It was fascinating to delve deep into the new amazing scientific discoveries about the trillions of tiny bacteria that live within us. The main focus of the conference was shedding the light on how our health and wellbeing are tightly dependent on the health and wellbeing of those tiny fellow travellers that we carry along with us.
Why do we need them?
As we are still in November, Crohn’s and colitis awareness month, talking about our friendly gut flora is very important. A healthy gut flora is essential to lower inflammation, not only in the gut but also all over the body. It helps regulate the response of the immune system and heal the lining of the intestine.
Our friendly gut flora help us produce vitamins like vitamin K and folate (B9), they regulate body fat storage, gut mobility, epithelial (gut lining) repair, absorption of essential minerals like magnesium and calcium, production of short chain fatty acids, controlling blood sugar levels and boosting immunity.
They play major role in preventing and/or lowering the risk of obesity, metabolic disease, depression, high cholesterol, asthma, allergies, autoimmune disease, IBS, and colon cancer.
In short, we need them to not only survive, but to also thrive.
How to support your gut flora?
Everyday choice you make in food and lifestyle could boost or compromise the health of those friendly organism and thus boost or compromise your health.
Your tiny friends need food… your choice of fresh vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats help them grow over their harmful competitors who feed on sugars and refined carbs.
Synthetic chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides and GMO kill not only the bad guys but also the good ones.
To make sure you keep a healthy gut flora you need:
- Probiotics: these are the healthy guys themselves.
- Prebiotics: these are the foods that our tiny friends need to survive.
- Fermented vegetables
- Sour cream
Top 10 Prebiotic-containing foods:
- Chicory root
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Dandelion leaves & root
- Banana (the greener the better-unfortunately)
- Whole grains