Nowadays as brewing your own kombucha and growing your own kefir grains has become sexy, we have to stop and ask ourselves what is all this for? Is it just another health craze sweeping the nation or is looking after our gut health going to be the future of overcoming disease in the body?
After reading this blog post hopefully you will agree that its the latter.
What Is The Gut Microbiome?
The gut microbiome is an internal ecosystem of bacteria. This community of trillions of microbes live in our digestive system and help to govern different functions of the human body. Our microbiome is always fluctuating due to the fact that the choices we make shape our microbiomes such as our environment, the food we eat and the sleep we get. 
Why Is This Important?
Researchers now say that nearly 90% of diseases can actually be traced back to how healthy the gut and the person’s microbiome is, so what’s to say this doesn’t include migraines and headaches? 
As this is a very recent discovery, further testing in this area is needed, but for me, why not “dot every i and cross every t” because if anything I have learned on my journey, it’s that everything in our bodies is connected. If one system in our body is out of balance then it will have a knock on effect somewhere else, so adopting a whole body approach to your health is always beneficial.
Ok, So What Happens When Our Guts Become Unhealthy?
Poor gut health has been linked to;
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Anxiety and depression
- A low immune system
- Joint pain
- Food allergies/sensitivities
- Skin conditions
- Chronic sinus infection
- Constipation and diarrhoea
- Autoimmune diseases
- Heart disease
- Cancer [1,2]
Can you relate to any of these? If so, it may be time to give your gut a serious overhaul, so today I am going to give you some simple tips in which to get you started on the road to a happier and healthier microbiome.
Step 1 – Remove Inflammatory Foods
Refined carbohydrates, sugars and harmful oils get absorbed quickly into your small intestines and begin snacking on the cells that line your intestines, which as a result can cause leaky gut syndrome. By removing these harmful foods allows you to keep your intestinal lining a strong barrier between your gut and the rest of your body, the way it was designed to do. [1,4]
Step 2 – Increase Your Intake Of Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Many natural foods high in antioxidants have been proven to lower inflammation in the body and reduce gut damage caused by oxidative stress, whilst additionally turning down an overactive immune system and safeguarding the healthy cells.
Try introducing more the below foods into your diet;
- Whole pieces of fruit
- A wide variety of vegetables
- Herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, oregano, thyme and basil
- Cage free eggs
- Grass fed meats and other healthy sources of protein such as wild caught fish
- Healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, nuts and seeds
- Unrefined grains and legumes
- High quality dark chocolate in moderation [1,4]
Step 3 – Avoid Antibiotics and Medications Whenever Possible
On three recent occasions I was offered by my doctor a course of antibiotics in aid of preventing infection rather than actually treating an infection, and it’s through this precautionary and overuse of antibiotics that our guts are now paying the price.
Antibiotics and medications have been shown to have a significant impact on our gut micrbiomes so only take them when you truly need them. [1,5]
Step 4 – Experiment With Fermented Foods
Fermenting food uses an age-old natural process where foods are left to sit and steep until the carbohydrates and sugars in the food interacts with yeast, bacteria and microbes which as result changes the chemical structure of the food. This process helps to give your body a healthy boost of probiotics and live organisms which help to line your gut with healthy bacteria. [6,7]
Examples of such foods include;
- Live yogurt
Step 5 – Start Taking A Good Quality Probiotic
Digestive experts explain that our gut flora should contain 85% good bacteria and just 15% bad bacteria, so when this ratio falls out of balance a condition called dysbiosis happens. So in order to counteract this, taking a good quality probiotic supplement can help to increase the good bacteria in your gut.
Try to focus on the brand quality, a high CFU count which is the amount of probiotics in the supplement (aim from 15 billion to 100 billion), whether the probiotics need to be kept cold after purchase and if the cultures are “live and active”. 
Due to the fact that researchers are quickly learning how much the microbiome regulates pretty much every system in the body, it’s no wonder that some have predicted that this year is going to become the year of the microbiome. 
Do you agree? Have you personally taken steps to improve your gut health and have you seen results from doing so? I would love to know.
#HealthyGut #Microbiome #LeakyGut #FunctionalMedicine