Over 2000 years ago, Hippocrates declared that “all disease begins in the gut.” Yet it is only recently that modern medicine has begun to document the crucial role of the microbiome – the billions of microbes that live within us. Comprising over 70% of the immune system, recent research reveals the myriad ways in which intestinal health is aligned with overall health. The gut is important for a multitude of reasons – nutrient absorption, symptom-free digestion, immune system support, skin conditions and even obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, preventing “leaky gut” guards against food sensitivities and allergies and potentially protects against autoimmune diseases.
1) Take a Probiotic Daily
As one of the prime innovators of gut health, probiotics help to re-balance gut flora and are an obvious supplement to add to your daily regimen. I recommend a multi-strain, shelf stable probiotic that includes lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.
2) Avoid Gut Irritants
Antibiotics top the list for impairing gut health, but other offenders include NSAIDs, birth control pills, alcohol, coffee, gluten, processed foods and stress. All of these can wreak havoc on our gut, undoing all the good work that a healthy diet and probiotic supplementation provide.
3) Reduce or Eliminate Sugar
Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in our gut, crowding out the good guys. A low sugar diet is one of the best things you can do to support intestinal health.
4) Eat Prebiotic Foods
Plant fibers and the fructooligosaccharides found in onions, leeks, celery, artichokes, beans and asparagus, feed the friendly bacteria in the gut and nourish the gut.
5) Drink Bone Broth
Full of gut-healing nutrients collagen and gelatin, bone broth has justifiably been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years. Learn how to make your own bone broth and incorporate it into your diet.
6) Consume Fermented Foods and Beverages
Fermented drinks such as beet kvass and kombucha or foods including unpasteurized sauerkraut or kimchee contain billions of bacteria that nourish the gut and diversify your bacterial flora.