Gut health is a hot topic these days. Research is telling us that our food might be making us sick. Indeed our food might be contributing to heart disease, cancer, asthma, allergies, arthritis, depression and diabetes – the list goes on. Can we prevent disease by simply changing our diet? We all know we should be making healthy food choices but research now confirms that if we eat good food we get good bacteria, eat badly and we get bad bacteria in our gut. As it turns out your gut bugs have an enormous influence on your health.
Living on us and in us, is an enormous amount of bacteria. Together this bacteria weighs about 1.5 kilograms (as much as our brain) and lives mostly in our gut. Bacteria are critical to our health in that they control a lot of our immune system (about 70% located in the gut). Our gut flora impacts our metabolism, nutrient and digestion absorption, as well as hormonal regulation and disease prevention. Not having enough of the healthy bacteria has been linked to disease and mental health issues.
How can we improve our gut health?
Eating wholefoods and staying away from processed, chemical-laden foods may increase intestinal health and thus your immune system. Taking a good quality Probiotic is a great way to boost healthy gut flora. Probiotics are live microorganisms (good bacteria) that live in the gut. They aid digestion and assist with nutrient absorption into our bloodstream. Good sources of probiotics are fermented foods such as tempeh, kombucha, miso, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and yoghurt.
If you are considering a supplement, choose one that contains prebiotics as well as probiotics. Prebiotics are nondigestible nutrients that stimulate the growth and/or activity of good bacteria in the digestive system. Prebiotics are typically dietary fibers. They feed the good bacteria helping to promote balanced gut flora and healthy bowel function. When our good bacteria eat prebiotic fibre, they produce beneficial short chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, which inhibits the growth of disease-causing pathogens and maintains the health of our intestinal lining. Butyrate acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory for the colonic cells, and functions to improve the integrity of our gut by decreasing intestinal permeability thus preventing toxins seeping into the bloodstream. Natural sources of prebiotics include green leafy vegetables, citrus, chia, sweet potato, beetroot, carrot, leeks, cabbage and kiwi fruit.
I recommend GI-Pro Balance for its convenience and quality. It comes in a single serve sachet and can be taken with or without food or beverage any time of day. It doesn’t need refrigeration and that combined with sachet packaging is ideal for travel. The powder form also allows for a greater serving size, which means the product can deliver more probiotics and prebiotics in each serving. GI-ProBalance slimsticks contain 15 billion colony forming units (CFU) at the time of manufacture and 1.5 billion at the date of expiration.
Teresa Cutter – What’s the difference between Prebiotics and Probiotics? http://bit.ly/2q1M3qb
ABC Catalyst – Gut Reaction Pt 1 http://ab.co/2q1EuQh