The Gut Microbiome & Good Digestive Health
Microbiome is a word more and more people are becoming familiar with in understanding the role it has on our gut and overall health. If you haven’t heard this term before, microbiome refers to the collective colonies of bacteria living in our digestive tracts. Good bacteria guard the integrity of the delicate mucous membranes and not so good bacteria can wreak all kinds of havoc.
Bloating, diarrhoea, indigestion and food intolerances can all be caused by an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria communities. Ever have brain fog? It could be the result of an overload of the bad guys!
How does this happen and how can you protect yourself?
- Chlorine in tap water
- High gluten and dairy consumption
- Processed sugar intake
- Lack of dietary fibre
- High protein diets
- Oral contraceptive pill
All of the above contribute to an imbalance in favour of destructive bacteria. Once the thin mucous membrane has been penetrated by bacteria, and/or the contributing behaviour continues, a host of digestive disorders ensues.
More and more, research is highlighting the link between the poor gut microbiome and chronic health conditions such as allergic reactions, skin conditions, chronic inflammatory conditions, obesity, and mental health conditions including depression and anxiety.
What Helps Gut Microbiome Flourish?
- Implementing stress-management into your daily routine is key for optimal digestion. Simple techniques include taking a small walk on your lunch break, 10-minute tea break, or switching off from technology for 20 minutes a day.
- Prebiotic foods stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Food sources include onions, garlic, leek, spring onion, whole grains, legumes, asparagus, cabbage.
- Ensure you have 3-5 cups of a variety of vegetables daily to promote regular bowel movements, decrease inflammation and digestive discomfort. Plant foods provide food and nourishment for microbes to flourish. Eat the rainbow!
- Take a high quality, multi-strain probiotic after a course of antibiotics. This restores a healthy balance of good bacteria that may have been depleted by antibiotics.