There are 100 trillion bacteria hard at work in our gut and they power the entire body. Hence GUT is important. The gut is made up of many microbes that manage normal functions in our body and brain. Any wrong internal mix can cause constipation, bloating, diarrhea, gas, IBS(irritable bowel syndrome), food sensitivities, skin issues, brain fog or autoimmune problems.
Research has shown that there exists a second brain that communicates with the brain in our head. We have more nerve cells in the GUT than in the brain. Therefore, the gut plays a vital role in disease control and mental health as well.
The Endocrine system(a system that secretes hormones), the Immune system and the Nervous system are all connected to the digestive tract, so the wellness of our body and the brain depends on GUT health.
The GUT includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gall bladder, and pancreas. All these organs sit in a gut lining or gut wall.
So what do these microbes do in our body? These microbes digest and absorb nutrients, synthesize vitamins and also work against intruders such as flu viruses and toxins. The GUT has 10o trillion bacteria, with a high amount of bad bacteria and a low amount of good bacteria. The good bacteria protect us from infection, supports metabolism, healthy digestion, absorption and elimination of toxins.
So what are some of the triggers that increase the bad bacteria and decrease the good bacteria? They are:
- Poor diet and processed foods
- Too much Sugar
- Medications like OTC (over the counter) medications, antibiotics, birth control pills, antidepressant antacids, pills like Aleve, Advil, Motrin, etc.
- Environmental toxins
- Food sensitivities to gluten and diary
- Low fiber or diets high in processed foods
- Habitual alcohol use or overuse
- Chronic stress
The foods we eat either help or destroy our GUT. Here is a list of how we can increase the good gut bacteria in our body:
- Chew our food, since the digestion begins in the mouth, chewing our food becomes critical for the food to digest
- Eat dark leafy greens and drink green juices. Eat pineapple and whole foods
- Drink plenty of water
- Fiber is a crucial ingredient for GUT health
- Good bacteria feeds on fiber
- take at least 25-35 gms per day
- Fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut(fermented cabbage), spicy kimchi, and miso
- Yogurt, Kefir starters for non-dairy
- Love your liver by abstaining from alcohol, and the wine, just a glass or 2 per week can weaken the GUT lining
- Add Glutamine, it helps with protecting the gut lining. Foods like bone broth, broccoli, fish, eggs, beets, beans, spinach, and parsley
- Apple cider vinegar is also good for the GUT
- Reduce and manage stress with deep breathing and meditation or just sitting quietly
So the foods we chose to eat are crucial in maintaining our GUT health. For us to maintain the healthiest GUT, what we eat or drink are the most important things we need to do. The good news is by changing our diet and lifestyle, just small changes we can change and improve our gut health.