What's Good for Your Gut is Good for You

Do you know how to strengthen your immune system?

 If you would like to know more read on... 

  You see the gut actually holds the power of up to 85% or more of our immunity strength.  There is a whole army of reinforcements in there or perhaps only the potential for them if you are not taking proper steps to keep that terrain fortified.  How do you do that?  by engaging in eating and drinking probiotic and prebiotic foods and drinks along with staying hydrated.

How protecting your second Brain can unleash a new healthy you

 We have a body system that is being referred to as our second Brain. It is what gives you that Gut feeling about any situation that you just know it in your ….yes your Gut.  There is a plethora of neurons that run the length of your intestinal powerhouse and since they communicate it allows us to know instinctually information that is being picked up at this body systems level. 

  All nutritional experts and natural health practitioners will tell you that the key to good health starts in the Gut…

All the water and any other fluid we drink along with all solid or semi-solid food we eat must go through the filter of our Gut…..Acid forming, alkaline forming, pure, chemical laden and all other compositions possible are fed to the 25 foot long living system of our Gut. 

What the Gut needs is not really hard to understand.  Once we think about it.  Keep a moist, healthy tissue density, alkaline and good bacteria friendly environment and we’ll have it made in the shade.  

  • ·         Pure Water is the most important basic necessity that is often overlooked.  Water will help our Gut as well as Brain and every other system in our body in between. We are  70% to 86 % water.
  • ·         Healthy fats such as Coconut oil, Nut oils; Almond, walnut and sunflower oils are in this group.
  • ·         Pre and Pro- biotics will help keep the right environment for our inner world of the Gut.  Foods like sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt and pro-biotic supplements will build the right territory. Drinks like Dandelion Root Tea, Kombucha and Pu-Erh Tea can be of benefit.  
  • ·         Herbs and supplements that can foster the healing of an ailing gut include, Aloe, Tumeric, L Glutamine and Slippery Elm.
  • ·         Avoiding GMO foods, pesticides, Antibiotic fed animals and excess of refined sugar and over exposure to xenoestrogens emitted from platstic containers i.e. water bottles and microwavable containers

Cutting Edge medicine is revealing that the symbiotic relationship that we have with the microbes in our gut determine much more than our digestive process. Neurons in the gut produce needed chemicals; serotonin and dopamine. The genome expression is actually determined by this relationship within us….that is pretty incredible and it is changeable for the better from this very moment. Once the gut health is compromised and lining is undernourished maladies like leaky gut and many other problems follow.  Inflammation is a killer that is of the same magnitude as we know stress to be…it in fact is stress which then manifests into disease.  So that long ago phrase from generations past is not a phrase for the future…. Which Phrase?  What you see is what you get. You may not see the dangers of commercial foods ...all the same they may exist.  We all have heard that there are dangers from ingesting GMO foods to eating/drinking out of plastics that have the potential to leak Xenoestogens into our blood stream.  We have even heard about the numerous toxins that can be found in the water that we drink. 

 

What is leaky gut and how does it affect us?

 

There is not a lot of scientific studies done in relation to this very common malady, however more and more people eating the standard American diet are finding symptoms cropping up.

Leaky Gut or gut permeability happens when the tissue breaks down and loses its integrity.

What are some of the suspected antagonist creating different degrees of Gut distress and tissue degradation?  Glyphosate is one such suspected chemical showing up consistently in water samples taken from streams in Missouri over a two year period and in most air samples during that same period.(1)

Glyphosate is the broad spectrum herbicide chemical AKA as Round Up and various other labels.  It is everywhere including most suburban lawns.  In the US the usage of this chemical increased over 80% from 1992 to 2007 resulting in over 88,0000 tons being spread around the Country.  Its literally in the air we breathe so no you are not able to control your exposure to it anymore. A study has revealed that glyphosate is in fact an endrocine disruptor which acts in the body as a xenoestrogen and can contribute to cancerous conditions within the body. (2)

What are some of the resulting symptoms of this gut permeability "leaky Gut Syndrome"?  Well the list range is long...but  here are a few possibilities: 

Gas, Bloating, Food Intolerance, Skin issues, Headaches, IBS Symptoms, Thyroid Issues, Autoimmune conditions...too many more to list. What happens is the tight junctions that are meant to keep particles out of the blood stream start letting up their guard and creating a situation that the blood has no option to keep out so we absorb the resulting toxins.

Where does Tea come into that picture? Not every type of tea has a pro-biotic advantage for the terrain of the gut.  One Tea called Kombucha is loaded with microorganisms. Teas that have been fermented in their processing can benefit too...; like Pu-Erh.

KOMBUCHA~ What is it exactly?  Well it does start with Tea as one of it's ingredients....at least originally.  Today in the grocery Markets you can find Kombucha in many flavors and with no Tea in the mix whatsoever.  If you are looking for the Tea to be an ingredient then you will need to look for the words "Original" on the label.  Many home brewers are making their own Kombucha since it is relatively easy to do.  One must make sure that all utensils are not adulterated in any way and that the environment is kept at optimum temperature ranges. Keeping those things in mind and keeping a watchful eye on the process, here is what is used to produce the fermented drink:  First the medium that is necessary to create the fermentation is  called a SCOBY.(symbiotic culture of Bacteria and Yeast.) It is a pancake like organism which can be grown but is also available on line to quickly start up a brew for yourself in your kitchen. I have been enjoying a daily Kombucha drink recently and plan to brew  my own Kombucha soon.  Kombucha is so readily available today that there is no need to brew your own if you prefer to let someone else take on that process.  Once the SCOBY is obtained you take your brewed Tea add your sugar to it and let it cool to room temperature.  Place it in a glass container and add the SCOBY.  The top of the jar is covered with a breathable filter such as a coffee filter or muslin cloth.  Optimum temperatures are around 70 degrees for a   period of 7 to 10 days.  Taste testing and practice as with most endeavors brings the confidence and experience to gauge the best taste and end product.  Once the brew is deemed ready it is bottled, carbonated for a few days and then refrigerated.  So what happens during the fermentation process and what makes it good for your health?  The SCOBY breaks down the sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol. Then the bacteria breaks down the alcohol into acetic acid.  This is why Kombucha has a vinegary taste.  If you are waiting for a clinical study to prove the health benefits of Kombucha ...well who knows how long that will be....so far there are none to be spoke of.  This whole process by the way is not new.  It may be somewhat new in our grocery stores but Kombucha has been a known process for a very Oolong time...see what I did there...

Healthy Results with Kombucha

Some of the same health benefits we know of with Apple Cider vinegar also occur with Kombucha.  They both seem to aid disbiosis and can give us a helping hand with weight loss.  You might even say that a SCOBY is a long lost relative of the Mother that creates the ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar).  Polyphenols and Antioxidants as well as Probiotics is the triple powerhouse arsenal of Kombucha.  Today so much is available at the press of the google button... Just search Kombucha Testimonials and you will find people report on Kombucha helping them with everything from minor digestive disturbances to weight management ...chronic fatigue and on to even improving Auto Immune diseases.  You be your own Judge.

Pu'-erh Tea is an earthy tasting Tea that has its own benefit on our Gut.

Pu'-erh Tea is a truly fermented Tea, meaning that the fermentation does include microbial action and carries with it a  fermentation benefit to the gut. Like a composted soil benefits it's cultivar so Pu-erh is to the gut.  Many times the term fermented is used with teas including black tea but what is actually meant is oxidized in a controlled atmosphere.  Pu'-erh Tea can be purchased in two forms a pressed cake called a Tu Cha and loose leaf form.  The fermentation period may be several months to a variable numbers of years  (3-5 years generally).  Pu'-erh besides having a distinctively earthy taste is also lower in caffeine content and may be more suitable for those looking to limit their caffeine intake.  on average 37 G per 8 oz. cup...it roughly equates to half of the amount in most black teas.   

It is not a surprise then that cholesterol lowering ability is an inherent attribute of the tea.  Fermentation and the foods that have gone through this process carry with them the general building block of life.  Our relationships with the micro-organisms that are good for our own gut health are what give us a whole picture of health.  

Pu'-erh is a wonderful example of the artistry involved in Tea production~ 


References:

(1) Reuters Green Business: U.S. Researchers find roundup in water, air 8/3/2011 Carey Gilliam/David Gregorio

(2) http://www.ncbl.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170 

The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific ailments or conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.