Gastrointestinal (GI) health is critical for optimal functioning of all systems of the body. There are 100 trillion bacteria in the human body, and most of them live in the intestines. Having a sufficient amount of beneficial bacteria in your gut keeps your digestive and immune systems in check, helps the body absorb vitamins and minerals, regulates hormones, eliminates toxins, and improves mental health. Some refer to the gut as “the second brain” because of the primal connection that exists between the brain and the gut (ever had a “gut feeling” about something?)
Any imbalance in the GI system or lack of healthy bacteria in the gut can lead to several health ailments. Digestive issues, anxiety, depression, autoimmune disease, poor memory and concentration, and joint pain are all examples of issues that can be fixed by taking better care of your gut health. Gut imbalances are prevalent in our Western culture of fast and processed foods devoid of nutrients and healthy probiotics. This is why bowel disorders including celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and leaky gut syndrome are more common today than ever. Beyond these conditions, imbalanced gut health can lead to early onset Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. According to the Father of Medicine himself, Hippocrates claimed that “all disease begins in the gut.”
We’d like to take that further and state the obvious that if all disease begins in the gut, all disease must be able to be healed in the gut. Even if you’ve spent years eating an imbalanced diet or “yo-yo dieting” with bouts of consuming lots of processed food, or taken a lot of antibiotics that strip the system of healthy bacteria, with attention and care, you can heal your gut health. The “4 R” program is one way to restore digestive health. The four Rs stand for: Remove, Replace, Repair, and Reinoculate. Remove inflammatory foods that negatively affect the gut environment. Replace the good, healthy nutrients required for proper digestion. Repair the damage that’s been done. Reinoculate the good bacteria and build a healthy gut environment flourishing with good bacteria. Fermented foods rich in probiotics are an excellent source of healthy bacteria. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, kombucha, pickled vegetables all have high levels of probiotics. Try to eat something fermented daily.
Another way to increase your gut bacteria levels is by visiting a supplement shop and picking up some probiotics. Our Lactospore MicroFlora probiotic formula restores gastrointestinal balance by inhibiting pathogens and encouraging good bacteria to thrive. Lactospore helps reduce symptoms of IBS, regulates cholesterol, reverse canker sores, supports immune function and corrects diarrheal diseases and constipation. These 400 million CFU capsules are stable at room temperature, which means you can take them with you (and we recommend that you do especially if traveling somewhere you’ll be exposed to new types of foods). The best time to take probiotics is on an empty stomach, so we recommend first thing in the morning for maximum absorption. These are one a day vitamins for healthy maintenance, but take three per day for therapeutic uses.
Now that you know about the importance of gut health, what changes are you going to make? We recommend decreasing or eliminating unhealthy foods, increasing fermented foods, and taking probiotics. Get educated about the “4 Rs” of gut health and how you can take steps to improve and maintain a healthy gut environment. Be patient with yourself, especially if gut health isn’t something you’ve paid much attention to in the past. Invest now in restoring a healthy digestive system, and your physical health and mental wellbeing will be improved for the long-term.