There’s an increasing amount of research proving that our gut ecology —the little organisms that inhabit our digestive tract— is to be taken seriously and principally into account when talking about our health.
Did you know? There are more organisms sitting in your digestive tract than there are people on the planet.
Each of us is literally a world that’s inhabited by billions of tiny creatures. These tiny creatures live in symbiosis with us – we provide an environment in which they can live and prosper, and they provide all kinds of amazing benefits that keep our body happy, healthy, and long-lived.
A balanced microbiome regulates the immune system, metabolism, sustains the gastrointestinal tract, supports mood and brain function, produces crucial vitamins and nutrients, and helps us maintain a healthy weight.
So it is you, yourself and them, and we live in harmony... or do we?
Let’s see. Many modern world advances have been found to harm our probiotic bacteria and upset the delicate balance that is optimal for our health. Here are some: cesarean section delivered babies and babies fed on formula, stress, alcohol, some medications including birth control pills, antibacterial soap, and of course antibiotics.
Helpful as they are, are major contributors of a dysfunctional microbiome, and what most of you have probably not realized is that antibiotics are everywhere. Antibiotic overuse is rampant and not only in medicine but also in agriculture (both in livestock and produce) and from pharmaceutical processing plants dumping drugs into wastewater.
The fact that most of us have lives so much removed from the soil and live in over sanitized environments has been proven to have a very negative imprint in our gut ecology too.
So here are some easy ways to help you protect and diversify your gut flora:
Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut and fermented veggies. Making fermented veggies is so simple and satisfying. I join a couple of recipes.
Eat whole food and avoid processed food. Really! In addition to containing additives and chemicals that damage our guts, processed foods do not typically contain the insoluble and soluble fiber that fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and grains contain. We need this fiber to nourish our gut flora.
Eat prebiotics – foods that actually feed the bacteria in our guts. These include chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens, garlic, leek, onion, banana, and asparagus.
Garden! Walk barefoot! Get some dirt on your skin. The environment we inhabit helps determine our interior environment.