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Can Creatures in Our Gut Change our Health?

Can creatures in our gut change our health in a positive way? There is so much public interest in the health of our gut- from Ted Talks on microbiomes to new books on the subject— the public is engaging in and paying attention to what’s going on in our guts.

Researchers are studying microbiomes in a more systematic way. They are trying to understand what makes a healthy microbiome—

dental microbiome

Courtesy of the Kavli Foundation website.

what microbes are present— what are those microbes function— how do they change over time— how changes impact human and environmental health.

Our guts contain trillions of microorganisms and some of them are like an individual identity card — we all have different populations.

What is their function?

It helps the body to digest certain foods that may have escaped the intestines—

It helps us combat other not so friendly creatures—

It helps the immune system

 

A baby starts developing its own flora from the mother and its environment after birth, and scientists estimate that by about age three, the child’s system is stable and very much like that of an adult.

What is the role of our modern diet?

Recent studies show that Western diets and modern-day hygiene have wiped many species from of our digestive tracts. Some microbes helps metabolize carbohydrates. Others communicate with our immune system.

PurpleOnions

Onions are a cooks friend and provide prebiotic activity in our gut.

The role of prebiotics is to feed our beneficial microbiota. Although there are supplements containing prebiotic fibers, there are many healthful foods naturally containing prebiotics. The best are found in raw versions of the following: garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, bananas, and seaweed. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains will provide plenty of prebiotics.

The link below has a section on how diet plays a large role in determining what kinds of microbiota live in the colon.

If you are interested in reading further, here is a really article from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/microbiome/

And then there is the whole area of overuse of antibiotics and the missing bacteria from our guts as a result. But that is a subject for another day.

Gwen O’Neill has been a gardener for over 40 years and has always been a passionate cook. Her own health challenges led her to experiencing a variety of healing modalities. After finding that her health improved with eating more whole food and improving her nutrition using a real, whole food based supplement called Juice Plus, she committed to sharing this experience with others. 

trio plus omega pic

Juice Plus real food!

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