This weeks’s topic is immunity and probiotics. Did you know 70% of your immunity is in your “gut”. Simply this means keep your gut healthy and your immunity will be stronger. We are learning more and more about the significance of the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. It is even considered to be the second brain. The balance of the good to bad bacteria is key. Here is what you need to know.
Fun fact: Your first dose of good bacteria occurs as we move through our mother’s birth canal. Caesarean birth babies do not receive this initial dose of healthy flora. The next important dose comes from the colostrum “first milk” of nursing mothers. The babies who do not receive one or the other will be at a disadvantage when creating their microflora.
What are probiotics? They are live “good” bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system.
What is a microbiome? In this case we are referring to the microorganisms in your entire intestinal tract.
What harms the good bacteria (and the bad bacteria)
1. Antibiotics kills both good and bad bacteria in your gut and throughout your body.
2. Medication, some mouthwashes, aspirin, antacids, tylenol, painkillers, laxatives
3. Excessively strong cleansers including antibacterial soaps.
4. chlorinated drinking water (if you haven’t done so yet reread my newsletter on hydration).
5. pesticide and herbicide use.
6. surgeries, colonoscopies and chemotherapy/radiation use.
7. Exposure to pollutants such as heavy metals, including amalgam dental fillings.
and unfortunately many more.
What we can do to protect our precious microbiome.
1. Eat more traditional fermented foods which are probiotic. Such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, yoghurt with active cultures, tempeh, miso, korean kimchi. etc (Quality here is key a lot of the products you’ll find will be highly processed – even better if you can make yourself)
2. Probiotic supplements (Yes, you need these especially if you are taking antibiotics). These are not a one size fits all product so seek guidance when choosing. You can ask me or ask at your local health food store. They usually are very well educated on their products.
3. Including prebiotic food in your diet to feed these guys. Prebiotic food includes, raw or cooked onions, raw jerusalem artichoke (also amazing for the liver), raw garlic, bananas, cabbage, legumes, apples, raw asparagus, raw or cooked jicama etc.
4. Limiting doing anything on the list “What harms the good bacteria” list.
Signs that you have too much bad bacteria in your gut
2. Excess intestinal gas
3. chronic darrhea
chronic bad breath
4. food sensitivities
5. chronic infections (vaginal & bladder)
6. menstrual complaints
7. severe bruising
and unfortunately many more.
As I said earlier, we are learning more and more about the importance of a healthy microbiome everyday. I think it is very important to empower people to manage their own health. We are not perfect but if we can progress a little every day, week, month and year our health will improve with it. 🙂