Gut health relates to the functioning of our digestive tract -- the 30-foot tube that moves food from entry to exit. A healthy gut allows you to extract all the nutrients from your food.
A healthy gut is connected to our immune system, with 70% of our immune cells actually lay along our digestive tract. Finally, a healthy gut is filled with trillions of diverse microbes (mostly bacteria) that live in our digestive tract, which is understood medically as an acquired organ because we are not born with it and the scientific name is gut microbiota, making us more bacterial cells than human cells, as it turns out.
These gut microbes talk to our brain, look after our heart and kidney health among many other things, which is why we need to look after those microbes.
Our first exposure to these microbes happens during birth, through to the age of about 3 years, our gut bacterial diversity is growing. By which time the intestinal epithelium and the intestinal mucosal barrier that it secretes have co-developed in a way that is tolerant to, and even supportive of, the gut flora and that also provides a barrier to pathogenic organisms.
We also end up getting in the way of flourishing diversity with things like antibiotics and anti-reflux medications that kill good and bad microbes.
Enter the rage of probiotics, pre-biotics, kefir, and kimchi.
Wondering why KatyKeto includes more veggies and fibrous foods than other Keto protocols? While, yes, fibers are technically carbs, they actually aren’t able to be digested by us, but rather our gut microbe. So eating fiber helps feed them, keep them healthy and able to do their job.
Pre-biotics feed healthy bacteria. Good sources of pre-biotics include Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, raw dandelion greens, leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, whole wheat, spinach, beans, bananas, oats, and soybeans.
Probiotics are live bacteria or yeasts found in fermented foods that, when consumed, take up residence in the gut and improve health. Healthy sources include sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kimchi, and water kefir.
If you have an unhealthy gut it can have a big impact on our overall health and especially the appearance of your skin, including spots, inflammation, eczema, and rosacea. Research published in the World Journal of Dermatology found that changes in the gut microbiome can impact patients with eczema, particularly, and by improving the diversity of the intestinal flora, conditions improve. Other research indicates that the nervous, immune and endocrine systems all communicate with skin and that connection is what allows pre-biotics and probiotics to prevent—and treat—everything from acne to rosacea.
If your intestinal environment is imbalanced, it can cause what is known as dysbiosis, and that’s not good for anyone. Dysbiosis is when you have lower levels of beneficial bacteria, more opportunistic pathogens, or reduced diversity – all of which can have an impact on your body, including weight gain and weight loss plateaus. By increasing the diversity of your microbiota your body can better regulate a healthy weight.
Microbes in our gut’s most basic function is to fight harmful foreign substances that enter the body by detoxifying them and easing their elimination. The health of the gut microbiome has been linked to everything from colon cancer to tuberculous, to most recently, the flu. Keeping our gut health central keeps our overall health central.