o Gut Flora is the collective name for the vast community of bacteria that live in your gut – your microbiome
o It is also the name of this blog (handy coincidence)
Gut Health – The Bottom Line
It has now been acknowledged that the power of our gut microbiome extends far beyond our digestive system. The state of our microbiome has been shown to have an impact on our weight, our immunity, our brain and our emotional state.
What’s great is that…
The community of bacteria living in your gut are completely unique to every person but you can change this bacterial fingerprint through your diet
Why is Gut Flora so important?
o Your gut microbiota can be affected by: genes, environment, antibiotics, stress and diet
o You have complete control over your diet, if nothing else
o If you’re able to change the ecology of your intestines, then you may be able to improve, alleviate or even reverse health problems such as: fatigue and low energy – depression - chronic inflammation - skin problems – and lots more.
Research now indicates that over 200 health concerns can be linked back to imbalances and inflammation within the gut.
So what next?
1) Prebiotics & Probiotics
There is some confusion around the prebiotic/probiotic distinction.
Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut that you want to encourage to multiply. Prebiotics are their food. So taking a pot of probiotic pills isn’t going to get you very far because probiotics need food to survive – they’re alive, and they need to stay so.
o If you want to boost your gut back to health after a course of antibiotics (which will strip your gut indiscriminately of most bacteria, good or bad – and of course the bad multiply much faster than the good, since they feed on sugar) then you need to include foods high in prebiotics as well as probiotics.
o Easy sources to work into your diet include garlic and onion (raw only, bad luck), artichoke, leek, asparagus and pomegranate. There are loads more. Certain fermented foods can also carry huge benefits – more coming on this.
o Roughly 1 in 3 people don’t eat any wholegrains whatsoever (oops).
o A wholegrain will contain the bran and the germ of the grain giving you more fibre and nutrients than just the starchy endosperm - white flour - would.
o Brown rice, spelt pasta, freekeh, or buckwheat are all much more delicious and gut-supportive than their refined alternatives.
3) FIBRE FIBRE FIBRE
o Just 7g/fibre extra each day can stop bad bugs from attacking the lining of your gut
o Only 5% of us reach our target daily fibre intake.
o You can get more fibre by eating more fruit, more vegetables (obvs), wholegrains, beans or pulses.
Some pretty easy changes to make – but if you don’t think so, then that’s where I come in…
If you have any questions or want more info then get in touch. We can chat about how best to nurture your gut and feed it to bring it back to life.