We know we need our digestive system to be healthy. We have heard that we should take probiotics for overall health, but what kind do we take and how much do we need? Further, what else do we need to know and what else should we to do for our digestive systems to be healthy? One thing we need to know, is just how essential gut health really is to our health and life. Often referred to as our “microbiome”, it controls the health of our immune system, our mood, our energy levels, the ability to maintain a healthy weight and many other aspects of health. It’s so important to health that more than 2000 years ago, Hippocrates said, “All Disease Begins in the Gut.” So, let’s take our health back by fixing that first!
There are many things that can disrupt the delicate balance of friendly bacteria, yeast, and other microbes living inside our digestive track. Some of the things that alter and worsen our gut flora, which in turn makes us sick, are toxins. Toxins like chemicals or heavy metals, such as mercury. There are some medications, antibiotics are notorious for gut flora disruption. There are other medications that can alter it as well. One of the problems with eating a diet containing sugar and processed foods is that is feeds the unhealthy gut bugs and keeps us not only craving more of these foods, but they also contribute to the many other inflammatory disease processes crippling our health these days. Ah, but here is the good news. Did you know that with healthy gut flora, mercury and other toxins have very little chance to get into our body? The healthy gut flora binds it up and takes it away. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, the author of the GAPS diet, a study was done where two groups of animals were looked at. One was giving antibiotics and the other was not. Then a large amount of mercury was fed to them through their water and food. The one not given the antibiotics, with the healthy gut flora, was found to absorb only about 1% of the mercury. The other group that had the gut flora wiped out by the antibiotics, about 95% of the mercury got into their bodies. Imagine that? You can detox your body, just by cleaning up your diet and your digestive track. And then not have to worry quite as much.
Did you also know that healthy gut flora produces many of the B vitamins we need for energy and overall health? That’s nature’s way of supplying you with minute to minute fuel. Every look in the mirror or at someone else and notice a pale or pasty completion. Sort of look (and feel) wiped out? It is a sign of not enough B vitamins being made. No fuel! Every wonder how some people go from morning until night with an abundance of energy that doesn’t quit? How would you like that person to be you? It can be!! You just need to feed your gut what it needs to be healthy. One thing you can do is to start adding fermented vegetables to your diet. You can make them yourself or buy them in a health food store. These feed the good gut bugs. Another thing you should do is start making and drinking bone broth soup. Get the sugars, starches and processed foods out and eat whole, nutrient dense foods. The highest quality you can get. Eat butter and bacon and eggs! Avocados and any other whole food you like and soon you will start to feel amazing and be well on your way to a better you! I guess you might say that our road to health really is paved with good intestines.
Yours in Good Health,
Dr. Jeanne Barry