| By Qi Traditions

HOW THE GUT MICROBIOME AFFECTS YOUR OVERALL HEALTH

It's no secret that the gut microbiome has a huge impact on your overall health. It is now believed to be one of the most important factors when it comes to our immune system, as well as other aspects of our physical and mental wellbeing.

So, what exactly is this gut microbiome? Essentially, it's all about bacteria: some good and some bad (aka "pathogenic"). The good guys in your gut are called commensal bacteria which help keep pathogens at bay by crowding them out. These healthy bacteria also form an internal barrier between you and potential invaders from outside sources like food or water. Without these friendly microbes living in your stomach, there would be nothing to stop harmful bugs from invading your body through things such as eating.

In this blog post, we're going to explore how the gut microbiome affects your overall health and what you can do to keep it healthy.

How does the gut microbiome affect your health?

The gut microbiome is crucial for digestion, producing vitamins, and even regulating our metabolism. This means that you can see a huge difference in the functionality of your body if something as small as changing up your diet or lifestyle choices changes what's living inside of you! Studies show that eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, managing stress levels, and keeping an open dialogue with your doctor may all have positive effects on the gut microbiome.

When there is an abundance of pathogenic bacteria, it can lead to dysbiosis. This is when the balance of bacteria in your gut is disrupted and pathogenic bugs are allowed to take over.

Dysbiosis has been linked to:

  • Leaky gut syndrome - the leaky gut is often due to dysbiosis or an imbalance in our microbiota.
  • Lowered immunity - the gut microbiota has been shown to play a role in shaping our immune system.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) - a subset of IBS may be caused by an overgrowth of certain bacteria and/or deficiencies in dietary fibres, vitamins or minerals. IBS has been linked to depression as well as anxiety disorders.
  • Diabetes type II - the gut microbiota may affect our ability to metabolize food and cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
  • Weight gain - there is a correlation between obesity and gut dysbiosis.
  • Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis - the gut microbiota interacts with the immune system and intestinal lining, which can lead to inflammation.
  • Mental illnesses - recent studies show that certain bacterial strains can influence neurotransmitter levels and behaviour, which is why there has been a rise in research into the neuroscience of food as well as its impact on mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia.

What foods are bad for the gut?

Foods that are bad for the gut microbiome are those that contain refined sugars, saturated fats and processed foods. These include things like:

  • Chips - these are a perfect example of foods that are high in refined sugars and saturated fats.
  • Candy - sweets such as candy bars can contribute to weight gain due to the large amounts of sugar they contain, which also contributes to gut dysbiosis.
  • Processed meat - processed meats can lead to inflammation in the colon due to higher levels of pro-inflammatory amino acids.
  • Muffins - these are high in sugar and often contain ingredients such as refined flour that your gut might not be able to break down.
  • Soft drinks - these often have high levels of sugar and artificial sweeteners that can lead to weight gain, ileal pouchitis, inflammation and leaky gut syndrome.
  • Alcohol - many alcoholic beverages such as beer or wine contribute to the development of a leaky gut by disrupting the balance of bacteria in your intestines.
  • Fast food - fast foods are high in sugar and saturated fats, which can lead to weight gain as well as various other health problems such as a lowered immune system response due to inflammation or mental illness that is triggered from what's living inside you!

What foods are good for the gut?

The following healthy, plant-based food sources can be eaten to support a healthy microbiome:

  • Vegetables - broccoli, kale, kohlrabi and cauliflower.
  • Fruits - apples, bananas and oranges.
  • Legumes (beans) - black beans or lentils.
  • Nuts - almonds, walnuts, pecans.
  • Seeds - pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  • Oils - coconut oil or olive oil are good choices for a healthy gut microbiome. You can also use coconut milk in your cooking instead of regular cow's milk to get the same benefits without dairy!
  • Grains - whole grains such as wheat, oats and rye.
  • Seaweed (sea vegetables) - most commonly used in Japanese cuisines like miso soup or sushi. Sea vegetables are high in iodine which is important for the thyroid gland to function properly.
  • Fish - salmon, mackerel and trout.
  • Probiotics - these can be added to your diet by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kimchi that are high in pre-and probiotic bacteria strains, including lactobacillus Plantarum K12 and Bifidobacterium animalis.

Taking a course of antibiotics can cause negative effects on the gut microbiome so it's important to try to avoid this. Why? Because antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria. If you are on antibiotics, be sure to take a probiotic supplement with active human-friendly strains.

What mushrooms help the gut?

Lion's Mane mushroom helps the gut by increasing the production of nerve growth factors in the gut, which helps to reduce inflammation and repair the gut lining. The gut lining is critical to maintaining our body’s immune system and its ability to fight disease. It protects the inner surface of your intestines from harmful bacteria, toxins, and other substances that enter through your mouth or porous skin.

By reducing inflammation in the gut, Lions Mane can help lessen the symptoms of IBD, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Lion's Mane mushrooms also contain a type of polysaccharide called beta-glucans, which have been shown to help promote positive gut bacteria growth. It is best to start off with a half teaspoon one to two times per day and build up slowly from there.

Reishi mushroom is another mushroom that can help the gut by reducing inflammation and boosting immunity. When the gut is inflamed, it becomes more permeable to bacteria and toxins. Reishi mushrooms can help minimize this permeability.

Reishi mushrooms have also been shown to improve symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and help with anxiety, depression, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue or lack of energy. This is because reishi mushrooms are a type of adaptogen. Adaptogens help to balance the immune system and reduce stress reactivity in general, which can be helpful for many people with autoimmune disorders or inflammatory bowel disease.

What a healthy gut microbiome can do for you

It's estimated that 90% of the human immune system resides in your gut, so it is important to have a healthy microbiome.

The health benefits include:

  • Less pain and reduced inflammation - less inflammation throughout the body, which can be a major cause of chronic pain.
  • Less bloating - fuller for longer periods of time which means less snacking!
  • Improved digestion - feeling lighter, having clearer skin and improved moods.
  • Less weight - being able to lose weight without the need for a restrictive diet.
  • Improved moods - less emotional ups and downs.
  • Improved sleep - better quality of sleep with reduced anxiety levels.
  • No more brain fog - being able to think clearly without distractions from food cravings or fatigue!
Researchers have found that gut bacteria, or the microbiome, plays a key role in many aspects of health. It can affect everything from mood to weight to skin conditions and more. But there are ways you can improve your gut health through diet and lifestyle changes. If you’ve been feeling run down lately but don’t know why it might be because your gut is not functioning at its best! Try some of these tips for bettering your eating habits and overall lifestyle so you feel healthier faster.

It's no secret that the gut microbiome has a huge impact on your overall health. It is now believed to be one of the most important factors when it comes to our immune system, as well as other aspects of our physical and mental wellbeing.

So, what exactly is this gut microbiome? Essentially, it's all about bacteria: some good and some bad (aka "pathogenic"). The good guys in your gut are called commensal bacteria which help keep pathogens at bay by crowding them out. These healthy bacteria also form an internal barrier between you and potential invaders from outside sources like food or water. Without these friendly microbes living in your stomach, there would be nothing to stop harmful bugs from invading your body through things such as eating.

In this blog post, we're going to explore how the gut microbiome affects your overall health and what you can do to keep it healthy.

 

HOW DOES THE GUT MICROBIOME AFFECT YOUR HEALTH?

The gut microbiome is crucial for digestion, producing vitamins, and even regulating our metabolism. This means that you can see a huge difference in the functionality of your body if something as small as changing up your diet or lifestyle choices changes what's living inside of you! Studies show that eating a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, managing stress levels, and keeping an open dialogue with your doctor may all have positive effects on the gut microbiome.

When there is an abundance of pathogenic bacteria, it can lead to dysbiosis. This is when the balance of bacteria in your gut is disrupted and pathogenic bugs are allowed to take over.

DYSBIOSIS HAS BEEN LINKED TO:

Leaky gut syndrome - the leaky gut is often due to dysbiosis or an imbalance in our microbiota.

Lowered immunity - the gut microbiota has been shown to play a role in shaping our immune system.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) - a subset of IBS may be caused by an overgrowth of certain bacteria and/or deficiencies in dietary fibres, vitamins or minerals. IBS has been linked to depression as well as anxiety disorders.

Diabetes type II - the gut microbiota may affect our ability to metabolize food and cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

Weight gain - there is a correlation between obesity and gut dysbiosis.

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis - the gut microbiota interacts with the immune system and intestinal lining, which can lead to inflammation.

Mental illnesses - recent studies show that certain bacterial strains can influence neurotransmitter levels and behaviour, which is why there has been a rise in research into the neuroscience of food as well as its impact on mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia.

WHAT FOODS ARE GOOD FOR THE GUT?

The following healthy, plant-based food sources can be eaten to support a healthy microbiome:

 

Vegetables - broccoli, kale, kohlrabi and cauliflower.

Fruits - apples, bananas and oranges.

Legumes (beans) - black beans or lentils.

Nuts - almonds, walnuts, pecans.

Seeds - pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Oils - coconut oil or olive oil are good choices for a healthy gut microbiome. You can also use coconut milk in your cooking instead of regular cow's milk to get the same benefits without dairy!

Grains - whole grains such as wheat, oats and rye.

Seaweed (sea vegetables) - most commonly used in Japanese cuisines like miso soup or sushi. Sea vegetables are high in iodine which is important for the thyroid gland to function properly.

Fish - salmon, mackerel and trout.

Probiotics - these can be added to your diet by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kimchi that are high in pre-and probiotic bacteria strains, including lactobacillus Plantarum K12 and Bifidobacterium animalis.

 

Taking a course of antibiotics can cause negative effects on the gut microbiome so it's important to try to avoid this. Why? Because antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria. If you are on antibiotics, be sure to take a probiotic supplement with active human-friendly strains.

WHAT FOODS ARE BAD FOR THE GUT?

Foods that are bad for the gut microbiome are those that contain refined sugars, saturated fats and processed foods. These include things like:

 

Chips - these are a perfect example of foods that are high in refined sugars and saturated fats.

Candy - sweets such as candy bars can contribute to weight gain due to the large amounts of sugar they contain, which also contributes to gut dysbiosis.

Processed meat - processed meats can lead to inflammation in the colon due to higher levels of pro-inflammatory amino acids.

Muffins - these are high in sugar and often contain ingredients such as refined flour that your gut might not be able to break down.

Soft drinks - these often have high levels of sugar and artificial sweeteners that can lead to weight gain, ileal pouchitis, inflammation and leaky gut syndrome.

Alcohol - many alcoholic beverages such as beer or wine contribute to the development of a leaky gut by disrupting the balance of bacteria in your intestines.

Fast food - fast foods are high in sugar and saturated fats, which can lead to weight gain as well as various other health problems such as a lowered immune system response due to inflammation or mental illness that is triggered from what's living inside you!

WHAT MUSHROOMS HELP THE GUT?

Lion's Mane mushroom helps the gut by increasing the production of nerve growth factors in the gut, which helps to reduce inflammation and repair the gut lining. The gut lining is critical to maintaining our body’s immune system and its ability to fight disease. It protects the inner surface of your intestines from harmful bacteria, toxins, and other substances that enter through your mouth or porous skin. By reducing inflammation in the gut, Lions Mane can help lessen the symptoms of IBD, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Lion's Mane mushrooms also contain a type of polysaccharide called beta-glucans, which have been shown to help promote positive gut bacteria growth. It is best to start off with a half teaspoon one to two times per day and build up slowly from there.

Reishi mushroom is another mushroom that can help the gut by reducing inflammation and boosting immunity. When the gut is inflamed, it becomes more permeable to bacteria and toxins. Reishi mushrooms can help minimize this permeability.

Reishi mushrooms have also been shown to improve symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and help with anxiety, depression, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue or lack of energy. This is because reishi mushrooms are a type of adaptogen. Adaptogens help to balance the immune system and reduce stress reactivity in general, which can be helpful for many people with autoimmune disorders or inflammatory bowel disease.

 

WHAT A HEALTHY GUT MICROBIOME CAN DO FOR YOU

THE HEALTH BENEFITS INCLUDE:

Less pain and reduced inflammation - less inflammation throughout the body, which can be a major cause of chronic pain.

Less bloating - fuller for longer periods of time which means less snacking!

Improved digestion - feeling lighter, having clearer skin and improved moods.

Less weight - being able to lose weight without the need for a restrictive diet.

Improved moods - less emotional ups and downs.

Improved sleep - better quality of sleep with reduced anxiety levels.

No more brain fog - being able to think clearly without distractions from food cravings or fatigue!

Researchers have found that gut bacteria, or the microbiome, plays a key role in many aspects of health. It can affect everything from mood to weight to skin conditions and more. But there are ways you can improve your gut health through diet and lifestyle changes. If you’ve been feeling run down lately but don’t know why it might be because your gut is not functioning at its best! Try some of these tips for bettering your eating habits and overall lifestyle so you feel healthier faster.

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