Your gut biome can be your best friend or it can take you down… all the way down and leave you sitting on the toilet in misery. Or worse. Have no fear, take these easy steps to start improving your GUT TODAY.
Studies demonstrate the quickest and most effective ways to shape our gut microbiome is through our diet and supplements(Legit’s Healthy GI plus is a great way to a better gut biome). Differences in the composition of our gut microbiome can be observed in as little as 24 hours after making dietary changes, according to a study published in December 2019 in the journal Nutrients. While the research is continuing to unfold, it is clear that certain foods and dietary practices promote a healthier, more resilient gut microbiome, while others trigger inflammation. Here are five simple steps you can incorporate to potentially improve your gut microbiome starting today. And be sure to talk to a nutritionist or at the very least your doctor about the best ways to incorporate these foods into your diet, especially if you have certain health conditions. Speak to a pharmacist regarding interactions with medications before making vast dietary changes or adding supplements.
1. Add Prebiotic-Rich Foods to Every Meal
In short, probiotics are the beneficial gut bacteria themselves, found in both supplements and fermented foods, whereas prebiotics are food for probiotics. More specifically, according to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, prebiotics are substances that selectively feed our healthy gut-associated microbes when we consume them. It’s important to populate and support a healthy balance of these healthy microbes in our gut, but we must also feed them properly with plenty of prebiotic-rich foods, so they stick around and provide us with health benefits (and are not crowded out by the more disease associated microbes).
- Prebiotics are found in foods such as apples, artichokes, bananas, barley, oats, chia and flaxseeds, alliums like garlic and onions, beans and legumes, green and black teas, and even cocoa. Adding chia seeds to oatmeal, cooking with a generous amount of garlic and onion, incorporating chickpeas and black beans into salads, and enjoying a square of dark chocolateu with a cup of green tea, are all easy ways to increase your prebiotic intake. An apple a day will keep the doctor away! Apples cost a handful of nickels… Average doctor visit in the US is currently $171 and hours of your day. Apples please.
2. Supplement with Pre, Pro and Post biotic formulas
It is easy to say we will change our diets. Old habits die hard, often times it’s not so easy to change our diets. Rome was not built in a day, but your gut biome can be rebuilt in under a day. If you can remember to take 4 pills a day you will be on your way to a healthier you in under 24 hours. Work on changing your diet slowly. Each week make concrete changes and you will be eating better immediately and eating healthy in a month or two. Health and well being is no sprint, it is a marathon. If you stumble and eat poorly, say on vacation or a business trip, it is ok. Get back on track as soon as you can. That is the beauty of supplementing your diet. Even when life gets in the way of being healthy you can stay on course. Below is a short list of what to expect from our GI supplement.
Benefits of Legit’s Healthy GI plus+
- Enhanced Digestion– Prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics, along with digestive enzymes, work synergistically to optimize digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Balanced Gut Flora– Digest PLUS promotes a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, reducing the growth of harmful microbes.
- Enhanced Nutrient Absorption– By promoting optimal digestion, these supplements help maximize the absorption of essential nutrients from food.
- Improve Immune Function– A healthy gut microbiome plays a crucial role in immune functions, and these supplements support overall immune health.
- Reduced Gastrointestinal Issues- Regular intake of prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, and digestive enzymes can help alleviate common GI issues such as constipation, bloating, and gas.
3. Include a Wide Variety in Your Diet
A healthy ecosystem is rich in plant and animal diversity and your diet should be the same. A healthy and resilient gut microbiome is one that is diverse, encompassing a variety of microorganisms with unique roles. The greater the microbial diversity in the gut, the greater the health benefits. Think of it this way; In a hospital you have doctors of all types, nurses, administrative staff, maintenance, janitorial and many other groups that work together to provide medical services. How long would that hospital last without any one of them? No doctors, no hospital. No janitor makes for a dirty OR and filthy facility… boom the state shuts you down. Your gut is the same way, take away one component and the rest is a house of cards that begins to fall.
One of the best ways to increase the diversity of your gut microbiome, is to eat a varied diet. Data published in American Society for Microbiology in May 2018 from The American Gut Project, an initiative intended to help us better understand the human gut microbiome, demonstrated that those who eat greater than or equal to 30 plant varieties per week have a more diverse gut microbiome compared with those who eat less than or equal to 10 plant varieties per week. Try adding one to two new plant varieties to your grocery shopping cart each week, and visiting the farmer’s market to sample seasonal produce and support your local economy. Additionally, cooking with fresh herbs and adding them to salads, starting your day with a protein shake with berries, snacking on fruit with nuts and seeds, and incorporating plant-based proteins into your meals such as beans and legumes.
4. Artificial Sweeteners… be damned!
Artificial sweeteners may appear healthier than regular sugar, they are NOT! Some research indicates that they may actually wreak havoc on our healthy gut bacteria. A cross-sectional study published in the Journal of Obesity in October 2019 found that in those with morbid obesity, artificial sweetener intake was positively correlated with gut microbiome changes linked to insulin resistance, one of the main contributors to type 2 diabetes. Additionally, a meta-analysis published in July 2017 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal demonstrated that among human prospective studies, artificial sweetener intake is correlated with increases in body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference over time, increasing risk for chronic illness.
Rather than regularly loading up on artificial sweeteners, it’s likely healthier to consume real sugar in moderation. To avoid artificial sweeteners, look out for saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, neotame, and advantame on ingredient labels of foods, beverages, and supplements. These are the artificial sweeteners currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Listen to me please, the FDA is a complete joke… it is a poorly/corruptly run organization that is a wing of the pharmaceutical industry. They are based on profit, not fact and certainly not health. I urge you to do your own research on artificial sweeteners, some are not too bad in moderation.
5. Steer Clear of Dietary Emulsifiers
Dietary emulsifiers are food additives that improve the texture and consistency of various processed foods, by holding food particles together. They’re added to foods like salad dressing to prevent separation of oil and water, ice cream and gelatin desserts to improve their texture and mouthfeel, and milk alternatives to prevent their components from separating out. Sounds freaky just reading about it.
While certain foods naturally have emulsification properties, like egg yolks, emulsifiers can also be chemically synthesized or extracted. It is speculated that unlike foods with natural emulsification properties, chemically processed emulsifiers may have detrimental effects on our gut and as a result, promote intestinal inflammation. According to a study, higher intakes of ultra-processed foods are significantly associated with increased risk for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). So the theory is that ultra-processed foods often contain chemically processed emulsifiers, and while the effects of these emulsifiers on the human gut microbiome is not fully understood, it is looking like they may be terribly bad. The big question is why are some so sensitive to these artificial emulsifiers while others are not. My guess is volume of processed foods consumed in diet over long periods and overall health of gut biome when coming into contact with these chemicals.
Additionally, various therapeutic diets recommended for IBD, such as the IBD Anti-Inflammatory Diet (IBD AID) and the Crohn’s Disease Exclusion Diet (CDED), specifically restrict these emulsifiers. Maltodextrin, carrageenan, polysorbate-80, and carboxymethylcellulose are examples of common chemically processed dietary emulsifiers to look out for on ingredient labels. Since these additives are only found in packaged, processed foods, centering your diet around whole, minimally processed foods is an easy way to avoid them.
It is weird to summarize the article in one sentence, but if I had to it would be very simple instructions. “Don’t eat chemicals”(real no brainer)… also, question the person that tells you to eat chemicals.
Strictly opinion and not medical advice. Consult your doctor, pharmacist and/or nutritionist before starting/stopping any supplement or exercise program.