Improving Your Gut Part 2
We have been learning how to improve the gut by eating high fibrous foods and cutting back on the sugar. As mentioned previously, we must recall that sugar feeds the bad bacteria in the gut inviting diseases. High fiber foods feed the good bacteria in the gut and builds the mucosal lining which is the barrier in the gut. With a strong mucosal lining, we prevent leaky gut and severe imbalances in the intestinal bacteria. Part 1 of this article gives examples of fibrous foods.
After reducing or removing good gut bacteria destroyers, we can focus on fermented foods and probiotic's. If you have eaten at my house, you would have noticed the green salad we make every night and it is always topped with my homemade sauerkraut. My husband and I added medicinal foods into our diets in a fermentation probiotic form. We could buy organic sauerkraut in a few different places in grocery stores like Whole Foods or Sprouts and sometimes we do. However once my functional medicine doctor taught us how to make it, we rarely buy it. It is less costly to make it ourselves plus we like being in control of the ingredients and it is fun making our own ferments. If we know how to make it, we can teach others too like my doctor did. Another fermented food we learnt to make is non dairy coconut yogurt. We paid $32.00 per quart for this before. Once again my doctor taught us how to make it ourselves with young fresh organic coconuts. It was far better in taste and freshness and cost about $6.00 per quart! So there is two ways to get some fermented probiotic foods. You can also take a probiotic supplement. These probiotics in foods and supplements actually accelerate the growth of healthy bacteria. They promote flourishing and diverse microbiome. I would stick with the foods, because their diversity of bacteria is far greater than what most probiotic supplements can give you. Some other examples of food and drink are kombutcha (again we make our own), fermented veggies, coconut water kefir, kimchi, grass-fed milk kefir and so fourth. I enjoy these foods greatly and did not have any issue with adding them into my diet nearly three years ago. Funny thing, Grandma and my Dad(yogurt) were making some of this stuff when I was growing up, sauerkraut and yogurt. Anytime you switch up your diet, it is always wise to check with your doctor and make changes slowly. Probiotics aid in digestion, they improve our bowel movements, they reach the gut alive, we can ingest them in food ,they produce beneficial bacteria, and they prevent destroying bacteria from multiplying. Hmmm, seems like a worthwhile cause to me and that's why we choose these to support our gut indeed. For those who have serious health issues going on, they may not be able to tolerate fermented foods just yet, and that is when a good broad spectrum probiotic should be recommended.
Another way to improve your gut is intermittent fasting! This gives the gut time to heal and boost immunity. During your down time of omitting food, you can consume apple cider vinegar, lemon water or bone broth. These drinks will further heal the gut while fasting. Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting are reducing inflammation, improving hormone sensitivity, increases growth hormone(cross fitters, did you read this just now?), fat burning and again, healing the gut. If you are not getting rid of the bad bacteria, you are loosing your odds of fighting off nasty pathogens. You are opening the door for viruses, opportunistic bacteria and parasites to move in. Consider improving your gut if you are sick all the time.
Some of the last things I want to mention but are just important are stress, and surrounding yourself with good bacteria's. Being chronically stressed all the time is horrid and likely harming your gut microbiome. Take the time each day to meditate, pray, and express gratitude. May I suggest a journal? Load your house up with natural air purifying plants to help detox the air in your home. Some examples of these types of plants are Snake Plant, Peace Lily and Boston Fern. Open your windows and let the air circulate if you have good air quality. Get rid of the chemicals in your home and clean with natural ingredients like apple cider vinegar, lemon and baking soda. Make your own essential oil cleaning products to reduce the chemical issue. Get dirty! Get outside and play. Animals, plants and dirt all harbor their own biome. By coming into contact with these, we actually acquire unique and diverse bacteria that improves our own microbiome. I know I have given a lot of information out in regards to the gut, but it is really simple info and take it slow to fully absorb and give your body time to adjust. If you are already doing these things, share with others!
Lastly I just want to ask for extra prayers for the wildfires in California. Many of the fires are still only small percentages contained. It has been a tough year already for natural disasters. I have a great recipe I tested this week to release next week so stay tuned and GOOD LUCK Cross Fitters at the games this week. I cant wait to watch some of my master friends compete.
Love and Peace,