Where did this begin?
When you were born, your gut (colon) was sterile. During the first weeks of life bacteria started to grow and this formed your essential gut microbiome. This gut microbiome is like a garden being cultivated. This process can be interrupted due to complications in birth, mother not being able to breast feed, or mother has a gut flora imbalance leading up to and during birth. Things happen within our lives that affect this garden in our gut. Foods we eat, medications we use, and illness all have an impact on our gut flora balance.
What foods can I eat to reestablish a balanced gut microbiome?
By eating foods that are difficult to digest, we promote the formation of healthy gut bacteria. Resistant carbohydrates are carbohydrates that have a high cellulose content.
Our digestive system is unable to digest cellulose, so the cellulose ferments in the colon. This fermentation process cultivates a balance of bacterium in the colon.
Examples of resistant carbohydrates:
• Whole wheat
• Brussel sprouts
• Leafy green vegetables
But wait, aren’t bacteria a bad thing?
A bacterium that dominates other species is bad. But bacteria in balance help to keep each species in check. These bacteria in our gut help us to break down and absorb protein correctly. This bacterial balance also forms folate, vitamin K and the B group vitamins in our gut. If the bacteria are within balance our need to supplement these vitamins will decline.
Foods to consume in moderation to protect our gut microbiome.
Preservatives are designed to halter bacterial growth in foods so that it does not spoil. This bacteriostatic action damages the bacterial growth in our gut. Processed foods such as refined sugars and flours are acidic. As bacteria is a protein, this acidity kills the bacteria. Alcohol is a preservative, it too will kill bacteria that is forming in our gut.
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