Gut Health is Total Health
Why is Gut Health Important?
Up to 90% of disease can be traced in some way back to your gut. You have over 10,000 species of bacteria living in your gut and on your body. We all have "good" and "bad" bacteria. However, your lifestyle determines the balance of your flora, thus your overall health. You can support your gut by feeding and restoring your beneficial bacteria.
Food sensitivities, constipation, diarrhea, auto-immune conditions, and low immune system status have a lot to do with with the health of your gut. Most of what we are talking about in gut health is the small intestine and the large intestine. There are microbial and other mechanisms to ensure your stomach, liver, pancreas are operating at their best too, but mainly we focus on the large and small intestine when we address repairing and restoring the gut.
Ways to Repair & Restore Gut Lining Without Supplements
Increase Microbial Diversity
- Intake adequate fiber and fiber diversity. Bacteria uses fiber to breakdown, ferment and use for fuel. This protects our immune system, hormone balance and more. Rotate new plant fibers/resistant starches weekly. For example, try rotating Japanese sweet potato, lentils, then al dente rice, etc in your diet. Rotate your fiber sources for maximum diversity.
- Intake a diversity of foods in general: Our ancestors ate about 600-800 different foods per year, the average western diet is 15-30 different foods annually. Rotate through your foods and try new things. For example, if you usually buy baby spinach for your salads, try arugula, then romaine. If you typically only eat black beans, try pinto and white beans too. Buy a variety of proteins, don't just have chicken with every meal. Your body will love you for mixing it up.
- Try natural fasting breaks: 10-16 hrs is a good fast time, if you do not have blood sugar problems. Start with 10 hours of fasting - that would look like not eating anything after 8pm and then eating breakfast at 6am. Longer intermittent fasting should be supervised, especially if you suspect blood sugar imbalances.
- Eat organic and non-GMO foods as much as you possibly can to reduce your exposure to pesticides like glyphosate. Glyphosate kills gut bacteria, bind minerals and alter the way we naturally detoxify, and use Vitamins A and D - which are critical to immune health
Change Exposures to Your Environment
- Get DIRTY!
- Don’t be afraid to get dirty, work in the garden, go for a walk - preferably in nature
- STOP using hand sanitizers all day every day.
- Filter your drinking water. Chlorine in city drinking water is killing off bacteria and decreasing diversity
- Eliminate Chlorine Cleaners - Again, chlorine is killing off too much bacteria and is not supporting our total health
- Replace with: water and essential oils or white distilled vinegar or some commercial natural brands
- Eliminate anti-bacterial soaps, sanitizers, etc.
- Be around animals
- Protect yourself from EMF’s from cell phones, laptops, wifi as much as possible - these too are having an impact on gut microbial health and our ability to restore and repair at night (try turning your phone on airplane mode at night or leaving it outside your bedroom as you sleep).
- Stress reduction - Stress increases gut permeability which leads to leaky gut. Find ways to calm and reduce stress. Try yoga, walking after dinner, body work, reading, therapy, whatever you gotta do to increase your relaxation response.
Dig Deeper with Targeted Protocols & Supplements
Become a Detective
Find the foods and food chemicals that are causing the most problems for you.
- One way we do that is with the MRT food sensitivity test and LEAP protocol (a customized elimination diet plan) combined with a supplement protocol.
- Reduces inflammation and symptoms in 6-12 weeks for many people.
- Additional lab testing
- Beth may determine another test is right for you such as a comprehensive stool test.
Increase Beneficial Bacteria
- Increase strains of akkermansia and faecalibacterium with these foods: apples, cranberries, pomegranate, grapes (purple), navy beans. These bacteria are very important to gut but are diminished in most Western cultures. If you can’t tolerate these foods, there are other ways to support their growth.
- Take a high quality pro-biotic - we like MegaSpore and Saccromyces Bouillardi. It's always important to eat fiber with probiotics.
Build a Personalized Supplement Plan that Repairs and Restores Gut Lining
Supplements we often use for gut repair are:
- Butyrate/Short Chain Fatty Acids
- Zinc Carnosine
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Anti-Oxidant Support with Glutathione, L-carnitine, lipoic acid, CoQ10
- Amino Acids that Repair: L-theonine, L-Serine, L-proline, L-cysteine
We highly recommend working with a Functional Medicine Dietitian or Doctor to develop a plan and supplement protocol that's right for you. Guessing is usually not a good idea and often wastes your time and money. It is also very important to know the source of your supplements. It's not a great idea to buy cheap in this case.