Scientists say that the state of our gut is vital to good health and influences our ability to lose weight. Each of us have a “microbiome" in our belly – our own set of bacteria. Staying mindful of the impact of what we eat on our gut and following a healthy diet has a huge impact on how we feel. The good news is that most of the bugs in your gut are friendly. But when the bad ones start multiplying, that's when your skin and digestion can suffer. Here's 3 things you need to know about your microbiome.
It's kind of creepy when you think about the fact that there are about 100 trillion bugs (bacteria) in the human gut.
Imagine looking under a microscope and seeing all those critters swimming around in your belly, enjoying a buffet of the food that's in your gastrointestinal tract.
If you think you're human, think again. We're actually more bacteria than we are human. In fact, your body has at least 10 times more living organisms in your gut alone than your whole body has human cells.
1. Your Gut controls your health – understand it.
Think about that. All the cells that make you, well, you, including skin cells, bone cells, and muscle cells, all over your body is tiny in comparison to the number of bacteria that's living inside of you. Scientists consider your gut so important that they call it your “second brain".
The good news is that the majority of the bacteria in your gut is friendly. Friendly microbes play an important part of your immune system.
But because of several factors including genetics, antibiotic use and lifestyle choices (poor diet), you may have too many unfriendly bacteria.
Researchers just a relative blink of an eye ago have discovered that the bugs in your gut more than anything else including diet and exercise determine your health.
For example, we now know that obesity isn't just linked to eating too many calories and junk food. It's also a consequence of lacking certain beneficial bacteria. (Want to read more on this topic? Here's a good article.)
image courtesy Custom Probiotics Inc
The Gut Health Overall Health Connection
In addition to the examples of the overall connection between bacteria in the gut and overall health, here's another one: joint pain.
It used to be assumed that joint pain was a result of simple wear and tear. But now, researchers believe that the bacteria in your gut can determine whether or not you develop osteoporosis and other joint disorders.
The bugs in your gut can also determine how healthy your blood vessels are and whether or not you'll develop hardening in your arteries.
Moreover, all kinds of inflammatory disorders such as autoimmune disease and cancers of the GI tract may be caused by poor gut health.
Your mood can also be directly related to your gut bacteria. Anxiety and depression may not only be the result of circumstantial, external factors, but also because of your internal environment.
As you can see, having a diverse amount of good bacteria is perhaps the biggest influencer of overall health. Gut health can even determine skin health.
If you spend a lot of time and money on skin care products, perhaps you need to rethink your skin care regimen entirely. That's because poor skin, from excessive dryness to acne and other skin conditions can be traced to what's inside your gut.
2. Feed Your Gut Good Stuff – Probiotics & Green Drink
But if genetics is a major determining factor in your bacteria portfolio, is there anything that can be done to change what's inside your gut?
The good news is there are a few simple things you can do to boost the number of beneficial bacteria.
For starters, if you're not taking a probiotic supplement, buy one today and start taking it every day. It should contain at least 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) per serving (usually one or two capsules).
Like any other supplement, not all probiotics are created equal. If you buy a cheap one from Rite Aid it might not be effective. Do some research before you buy.
Another easy thing you can do to improve your gut health is having 16 oz of my Green Drink every morning. Good bacteria love to feast on the seven certified organic green leafy veggies in my Green Drink. The veggies contain prebiotic fibers. You can think of prebiotics as food for probiotics (good bacteria).
You can take the most expensive probiotic supplement in the world, but if you're not feeding the good bacteria with prebiotics, they're not going to flourish and multiply and colonize your gut.
Which is why if you haven't been eating healthy lately, I also recommend doing a Chef V Cleanse. With a Chef V Cleanse, you get four Green Drinks per day plus a detox soup for dinner and two vegan protein shakes in between. The soup and shakes also are loaded with prebiotic fuel to stimulate beneficial bacteria in your gut.
3. You can reset your Gut Health with a Detox
Diet is crucial for gut health. Even if you eat a large salad with organic veggies every day, if you're also drinking beer and eating bread and other foods that are rich in either white or wheat flour, your good bacteria won't flourish.
That's because drinking beer and eating baked goods causes yeast overgrowth in the gut. Too much yeast results in the good bacteria not being able to do its job effective of protecting your immune system and fighting inflammation.
Bloated belly, foggy brain, chronic congestion and indigestion … all these are symptoms of poor gut health. And yeast overgrowth (especially from the species, candida albicans) is often the culprit.
If you need a longer digestive system overhaul that will keep the yeast at bay, I recommend trying my 21 day detox challenge. It's easy to follow. I provide all the coaching and instruction you'll need to easily finish it through, and give your gut the fuel it needs to populate good bacteria.
After your 21 day detox is over, you won't be tempted by eating yeasty, sugary foods again. And I'll teach you what to eat after the detox is over to ensure that your success will carry over and your good gut bacteria will thrive.
In the meantime, to boost the friendly bacteria in the gut, you can also eat foods that are rich in probiotics. Drinking kombucha is an easy way to get some probiotics. So, too, is eating fermented foods like kimchi (Korean cabbage), tempeh and sauerkraut. If you happen to live in a town with good farmers markets, look for stands that sell fermented foods and drinks.
Here's to your (gut) health….