Your gut is home to nearly 100 trillion microbes – weighing in at about 4lb (or 2kg). These microbes consist of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other organisms that are in the majority very good for us – in fact we couldn’t live without them. As well as helping us digest our food they underpin our immune system; protecting us from infections and educating our white blood cells. They also influence our metabolism and determine whether we are thin or fat. They produce essential enzymes, hormones, vitamins and nutrients for our body and even communicate with our brain, influencing our behaviour, our cravings for food and even our feelings.
Your microbes exist in an ecosystem – much like an exotic rainforest or coral reef
These microbes exist in an ecosystem – much like an exotic rainforest or coral reef. When we don’t feed them well or if we expose them to toxins, medications and antibiotics we harm them and risk upsetting the ecosystem and allowing undesirable strains of bacteria to takeover. It is this disruption of the balance of our gut bacteria – known as gut dysbiosis – which is understood to be the cause of most digestive, metabolic and auto-immune diseases. In fact there are over 170 conditions and chronic diseases that can be linked back to the gut.
What Does a Healthy Gut Look Like?
Well when you ask most researchers or microbiologists a common response to this question is that they don’t know yet and are still years away from understanding how all the different strains and species behave particularly with the presence of other bacteria. Each of us has a make up of microbes in our gut, our bodies and on our skin that is unique to each of us – much like a finger print.
However what scientists are in agreement of is that a healthy gut consists of a large diversity in the strains and species of microbes present, while an unhealthy gut consists of greatly reduced diversity as well as a number of common signs of poor gut health.
How to Make Sure You Have a Healthy Gut
So how do we ensure our gut is in good health and achieve greater diversity in gut bacteria? Well we can take probiotics (foods or supplements containing known strains of beneficial bacteria) – although this is only thought to benefit people with poor gut health or those recovering from a course of antibiotics. More important is what we feed our gut bacteria, avoiding toxins and harmful foods and leading lifestyles free from sleep deprivation and stress, that allow them to flourish.
Here are 5 Superfoods to Feed your Good Gut Bacteria Now
Here are 5 superfoods that you can feed your gut bacteria now to promote a healthy diversity in all the right species. When you feed and care for your microbes well, they in turn will take care of you and you’ll feel happier, healthier, your skin will glow, you’ll have more energy and you’ll find it easier to lose that belly fat.
What is it?
Why is it good?
What does it do?
|Jerusalem Artichokes||High in inulin, strong prebiotic potential||Restores gut flora, reduces blood
pressure and LDL cholesterol
|Bananas||Contain high levels of potassium and
|Polenta||High in insoluble fibre and a good source
of caroteinoids, lutein and zeaxanthin
|encourages fermentation in the gut
& supports the growth of good bacteria
|Broccoli||Contains sulphur containing metabolites, also
known as glucosinolates
|Aid digestion & reduces inflammation|
|Blueberries||Rich in phytonutrients; potent antioxidants||improves our immune system, and diversify our gut bacteria.|