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Food Health

GUT HEALTH – GOOD & BAD BACTERIA

In recent years scientists have started to learn much more about the gut and how important the state of the gut is for our overall health. Today I want to share what you can do to get a healthier gut, as well as an overall healthier body.

“All disease begins in the gut” – Hippocrates

In the gut we have our ‘micro biome’. Microbiome refers to our collection of microbes and their genes. Your micro biome consists of an environment of bacteria. Bacteria are not just bad, more than 95% of the world’s bacteria are harmless to humans, many are actually extremely beneficial. But in order to have a healthy micro biome, we need an overweight of the ‘good bacteria’, otherwise you can get bacteria overgrowth (‘bad bacteria’) which can affect your micro biome, gut, digestive system and your entire body – including your skin. 2/3 of the immune system is located in the gut, and 99% of bacteria are found in the gut.


Change your micro biome by changing the food you eat

The good news is, that you can change your micro biome by changing the food you eat. With everything you put into your body, you have a change of feeding either the good or the bad bacteria. The good bacteria needs greens, vegetables, fibers to survive, whereas the bad bacteria needs processed foods and sugar.

But, food is not the only thing affecting our gut health. Also things such as getting enough sleep, exercising, relaxing is beneficial for our good bacteria. Whereas stress, lack of sleep and exercise, too harsh cleaning products and pesticides kills the good bacteria.


“Almost nothing influences our gut bacteria as much as the food we eat”
– Gut – Giulia Enders


How to get a healthier micro biome?

  • Eat a diet high in fiber, this is good for your digestion (fruits, vegetables, especially green ones like kale, cabbage, broccoli, quinoa, oats)
  • Avoid a too sterile environment, too harsh cleaning products
  • Relax. Stress allows for more bad bacteria to survive in the gut
  • Go for organic food, avoid pesticides
  • Eat probiotic foods regularly (sauerkraut, kombucha, miso soup, kimchi), you can also take a probiotic supplement to get more good bacteria to your gut
  • Eat prebiotics even more often (artichoke, asparagus, bananas, garlic, onion, parsnips, wholegrain, rye, oats, leeks)
  • Eat healthy fats; avocados, nuts, seeds
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get a good amount of sleep each night
  • *Extra Tips for mothers
  • If possible, giving a vaginal birth is the best. This way the child gets a protective layer of bacteria which gives it a healthy gut from the beginning of life
  • Another good idea for moms is to breastfeed for a long time, this gives lots of good bacteria to your newborn

Sources:

– Brain Maker – David Perlmutter
– The Beauty of Dirty Skin – Whitney Bowe
– Gut – Giulia Enders