If your gut isn’t healthy, you will not be healthy. The first rule in gut health is to take care of your “good” bacteria, or as my daughter Chloe likes to call them, the pets in her tummy. Taking care of your gut bugs requires providing them with a solid house and healthy food.
When you damage your intestinal lining, you damage the home your bugs live in, causing “intestinal permeability,”. You also damage your overall health in many ways. Intestinal permeability is also known as “leaky gut syndrome.” When the lining of the bowel wall is harmed, substances that should stay in the bowels can pass through them. Permeability allows undigested food, bacteria, and waste products to “leak” out of the intestines, which can cause infections, allergies and other digestive problems. This gives a whole new meaning to “letting it all hang out.”
You have over 100 trillion “bugs” in your gut, some good and some bad. The goal is to have the good bugs outweigh the bad bugs from about 9 to 1. As long as the bad bacteria remains at or below 15%, the body is able to stay healthy. The good bugs are critical to gut health, brain health, a strong immune system, and protecting you from numerous diseases. I urge you to watch the video below to see how Chloe learned to take care of the pets in her tummy.
It is true that the gut communicates directly with your brain. Eighty to ninety percent of the serotonin in your body is made in your gut. Vitamin formation and mineral absorption also occurs in the gut. The gut is responsible for about seventy percent of your immunity.
A few of the negative health effects of “Leaky Gut Syndrome” are depression, anxiety, pain, obesity, impaired immunity and an array of autoimmune disorders.
As a Brain Warrior, the first step to having a healthy gut is to stop doing things that cause harm to it. The causes of leaky gut include long-term antibiotic therapy, NSAID therapy, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel, Celiac disease, small bowel overgrowth, parasitic infections, food allergies, foods that damage the gut, alcohol, nutritional deficiencies, stress, lack of sleep and excessive strenuous exercise. If you take chronic medication or suffer from one of the above listed disorders, it’s important you consult your physician or qualified medical doctor before beginning any diet, nutrition, or supplementation regimen.
Additionally, you need to heal your gut with immunity-enhancing foods and supplements to help increase the level of all “good bacteria” in the gut. The “good bugs” help tighten the intestinal “junctions” through which leaking can occur. Probiotics are a great way to provide good bacteria. As “good bacteria” begins to repopulate and adhere to the intestinal lining, they compete with the “bad bacteria” (pathogens) for nutrition. The good guys take over more real estate in your intestines, starving the bad guys. In other words, you’re building an army that is colonizing your gut, fighting the war for your health and kicking out the bad guys.
Eliminate Foods That Damage Your Gut
New Brain Warrior’s often find it hard to wrap their heads around eliminating from their diet − gluten, corn, sugar and other foods that damage the gut. But when you understand what you are eating and how it directly affects your health, you begin to understand how food plays a central role in your life, health, energy, and happiness.
Gluten, Latin for “glue,” is a sticky protein found in wheat, barley, rye and many other grains. It has been proven to damage the intestinal lining.
Lectins is the Latin for, “to select.” These carbohydrate-binding proteins can be found in many grains including wheat, rice, oats, buckwheat, millet, rye and corn. Quinoa, dairy, eggs, legumes (including dry beans and peanuts), soy, and vegetables in the nightshade family—peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes also contain lectins. The proper cooking of some foods such as tomatoes, some legumes and grains, and eggs helps to destroy lectin concentration.
Corn has the worst fatty acid profile of any grain. It can have a similar effect on intestinal health as gluten for many people. Be aware that most corn in our country is genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides.
Alcohol is what us nurses use in the hospital to kill bacteria. So when you consume alcohol, that’s exactly what it’s doing in your gut, killing the good bacteria.
Sugar is the perfect food to grow the enemy’s army: resistant bacteria, yeast and other invaders. Antibiotics and other medications can wipe out most of the bacteria in your gut. The “resistant” bacteria that remain are often the “bad guys.”
We don’t expect you to eliminate all grains forever. We know you will occasionally consume sugar and other foods that aren’t great for your gut. But we encourage you to eliminate them for two weeks initially to see how you feel. Most people feel so much better that they don’t want to go back to eating thing that make them feel sick. Some foods you will add back into your diet in smaller amounts, much like a condiment. I want you to think of sugar like a “recreational drug.”
Add Foods That Heal Your Gut
Foods that contain active, live probiotic cultures such as unsweetened goats milk yogurt or coconut milk yogurt. Unsweetened Kombucha and Kefir can be great but beware of commercial brands with sugar and chemicals. Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi are also a great source of probiotics for repopulating your intestines with good bugs.
Probiotics – the “Special Forces” for winning the war for your gut
The word “probiotic” comes from the Latin: Pro means “support” and biotic means “life.”
Probiotics are one of the best ways to repopulate your gut with good bugs. Many of the people we’ve worked with believe probiotics changed their lives by supporting healthier digestion, regular bowel function, increasing energy and enhancing mood.
Four important things you should know about probiotics before you consider adding them to your supplement routine.
- Microorganisms commonly found in probiotic supplements include various strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. There are many strains, but a combination of these strains are believed by many professionals to give the most overall benefit for effort.
- When you start taking probiotic supplements, you may experience a week or so of bloating, gas, or diarrhea as your body to adjusts to the massive influx of beneficial microorganisms as they colonize in your gut. In most cases, symptoms are temporary and are a visible sign that the beneficial microorganisms are shifting your gut flora into a more balanced state.
- Probiotics can be taken with antibiotics, but in order to ensure optimal effectiveness for both we want you to take them several hours apart.
- Probiotic dosages are listed as colony forming units (CFU). To decide how many CFUs you should take, consult the package directions. The bacterial strain, quality and type of packaging is often more important than the number on the bottle. Shelf stable brands tend to be more stable and have lower CFU’s. This doesn’t mean they they are less effective. In fact, the opposite is often true.
Gut health is one of the most unappreciated systems in the body. It has the foundation to ensure you a more healthy body and mind. If you take care of the “good” bacteria it can change your life. Because it has a profound impact on our well-being, body function, brain health, and even our physique, maybe next time you should listen to your gut!