut-Healthy Foods

Here are the 4 pillars of our gut-healthy diet:

  1. Probiotics to support the microbiome
  2. Prebiotics to feed the good bacteria
  3. Eliminate foods that feed the bad bacteria and/or hinder the health of the good bacteria
  4. Eat a balanced diet

In this post, I will outline the what of our gut-healthy diet. I will add later posts that discuss the science behind it.

Pillar 1: Probiotics

Most people are familiar with probiotics. They are gut friendly bacteria that come come in two forms: actual foods and pills. I‘m not a fan of processed foods and pills are processed. Also, there are many reports about those probiotic pills not containing what the packages promise. So, we are sticking with real foods. But what foods contain probiotics?

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir (my newest hobby is making my own – more on that later)
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut (but only if it comes from the dairy case as the bacteria do not stay alive otherwise)
  • Miso
  • Aged cheeses

Pillar 2: Prebiotics

Prebiotics are essential to feed the good bacteria in our bodies. They are soluble fibers that our bodies cannot use directly, but indirectly through the bacteria who thrive when we eat them. What foods are good prebiotics?

  • Oats
  • Bananas
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Artichokes
  • Leeks
  • Asparagus

Pillar 3: Starve the bad bacteria

It is important to understand that there are foods that feed bad bacteria. I remember when I read a study that showed how some of the bad bacteria in your gut send signals to your brain that make you crave sugar – the food those bacteria need to thrive. So, what foods did we eliminate from our diet?

  • Sugars except for honey and maple syrup in small amounts
  • Grains except oats
  • Dairy except for those with probiotics
  • No potatoes (sometimes I miss French fries – but sweet potato fries are delicious)
  • No pork and thus no bacon
  • Processed and fat food – that‘s most of what you find in our world

Pillar 4: Eat a balanced diet

So, by now, we‘ve added/increased some distinct foods that contain probiotics and prebiotics. Additionally, we have excluded a lot of foods and a lot of things that Michael Pollen calls „food-like substances.“What about the other foods? We eat a lot of the following foods:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Fish and lean meats (no pork)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans and lentils

You may also read; 60 Best Foods for Gut Health and Digestion: The Best Guide You Ever Need!

Exercise to improve your health

Regular exercise improves your mood and your health. It also helps to relieve stress your body. Also, exercise encourages the growth of a variety of gut bacteria that keeps you healthy and reduces illnesses.

Meditation

The mind, heart, and body improve with meditation. When the body relaxes, there is a possibility that healing takes place. During meditation, research shows where blood pressure decreases and also the stress hormone levels. The breathing done during meditation improves the heart rate. According to Dr. Herbert Benson, MD and founder of Mind/Body Institute at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the relaxation response from meditation helps to decrease metabolism. Dr. Benson also states that “any condition that’s caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation.”

Supplements

Your body may need additional supplements. A good multivitamin and good probiotics should be included in your routine. Check with your health professional about what is suitable for your body’s needs.

Conclusion

Inflammation is really the first step toward chronic disease. Science is furthering their research about the relationship between your gut and chronic diseases. More research needs to be done to pinpoint the exact types of bacteria that lead to certain diseases. In the meantime, the information is there about the benefits of getting a healthy gut florato prevent some diseases.