Gut Health 101
If you are looking for vibrancy and optimal health, a great place to start is the gut. I believe gut health to be the foundation of good health.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, suggested that all disease begins in the gut. What is known today is that over 170 diseases are linked to gut health. And around 88% of our body’s immunity is found in the lining of the gastro-intestinal (GI) system. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The human microbiome entails all of the bacteria (or single cell organisms) that live in and on the human body. We are in fact made up of about 90% bacteria. The human body is host to around 100 trillion living organisms. These organisms are linked to every essential function of our body. Every human has a unique bacterial composition.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The largest concentration of these bacteria is in the gut. The gut microbiome is the total sum of bacteria that lives in a person’s gut. This ecosystem involves a multifaceted, interconnected and independent relationship between living organisms called microflora. This microflora help us break down food while at the same time creating essential nutrients for the body.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The gut flora is often broken down into two categories – good bacteria (aka friendly or beneficial bacteria) or bad bacteria (aka opportunistic pathogens.) Diversity of bacteria is key, as is having a proper ratio of 85% good bacteria to 15% bad bacteria. When the proper ratio is out of balance, the beneficial bacteria can no longer protect the walls of the gut (and in turn your immunity, amongst other health outcomes, is compromised.)
Adequate dietary function is essential for proper functioning of the gut and has also been related to risk reduction for a lot of chronic diseases including heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes.
Dietary fibre comes solely from plant foods. Consumption of a diverse range of plant foods help to create a diverse gut flora.
Fibre is the indigestible parts of plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and legumes. It is type of a carbohydrate that helps keep our digestive systems healthy.
There are three different types of fibre which all have different functions and health benefits.
Soluble fibre helps to slow the emptying process in our stomachs, which helps you feel fuller. It also helps to lower cholesterol and stabilise your blood glucose levels.
Soluble fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, oats, barley and legumes.
Insoluble fibre absorbs water to help to soften the contents of our bowels and support regular bowel movements. It also helps to keep us full and keep the bowel environment healthy.
Insoluble fibre is found in wholegrain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, wheat bran and the skin of fruit and vegetables.
Resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine and instead proceeds to the large intestine where it can assist in the production of good bacteria and improves bowel health.
Resistant starch is found in undercooked pasta, under ripe bananas, cooked and cooled potato and rice.
In addition to incorporating a diverse range of plants in your diet Qenda offer two dietary fibre products that I have personally used for years and so have many of my clients. This is a unique range of gut health products that I believe truly support a healthy microbiome.
Another outstanding formula that is an excellent source of fibre, as well as phytonutrients and vitamin C, is the superfood formula L.I.F.E. I personally will never go a day without my 2 servings of L.I.F.E. It is an Australian wild foods blend and it tastes amazing.
by Katie Pinnick
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