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November 23, 2020
Boost your bacteria
We used to think of microscopic bacteria myopically. There was only 'bad' bacteria. Scientists and doctors, of course, knew better and, over time, the idea of 'good and bad' bacteria has rightly taken hold.
Your gut is home to billions of bacteria. A healthy, flourishing gut environment has a much higher proportion of good bacteria happily doing their job in breaking down foods, processing nutrition and hydration and helping feed your organs.
We're always, however, going to be subject to 'bad' bacteria and it's also the job of your digestive system and gut to isolate these and send them out of your body as nature intended.
So how do we help our guts help us? By boosting the good bacteria through some (fairly easy) practices. The bacteria we want have their little peccadilloes, their particular preferences.
A few dont's before the do's
Artificial sweeteners, for example, are not welcome at the bacteria dinner table. That's because they may negatively affect blood sugar levels due to their effects on the gut microbiota.
Don't let plaque, waste and bad bacteria build-up in your gut. We can carry between 500g and 3 kilos of undiscarded waste in our system. This tampers down our guts' ability to absorb nutrients and hydration causing yet more build-up. Better to reduce the waste, slowly over time.
1. Fibre, fibre, fibre! While we're talking about built-up waste let's talk about getting rid of it. It's bin night in the gut household! Start by consuming more fibre-rich foods. Fibre can be digested by certain bacteria in your gut, including Bifidobacteria, which stimulates their growth. Beans, legumes and fruit are a good source of fibre.
2. Love Your Gut powder (highest food-grade diatomaceous earth) is renowned for its gentle gut cleansing. And for those of you with a leaky gut the best healing food is Fulvic Humic Concentrate. OK, plug is over.
3. Diversity. Our guts need a wide range of healthy, fresh food to support a diverse bunch of bacteria. Think whole foods. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of nutrients for a healthy microbiota. If you want to supercharge a fruit snack and add in a gut-friendly hit, why not add in some fibre-rich chia seeds? Wrap your fingers around something that’ll chia your digestion up with these Strawberry and Chia Roll Ups.
4. Be a gut pro with prebiotics. Research suggests that prebiotics may reduce the risk factors for many diseases linked to obesity, including heart disease and diabetes. Prebiotics are types of dietary fibre that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut.
Many fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain prebiotics. Which leads us to the next way to boost your bacteria.
5. Wholier than thou. Bacteria worship whole foods and whole grains. Foods that are 'whole' mean they are as natured intended.
No processing or added muck that you can't pronounce and bacteria can't recognise as food. Just fibre and nutrient-rich food, mostly vegetarian. Beans, legumes, fruit and vegetables are the stuff our microbiota just dines out on.
6. Polyphenols? Yum! Polyphenols are plant compounds with many health benefits, including reducing blood pressure, inflammation, cholesterol levels and oxidative stress. Not bad at all.
Best of all cocoa and dark chocolate and red wine are good sources. These vegan-friendly homemade Supercharged Snickers Bars are must try! Other good sources are broccoli, onions and blueberries.
Try these ways to boost your gut bacteria and you'll notice more energy, better digestion and a happier mood and gut!
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