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Healing the Gut

by Charlotte Palmer
Food specialist, London
Source: Food Therapy Blog
Good health resides in your gut was an idea promoted by Hippocrates the father of medicine and there is now strong and growing evidence to support this ancient theory.
Up to 70% of our immune system resides in the gut, and the liver is also an important part of our immune competence. Many health problems have their origin in gut or liver dysfunction. Indeed if you have a toxic bowel, with an overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast, or you have a leaky gut, these wastes will leak straight to your liver. It’s the first organ to suffer if there’s a problem with your gut.
Let’s explore what it means to have a “healthy gut microbiome”. Your gut’s microbiome is made up of your gut’s microbiota (microbial community) and all of its genetic material. You can think of your digestive system as a coveted habitat for this microbial community. Your body provides limited resources, and microbes are in competition for these resources. In the habitat of your body, you want the “good microbes” to out-compete the “bad microbes”. Health issues arise when this microbial community is out of balance and the “bad bugs” take over. That’s why it’s critical to make sure you are colonized by the “good bugs”.
Leaky gut syndrome is a common issue, (also known as intestinal permeability), is a digestive condition that can drive inflammation and autoimmunity. Leaky gut syndrome, as its name suggests, occurs when toxins and inflammatory agents “leak” through the intestinal walls and into the bloodstream. In a healthy gut, when you digest food, your intestines break it down, allowing tiny healthy nutrients to pass through the walls into the bloodstream. But, "when the permeability of the gut lining has been altered, this allows toxins, bacteria, and foreign substances like undigested food particles to enter the blood stream along with the nutrients," Imbalances in gut flora. As many plants contain natural toxins and anti-nutrients leaky gut is common place. Probiotics known as friendly bacteria or ‘good flora’ , this is a colony of healthy bacteria we are born with that reside in the gut which support the immune system and the assimilation of nutrients from our food. Probiotics are vitally important for good health and without them we cannot obtain optimal gut health which in turn Impacts our energy levels, our mental clarity, moods, metabolism and our overall well being.
First line of defence is in your gut; the immune system is your best defence against the world around us. As much of the immune system resides in the gut, support this with probiotics, prebiotics and fermented foods and drinks, such as kefir, kombucha, kimchee, miso, idli, sauerkraut, yoghurt....They must be RAW and UN-pasteurised!
More importantly, check the ingredients without refined sugar!!!
Helpful readings:
Gut Reaction by Gudrun Jonsson -http://www.gudrunjonsson.com/about-2/
Go with your Gut Robyn Yukilis https://www.waterstones.com/book/go-with-your-gut/robyn-youkilis/9780857833211