“Just listen to your gut.”
“I have a gut feeling.”
“What does your gut say?”
How many times have we heard or used these sayings without thinking twice. Yet, all of the latest science points to the fact that our gut truly is our body’s control center.
The vast majority of our immune system lives in the gut AND our gut and brain connect. So, it’s no surprise these sayings have been used since the beginning of time.
Don’t believe me? Have you ever noticed the mile long porta-potty lines before the start of a marathon? Have you ever felt foggy or anxious after eating junk food? Have you ever ran to the bathroom a few extra times when you were stressed? HELLO #gutbrainconnection
When you think about it, it’s pretty remarkable that way back in 460 B.C., Greek physician, Hippocretes said, “All disease begins in the gut." Today, we know this theory still stands true.
So if we know that disease begins in the gut, what can we do to keep the bacteria in our gut happy, diverse and thriving in an attempt to steer clear of disease?
Here are my top 3 tips:
Rotate Your Food. While I know it seems so simple to eat the exact same foods each day, it is one of the worst habits to get into when it comes to improving gut health. Why? Well, there are tens of trillions of bacteria in the human gut. This is known as our microbiome. Our microbiome consists of “good” bacteria, “bad” bacteria and other living organisms. The more diverse and well balanced these bacteria are, the greater our immune health.
One of the most effective ways to diversify those bugs is to eat a variety of bright colored fruits, veggies and fermented foods (see below). These are the very best foods when it comes to fuel for our gut bacteria. Our bacteria can actually thrive and multiply when feasting on this “premium fuel.” Which brings me to my next point…
Choose Fermented Foods Daily. We all grew up hearing the importance of fruits and veggies but I don’t ever recall hearing about fermented foods in my grade school nutrition class. Believe it or not, fermented foods are one of the absolute best sources of nutrition for the bacteria that live in our gut. These foods are so important to human health, that I coined a new saying...a serving of fermented foods each day keeps the dietitian away!
Fermented foods to try today: Kombucha (fermented tea), kimchi, and sauerkraut!
Eat More Fiber. Sugary cereal today and a pastry tomorrow is not going to cut it when it comes to rotation. Instead, focus on rotating high fiber foods if you really want your gut bugs to have something worthwhile to feast upon.
Eating real food, that is rich in fiber not only feeds our gut microbes so that they grow in number but it also helps them to grow in kind. The more “good” and diverse the microbes in our intestines the stronger the mucosal lining in our gut. The stronger the lining, the safer our good bugs will be because the outside world will have a harder time passing that barrier (think junk food particles, toxins from the outside world etc.) Not to mention, digestion is a smoother process when all systems are in order. This is precisely how we fight disease and aging on the most basic level.
Great high fiber foods to incorporate include nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes!
Sources: https://www.instagram.com/p/BguGo9QncNV/?taken-by=subliming.jpg https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991899/ https://www.cell.com/cell-host-microbe/fulltext/S1931-3128(17)30497-3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31581570