Well I don’t want to jinx it but the sun finally came out and spring is here. So with all the spring cleaning that goes on maybe it’s time you gave your gut a spring clean too. Your gut health is vital for much more than just your digestion. Unhealthy gut bacteria has been shown most obviously to cause bloating and flatulence but also allergies, headaches, muscle and joint aches, chronic inflammation, brain fog, weight gain and even has links with heart disease, diabetes and Althziemers.
So I think it is fairly obvious that our Gut Bacteria is vital for our health along with being a missing link for those people struggling with weight loss.
So many things in our daily lives can upset our gut bacteria from pain killers, anti-biotics and other medication, from eating the same foods over and over (I am guilty of this) and the more obvious eating processed foods sugar and also stress. The good news is that it is completely treatable. An imbalance of gut bacteria is called Gut Dysbosis. In order to restore the balance we need to take in strains of bacteria. There are many different kinds of healthy gut bacteria and if you are having a specific chronic problem then it is best to get your gut bacteria tested in order to know exactly which bacteria are missing or in abundance.
We take in bacteria by probiotics which are live strains of bacteria known to have a positive influence on our bacteria balance. We can also take prebiotics which are indigestible carbohydrates (fibre that reach the colon intact and selectively increase the known good bacteria as well as having an influence on our brain function (they are said to encourage brain expansion i.e. function making you cleverer n that). There is a HUGE link between our gut function and our brain.
So, what do we do if we want to rebalance our bacteria? Well there are various pre and probiotics on the market but please don’t be fooled by the supermarket yoghurt drinks they are overly pasteurised (which kills bacteria) and usually have added sugars –which encourages bad bacteria………………………………
I have recently taken a course of probiotics in the form of Kefir. Kefir grains are erm magical grains full of gut bacteria and this amazing lady Shann makes it from goats’ milk –so you get added goat bonus points. Her story is also incredibly inspirational –short version cured her husband’s MRSA with Kefir after the medical profession gave up hope!
Available in tablet form //www.wildnutrition.com/all-products/multi-strain-biotic#
http://www.nutri-linkltd.co.uk/shop/category/probiotics.html – These are individual group strains so should be taken as a cycle one at a time.
And the prebiotics. These are mainly food based.
- Jerusalem artichoke, and chicory root
- Dandelion greens
- Allium vegetables such as garlic, onion, leeks, chives, and scallions are great choices.
- Whole-grain and sprouted-grain breads
- Wheat germ, whole wheat berries
- Cooked then cooled potatoes (so stealing that left over roasty later is totally good for you!)
- Apple cider vinegar (organic)
Also, both pro and prebiotic are fermented foods like Sauerkraut, Kimchi and Miso.
It should also be noted that too many prebiotic foods without a balance of probiotic can have an adverse effect on the gut so don’t start a prebiotic only diet.
As mentioned above our gut bacteria can be unbalanced by stress so it is also really important to find ways to manage this, whether that be with mindfulness, meditation, yoga, walking whatever destresses you and makes you Zen.
So for the sake of your gut go eat some kimchi and chill out.