2000 years ago, the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, said “all disease begins in the gut.” This phenomena is currently on the forefront of modern health. A healthy gut is essential to preventing metabolic diseases, bone diseases, and achieving optimal cognitive function. Not only that, but research done over the past twenty years has linked an unhealthy gut to diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, autism spectrum disorder, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome. The National Commission on Digestive Diseases reported that in 2009 that more than 60 million Americans were affected by digestive diseases at the cost of over 100 million dollars in direct medical expenses. Researchers on the topic believe that supporting and maintaining intestinal and gut health will be most significant issue of medicine in the 21st century.
The two primary factors for a healthy gut deal with the type of bacteria living in your gut as well as the integrity of the lining of your gut. Humans have ten times the amount of microbial cells (bacteria) than we do human cells. We have enough bugs in our body to fill a half gallon jug container. Now the natural impulse is to assume that bugs and germs are bad for our health and will make us sick. WRONG. You idiot, these bacterias are essential for things like mood, memory, the immune system, hormone regulation, mineral absorbency, vitamin absorbency, ability to eliminate toxins and your overall health in general. The second factor I mentioned, the integrity of you gut lining, can lead to a what is called a leaky gut. It is medically labeled intestinal hyperpermeability, and it occurs when the lining of the small intestine is damaged. This occurs when a food someone is sensitive too is consumed and causes inflammation. When this inflammation occurs the protective barrier between your intestine and bloodstream are damaged. Now large molecules are able to leak into your bloodstream, generating antibodies and increasing your chance of catching viruses.
More importantly than what I just discussed above is what a healthy gut will do to your brain. Recent research has shown that your gut can effect cognitive functions like clearer thought processes and memory. The evidence of your gut and brain being directly linked is leading to health professionals labeling the gut your “second brain.” It is now believed that serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates mood and mental health is mainly generated in the digestive tract. What else do you need to know? A healthy gut makes us happier and smarter! But don’t take it from me, listen to an expert. (Starts talking about the gut at 5:08)
Like what was just explained, the key to a healthy and properly functioning gut is probiotics. And what are probiotics? They are bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. They are often referred to as “friendly” bacterias. Probiotics can balance the amount of good and bad bacteria in your gut which like Chris Kresser just described can boost your immune system, limit food cravings, prevent infectious parasites, and over long term prevent fatal diseases. Here are some of the best sources of probiotics and what kinds you should look for.
Probably the most common and well known food with probiotics. Look for yogurt products that come from goat’s milk because they are known to have the most concentrated forms of probiotics like hermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Be sure to read the yogurt products label before buying, yogurt can be extremely high in sugar.
Kefir is something that not too many people seem to know about. It is very similar to yogurt and is made from fermented goats milk and grain. Kefir is also very rich in antioxidants.
That’s right these fermented cabbages and vegetables are filled with healthy probiotics as well as several vitamins. So next time you go for a hot dog lather up the pork penis with some tasty sauerkraut.
Much like sauerkraut, Kimchi is fermented and pickled cabbage often served as a side dish in Korea. It is most commonly served spicy and is rich in many different types of nutrients and one of the best sources of probiotics.
Last but not least and probably my favorite source of probiotics organisms, Kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea that contains Scoby (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). Kombucha has been around for centuries and has a long list of healthy benefits. It is known to give you energy, help you lose weight and has been known to liven your mood!
So take good care of your gut and your brain will follow. This notion is changing what we previously thought made up a healthy person. So next time you have a “gut feeling” make sure its a good one.