Our gut love bacteria… seriously. In fact, our gut obsesses over bacteria so much that we host over 100 trillion microorganisms. However, bacteria doesn’t always return the GI love. When our GI tract loses its bacterial balance, chaos ensues. Our hormones go haywire, our stomachs grumble, and our bodies break down. Luckily, we’ll correct these imbalances with just a few simple steps.
Researchers continue to work on the question of the extent of the degree to which bacteria affect our body functions. However, they’ve established a few facts about our gut health. For example, gut flora protects our bodies from infections and regulates our metabolism. When this bacterial equilibrium gets off balance, our numerous GI neurons are thrown off. This imbalance results in increased risk for illness or infection.
In fact, some studies have indicated that a GI imbalance leads to autoimmune disease. The constant influx of highly processed foods and harsh antibiotics take a toll on our intestines. According to some research theories, over time our gut lining becomes easier for bacteria and food to pass into the bloodstream. According to this theory, our immune system responds to these “foreign proteins” and attacks them. These attacks supposedly lead to autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes.
This permeable GI lining, or “leaky gut,” has gotten lots of attention lately. Another theory states that an unbalanced diet including alcohol, antibiotics, or allergens like gluten will result in this leaky gut. The passage of GI flora through this permeable area, according to this theory, moves bacteria to the bloodstream. As a result, inflammation occurs, as well as a cortisol release.
Cortisol, also known as our “stress hormone” is a natural hormone produced in our bodies. However, our bodies must maintain a delicate cortisol balance. Too much cortisol causes rash and acne flare-ups, insomnia, weight gain, and increased risk of illness. Once our bodies react in this way, it’s time to take action and correct our mistakes for the love of our gut.
Stop reaching for that bag of potato chips! Resist pouring that second glass of wine! The first and most important step towards gut redemption is the removal of GI irritants. Some examples include caffeine, alcohol, processed food, fried food, and (for those who are sensitive) dairy and gluten. Do not forget to include refined carbohydrates under your “forbidden” list! Grab a trash bag and clear out your kitchen cabinets to remove any possible temptation. Your digestive tract will thank you later, as well as your waistline.
According to some theories, removing these toxic wastes will affect more than just your digestive system. Research indicates that the immune response against foreign food and bacteria also affects your skeletal system, liver, pancreas, and brain. That’s why it’s so important to cut out all the harmful foods from your system as soon as possible!
Time to soothe that swollen stressed out gut. Take a trip to your local grocery store or farmer’s market and stock up on fresh vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. You want to maximize your fiber intake, as this facilitates a healthy gut environment. Avoid the middle aisles that typically house processed cereals and frozen fruits. You could also pick up a multivitamin, or omega-3 supplement to boost your repair.
Probiotics are crucial to restoring your gut health. These beneficial microorganisms, also known as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis, will kick your immune system into shape. You will also regulate your digestive system.
How do you maximize your probiotic intake? If you need some inspiration, here’s a top ten probiotic supplement to help get you started. In addition, eating yogurt with your supplements will maximize your lactobacillus numbers!
These fighter microorganisms maintain the balance in our bodies against more harmful bacteria like salmonella. Keeping this equilibrium is crucial for your long-term health!
The final key to gut health is replacing the system with digestive enzymes, biles, and hydrochloric acids.
Achieving this last step is simple. Grab a digestive enzyme supplement with your probiotics, and begin using organic salt. You’ll quickly see a change in your body responses as well as your energy levels!
Once you’ve established your baseline equilibrium, work hard to maintain this balance! When you eat at restaurants, look for entries with the least amount of additives or dressings, and ask for a gluten-free option whenever possible. Ultimately, it’s easier to cook gut-healthy foods at home, so try your best to limit too many meals out on the town. A little effort and improvements will make a great difference in your long-term digestive health!