To celebrate National Nutrition Month (going on right now), I want to talk about how adding healthy beneficial bacteria is key for a healthy lifestyle, which plays a big part of your overall wellness. In my book, Eating Clean, I gathered my best tips and notes to make your gut health and clean eating detox a breeze. My goal in my book and on my website to revamp your pantry and give your kitchen, your immune system, and your gut a makeover. Get ready for increased energy levels, decreased inflammation, and more overall well-being than ever before!
The Elimination Diet that I laid out in full detail in my book is simple (here is a shorter version of the Elimination Diet to breeze through so you can get an idea of what it’s all about): for twenty-one days, you will cut out the most common food triggers from your lifestyle. The idea is to stop eating the foods that are negatively affecting your health. With this anti-inflammatory diet, you’ll feed the good bacteria in your gut, decrease inflammation, improve your body’s ability to fight off pathogens, and lose weight.
I know what you’re probably thinking. Where do I start? That’s what I’m here to help you with.
As for where to start, think about what you want to address first. If you suffer from colds or ear, nose, and throat problems, consider upgrading to almond or other nut and seed milks and removing dairy. If you’re battling irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, or other gut issues, think about first cutting out gluten and yeast-filled foods like breads, pastas, and baked goods. Even if you don’t currently suffer from any ailments, I promise that you’ll feel better than you thought possible by simply making small changes.
So, let’s start with chatting about Leaky Gut, how most of us have unknowingly created a non-beneficial bacteria environment in our gut and how we can support our overall health with probiotics.
We have nearly five pounds of good bacteria in our gut. These friendly bugs fight off harmful bacteria, parasites, and fungi, and form a healthy barrier on the intestinal wall so harmful germs can’t enter the blood and lymph systems. They also help you digest food and fiber and optimize the assimilation of vitamins and minerals in your bloodstream to nourish you.
When we eat an excess of the wrong foods, however, or take too many antibiotics, or become exposed to heavy metals and toxins, we can develop leaky gut syndrome. This is when the gut barrier is breached, causing intestinal permeability. Undigested pieces of food can enter our bloodstream, where the immune system identifies them as invaders and attacks. That is why some people become sensitive to various foods, and suffer inflammation as a result of what they’re eating. (See page 000 for information on how to get tested for leaky gut syndrome.) More info on Leaky Gut, is on my Leaky Gut page.
Here are a few things that can lead to an unhealthy gut in need of probiotics. The majority of us already have Leaky Gut, so if you’re wondering if you have it, the answer is probably yes.
- Depleted Soil. Worn out farmland produces foods that are lower in health-supporting enzymes. Much of the food we see in the food store is made from depleted soil, which lacks good bacteria that out soil had many years ago.
- Refined Foods. These are exposed to heat, which damages enzymes and nutrients; chemical preservatives, as well as coloring and flavoring agents, which negatively effect the good bacteria and feed the bad bacteria in our guts.
- Irradiation. This process is used to keep harmful organisms out of your food, but it can also rob food of vitamins A, E, K, and B, as well as of essential amino acids, healthy fats, and enzymes.
- Pesticides. They inhibit the absorption of minerals that come from the soil and also contribute to leaky gut (see above) as well as a damaged microbiome. Read more info on the Microbiome.
- Antibiotics. Taking antibiotics can alter your gut environment (microbiome), creating the perfect breeding ground for internal toxicity. Also, eating conventional animal products (which are full of antibiotics) can affect our gut bacteria, as well.
- Toxic Exposure. Your toxic load affects your good bacteria. Heavy metals such as aluminum, mercury, and lead wreak havoc on your digestion and gut, which impacts your entire immune system leading to more serious health issues.
- Digestive enzymes and good bacteria are compromised when you face stress, both emotional and physical, and can affect your digestion and proper absorption of foods.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
Your gut contains a hundred trillion bacteria and you always want more good bacteria than bad bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are friendly ‘good’ gut bacteria that protect your gut. Taking a daily high quality multi-strain probiotic supplement will help you add beneficial bacterial (see page 000 for suggested brands and page 000 for suggested probiotic rich foods). You may need to continue to take probiotics for awhile to maintain a healthy balance of good gut bacteria. It’s also important to eat foods that are rich in prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria in your gut. Examples of prebiotic foods are leeks, onions, asparagus, garlic, dandelion greens, and Jerusalem artichokes.
How to Take Probiotics
Remember, probiotics are part of your lifestyle. They’re not meant to be a one time thing, folks. In order to live a healthy life, you’ve got to remember to take them on a daily basis. There’s no quick fix when it comes to health. Anything you see that’s trying to sell you a quick fix it’s legit. Remember that. What is legit? Taking a daily probiotic such as Align for your digestive issues to help support your beneficial bacteria with continued daily use. I know many of you are trying to maintain digestive balance because you’ve emailed me and told me you want more info on gut health, which is why I’ve been teaming up with Align to create a few posts sharing ways that you can support your gut health, digestion and overall immune system on a daily basis. Why wait until you get diagnosed with a digestive disorder or another health issue before you take a hold of your health? To me, that’s silly. BUT, it’s what I needed to wake me up from being asleep for two decades with my food and lifestyle. Everything I write about on my website and in my book (and future books) comes from my heart because I’ve been there. I’ve struggled for over three decades (since I was a kid) with health issues and I want to show you how you can feel better by doing something that takes less than 5 seconds a day. Check out this coupon for Align so you can try it for yourself today HERE.
This post was sponsored by Align. All opinions are my own.