heal your gut

A day with the world's leading microbiologist

So two weeks ago I got to spend the day with one of the world's leading microbiologist talking all things bacteria and the profound effect it has on our health & wellbeing. Their research is mind blowing and so fascinating.

Whilst the day was mostly dedicated to the impact of an undergrowth, overgrowth, colonisation or infection of specific bacteria and their role in brain-gut conditions, there were so many take away points that I thought were very useful to take on board.

More importantly, it is things that are in our control and can make all the difference before we head down a slippery slope of symptoms and debilitating conditions. Let’s not kid ourselves, that is definitely the predicated outcome IF we do not address the below points.

You can watch a summary of this post below:

Signs of a healthy gut:

  1. Must absorb adequate nutrition, i.e no nutritional deficiencies
  2. Good laxation, i.e regular, good formed bowl motions
  3. Be without infection, i.e. bacterial infection within the digestive system.

The biggest factors affecting our gut ecology:

  • NUTRITION – Nutrition plays a fundamental part in the health our gut ecology. What you eat, feeds the bacteria, good & bad. If your gut bacteria is out of whack and you are eating a highly processed and packaged diet, this is essentially fueling the fire. Nutrition is key when healing the balance of our gut microbiome. Their research has also shown that little difference is made to the balance of the microbiome when short term dietary changes are made. The real benefits are had when there is proper compliance to a healing wholefood way of life for a minimum of 2 years, 3 ideally. The foods that fuel the health of our gut ecology and should be consumed on a daily basis include:
    • Broth – multiple times a day
    • Plenty of vegetables – eat the rainbow
    • Fat – essential for cellular health
    • Soluble & insoluble fibre
    • Moderate protein
  • SUGAR – This little sucker got it's own mention. It was suggested that refined sugar is evil in terms of bacteria and should be removed from the diet at all cost – no real big surprise here
  • STRESS -Do not underestimate the impact that long term and short term stress have on the gut ecology. It was suggested to find ways of managing stress on a daily basis and to maybe meditate for 20 minutes a day.
  • PHARMACEUTICALS – The persistent and recurrent use of the likes such as Panadol, aspirin, ibuprofen and antibiotics are particularly damaging to the gut microbiome when no rectification methods are put in place after use. They are also known as gut scrapers.

In Summary

 - Eat a wholefood real food diet with plenty of vegetables and include multiple cups of broth daily

 - Manage stress on a DAILY basis to calm the nervous system

  - Avoid EXCESS use of common pharmaceuticals. If needed, ensure repair/healing work follows soon after use.

If you need help addressing the health of your gut or improving your wellbeing, get in contact for a FREE 30 minute coaching session or book in a 90 Minute Nutrition & Wellness Audit to get you started in your journey.

 

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Chantal is an Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest helping mum's transform the health of their family using healing wholefood and transformational wellness practices.

 

Improving the health of your gut is not just about popping a probiotic!

Improving gut health is becoming much more main stream, which is awesome news, however the message being relayed most of the time is to pop a probiotic and "ALL WILL BE WELL"!

That is simply not the case. We need to understand the fundamentals and that is, the pathway to Health and Wellness is through nutrition, wholefoods and healing wholefoods in particular.

To think that a typical Western diet can be consumed alongside popping a probiotic is not going to cut it, in fact it could be harming instead.

The focus is ALWAYS going to be on consuming a wholefood diet, gut bacteria diversity and feeding the beneficial bacteria through the intake of PREBIOTIC foods so that a healthy digestive system can be maintained.

What is Prebiotic Food?

It is simply types of food with dietary fibre that feeds the friendly bacteria so that they can grow and multiply

Why is Prebiotic Food needed?

It’s helps the gut bacteria produce nutrients for your colon cells which ultimately leads to a happier healthier digestive system

The difference between Probiotic & Prebiotic Food?

Probiotics – are the beneficial bacteria

Prebiotics  - are food that feed the beneficial bacteria.

So not only do you want to increase and diversify your beneficial bacteria via fermented foods and drinks preferably, you also want to eat foods that feed this beneficial bacteria so that they can multiply

THE TOP PREBIOTIC FOODS TO CONSUME:

1.       Chicory Root – it’s inulin fibre promotes gut bacteria, reduces constipation and helps break down fat

2.       Dandelion greens – increases beneficial bacteria, reduces constipation and is fabulous for the immune system.

  •   Usage tip – add to salads

3.       Jerusalem Artichoke – once again the inulin fibre content increases the beneficial fibre and boosts the immune system

  • Usage tip – can be eaten raw or cooked

4.       Garlic – so many health benefits. Promotes bifobacteria in particular and prevents the growth of disease causing bacteria

  • Usage tip – add it anything you can, such as casseroles, stews, soups, dips, salad dressing, hell even swallow a clove like a tablet. So easy to include this multiple ways daily

5.       Onions- Food for the beneficial bacteria, boost the immune system and helps with digestion

  • Usage Tip – consume either raw or cooked. Add to salads, pickle it, use as base in stews, casseroles and soups

6.       Leeks -  Comes from the same family as onions and garlic and therefore have the same properties

  • Usage tip – Use as a replacement for onionsin bases for stews, casseroles and soups

7.       Asparagus – Not my most favourite vegetable I have to admit! Helps promote friendly bacteria.

  • Usage Tip – Serve steamed with garlic & hot butter butter

8.       Bananas – Who doesn’t love a banana? Increases healthy bacteria in the gut and is known to reduce bloating

  • Usage Tip – eat as is, add to smoothies, use in baking.

9.       Barley – promotes the growth of friendly bacteria

  •  Usage tip – Always soak prior to use to reduce the lectin factor. Use in soups, stews or as porridge

10.   Oats – Promotes healthy gut bacteria and improve blood sugar control

  •  Usage tip – with any grain, soak before using. Use in home-made muesli, porridge, baking in a myriad of ways

11.   Apples – It’s high pectin fibre content helps promote beneficial git bacteria and helps to decrease harmful bacteria.

  • Usage tip – eat organic if you can. Conventional grown is ridiculously high in pesticides. Eat raw with a fat if possible such as a nut butter or use in cooking. Pureed apple can even be used an egg replacer

12.   Cocoa – promotes healthy gut bacteria

  • Usage tip – Use the best quality possible in baking, bliss balls, home-made chocolate and hot chocolate

13.   Flax seeds – It’s fibre promotes healthy gut bacteria, promotes regular bowel movements and reduces the amount of dietary fat you absorb and digest

  • Usage Tip – Grind them up and add to smoothie, make chia puddings, use as an egg replacer and add to baking. I believe these are best consumed when they’ve been soaking in a liquid for a period of time and resembles a gel like texture

14.   Seaweed – Such a great food to add to your diet – increases the population of friendly bacteria, reduces harmful bacteria and boosts the immune system

  • Usage Tip – Add to the diet in the form of dulse flakes which provide a wonderful flavour to soups, stews and broth. Make some dipping nori chips or simply make some sushi

The Bottom Line:

Eating prebiotic foods are just as IMPORTANT as consuming probiotic foods if you want to improve the health of your gut and maintain a healthy digestive system.

If you eat a broad, varied healing wholefood diet, you will be consuming these foods by default anyway!

ACTION STEP FOR YOU - Make a list of the above foods you are consuming anyway and a list of foods you can incorporate WITHOUT causing overwhelm.

If you are feeling stuck with your Healing Wholefood journey, book in for a complimentary Health Mapping Session. The purpose of this session is clearly define where you are, where you need to be and some actionable steps to help you move forward.

Chantal is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach that specialises in helping stressed and overwhelmed mums heal their children with wholefoods using a personalised wholistic step by step approach.