Sep 07, 2015
During our last post, we talked about the bacteria in our tummies and why it is so important to look after it. During this post, we are going to talk about the how. How we can support our digestive health? And a good place to start is with probiotics.
The bacteria in our gut is incredibly sensitive and can easily be damaged. Antibiotics, pain killers, steroids, contraceptive medication, surgery and disease all effect the symbiosis of the bacteria in our gut. Furthermore diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune, endocrine and neurological disorders or treatment given: surgery, chemotherapy, hormone replacement and radiotherapy put stress on the body providing a harsh environment in which beneficial bacteria will struggle to survive.
The western world in which we live is also playing havoc on our insides. Long term stress from hectic lives, physical exertion, toxic substances and alchol all provide optimum habitats for bad bacteria, viruses and parasites to thrive, pushing the good stuff out of the way. In order to stop these horrible pathogens from surviving, we need to clean up our bodies, remove any toxicity and reproliferate our guts so that good bacteria can thrive.
Probiotics are essentially millions of strains of bacteria, taken as supplements in capsule or powder form or in fermented foods (kimchi, saurkraut, kefir, kombucha, miso or fermeted veg). They work to reproliforate the gut with good bacteria pushing out any bad bacteria that could cause infection and disease. Probiotics work as natural antibiotics, occupying the intestinal space and helping to re-regulate the pH of the intestinal environment. The bacterial strain Lactobacillus does this by producing lactic acid which buffers the pH inside the gut, rendering it less hospitable to opportunistic microorganisms. With more research being put into gut health, there are now plenty of probiotics on the market to chosse from. We like BioKult multi-strain formula or Biocare Enteroguard that also contains L-Glutamine to support the intergrity of your gut wall.
Another important way to stop intestinal issues is to heal a gut damaged by stress, poor health and bad medication. Processed foods increase the build up of excess sugars in the intestine, becoming the optimum food source for pathogenic bacteria, viruses, Candida and other fungi. Reducing the amount of sugar consumed within the diet can have a positive effect and is crucial to cleaning up the intestine. Noursishing the gut with the correct vitamins and minerals can then take place to strengthen and support it the digestive system. Contrary to what you might think, meat and fish and eggs selected from the correct sources provide vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients that we need in the most bioavailable way possible to the body. Eggs in particular are one of the most nourishing, easy-to-digest foods there are. Dr Natasha Cambell McBride describes: "egg yolk has been copared with human breast milk because it can be absorbed amost 100% without needing digestion". Eggs act as a multi-vitamin, providing the body with essential amino acids, many vitamins (B1, B2, B6, A, D and biotin), essential fatty acids, zinc and magnsium which work to build up our bodies immune system and repair the gut.
The human brain is about 60% fat, dry weight. Each and every membrane of every cell in our bodies are made of fat. Hormones, neurotransmitters are also fat. So why wouldn't good quality fat be good for us? Fat is particularly nourishing to our intestinal walls and should be consumed daily. Despite the belief that animal fats contain purely the saturated stuff, fat from animals is roughly half saturated and half poly and mono unsaturated. We need all of these natural fats for our brain, bones, muscles, immune system and gut lining. Bone broth, otherwise known as stock is particularly nourishing. Recently popularised in trendy restaurants, stock made from the meat and bones or animals works to heal the digestive tract providing it with minerals, vitamins, amino acids and various other nutrients in an easily digestable form. Do not confuse it with commerically available soup stock granules or cubes as they are highly processed, but instead use meat and bones to make a good stock. Beef, lamb, prok, game, poutry and fish are all highly suitable and will make stocks with different flavours and nutritional compositions.
Chicken soup has been prescribed to the unwell for centuries so why stop now! Make a chicken stock by putting half a chicken into a large pot and filling it up with water to cover the carcus. The best way to do this is have a lovely organic roast chicken on a Sunday, eat half of it - white meat, brown meat and leave the meat which is tricky to get to. Simmer the carcus for 2 hours, take the chicken out and pour the stock through a seive. Keep in the fridge for a week, adding to soups, casseroles, serving with vegetables or simply hot in a cup. Alternatively pour into an ice cube tray and freeze for later. Use the stock as a base for soups, stews, gravies or simply dilute with some hot water and drink as it is.
Posted by Viki Marr
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