Nip Leaky Gut Syndrome in the Bud!
Nip Leaky Gut Syndrome in the Bud!
The Link Between Gut Health and Wellness
The Founder of Medicine and the greatest physician of all time, Hippocrates, taught our ancestors that “All disease begins in the gut”. This is therefore not a new fad or phenomenon, but one that we’re really only starting to pay attention to. I’m a firm believer that the vast majority of our illnesses and diseases begin with gut issues, broadly termed “leaky gut syndrome” or “intestinal permeability”. Increasingly more studies are highlighting a definitive link between this phenomenon, and many diseases, including Alzheimer’s to Ulcerative Colitis, Anxiety to Metabolic Syndrome, and Candida to Crohn’s. I’ve written some articles on how our food and lifestyle habits are speeding up the severity of this phenomenon. Now let’s focus on how we can nip this syndrome in the bud!
The Link Between Food and Healing
We can try to pinpoint the foods we think may be irritating our issues, eliminate them, and see some relief. That’s a great start to healing. However, I believe that the most effective way to truly heal ourselves of ill-health for the long-term involves more than just avoiding the culprits.
Of course, it’s crucial to remove the foods and lifestyle habits that are damaging the microbiome. This cuts off the power supply to the unhealthy cells, as they’re being starved of the fuel they need to survive. However, we now need to replace lost essential bacteria with probiotic, enzymatic-rich foods. The final piece of the puzzle is to replenish healthy cells and re-seed nutrients in the gut, through boosting our intake of nutrient-dense whole foods and superfoods. The more we enjoy food closest to its natural state, the more nutrients we consume. Preparation should, therefore, be kept pure and simple, because the more a food is altered, the further away from its natural state it veers. Half the battle is changing our mindset and behaviours. Rather than worrying about calorie counting, restriction and elimination, let’s focus on what we’re missing and add it in. The rest becomes second nature!
First Step – Crack the Carb Code
Choose carbohydrates carefully! Incorporate those which are good for your microbes and avoid the destructive ones. Simple carbohydrates like soda, processed grains and refined foods cause surges of insulin and cortisol. This causes weight gain, inflammation and diabetes. They destroy our beneficial bacteria buddies. Complex carbs like fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, nurture essentials microbes. Their high-fiber content reduces any damaging insulin effect.
Try to incorporate more resistant starches. These are complex carbohydrates that don’t get digested in the small intestine, but travel to the colon, where they’re fermented by gut bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids. These are great for the gut, due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. They also allow for better mineral absorption. Examples of such food sources are green bananas, green peas, lentils, uncooked rolled oats and white beans. They act as pre-biotics, which are food for good gut bacteria.
The more we say no to sugar, the better we feel. Sugar feeds harmful gut bacteria, leading to an overgrowth of yeast and pathogenic bacteria. Sugar consumption creates a vicious, habit-forming cycle. Its consumption increases the microbial populations that thrive on it, which then increases our craving for more. If we stop feeding them, these harmful sugar-thriving bacteria will eventually get the point that they’re being outnumbered. This makes cravings easier to control. Sugar interferes with the ability of our white blood cells to fight toxins, so can impair our ability to fight infection. However, don’t be fooled into a false sense of security with artificial sweeteners. They cause changes in our gut bacteria that cause glucose intolerance, making them a major risk factor in developing diabetes. That’s just the start of the downward health spiral.
There’s More To “Gut Feeling” Than Just Intuition
Focusing on optimizing gut health could well be just the answer we’ve been looking for to achieve the health we all deserve. There is so much more I want to share with you on this subject, which I will do in next week’s blog. For now, let’s start with these few first steps. After all, change to the body or mind in any shape or form can cause stress, which can induce an inflammatory response. That’s why the best way to create life-long health is through incremental, step-by-step adjustments. Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was ultimate health!