The Importance of a Healthy Gut
Deep down in your gut, you have about 40 million tiny little chemists working hard around the clock to assist you with digesting what you eat and making the essential nutrients you need. They also protect you from a variety of diseases and even have a hand in the decision as to which portions of your DNA develop and which ones stay dormant. These talented little chemists are the bacteria, fungi, and other tiny single-celled organisms that are a larger part of you than you ever dreamed and it’s incredibly important to keep them all in balance.
We all have good bacteria and bad bacteria in our gut. Every time we eat, we feed them. The unfortunate thing is that today’s diet tends to consist of unhealthy fats and sugars that feed the bad bacteria and starve the good. It’s a good thing there are probiotic capsules we can take to help us maintain the balance we need. Beyond that, the best thing to feed the good bacteria is food that has a lot of fiber in it.
Good Gut Health
When it comes to a healthy gut, we know that things like antibiotics, glyphosate, a lack of fiber, and a few other toxins can harm the bacteria that your gut and brain health are dependent on. What can we do about it though? There are a few things that can be done to maintain a microbiome that’s healthy and to support those beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. One way is to try to eat more organic foods so that you don’t kill the good bacteria with chemicals.
Stay away from things like processed foods, unhealthy fats, and sugars so that you aren’t feeding the bad gut bacteria. In your gut is a plethora of health-promoting flora that protects the gut from those florae that are less than helpful. The bad ones are the ones responsible for things like chronic inflammation, bloating, discomfort, and gas.
Fermented foods are also great for a healthy gut. Fermentation assists with preserving foods while creating enzymes that are beneficial, along with a variety of probiotic strains and B vitamins. Natural fermentation preserves nutrients and breaks some types of foods down into forms that are more digestible. Kimchi is one of them. This is a traditional Korean food that’s made from salted cabbage that’s been fermented along with a variety of spices and vegetables and sometimes even anchovies or shrimp.
Some of the other fermented foods that are popular include things like kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut, and natto. Natto can be made by fermenting and boiling soybeans with a variety of bacteria. The yogurt can be made using almond, coconut, soy, or cow’s milk. Then there’s more, such as beet kvass, which is a drink made from fermented beets, vinegar, miso, and kefir.
Some fermented foods are typically used for condiments, while others are made into tasty toppings or snacks. Just keep in mind that if you’re trying to preserve those probiotic properties, you shouldn’t cook them.
What we call “gut instincts” can actually be a great source of discernment, clarity, and wisdom. Do you notice that your gut tightens up when you face danger, or go soft when you experience an epiphany? Whatever relationship you have with your gut, and regardless of the clarity of your conversations with it, here’s something to consider.
What if you didn’t consider your gut to be just yours? What if you also considered it to be the home of untold numbers of microbes that function solely to let you know when you get hungry or that tell you what foods are good for you? You might treat it better then.