March 17 2017

Over the past several years we have been learning more and more about the importance of healthy gut flora. Gut health is extremely important to maintain as you are not only sustaining the health of your digestive tract & keeping your farts and bloating at bay, but you are also maintaining well-balanced mood and happiness as the gastrointestinal health can be the main cause for other health related issues such as brain and mental health.

Maintaining healthy gut flora is vital to the health of your entire body as well as your overall quality of life. Every single person has their own combination of gut bacteria that is as unique as their fingerprint. Keeping that unique bacteria healthy is very important as a healthy gut flora is what will help to absorb essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and can even assist in manufacturing vitamins such as vitamin K and the essential B complex vitamin. Probiotics and healthy gut flora also help to keep harmful bacteria at bay which will preserve and strengthen your immune system to keep your overall health at peak performance.

The connection between the gut and the brain is extremely important as the gut is directly connected to our mood. The Enteric Nervous System is often referred to as the “Second Brain”, this is two thin layers of more than 100 million nervous cells lining your gastrointestinal tract. Scientists have found that unhealthy gut flora causes gastrointestinal problems resulting in irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating and stomach pain is estimated to affect roughly 35 percent of the population at some point. Research has indicated that an irritated gastrointestinal tract may send signals from the enteric nervous system to the central nervous system triggering mood swings. This is important to know as the estimated 35 percent of the population that is experiencing irritable bowel syndrome are also experiencing cases of depression and anxiety. It is important to know that the healthy gut bacteria help to produce serotonin. Serotonin is regarded by researchers as a chemical in the body that is responsible for balancing your mood and a deficit in serotonin leads to depression and anxiety. It is estimated that 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. Maintain healthy gut flora with probiotics → keep those probiotics healthy with prebiotics → to keep your body and mind running at peak performance levels.  

Here is a short list of natural foods to help keep your gut healthy and happy.

Probiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet:

  • Yogurt - One of the best probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade.

  • Kefir - Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of goat's milk and fermented kefir grains.

  • Sauerkraut.

  • Dark Chocolate.

  • Microalgae.

  • Miso Soup.

  • Pickles.

  • Tempeh.

  • Kimchi

  • Kombucha Tea

Prebiotic (food for the probiotics) Foods to Add to Your Diet:

  • Acacia gum (or gum arabic)

  • Raw chicory root.

  • Raw Jerusalem artichoke.

  • Raw dandelion greens.

  • Raw garlic.

  • Raw leeks.

  • Raw or cooked onions.

  • Raw jicama.