Gut Flora Makeover
You may have heard of the amazing gut microbiome. If you’ve even googled ‘gut health’, chances are, the microbiome will be in all top results because it is that essential to gut health as a whole.
Your gut microbiome, also known as your gut flora, is comprised of the colonies or bacteria, yeast and viruses that live in your gut (specifically in your intestines). They have myriad of important jobs and are directly linked not only to your digestive health, but hormonal health, mental health, neurological health and immunity.
Our microbiota is established since birth with the microbes we consumed, were in contact with and a portion of breastmilk we were fed also. These established our ‘home team’ of microbes in our gut. Since then, we are constantly in contact with other microbes that don’t (or shouldn’t) reside in our guts.
Our home team microbes can come under attack in our modern day to day by the following ways:
- Consumption of antibiotics long-term or whenever we get sniffles
- Pesticides in our fresh produce
- Food additives from packaged foods
- Over-consumption of refined sugar
- Diet full of seed oils or too high in Omega-6 fats
- Stress and anxiety
So conversely, what can we do to keep our gut microbe community thriving?
- Diet high in fermented foods.
Ancestral and traditional cultures have been found to have fermented foods nearly daily or as an integral ingredient or dish in their cuisine. Fermented foods are high in several strains biota beneficial for our guts. Examples like sauerkraut, kvass, kimchi, miso, tempeh, yoghurt and kombucha are our modern examples and it is advised to eat these probiotic foods at least once a day.
- Diet high in prebiotic foods.
Prebiotics are the food for our microbes, and may not necessarily be digested by us, but by our home team friends instead for them to thrive. Prebiotics can generally be obtained by eating a variety of fruits, fungi and vegetables. My top recommendations being leeks, onions, mushrooms and dandelion greens/root tea.
- Diet low in refined sugars and seed oils.
Sugars and seed oils are highly inflammatory to our guts and have been linked to higher prevalence of IBS symptoms and IBD cases. Both ingredients are shown to disrupt the microbiome as well as any other health issues.
- A premium gut lining.
Creating a healthy gut lining is key. Our microbiota needs a nice, new and shiny home to reside every few days. To create this lining, it needs help from amino acids, collagen and minerals that help the cells create a premium lining. A regulated circadian rhythm is also required for optimal gut lining creation every 2-3 days. Having bone broth everyday and a regular sleep cycle are ideal ways of ensuring a premium gut lining.
- A nourished gut-brain connection.
The gut-brain axis is unavoidable in keeping healthy gut flora. Keeping a healthy mind through meditation, breathing, grounding, acupuncture, and stress reduction techniques can almost outshine very many other gut healthy strategies.
These strategies root themselves in ancient traditions and align with Chinese Medicine which treats the gut looking at correcting gut imbalances through nutrition, lifestyle, it’s connection with a worried mind and correcting the flow of energy through it via acupuncture and herbal medicine.
If your gut needs a makeover, call us for an appointment today.
~by Ivana x