The Human Microbiome plays a major role in health and disease. Cultivating your microbial garden is key to support overall health.
In her recent talk at HEALTH Unplugged Conference in London, Dr. Terry Wahls gave a great overview of the role of this living ecosystem. She outlined the importance of shifting the gut flora into a more health-promoting neighborhood, and gave us some action items as well.
Here is a short summary of her presentation from the notes I put down while I was listening to her talk.
HUMAN MICROBIOME – A LIVING ECOSYSTEM
We are a living ecosystem
The great diversity of organisms living in (and on) us – called the human microbiome – represents over 9 million different genes altogether, compared to the roughly 25.000 genes of our own human cells. Not too hard to do the math on who outweighs whom – leaving us with the question: whom are we actually feeding? The greater the diversity of this ecosystem, the greater health we can enjoy in life.
The diversity of the microbiome is sadly decreasing
The diversity of the microbiome is decreasing everywhere –in our soil, in our livestock, and in humans as well. The microbiome is disrupted by the overuse of antibiotics, and due to the “too clean” environment we are living in. It also happens because of the increasing use of C-sections, the overuse of pesticides, GMOs, sugar and refined carbohydrates, which in turn feeds and supports the overgrowth of pathogen bacterial species in our gut.
SUPPORT GREATER DIVERSITY OF YOUR GUT
Shift Your Gut Bacteria
Here is what you can do support greater diversity of your gut microbiome:
- When possible, avoid antibiotics, acid lowering medications, NSAIDS, Steroids and medications in general
- Just eat real food, and go organic as much as possible and avoid GMO by all cost
- Avoid artificial sweeteners, as they break havoc on the gut flora
Feed Your Good Old Friends
- Feed your good old friends with more fiber by consuming 9 cups of vegetables a day. 9 cups equals 3 cups of greens, 3 cups of colored and 3 cups of sulfur rich vegetables. This way, you can also make sure that your body eliminates more toxins too, as an added benefit.
- Increase your resistant starch intake in your diet in the form of non-starchy vegetables and berry fibers, raw starchy vegetables, or raw potato starch, green banana or plantain flour. If well tolerated you may try adding in chia or ground flax seeds, soaked legumes, and also cooked and cooled starchy vegetables.
- Starve your bacterial and yeast enemies by restricting refined fructose in any form (coconut sugar, agave, honey, maple syrup)
- Consider Faecal Microbiota Transplant, which is the newest promising treatment for optimizing gut bacteria in chronic disease cases like IBD, Chron’s or, MS, Parkinsons.
HELP YOUR CHILDREN
- Support vaginal birth and breast milk feeding whenever possible
- Support children with good probiotics
- Support your children by feeding them vegetables and not fruits as first foods, and avoid fruit juices, sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Let them eat more organic dirt