By Alfred Okoko
The gut microbiome basically refers to the diversity in the microbial ecosystem in our gastrointestinal tract. It’s been discovered that our gut is actually a home for trillions of bacteria. These bacteria have maintained a host microbial relationship with human beings for ages. A new picture is now emerging in the medical field of research. A relationship between the state of our microbiome in both health and disease. We find that actually the healthy microbiome actually protects us from bad bacteria. It also helps in the processing of a number of nutrients that our body needs to remain healthy. Without these healthy bacteria we may not survive. Even a relationship is being observed between the health status of the microbiome and the onset of chronic degenerative disorders e.g. diabetes, arthritis, memory problems, heart disease and other autoimmune disorders. Could the state of health of the microbiome help in understanding the root causes of some of our chronic disorders?
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Our Western lifestyle seems to have a negative impact on our gut microbiome which proportionally will result in the harming of our immune system. This basically sets the ground for chronic degenerative conditions.
Whole foods and refined foods are miles apart when exposed to our gut microbiome for nutrition and health promotion. Our gut microbiome actually feed on the fiber that is in whole foods and also ends up manufacturing vital nutrients such as vitamin B12 for our health. By feeding them with processed foods whose fiber has been removed, we are actually starving them. They may not be able to manufacture vital nutrients for our body’s health. We can say that we may suffer from subclinical malnutrition. Those refined foods cannot fill this deficiency gap. That’s why the health of our forefathers seemed to have been much better. They consumed the correct whole foods that fed their gut microbiome. They suffered less from the current proliferation of chronic degenerative diseases. Wild animals simply gives us the true picture of how our ancestors health used to be while living in nature. Animals in the wild do not feed on refined foods unless when under the custody of human beings. They feed their microbes and do not kill them. Result? They do not need health institutions or personnel to go about their business. They don’t have medical bills! How about human beings? We refine our foods ending up starving our gut microbiome. Our antibiotics actually kill both the good and bad bacteria. Chronic consumption of antibiotics also drastically destroys our microbiome, exposing ourselves to even more diseases.
How can we save our gut microbiome?
Well, it’s basically an individuals responsibility. What you decide to put in your mouth is your own choice. We are living in a world whereby people are not interested in the nutritional value of what they eat. Manufacturers of foods have known this hence they focus more on processing, refinement and additives to enhance sweetness and appetite. That’s where the money is in the business world of food. People do not admire whole unrefined foods taste and visual appearance. They would rather pay a high price for refined and processed foods. Unknowingly this will starve and decimate their microbiome promoting lifestyle diseases. The result of this then is to rely on a healthcare establishment to take care of their health.
Decimating the healthy gut microbiome leads to inflammation and destruction of the protective mucosal membrane. This membrane forms a protective barrier between the gut wall and it’s contents. Only finely digested particles are supposed to be absorbed. With a destroyed mucosal membrane we now have leaks whereby large particles may find their way into the blood circulatory system. This condition is referred to as a leaky gut syndrome. Inflammation occurs. This results in the triggering of an immune response. Therefore one may suffer now from a chronic inflammatory disease e g diabetes, arthritis etc. As long as the leaky gut syndrome persists and so will the disease. Could this promote autoimmune disorders if one is chronically suffering from a leaky gut syndrome? Heal your gut.
Inorder to rectify this situation:
1. Eat organic whole foods and traditional fermented ones . Fermented foods supply good bacteria for the gut.
2. Do not take antibiotics unnecessarily without a medical prescription
3. Find out what foods your grand parents used to eat. Copy them.
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