The gut microbiome. If you haven’t heard of it, I would be very surprised. It’s pretty much the bacteria that makes up your intestines and it has become a very popular word in the health and wellness community. You are more bacteria than you are regular cells… I’ve heard that the bacteria in our bodies is 10:1 compared to human cells! That is CRAZY! And scientists have also learned that our microbiomes are as unique as we are. They can be affected by diet, lifestyle, where you live and what your parents gave you.
The microbiome is still new and a lot of research is still being done but some of the functions include digestion, production of some vitamins, and it plays a role in the immune system (source). It is pretty important in our bodies and we are just now finding that out.
Because we haven’t really cared about are intestines we’ve made some huge mistakes about what we should be consuming and how it’s prepared (Ahem… processed foods, fast foods, over consumption of food overall, conventional raised meat, genetically raised foods…… sooo pretty much the standard American diet). And then we decided that is was a good idea to stop cooking our own food and start buying TV dinners. And then, in about 1960 we decided that is was a good idea to start used the Chorleywood bread process. This is a process involves using a low-protein wheat, additives and high speed mixing which can make bread from dough to sliced and packaged in about 3 and 1/2 hours. This means no fermentation… which I think caused our bread to become harder for us to digest and caused a rise in gluten sensitivity. Fermentation actually helps break down the gluten molecules which is way I don’t think its really gluten that we should be blaming the way its prepared. (Whoever is gluten sensitive and is up for experiment should definitely try a slice of good quality sourdough bread and see how you feel afterwards and then come back and tell us!)
OK I kinda went off on a tangent but its all for your health! So to summarize “we are what we eat” is a very true statement and what we’re eating is not so great. And know we will talk about obesity. There was a study done by Cornell University and Kings College London in 2014. This study showed that individuals with a low body weight carried a types of bacteria called Christensenellaceae minuta. So they took this bacteria and put it in the guts of mice which resulted in the mice losing weight. Study author Prof. Tim Spector of King’s College London said, “Our findings show that specific groups of microbes living in our gut could be protective against obesity.” I don’t really know some people have this type and bacteria and others don’t but its proof that the gut microbiota is very real and can cure a lot of our modern diseases.
So how do you go about making your gut healthier? You start by eliminating common inflammation causing foods like processed foods (obviously), grains, dairy, sugar, and legumes (except for chickpeas and lentils I think). There can be more then this and some of these you will actually be ok with. It just depends on you because you are a unique individual 🙂 So you will want to find those sensitivities and eliminate them as well. For me, I am sensitive to eggs… so I try to avoid them (healing your gut could also heal food allergies/sensitivities. I don’t know if this is true but it is worth a shot!) And then you’ll want to add in ALL DA VEGGIES (this gives you a chance to explore new and exciting foods!) Fermented foods like sauerkraut (make sure its fermented and not just pickled) and kombucha because these contain good digestive bacteria strains. Add in some good healthy fats (look into it here) and some quality grass-fed beef (look into it here) and your bacteria will be doing a HAPPY dance!! And for supplements you can definitely add a good quality probiotic! It is important to get a good quality brand here which can be more expensive but if it isn’t a good brand the probiotics in the capsule will never make it to your intestines (because of stomach acid and other factors) and you will not get any of the benefits. I just bought some from here. I haven’t started taking them yet but I will see how I like it. You can also take digestive enzymes, L-Glutamine, fiber, collagen powder and a few more that I haven’t really done any research on. But remember you CANNOT supplement a bad diet!!!!!!
Now this might seem really hard to do, especially with most foods that the average American consumes on a regular basis involves most or all of the ingredients being eliminated. But everyday is a new day, just start by focusing on REAL FOOD! By doing this you easily eliminate some of the problematic food. And remember, this post is not suppose to force you into something, it is meant to simply give you some facts (and some opinions haha😉) about how to live your healthiest lives!!