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  • Writer's pictureCarl Staaf

Healthy Gut = Healthy Body

Overall health is to a big extent related to the health of the gut and the health of the gut is it turn related to the balance of the bacterias living there.

The food we crave are not necessarily based on our psychological preferences but more so decided by the bacterias in our gut. If we have a lot of bacterias who feed on fast food, we will crave fast food and if we have a lot of bacterias that feed on healthy whole foods, we will crave just that.

Getting rid/changing the gut microbiome takes time and is most effectively done through the 5R’s approach: remove, replace, repair, reinoculate, and rebalance.

  1. Remove: Remove stressors. Get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract including allergenic foods, parasites or other bad bugs such as bacteria or yeast. This might involve using an allergy “elimination diet” to find out what foods are causing GI symptoms or it may involve taking drugs or herbs to eradicate a particular bug. Stressors may also be emotional, related to environment, trauma, or interpersonal stress and that is why a holistic approach is necessary.

  2. Replace: Replace digestive secretions by adding back things like digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bile acids that are required for proper digestion. These may be compromised by diet, drugs, diseases, aging, or other factors.

  3. Reinoculate: Help beneficial bacteria flourish by taking in probiotic foods or supplements and by consuming the high soluble fiber foods that good bugs like to eat, called “prebiotics.” Foods rich in prebiotics can be helpful and harmful to the gut, depending on your stage of gut healing.

  4. Repair: Help the lining of the GI tract repair itself by supplying key nutrients often in short supply in a disease state, such as zinc, antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A, C, and E), fish oil, and the amino acid glutamine.

  5. Rebalance: Pay attention to lifestyle choices: sleep, the way you approach and eat food, your emotions, exercise and stress can all affect the GI tract. Also activating your vagus nerve for digestive and optimal health is key!

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