Bugs. You’re filled with them. Yep, that’s right, you have more bacterial cells in and on your body than human cells… ten times more in fact! (bacterial cells are simple and much smaller than complex human cells, just in case your brain hurt when you read that). Though this may all gross you out, the reality is that we NEED these bugs. Bacteria have gotten a bad rap over the years, which has led to a fearful over-sanitized bunch of humans and a whole host of health consequences.
A healthy microbiome (the name for the microorganisms in a given environment, i.e.: the human body) is critical in supporting a strong immune system and digestive tract and may even help achieve weight loss and protect against developing allergies. In fact, the gut is frequently referred to as our ‘second brain’ due to the fact that it has as many neurons connected to it as the spinal cord!
This post will help answer some key questions related to gut health including:
- What is the best way to feed your gut?
- What is the difference between a prebiotic and a probiotic?
- What should I look for in a probiotic?
- What foods should I eat to feed the healthy bacteria in my gut?
- What else can I do to improve my gut health?
What is the best way to feed your gut?
There are two main ways of promoting a healthier gut when it comes to our ‘intake’: ingesting prebiotics (the food for the good bacteria) and/or probiotics (the good bacteria themselves). Let’s start with prebiotics.
Because our microbiota can alter quickly in response to a change in our diet or environment, it’s important that we treat this as a life-long way of living and eating versus a fad (temporary) diet. In order for us to benefit from the improved gut health that comes with eating better foods for our microbiome, we need to make better choices consistently (i.e.: every day).
Our gut bacteria need to be fed, and their favourite food is carbohydrates (yes, the ‘evil’ carb, but read on!). What happens if they don’t get these carbs? Either they die OR they turn to your gut lining (responsible for protecting your gut) to get the food. Crazy but true!
Now, before you go reaching for a cinnamon bun, we need to talk about what types of carbohydrates these bugs really need. View The Post