The father of medicine, Hippocrates, said it best with, "All disease begins in the gut." Amen brotha! Over the last few years, there has been more and more focus on improving gut health because more and more diseases are being connected to our guts! I am stoked about this (not the disease part, but the focus change) because I firmly believe a healthy gut = an overall healthy body.
The gut is our bodies engine, and the gut microbiome, or all of the trillions of bacteria in our digestive tract, is really responsible for keeping us healthy. If you scrapped up all of the bacteria in your gut, it would weigh around 3-4lbs - so even though they are small, there are TONS and TOOOONS of them! We acquire most of the first microbes at birth, while passing through the vaginal canal, and from there, our diet, environment, and lifestyle determine the health of our microbiome, and how much good bacteria we have. The more good bacteria in the microbiome, the healthier we'll be!
How to Improve Our Gut Health
We want to populate our microbiome's with healthy bacteria to protect our bodies and avoid the bad bacteria from over-populating our system. Some ways to do that are:
- Be smart about taking antibiotics. Of course, it is sometimes necessary to take them, but be mindful that they destroy all bacteria in the body, and really hit the gut hard. I'm not saying they don't have a place, they absolutely do, but I believe they are definitely abused and overused nowadays.
- Limit your intake of added and processed sugar. Bad bacteria thrive off this stuff!
- Add more prebiotics into your diet:
- Prebiotics are the MOST important thing because they feed the probiotics (the GOOD bacteria). If probiotics don't have what they need to survive, they're not going to last at all.
- High prebiotic foods: green, leafy vegetables, eggplant, artichoke, garlic, oats, fermented foods (sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar (see the drink I have every morning here))
- Take a probiotic
- From coaching clients over the years, I saw a lot of issues associated with poor gut health and the side-effects it can have (obesity, heart disease, allergies, certain types of cancer, to name a few). I always recommended probiotics to my clients, and I, myself, take one every day too (and did throughout my pregnancy).
There are many probiotics out there, and they are NOT all created equal. Not even close. There are only certain strains that can survive the stomach acid and make it to the large intestines, and Silver Fern's probiotics pass that test, which is why I'm a fan of this company's products! They have a few different products containing probiotics (and some have prebiotics too!). I have been vibin' on the wai drink mix and & pre & probiotic dark chocolate almonds (oh my gosh, you guuuuys!!). I was even kind enough to share with Jordan #goodwife, and he totally loves them too! A perfect way to sneak some pro & prebiotics into his body, if you will.
It's so important to protect our bodies and do everything we can to keep them healthy, and that starts with the gut!