Probiotics and Foods for Gut Health
There are more microbes and bacteria lining your colon and small intestine and covering your skin than there are cells in your body. Trillions live n the large intestine especially and they play a vital role in your health. Your microbiome, with more neurons that a cats’ brain, to be, effectively, another organ because of its function in the body. Without a healthy microbiome, your overall physical and mental health will suffer.
Your microbiome is unique to you, containing a combination of bacteria and other types of microbes that creates a mini ecosystem in the colon, or large intestine. Depending on where you live and what you eat, your dominant bacteria will be similar to those around you who live and eat similarly, but the exact combination of microbe types your gut fosters will be unique to you.
Why is the Microbiome So Important?
When your gut flora are out of balance, negative consequences are put into motion; over time, this leads to chronic diseases caused by inflammation and autoimmune disorders. Your microbiome makes up 75% of your immune system.
The Influence of the Western Diet on the Microbiome
As you might have guessed, the Western diet—high in sugar, low in fiber—is the perfect recipe for an unhealthy gut. Without adequate food (fiber), the gut flora become imbalanced. Some bacteria and yeast flourish at the expense of others, and these microbes feed on the many types of sugar we ingest in processed, refined, and junk foods. Over time, this imbalance leads to the breakdown of the intestinal mucosal cells, the tiny little fingers, or villi, that absorb nutrients and protect the gut lining. As these cells break down, the mucus lining of the gut dries and washes away, exposing the gut lining. Then the gut lining develops cracks, which allow tiny particles of undigested food to slip from the intestines into the bloodstream. This is called gut permeability, or leaky gut syndrome.
When particles of food enter the bloodstream, the body’s immune response is triggered as it attempts to deal with these unfamiliar food invaders.
The Western diet, then, keeps the body in a constant state of immune emergency, which leads to widespread inflammation inside the body. This constant state of emergency and inflammation leads to hundreds of chronic diseases, such as:
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria and yeast that make up your microbiome. Think of them as the happy, energetic workers of your gut.
Probiotics line both the small intestine and the colon (large intestine), but they are concentrated in the colon. After partially digested food moves from the stomach into the small intestine, nutrients are removed and absorbed into the blood stream. By the time the food has moved into the colon, all that remains is water and the indigestible fiber from your food. They also manufacture vitamins and interact with your hormones, immune system, and cells. The particular balance of gut flora you have also determines how aggressively calories are extracted from the food you eat (an imbalance actually causes your body to absorb more calories, thus contributing to overweight and obesity!).
Foods that contain probiotics will help restore and rebuild a healthy microbiome. They include:
Looking to sip your way to some serious health benefits? Not only is tea a great way to improve your overall health, but it has some powerful weight loss boosting capabilities as well. Find out which teas are best for shedding some pounds.
While these aren't outright medical claims or prescriptions for weight loss, teas have well-studied (and scientifically proven) natural benefits that can help your body perform at its best. Almost all tea will support weight loss because it helps you stay hydrated, which supports weight loss, but there are a few standouts to add to your weekly routine.
Types of Teas
This Simple Daily Habit May Help You Live LongerAccording to data from a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the more plant protein consumed, the lower your risk for mortality.1 This remains true even for those with unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as heavy drinking, obesity, physical inactivity, or smoking.
The study takeaway?
Look for ways to reduce the number of calories you consume daily from red meat and eggs. Substituting just 3% of daily calories derived from these animal proteins with plant protein was found to be associated with a 10% lower risk of death.
How does this translate to our forks?
Very easily! No major dietary overhauls are required to gain these life-extending benefits. For example, if you consume 2,000 calories daily, you would only need to swap out 60 calories. That’s just 15 grams of protein each day.
We’ve put together some delicious examples of plant protein meals.
Plant Protein Swaps:Breakfast
A seven-year Chinese health study examined spicy food intake of over 20,000 lives and revealed a reduced risk of total mortality, as well as death due to cancer, ischemic heart diseases, and respiratory diseases (independent of other risk factors).
Compared with eating spicy food less than once a week, eating it once or twice a week resulted in a 10% reduced overall risk for death. But eating spicy food six to seven times a week reduced the risk by 14%.
A vital immune system can mean the difference between a pleasant winter and a miserable one. Help your body stay strong with help from mother nature.
Echinacea triggers the body’s white blood cells to attack unwanted invaders. It significantly increase the body’s white blood cell count, therefore acting like a natural anti-biotic. Specifically, this herb increases the body’s count of T-cells, interferon, interleukin and immunoglobulin.
2. PROBIOTICS (FRIENDLY FLORA)
Believe it or not, your gut is a key part of your immune system, it is full of neurons. Eating plenty of friendly bacteria (probiotics)helps strengthen your immunity!
A recent study published in Postgraduate Medicine found that women who took a daily probiotic had higher levels of T-cells. T-cells are special white blood cells that support the immune system. I hope you are, but if you are not crazy for sauerkraut or yogurt, think a bout supplementing. But check the labels. Some yogurts offer very minimal amounts of friendly flora.
3. VITAMIN C
I am sure may of you know, Vitamin C to ward off colds. Don't skip the oranges or grapefruits during the winter months. Citrus and other red fruits and veggies (red peppers, strawberries and even leafy greens) contain vitamin C, which helps protect and support the immune system. It also strengthens the cardiovascular system, supports eye health and more.
4. VITAMIN D3
Do you know that not only is it good for your bones, but also for immune system? Vitamin D3 (the sunlight vitamin) It appears to help regulate the function of lymphocytes (an important type of white blood cells), the production of cytokines (another key white blood cell) and the activity of macrophages (protein messengers vital to immune function).
This flavorful and aromatic member of the onion family stimulates the production of important white blood cells. Garlic also helps quench free radicals in the bloodstream. It even supports heart health.
The western U.S. and Canada are home to the Sambucus nigra or elderberry. Its properties have been studied by many scientists, and for good reason! It contains principals that stimulate the body to make cytokines, a type of protein molecule that enhances the immune system’s response to attacks. This dark-colored berry also contains powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins.
Most people think of mushrooms as a flavor enhancer or use them to bulk up a dish. But some mushrooms offer much more than that. Reishi and cordyceps mushrooms contain chemicals that offer a host of immune benefits, including boosting the immune system and offering lung support.
This essential trace mineral supports the body’s immunity and aids with nerve function. Zinc seems to work the best when taken at the first sign of concern. Especially when used to treat leaky gut!
9. OLIVE LEAF
We're talking about olive leaf here, not cocktail garnishes or pizza toppings. The leaves of this Mediterranean staple offer a powerhouse of protection against unwanted invaders. Olive leaf contains a bitter compound called oleuropein that also provides fabulous support to the circulatory system. And it battles free radical damage.
4 TIPS TO KEEP IMMUNE SYSTEM STRONG:
1. Minimize stress, Stay active, Eat a healthful diet. Steer clear of sugary and high-fat foods, which can slow and/or weaken immune response, and Socialize. People with friends have stronger immune systems than those who feel alone. Of course, try not to socialize with people who are sick.
Has had Hashimoto's for 13 years. I am passionate, I live and breathe, helping you to overcome your struggles with weight, stress, and chronic health issues.