Since the immune system lies in the gut, many people in the world today with so many health problems have malfunctioning guts. (Me included!)
I've been reading so much on the gut (and how screwed up mine is) that I feel totally gutted.
So we know that our gut thrives on bacteria (the good guys, that is). And yet this ecosystem can be easily upset or even destroyed by many things. Here is a list of them:
This is the biggest threat to the microflora in our gut. The word antibiotic comes from the Greek word where anti means 'against' and bios means 'life'. As bacteria are life forms, antibiotics wipe them out. Of course antibiotics are good when bad bacteria overcomes our system to the point that we become so sick that we cannot overcome it. Antibiotics can save lives when used properly. But at the same time, it also wipe out the good guys, which are the ones in your gut keeping your immune system in check.
Diarrhoea is the most common side-effects when antibiotics are consumed. This happens as there is a rise in sugars in the gut after a course of antibiotics. Thus, the harmful bacterias (the bad guys) will take a foothold and cause another round of infection. Antibiotics not only wipe out bacteria, it also wipe out fungi and parasites. In my previous post on 'The Gut Series', fungi is also a part of our gut microflora which helps keep our gut in tip-top condition.
Another common side effect after a course of antibiotics is thrush. That's why vaginal infection is very common after a course of antibiotics.
Probiotics is a very good remedy for after-effects of antibiotics. It replenishes your gut with the good guys. The very well known strain of probiotic bacteria is the Lactobacillus. There are many probiotic supplements which are sold.
If you are buying yoghurt from the store, make sure that it has no sugar, artificial flavours or preservatives in it. The better option would be to make your own home-made yoghurt.
b. Milk Kefir
This is a fermented milk drink made with kefir which is inoculated with cow, goat or sheep milk. Not only does milk kefir contains several strains of probiotics, it is also packed with nutrition.
Kefir also contains strains of yeast that can metabolize lactose. It is a powerful drink indeed for the gut.
c. Water Kefir (Tibicos)
This drink is for people who do not wish to make their kefir with milk (dairy) of any kind. The kefir is added to a sugary liquid and is allowed to ferment for 24 to 48 hours. The bacteria would feed off the sugar to produce lactic acid, alcohol and CO2. The probiotics that are produced are endless. The end product would be a carbonated beverage.
Water kefir is popularly known as 'healthy soda'.
This is a fermented tea drink which is made from SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria & Yeast). The bacteria and yeast feeds on the sugar and caffeine in the tea.
Interestingly, the kombucha culture is also used to make artificial leather!
e. Fermented Vegetables
Sauerkraut and kimchi are two very famous probiotic powerhouse. The only ingredient that is used to ferment these two is SALT!
Naturally fermented sauerkraut contains 15 lactic acid producing strains! And kimchi is not only a probiotic powerhouse, it has the ability to lower cholesterol.
Prebiotics ARE NOT probiotics. Prebiotics are specialized plant fibres that beneficially nourishes the good bacteria that live in the gut. The plant fibres act as fertilisers which promote the growth of the good bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics nourishes the good bacteria in our gut!
The role of prebiotics is as important as probiotics.
Two particular prebiotics which are beneficial to the gut are trans-galactooligosaccharide and inulin.
There are natural dietary sources of prebiotics. *Below is a list of the top 12 foods which contain prebiotics:
1. Acacia Gum
2. Raw Chicory Root
3. Raw Jerusalem Artichoke
4. Raw Dandelion Greens
5. Raw Garlic
6. Raw Leek
7. Raw Onion
8. Cooked Onion
9. Raw Asparagus
10. Raw Wheat Bran
11. Cooked Whole Wheat Flour
12. Raw Banana
*taken from HERE
I don't know how true this is but after reading numerous web sites (which I am sure all quoted from just ONE source), bone broth apparently can raise Lazarus from the dead! (Ok, that was me being sarcastic.)
Bone broth can apparently heal the leaky gut, overcome food intolerance and allergies, improve joint health, reduce cellulite and boost the immune system. Now why did none of my doctors tell me to go home and boil TONS of bone broth and be healed????
All bones (beef, chicken, fish, lamb) can be used to boil the bone broth. The bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments are all used to boil the bone broth. Apparently, it is to be boiled and simmered over a period of days! The simmering is the one that causes the bones and ligaments to release collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine which can heal us of lots of ailments.
Bone broth also contains gelatin which is also an anti-inflammatory food.
Click on LINK to read more on this miraculous bone broth.
(to be continued...)