One of the number one ways to experience vibrant health and a healthy body weight is by balancing the good to bad ratio of bacteria in the intestines. Most people have 15% good bacteria and 85% bad. This ratio needs to be reversed in order to be healthy. Studies show that overweight people do not have the same bacterial balance in their intestines as people that are at a healthy weight. There have been many studies done on this and one showed that when the bacteria that overweight people are found to have, is injected into the intestines of mice, the mice started to gain twice as much fat. There could actually be a fat manufacturing plant in your intestines! Couple this with high cortisol (meaning high stress in your life or even constant low stress and you are in for a double, fat creating double whammy!) Another study showed that obese people were able to reduce their abdominal fat by nearly 5 percent, and their subcutaneous fat by over 3 percent, just by drinking a probiotic-rich fermented milk beverage for 12 weeks.
Many people think of their gut as a simple mechanism to digest food, but this is a woefully inadequate assessment. Your gut is quite literally your second brain as well as the home to 80 percent of your immune system.
Do you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis? Do you have difficulty digesting foods, or have food allergies?
Gas and bloating
Constipation or diarrhea
Crave sugar/refined carbs?
These are all signs that unhealthy bacteria have taken over in your gut, and these warning signs should be taken seriously, since a healthy gut is your number one defense system against ALL disease. There are actually ten times more bacteria in your body than there are cells. Balancing the good to bad bacteria has the potential to do more for your health than any single other thing you can do.
80 % of your immune system resides in your intestinal tract and if there is not a proper ratio of good to bad bacteria living in there, you are going to have health problems.
How does this get off balance?
Very simply, we do not eat bacteria rich food because we have a cultural fear of bacteria. These foods are necessary to replenish beneficial bacteria. To add to this, we feed the harmful bacteria with sugar, processed foods, and alcohol.
A healthy ratio of good to bad gut bacteria is also essential for:
Proper development and function of your immune system
Protection against over-growth of other microorganisms that could cause disease
Digestion of food and absorption of nutrients
The probiotics in your gut also play a role in helping numerous bodily functions, such as:
Digesting and absorbing certain carbohydrates
Producing vitamins, absorbing minerals and eliminating toxins
Keeping harmful bacteria under control
Nervous system function
The Top Step to Optimize Your Gut Bacteria AND Shed Pounds
Avoid consuming sugar, including fructose, and processed foods (which virtually all contain added sugar
and fructose). The sugars serve as fuel for the growth of pathogenic anaerobic bacteria, fungi and yeast, and competitively inhibit your good bacteria, tending to crowd them out of their appropriate niche. These pathogenic bacteria, fungi and yeast then produce metabolic waste products that will cause your health to deteriorate.
When you eat a healthy diet, consisting of whole food plant based carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat and probiotic rich foods, that are low in sugars and processed foods, it automatically helps enable the beneficial bacteria in your gut to flourish.
At the same time, limiting fructose is essential not only for the make- up of your gut bacteria but also for your weight directly. Fructose tricks your body into gaining weight by fooling your metabolism, as it turns off your body's appetite-control system. Fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the "hunger hormone") and doesn't stimulate leptin (the "satiety hormone"), which together result in your eating more and developing insulin resistance.
Why Keeping Your Gut Bacteria in Balance is an Ongoing Process
Your gut bacteria are an active and integrated part of entire system, in constant communication with your nervouse system, brain and hormones. Your bacteria are affected by your emotions and lifestyle. If processed foods are eaten often, your gut bacteria are going to be compromised because processed foods in general will destroy healthy microflora and feed bad bacteria and yeast.
Your gut bacteria are also very sensitive to:
Because virtually all of us are exposed to these at least occasionally, ensuring your gut bacteria remain balanced should be considered an ongoing process. Cultured foods like raw milk yogurt and kefir, some cheeses, and sauerkraut are good sources of natural, healthy bacteria, provided they are not pasteurized. Keep an eye out for future posts on these foods.
If eating probiotic-rich foods has not been a part of your diet, it would be a good idea to do a super charged approach to building those bacteria.
I offer a very inexpensive 5 month gut-recolinization program. This is a complete, 4 stage, replenishment course. The investment is only $122 for the entire 5 month program. If you are interested in supercharging your health, this is the way to go. Just email Maria@mariarippo.com to order. Shipping prices vary so the orders are taken manually.
You can also add 1 – 2 TBS of raw sauerkraut to each meal, kimchee, cortido or any other type of fermented vegetable combination, as long as it’s raw! Instructions on how to make, coming soon! These foods are very high in beneficial bacteria and available at most health-food stores. I like to eat mine with a little olive oil, salt and Dijon mustard. Fermented foods are a normal part of the diet of almost every culture but North America!
Multiple Vitamin for nutrition and cravings
A multi-vitamin can help nourish your body and mind, eliminate cravings and give you an overall sense of vitality.
I take Solaray Spectro ™ Multi-Vita-Min or Allergy Multi by TwinLab. They are all available in most health food stores or on Amazon.
If you crave sugar, starch or alcohol, it may be helpful to takeL-glutamine. Julia Ross, author of the Diet Cure recommends 500 – 1500 mg L-glutamine before meals in the early morning, midmorning and midafternoon. This is also healing for your intestinal tract.
If you crave pick-me ups, lack energy, feel apathetic, lack drive or focus, have ADD or are easily bored, you might benefit from 500 – 1500mg L-tyrosine in the early morning and midmorning.
If you are overstressed, have stiff or tense muscles, find it hard to relax/loosen up, or get to sleep, feel overwhelmed and burned out or eat to relieve stress, you may benefit from taking GABA 100 – 500 mg as often as needed (be careful, it will really relax youJ )
If you are very sensitive to emotions or physical pain, tear up or cry easily, crave treats for comfort, enjoyment or numbing, ‘love’ or get a high from foods you eat or have behavior such as over-exercise, infatuation, self-harm, starving or purging, you may benefit from DL-phenylalanine– 500mg midmorning and midafternoon.
If you have afternoon or evening cravings, negativity, depression, worry, anxiety, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts or behaviors, winter blues, PMS, irritability, rage, panic, phobias, fibromyalgia, TMJ, are a night-owl, or find it hard to get to sleep, have hyperactivity or benefit from SSRI’s you might benefit from 5-HTP 50 -150 mg midafternoon, if needed to get to sleep by 10pm or L-tryptophan 500 – 1500 mg midafternoon if needed, for getting to sleep by 10pm.
If you would like more information on amino acid therapy for these issues, please purchase the book The Diet Cure, by Julia Ross.
General Health and Vitality
My favorite gut healing green powder that I use upon arising every single day an when I get tired in the afternoons and need a non-caffeine pick me up is Vitality Super Green. This product helps to nourish the inner ecosystem and keep it healthy and strong. It contains generous amount of nutrient-rich elements like GlutImmune (a covalent bonded glutamine), FOS from chicory inulin to feed the healthy bacteria, GMO-free lecithin, and aloe vera extract. This product will also help to curb cravings and give you energy.
Broken Cell Wall Chlorella
Broken cell wall chlorella is a perfect addition to any diet. For energy, detoxification,
cravings, alkalinity, and healthy blood. You will find this at any health-food