Gut health – Often forgotten, but oh so important!
The gut is made up of TONS of bacteria. Precisely 10’s of trillions bacteria… and that’s trillions with a T! These bacteria not only digest food, but they also play other important roles in keeping you healthy. This is a new-ish area of research, but evidence is showing that having a healthy gut microbiome (bacteria) can…
- protect the lining of your colon
- fight off harmful organisms
- create nutrients (Vitamin K and some B Vitamins)
- support the immune system
- regulate hormones
- control appetite
- positively impact mood
- prevent acne
- …and so much more
With all of these functions, it’s no surprise that gut health is monumentally important to overall health and that an unhealthy gut microbiome is linked to many chronic illnesses.
A gut colonized with healthy bacteria is associated with health. A gut full of unhealthy bacteria is connected to disease.
Filling the gut with animal products, especially fatty ones, for just a few days results in the colonization of unhealthy gut bacteria. This leads to inflammation and the creation of harmful acids.
So how do we promote a healthy and flourishing gut microbiome?
Eating probiotics and prebiotics leads healthy bacteria to set up shop, resulting in the many benefits listed above. So what are these probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics – These are live, beneficial bacteria found in foods. Plant-based examples include tempeh, kombucha, fermented veggies, kimchi, sauerkraut and non-dairy yogurt.
Prebiotics – Support the growth of healthy bacteria. Some great prebiotics are beans, lentils, split peas, whole grains, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, bananas and leafy greens. Animal products don’t contain prebiotics.
Surprise! The same foods that support health throughout the rest of the body, also lead to a healthy gut.
Conveniently, here at WP we are a whole-food, plant-based website, therefore we have loads of prebiotic-filled recipes! Stay tuned for new probiotic-filled recipes.