So why is it so important to nurture our gut microflora?
It’s the biggest defense against the outside world, aside from the skin.
Two thirds of the immune system is located here.
It’s the largest home of nerve endings outside of the central nervous system – hence our ‘gut feeling’ and links with mental health, the second brain.
Largest amount of serotonin – the happiness neurotransmitter – is made here.
Hormones from the gut help to control appetite and satiety.
Vitamins and minerals are absorbed in our gut, which is why imbalance can lead to fatigue.
Common symptoms of ‘dysbiosis’ or imbalance, in the gut are:
Abdominal pain, fermenting/churning, wind, IBS like symptoms, bloating, foggy head, poor memory, fatigue, sugar cravings, sinus infections, stuffy nose, food intolerance, asthma.
Microflora can become imbalanced due to poor digestion, low fibre, antibiotics and other medicines, high toxic load, food intolerance, unvaried diet, low plant intake, high fat, sugar and protein intake.
Ways to help support your gut’s health:
Support stomach acid. Zinc needed for production of stomach acid, protein digesting enzymes and to repair gut lining. Good sources: pumpkins seeds/butter, nuts, oats, rye, egg yolk, chicken, fish, seafood (especially oysters).
Nurture your microbiome – prebiotic foods – fibrous foods which help feed the good bacteria in the gut (Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, asparagus, leeks) and probiotics – friendly bacteria found in supplements, yogurts, fermented foods: kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso. Probiotics after antibiotics.
Alternate your foods – eat as varied a diet as possible to help increase flora diversity.
Increase your fibre intake – UK recommendations have recently increased from 18g to 30g per day. 30 types of plants per week (incl. nuts) plus our Elixirs all have high amounts of fibre per 10g serving.
Avoid too much sugar – sugar feeds yeasts such as candida.
Avoid too much gluten if intolerant – this can effect zonulin and T junctions and cause ‘leaky gut’.