Monday, February 1, 2010

What is Gut Health

One of the most important steps that you can take to improve your overall health is to make sure that your intestines have plenty of good bacteria. There are approximately 100 trillion bacteria and microorganisms living in your digestive tract.   It is important that they are good, useful bacteria.  If your gut is full of virus, bad bacteria, and unfriendly pathogens, you are vulnerable to food allergies, candida, autoimmune problems, weight gain, intestinal problem, skin problems, bowel problems and catching everything unfriendly thing that comes by.   70% of your immune system is located in your gut.  If your gut is not healthy, can your organs be?

Please take a few minutes and look at this web site.  It is one of the clearest picturs I have found of what your gut should look like.... and what it probably look like.  I am listing this link again at the bottom of the page.  You don't need expensive probiotics, you need to correct the inbalance in your gut.  If you don't understand what the problem is, you probably will not understand the solution.  Please think this over.


Some of the benefits of an abundance of "good" or "friendly" bacteria and microorganisms:
  • Improved digestion and normalized bowel movements
  • Correct skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis
  • Provide protection against asthma
  • Improve your immune system
  • Protect against food allergies
  • Reduce or possible eliminate seasonal allergies
Some of the possible ways to destroy friendly intestinal bacteria:
  • Use of antibiotics (including antibiotics found in dairy and meat products)
  • Eating foods that are genetically modified
  • Not managing tension and stress
  • An excess of sugar or other concentrated sweeteners
  • Overuse of antacids or laxatives
  • Use of some prescription drugs (including birth control pills and steroids like prednisone)
  • Drinking chlorinated water
Today, the balance between "good bacteria" and "bad bacteria" that live in your intestines is the result of the choices you make in what you eat and your lifestyle. The healthier your choices, the more friendly bacteria you have living inside of you. Lets look at some of the ways you can bring correction to your gut using food.

Food based ways to begin correction of the bacteria load in your gut:

  • Neutralize the pH in your gut.  This will weaken the "bad" bacteria and virus polyps  - it does not appreciate a neutral pH
  • Begin a good multi-vitamin to give yourself a good coverage of nutrients for healing and repair
  • Feed the good bacteria - Coconut oil is great fertilizer for the good bacteria and the bad stuff doesn't like it  (lets call it weed and feed)
  • Begin adding "live" lacto fermented foods from a broad range of different cultures - milks, vegetables and roots.  This replaces expensive pill form probiotics and is a more natural, food based way to acquire the "good" bacteria and allow it to colonize.  Eat live yogurt, sauerkraut, drink ginger ale and kefir.  Give your gut what it needs.
  • Eat a green salad daily to help "scrub" out some of the weakened bacteria.  Make sure there is some olive oil/vinegar on the salad
  • Exercise for 20 minutes.  Get your heart rate up and sweat.  This causes your body to produce a broad-based anti-fungal
  • Don't eat overly processed foods
The attached web site has a picture of a healthy gut vs. an unhealthy gut.  Take some time to compare the pictures.  Which one do you think yours looks like?  Don't buy expensive probiotics - make your own or buy them locally.


Best of Health

Path to Progress:  Start your love of cultured foods here with the benefits of sauerkraut. 

The Extra Step - Vitamins

Today's update:

As you begin to make changes in your diet and in your gut, it is really, really important to find a good vitamin that works for you.  The main reason that you want to begin this as soon as possible is to give your body a wide range of basic tools for cleaning, healing, maintenance and repair.  Really, with an intense, nutrient dense diet you might not need a multi..... but that is difficult in this day and age.  I don't really see a time that our family will not be taking a good basic vitamin.

A common problem in our life is too much stress.  This tends to burn up the accessible B vitamins (and probably others ) in our body.  One visible side effect is a rapid graying and/or thinning of your hair  (look at any president).  I don't know what the invisible side effects are.  That is just something you can see.  I am just saying that if you have gone through time of high stress - or  that is just how you live - and you notice thinned or rapidly graying hair....... ask yourself what might be going on inside with your organs or your body systems.

The main reason that my family uses a powder vitamin is the accessibility of the vitamins.  Liquid probably does the same thing, but we found one that worked for us and we just stuck to it.  Other choices are probably just as good.  I know there are some really, really good liquid vitamins available.  The dosage is not an exact science, but it does not need to be.  If your gut is in great shape, you can probably break apart those pills full of fillers and binders and other stuff  :)  go right ahead.

I am NOT a big proponent of switching out pharmaceuticals with vitamins.  If there is a problem in your health I always think it is better to find the source of the problem and correct it as naturally as possible.  Over the past few years I have spent a lot of time trying to replace various vitamins and supplements with foods.  My favorite quote is from Hippocrates "let food be your medicine and medicine be your food"  but the truth is that we live in a toxic world.  Take some vitamins that your body can absorb and use easily.  ESPECIALLY if you have made some significant changes in your diet.

Remember to give yourself some time, make one change at a time, don't push yourself so hard you hit a wall (this note is to me... and maybe a couple of you too!).  Pay attention to the short term and long term changes you are trying to bring about and try some food that is old to mankind and new to you.  Decide on a good multi vitamin for your family and try to tie it to an event.  Allow broad based healing to come in to your life.  Don't shut down detox issues (a different topic) any more than necessary.  Eat to nourish your body.


Real Simple magazine did an article on various types of vitamins.  I have linked the page for the vitamin that our family takes.  It has good information, and really, the entire article looks good.  If someone has that magazine (Dec 2009), I would love to borrow it.

Real Simple

Here is the blog from All One on the Real Simple article (I will just let them speak for themselves).

While I was trying to figure out how to spell Hippocrates I came across this great web site that really articulates how I feel about food, medicine and health.  You might like it. -Please note that I only was on the page I linked and hope it is a good overall site.

This looks like a really, really in depth site on agriculture, pharmaceuticals and health.  I only skimmed some of it, but will read it later.  I am listing it here for reference.

Acres USA

Path to Progress:  Go now and learn about  Coconut Oil