Tips to Promote Health Through Your Gut: It is becoming widely known that your gut makes up what is known as your second brain. It controls the functions of such things as nutrition absorption and can impact the overall health of your entire body. As such, it is one of the most important organ systems in your body. To keep it in peak health, you must feed it what it needs.
Probiotics: Probiotics are comprised of live microorganisms (yeasts and bacteria) that help support a healthy digestive system. Probiotics are used for two main reasons. First, probiotics help maintain the balance of so-called good and bad bacteria in your gut, a balance that supports overall health. Second, they help replace the good bacteria that has been lost due to such things as a poor diet or following the use of antibiotics.
Although there are a variety of probiotics, some of the more common ones you may have heard of are lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, and Saccharomyces boulardii. These probiotics have been touted for helping improve a variety of health issues.
- Urinary Health
- Oral Health
- Cold and Allergy Prevention
- Alleviates Eczema
- Vaginal Health
Prebiotics: Prebiotics help in the maintenance of probiotics. Additionally, they help fungi and healthy bacteria proliferate in your gut.
Some Excellent Sources of Prebiotics Include the Following:
- Wheat Bran
- Chicory Root
Fiber: Most people do not consume the recommended dietary fiber intake of approximately 38 grams for males and 25 grams for females. Because fiber contributes to overall good health, this recommendation is for the population as a whole.
Keeping your gut healthy with fiber improves your overall health by improving cholesterol levels. Keeping your gut healthy with fiber also is linked to improvements in triglycerides and serum lipids. Additionally, studies have shown that viscous fibers, such as psyllium and guar gum, actively reduce the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol.
Grain Choice: Bread that is made from sprouted grain, otherwise known as live grains, are different from typical bread because they are not made from seeds, otherwise known as whole grains. A live grain is the result of the careful application of warmth and moisture, the combination of which helps the whole grain seed to sprout. As soon as the seeds begin to sprout, they are drained and ground up.
The enzymes released during the sprouting process helps to make this grain easier to digest and provide a lower glycemic index. Additionally, the increased digestibility of nutrients means they are immediately absorbed into your body, providing better nutrition compared to whole grains.
Finally, the low glycemic levels help to control blood sugar as well as facilitate weight loss. Also, the high antioxidant levels found in this grain can help protect against chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners and Sugar: Consuming artificial sweeteners and sugar may contribute to an imbalance of gut microbes, resulting in a disproportionate number of bad bacteria. For instance, research on animals has shown that the use of aspartame, an artificial sweetener, increased specific bacterial strains that have been linked to metabolic diseases which, in turn, may increase your chance of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Research has also suggested that individuals who use artificial sweeteners may experience negative effects regarding the ability to regulate blood glucose levels due to the impact the sweeteners have on gut bacteria.
Vegetarian Diet: A vegetarian diet includes a variety of prebiotic fiber, which, as noted previously, is a major contributor to gut and overall health. Notably, a study of individuals with obesity who followed a strict vegetarian diet for one month showed a decrease in levels of gut inflammation due to the alterations in their gut microbes. They all lost weight, too.
Water: Drinking water throughout the day helps to promote the proper balance of bacteria in your gut. Doing so also supports the mucosal lining of your small and large intestines. Alkaline water is reported to have colon-cleansing and detoxifying effects that help to maintain your intestinal health. Additionally, alkaline water is said to support the growth of bacteria that help the body to absorb nutrients.