Part Two of the Support Elements series.
“Probiotic” has become a kind of buzz word in the health industry. Health professionals are no longer concerned only about what is going into our stomach – they’re now becoming more concerned about what is happening inside our stomach.
100 trillion bacteria live in your gut. The highest concentration of immune cells in your body reside in your gut, which makes sense because your stomach is the only place inside your body constantly open to the external environment via ingestion. The gut barrier keeps these organisms separate.
Maintaining a healthy “gut biome” can be linked to weight loss, mood, and auto-immune function.
The main reason for an unhealthy gut is inflammation caused by eating the wrong foods.
Media is partially to blame. Corporations vying for greater profits have also contributed to the confusion. After exhaustive research, the question still remains: what should/shouldn’t I eat?
I really enjoyed this video by Funny or Die, Why Eating Healthy Is Hard:
All jokes aside…
Heart disease is a serious pandemic in the West. Inaccurate reports regarding saturated fat and cholesterol levels caused an entire generation of Americans to believe that it was fat killing them – not simple sugars.
Let me put it into perspective: if you die in the US, you’re primarily dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer. 80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable through diet.
If your diet is rich in refined carbohydrates – like sugary foods and bread – your gut barrier is worse for wear because it is maintained by healthy gut bacteria which crave fermentable fiber, such as vegetables, beans, and other short-chain fatty acids.
When your diet is deficient in fiber, these same gut bacteria will begin to hungrily eat away at the gut barrier.
Once your gut barrier deteriorates, those precious immune cells which fight off invading organisms begin to attack the good bacteria on the other side.
Now embattled, the organisms responsible for supporting you become traitors beholden to the tyrant who led you to sabotage yourself.
An amino acid, called L-Glutamine, may be capable of repairing and reinforcing gut health.
While traditionally used (like creatine) for endurance athletes and strength training, for its recovery aspect, studies are showing Glutamine as being key in repairing damaged gut barriers.
And remember, a healthy, intact gut barrier keeps the body’s immune system functioning properly. This allows for faster recovery from high intensity exercise. The reduced potential for inflammation will undoubtedly improve overall health.
Shannon Ehrhardt, R.D. is quoted in this article, saying: