KEYS TO A HEALTHY GUT
“All disease begins in the gut”
Hippocrates said this over 2,000 years ago, but we are only just starting to discover how right he was. Research over the last decade has revealed that gut health is the cornerstone to overall health and immunity.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
Let’s say you train hard, eat right, supplement right (which we know you do!) and try to get enough sleep. However, if you have poor gut health, all your hard work is sabotaged and you will not be reaping the full benefits of your healthy actions.
WHY IS GUT HEALTH SO IMPORTANT?
There are approximately 100 trillion micro-organisms in the gut. This means the human gut contains 10-times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body. You could, therefore, say we are more BACTERIAL than we are HUMAN!
Gut bacteria assist in food breakdown and help you to absorb all the nutrients from your food. Without the right balance of bacteria, nutrition production, absorption and digestion are affected.
This has profound implications for:
- Immunity Exercise performance and recovery
- Weight loss
- Protection from food allergies and intolerances
- Cognition, memory and overall brain health
- Natural detoxification pathways
- Growth in children and adolescents
Your gut really is your “second brain.” 95% of serotonin receptors (the hormone known as the ‘happiness hormone’ as it is involved in mood) are located in the gut, not the brain. Gut disorders have been linked to psychological disorders like depression and anxiety. So in many cases, if you can heal the gut, you can heal the brain.
WHAT AFFECTS GUT HEALTH?
Unfortunately, several factors of the modern lifestyle directly contribute to an unhealthy gut. Some of these include:
- Poor nutrition – inflammatory foods such as gluten, refined sugars, refined seed oils and trans fats kill good bacteria, allowing bad bacteria to thrive. They also damage the intestinal lining and can cause leaky gut. Most modern diets also lack probiotic-rich foods due to refrigeration, canning and preservatives.
- Medications – (i.e antibiotics, oral contraceptive pill, synthetic prescription drugs). Studies show one course of antibiotics affects the balance of gut bacteria for 2 years!
- Chronic infections – (i.e candida, parasites, worms)
- Stress – our gut cannot keep up with our modern lifestyles and we are often stressed, busy and tired. This weakens our immune system over time and can lead inflammation and a “leaky gut.”
HOW CAN I TELL IF I HAVE AN UNHEALTHY GUT?
Trust me, you will know. Symptoms include:
- Food sensitivities
- Digestive problems
- Skin issues like eczema or acne
- Joint pain
- Headaches, brain fog
- Weight gain
- Thyroid issues
HOW DO I IMPROVE MY GUT HEALTH?
- Clean up your diet. Remove gluten, refined sugars, seed oils and trans fats from your diet.
- Replace inflammatory foods with healing foods:
• Fermented vegetables (i.e sauerkraut, kimchi) – contains organic acids that balance pH and probiotics to support the gut
• Fermentable fibres (sweet potato, yam, yucca etc.)
• Bone broth – a mineral-rich drink or stock. It is packed full of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, collagen and amino acids (proline and glycine) that can help heal your damaged cell walls
• Kefir – a probiotic drink made from yoghurt. It can also be made from water for a dairy free option
Kombucha – fermented tea drink that contains a number of different probiotic strains, organic enzymes, amino acids and vitamins
- Replace inflammatory foods with healing foods:
- Treat any intestinal pathogens (such as parasites) that may be present.
- Take steps to manage your stress. Try yoga or meditation.
- Supplementation –
• Probiotics: take up to 10 billion units of probiotics daily from a high quality brand.
• Omega-3 fish oil: improve gut inflammation, balances hormones and supports the integrity of the intestinal lining.
• L-Glutamine: an essential amino acid that is anti-inflammatory and necessary for the growth and repair of intestinal lining.
• Vitamin D3: vital for the immune system and the integrity of tight junctions in the gut. Vitamin D deficiency increases inflammation and “leaky gut.”
• Soothing Herbs: liquorice root, slippery elm, peppermint and ginger are all useful herbs to sooth and repair the intestinal lining
• Digestive Enzymes: ensure that foods are fully digested, decreasing the chance that partially digested food particles and proteins from damaging your gut wall.
So make sure that you are not wasting all your hard work, in and out of the gym. With a bit of time and dedication to improving your gut health, you will see and feel incredible results, in all aspects of your health.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF UNHEALTHY DIGESTION?
- Acid reflux
- Bad breath
- Body odour
- Throat and nose issues (clearing throat, runny nose, etc.)
- Inflammation anywhere in the body
- Skin disorders anywhere on the body
- Negative reactions to food
- Loose stools or constipation
Our bodies rely on proper enzymes and healthy microbes to work with pathogenic bacteria and to produce anti-bacterial cultures in order to strengthen the intestinal walls and to support our immune system. Today we are challenged on many fronts: lifestyle and diet, deficient intestinal flora, stress, toxic chemicals in our food/water/environment, consumption of alcohol, and frequent use of antibiotics all deplete our healthy supply of beneficial enzymes and bacteria. This allows disease to take hold beginning with yeast strains. Supplementing with friendly bacteria help keep harmful bacteria from multiplying in our intestines .
Poor digestion will eventually cause one’s health to break down. Some examples of this breakdown are listed below:
- Auto-immune disorders
- Food and general allergies
- Chronic viral infections
- Genital infections
- Mental illness
- Clinical infections
Here are some reasons that fermented foods and drinks are superior:
Beneficial bacteria and yeast in fermented foods and drinks are live and active! Whether you purchase fermented foods and drinks or make them at home, you are getting active bacteria.
Fermentation pre-digests vital nutrients for you. Packed with B vitamins, minerals and enzymes, fermented foods and drinks are whole foods full of nutritional value in their own right. On top of that, the microflora increase the bio-availability of the nutrients in all the foods you eat by hundreds of times.
Fermentation does not use heat. Your fermented foods and drinks retain their vital amino acids that can be destroyed by heat.
You get a variety of live cultures supplied by nature in fermented foods and drinks. Lab produced probiotics are often a single strain of bacteria, like Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Supplements contain bacteria only while fermented foods and drinks also contain “food” for the microflora to help promote their growth. It’s like sending the good guys down into your digestive tract with a lunchbox of goodies to sustain them on their long and perilous journey down under. Once they reach their destination (and IF they reach their destination) the microflora in a supplement need up to 6 hours to colonize in your intestines. The microflora in fermented foods and liquids are so hardy they start working at once.
Fermented foods and drinks are acid-resistant and are viable in your system from the time they touch your lips all the way down into your gut. Body Ecology is on the cutting edge of using probiotics to impact your health, and because we believe in the healing value of beneficial bacteria and yeast, we have created several different ways for you to get daily doses of high quality, potent microflora in your diet.
BioLive has been developed as a small ecosystem or culture. These different strains of beneficial bacteria and yeasts co-exist symbiotically. They have been designed to survive stomach acid and can therefore support healthy microorganisms in the gut to flourish – thereby strengthening the immune system.
Fermentation is a process that increases the bioavailability of food to the body. This provides optimum dietary benefit from the carefully chosen cocktail of herbs, super juices and minerals in each bottle of BioLive.