Your whole immune system starts in your gut, if your gut is in good nick you stand a fighting chance of getting through this winter season unscathed.
We use our gut to describe a lot of the things we feel. You need to have guts to try something new. You can bust a gut laughing. Your gut tells you when something is right or wrong.
We are learning that there may be more reason to use the word than we knew. A new study finds that your gut may control your organs. What happens with your microbiome (flora) has an effect on your liver and benefits your kidneys, colon, digestive tract, blood plasma, metabolism and reproductive system.
More on the study in a minute, but first, let me explain what makes this possible.
Feeling the Flora Connection
Inside your digestive system there are millions of little workers that are very busy protecting you. They help to keep you from getting infections, and also help you digest your food and turn it into the nourishment your body needs.
There are many, many different types of friendly little workers in your gut, some which you may have heard of before.
L. acidophilus and B. bifidus seem to offer you many benefits. They can help rebuild your population of other types of friendly gut flora. When you have a healthier digestive system it will then work on the conversion of your food and hopefully produce your B vitamins, like niacin, folic acid, biotin, and B6. Without these much needed vitamins you wouldn’t be able to stay calm and relaxed, have strong bones, clear arteries and have a sharp memory, normal hormones, or energy to get through the day.
Researchers took mice that had no flora at all, and put them in an environment where they could build up normal levels. They planned to study them for 20 days. It only took 5 days for the mice to fill out to a normal size. Their livers started to properly turn sugars and starches into energy. The flora also strongly stimulated an enzyme needed to keep cholesterol levels normal.In fact, the flora had a positive effect on every organ and body system the researchers looked at.
These microorganisms might be some of the best defenders and allies we have against the lightning-fast changes forced on our bodies by the modern world. Scientists are even starting to use this type of flora to help plants biodegrade different kinds of pollution.
Antibiotics wipe out the entire flora in your gut so you lose the protection they give you. And it’s especially dangerous to overuse antibiotics. Overuse has created ‘superbugs’ that your flora can no longer protect you from.
An Ounce of Prevention is worth a Ton of Cure
It’s much easier to keep your flora healthy than to try to build it back up after our modern world and western style diet destroy it all. So here are four steps to help protect you and increase your flora, so you can have more energy, stay lean, and prevent infections:
1. EAT FOODS THAT PROMOTE HEALTHY FLORA (MICROBIOME)
Some of these foods will have what are called ‘prebiotics’ that promote flora. Others will have flora already in them.
Foods with prebiotics are onions, garlic, asparagus, artichokes and almonds. Foods with flora already in them include fresh coconut milk and yogurt. Be sure to check out the labels on yoghurts you might buy. They should say ‘live cultures’ so you know they contain the kind of flora that will benefit you. Also, sauerkraut and kimchi are made by using live flora.
2. DON’T KILL YOUR FLORA
Additives and chemicals will tend to kill off your beneficial flora.
3. DON’T FEED BAD BACTERIA
Sugar and starches are bad bacteria’s favourite meal. The more you feed them, the faster they’ll multiply in your body. That can lead to fungal infections, yeast overgrowths, and even disease. Not to mention gas and bloating.
4. TAKE PROBIOTICS
Probiotic supplements are available as liquids, powders, tablets, or capsules. The live microorganisms in probiotics slow the growth of bad bacteria and help maintain the right balance of good bacteria.
Choose a probiotic that has live, viable microorganisms, with a diverse mix of species, and it may be that you will need to spend a little more to get the best quality product available to you.
Kunara Organic Marketplace has a range of probiotics for everyone including baby specific and dairy free options. Come and speak with our practitioners for more information.
*This article is for information purposes only and should not be used as medical advice