Updated: Mar 12
We all have a gut, but why is it so important?
Not only is a balanced gut essential for proper digestion, but it may also regulate our mood (through serotonin production) and predisposition to weight gain, and nearly 70% of your immune system is housed in your gut!
So how is this possible?
The microbiome - the billions of live bacteria humans have in the gut. It’s estimated that the gut contains approximately 35,000 different strains of bacteria. The majority are found in the large intestine, particularly the colon, but bacteria can also be found in the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
How do we support a healthy gut?
The most known is probiotics, which are bacteria that we consume in our diet or by supplementation. Some examples are fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha and tempeh.
The lesser known is prebiotics. These essentially provide are fibre sources that ferment in the gut and create beneficial bioactive compounds. (basically feeds the good bacteria). Some examples are leeks, chicory root, onions, quinoa and amaranth.
The Western diet is associated with dysbiosis, a disruption in the gut bacterial profile when the “bad” bacteria outnumbers the “good.” A combination of probiotics and prebiotics is part of a whole foods diet can help achieve the right balance of gut bacteria to support health and reduce inflammation.