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Gut Buddies

Friday, May 07, 2021

Did you know that we, on our own, don’t have all the enzymes we need to digest our own diet?

Microbes in the gut break down many of the proteins, lipids and carbohydrates in our diet into nutrients that we can then absorb. Microbes also produce beneficial compounds, like vitamins and anti-inflammatories that our bodies cannot produce. 

The entirety of all the microbes in our body make up what is known as the “microbiome” but Steven Gundry, Author of “The Plant Paradox” and “The Longevity Paradox” calls our microbiome our “gut buddies.” I like that description better than “microbiome."

Our gut buddies help us in innumerable ways.

They help us to digest food, regulate our immune system response, protect against pathogenic bacteria and produce important vitamins such as vitamin B12, thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin K. Gut buddies can also secrete two hormones that affect our appetite, Leptin (which tells us we have had enough food) and Ghrelin (which tells us we need more food.) So they can effect how easy it is to gain or lose weight.

We’re only beginning to understand the importance of having a healthy microbiome and the role that our gut bacteria play in our overall health and predisposition to disease.

Many of the food that are good for "us" are actually really good for our gut buddies too.

Olive oil, avocados, leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, full fat dairy, fermented veggies like saur kraut and kimchi, no added sugar yogurts, kefir, nuts like macadamias, almonds, walnuts and pistachios.

And things that are bad for "us" turns out they are bad for our healthy gut buddies too. Sugar, sodas, too much meat, fried foods, artificial sweeteners and processed grains and foods. These foods can cultivate a whole host of bad gut buddies.

Just remember, when you are eating, you are not only eating to feed all the parts of you that are YOU. You are eating to feed your estimated 100 trillion little gut buddies, so treat them well!

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