Your guts impact reaches far beyond its primary job of digestion.
You might have noticed a fresh bottle of probiotics brings with it fresher mornings, harder workouts and better sleep. You might even have noticed a little extra sparkle in your mood throughout the day, music sounds better, the sun comes out a little more often and you might even have enough energy for an impromptu date night.
It’s not a coincidence.
Studies are flooding us with new information about the importance of our guts, good digestion and happy microflora (the bacteria and yeasts populating our intestines).
Some recent findings and scientific explorations :
- The gut hosts 70% of our bodies immune system and our immune system is directly impacted by the health and variety of the bacteria living there
- Serotonin (the satiety hormone - it’s responsible for so many of our good feelings) is predominantly produced in the lining of the gut
- There are links between mental health conditions and gut imbalance (being explored further all over the world)
- There are also studies looking into links between autoimmune conditions and specific bacteria colonies (or lack of certain bacteria)
- Individual strains of bacteria are being linked directly to their benefits in the body (an example: Lactobacillus GG and L. gasseri are now believed to be two of the best probiotics for allergies)
- It is hypothesized that we’ve lost hundreds, if not thousands of strains of bacteria (significantly reducing microbiome diversity) in industrial times - largely due to the use of antibiotics and pre-packaged convenience foods.
The laundry list of symptoms being linked back to gut imbalance includes just about every annoying, chronic issue we face in this modern day.
Hope is not lost.
The movement back towards traditional, local and fermented foods is growing with this flood of new information! Kombucha, Sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles are only a few of the ferments taking new space on grocery store shelves - there are thousands of recipes making their way back into our diets and culture.
Our ancestors knew how to harness the power of the bacteria around us to preserve food and our health. It’s our job to now carry forward and revitalize these traditions for the next generations!