Think of your gut as your home base. Often overlooked and definitely underestimated, your gut is the central control station of your body. Food goes into your gut every time you eat. Nutrients are absorbed and assimilated and then moved to where they need to go throughout your body. Friendly bacteria, known as probiotics, build large communities in the gut that fight off pathogenic bacteria, infection, and yeast overgrowth.
Health Comes from Within
There’s a common phrase most of us are familiar with: You are what you eat. You may use this expression to teach your child the importance of eating their fruits and vegetables. Even from an early age, children need to understand how Really Healthy Foods can fuel their bodies.
But for children and adults alike, this saying has a deeper meaning. When you hear “you are what you eat,” consider the fact that your health in one year, five years, and 20 years depends on the nutrients absorbed by your gut today. Not only do Really Healthy Foods matter — avoiding processed foods, starchy carbs and excess sugar — but the quality of your gut is just as important to put these foods to good use.
Your gut health today influences your wellbeing in the future. You can eat all the healthy foods your stomach can hold, but if your gut isn’t “primed” to receive them, your health may still suffer.
Gut health has become a popular topic in the health world, and for good reason. Research is almost limitless in support of a robust gut, solidifying that your digestive health can affect every part of your body and even your risk for disease.
Gut rehabilitation has the power to transform your health. In a 2015 study published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, Laura Steenbergen and Lorenza Colzato, psychologists at the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, discovered that after taking probiotics for just four weeks, study participants were less likely to focus on bad feelings and bad past experiences.1
The gut has also been referred to as the “second brain.” It’s that important. Home to trillions of gut bacteria in what is known as the gut microbiome, the human digestive system is in direct communication with the human brain. The gut contains a network of neurons that support this intimate relationship with the brain through vagus nerves. As such, the gut has the power to regulate stress, behavior, mood and even influence your emotional state.2
What a Healthy Gut Looks Like
“Probiotic” is another popular health buzzword you’ve probably heard before, or at least seen advertised on yogurt. Remember, probiotics are the friendly bacteria that reside in the gut. Your digestive system, and indeed your entire body, needs these good bugs to fight off the bad bugs and keep digestion humming like a well-oiled machine.
In a review of nine studies, with research published in the Hypertension journal of the American Heart Association, living probiotics were found to lower blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels.3 Gut probiotics have also been hailed for their immune-boosting properties; in a study conducted by University Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Health Related Professions (UMDNJ-SHRP) on the sleep-deprived and stressed-out college population, a probiotic supplement helped reduce the severity and duration of the common cold and upper respiratory tract infections.4
This exciting research is only the tip of the iceberg. The American Gastroenterological Association has long supported probiotics as essential to gut health. As microbiota expert Professor Francisco Guarner of the University Hospital Valld’Hebron in Barcelona explained at Miami’s Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit in 2014, diet and probiotic supplements go hand-in-hand.5 Your gut needs large amounts of beneficial probiotics to maintain health and ward off disease. The food you eat is equally important because it feeds gut microbes and can influence their diversity and composition.
The 3 Secrets of a Healthy Gut
Gut health isn’t a mystery, but commercial probiotics can be misleading. Eating sugary yogurt won’t provide the probiotic power your gut needs to support your health — in fact, it may make digestive issues even worse.
Here’s what it takes to feed your gut strategically to improve health and reduce risk of chronic disease:
As Professor Guarner pointed out, a Really Healthy Foods diet is the partner of robust gut health. No matter how many probiotic supplements you take, your gut health and the health of your body could still be at risk if you are consuming an inflammatory diet. Inflammatory foods, those processed and high in starchy carbs and sugar, automatically create inflammation in the gut. From the gut, this inflammatory cascade spreads to the rest of the body and greatly increases your risk of chronic disease. Feed and nurture your gut to calm inflammation with fresh, whole vegetables and fruits, grass-fed meats and fish, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils — avoid sugar, bread, cereal, grains, wheat, rice, pastries, cookies, and dairy at all costs. Click here for Really Healthy Pasta.
For more information on why this pasta is healthy Clicking Here.
What does a gut-friendly probiotic look like? As mentioned above, commercial, processed yogurt, while it may contain minimal probiotics, is loaded with sugar. It will do your body more harm than good. A hardy probiotic dose comes in the form of a soil-based probiotic supplement, best taken in combination with a humic/fulvic acid prebiotic to enhance SBO proliferation. A soil-based probiotic is unique in that it provides the same type of microflora naturally found along a healthy human G.I. tract. This invaluable probiotic support goes directly to the gut to repair, restore, and build new communities of friendly bacteria. Click here for Prescript Assist
Healthy digestion wouldn’t be possible without daily digestive support. Digestive enzymes give your gut the strength, or digestive “fire”, to stoke the digestive process every time you eat. Digestive enzymes break down food for better nutrient absorption, working alongside the “cleanup crew” to rebalance the gut; naturally ‘active’ charcoal filtration cleans and flushes harmful contaminants from the gut to improve nutrient uptake. Taking digestive enzymes and absorbent charcoal is essential for initial gut support — together, they can calm the stomach and settle chronic digestive distress. Click here for Essential Digestive Plus
If your health is suffering, or if you don’t feel like your best self, your gut health should be your first area of concern. What goes into your body will eventually come out — in the form of vitality or disease. How you care for your gut today is the best indicator of how you will feel tomorrow.
Laura Steenbergen, Roberta Sellaro, Saskia van Hemert, Jos A. Bosch, Lorenza S. Colzato. A randomized controlled trial to test the effect of multispecies probiotics on cognitive reactivity to sad mood. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2015.04.003
“Your ‘Back-Up Brain’ Is In An Unexpected Part Of Your Body [VIDEO].” Medical Daily.
S. Khalesi, J. Sun, N. Buys, R. Jayasinghe. Effect of Probiotics on Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials. Hypertension, 2014; DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469
Tracey J. Smith, Diane Rigassio-Radler, Robert Denmark, Timothy Haley, Riva Touger-Decker. Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG® and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis BB-12® on health-related quality of life in college students affected by upper respiratory infections. British Journal of Nutrition, 2012; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0007114512004138
American Gastroenterological Association. “Feeding gut microbiota: Nutrition, probiotics key factors for digestive health.” ScienceDaily.