Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Importance of Bugs

As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist the gut (intestines) and liver are areas that I most often first work on with a client. Today I just want to point out a few beneficial things for our gut and why it's so very important to keep our gut healthy.

According to Dr. Natasha McBride, "Our bodies are just a shell, a habitat for this mass of microbes which live inside us.  And we ignore these microbes at our peril because their effect on the rest of the body, on every aspect of health in the human body, is absolutely monumental".  Our guts are teeming with billions of beneficial bacteria and microbes that we NEED to be healthy.  These little critters are hard at work protecting us from enemy bacteria and other little critters that don't belong in our bodies. Our environment, antibiotics, chemicals, etc. can tip the scale and allow the bad microbes to multiply and create an abnormal gut flora.

What happens when we have an abnormal gut flora?

  • Food may not be digested and absorbed properly which can lead to nutritional deficiencies. 
  • A porous, leaky gut can allow food to trigger immune system responses (i.e. allergies and autoimmune diseases).
  • Allergic reactions such as asthma and eczema can take place.  
  • Since 85% of our immune system is located in our gut, we can get sick easier.
What you can do NOW:
  • Only take antibiotics when you absolutely NEED them (i.e. antibiotics do not work for viral infections like the flu or a cold).
  • Focus on healing your gut by supplementing with a good quality probiotic. Probiotics must be refrigerated in order to keep their potency.
  • Consume fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha teas, kefir, sauerkraut - these are all teeming with billions of probiotics!! These fermented foods are also predigested which means your body doesn't have to do a whole lot of work to absorb their great benefits.
  • Meditate/Deep breathing exercises to help with stress.
  • Avoid foods such as sugars and simple carbohydrates that unhealthy bacteria thrive on.
I also love this quote by Dr. McBride, "The health of the soil determines the health of the roots and the plant.  The health of the human gut determines the health of the person".  Our gut flora is our soil.  The body cannot be healthy if the gut is not healthy and the brain cannot be healthy if the gut is not healthy.  

The way that God designed human bodies is to be full of energy, healthy, and to be able to enjoy life to the fullest!