It would behoove us to know about our micro-biome! Of course there are many variables that affect our immune response, but perhaps our micro-biome is the most important! We are now learning that the gut is connected to every sort of disease possibility! The micro-biome is like a thick layer of “turf” in the G.I. tract and just like soil, if it is unprotected by turf, erosion can occur, and likewise the gut lining suffers. This physical barrier is paramount in protecting us from pathogenic invaders. Without a healthy, vibrant, and thick micro-biome, we can get into some real health trouble. And its not just digestive disorders of all types, but other things such as leaky gut syndrome (overly permeable small intestine which allow undigested food particles to get into the blood – this is inflammatory and a precursor to many other problems). Also inflammation of all types, skin problems and possible auto-immune response to name a few. But there is hope! We understand so much more about the micro-biome and therefore we understand what restores it! In a perfect world, we would have been breast fed babies and we would have never had to take any antibiotics. We would have had great nutrition with lots of broccoli and fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. We would not be using all the antibiotic soaps and “sanitizers” which may cause the germs to get stronger and more resistant and we – the hosts – get weaker! Oh no! It’s true, we don’t live in a perfect world…The good news is that we know how to change this! And here are some basics…
1. Excellent nutrition with lots of fruits and veggies: emphasis on the veggies! This is something that I love to support! Whole foods approach with minimal processed grain products and sugary foods. (These foods feed the bad guys!) The number one food family is absolutely (with no doubt): the Brassica family: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale. You’ll have to trust me on this one!
2. Probiotics with a proven track record. They are not all created equal. We need quantity and quality to get optimal results. It is the variations found in these two types of strains: lactobacillus acidophilus and lactobacillus bifidus. A good company will provide scientific and published data about the resiliency and the adherence factors. They need to be able to withstand the stomach acid and other factors and proliferate!
3. Healthy oils like coconut oil, fish oils, and olive oil. There are foods that feed the good bacteria like apples, carrots, avocados, and winter squashes. Fermented foods like kombucha, pickles, and kefir.
4. Occasionally it is idea to restore the gut lining with L-glutamine, an amino acid that fuels the enterocytes and restores healthy and proper gut permeability.
-Lauren Kanzler is a board-certified clinical nutritionist in Tucson, AZ with 34 years of experiencing improving the health of her clients. To book a session, call 520 743 2336 or email laurenkanzler [@] gmail.com