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Your gut microbiome: Your most important organ
September 15th, 2022 + The Naturopathic Co.

We all have approximately 2 kilos of bacteria in our gut, and hundreds of different strains!

The most important organ: the gut microbiome. It’s everything from your mouth to colon, entry to exit, all the bits in between, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and all of the bacteria that live in there, yeasts, cells.

Why is it important to have a healthy gut

If you have a healthy gut, you’ll have an improved immune response, you’ll be able to assimilate nutrients more efficiently, which leads to more energy, and research has even shown you’ll have better mental health.

If you don’t have a healthy gut, a lot of research is showing that this is relating to autoimmune conditions, diabetes, neurodegererative disorders, and even mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

You are what you eat

Diversity is so important in the gut. Different types of bacteria feed off different types of food. We need to aim for diversity in plant-based foods in order to encourage growth and diversity in healthy bacteria. Eating poorly can prevent you from getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy, but it can actually damage and change the entire constitution of your gut. This will have a negative flow-on effect for digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

3 molecules for mood that you get from diet and a healthy gut

Tryptophan: found in turkey, eggs, chia seeds. Your body takes tryptophan and converts it to two other important molecules – serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin helps to boost mood, and melatonin helps you to sleep. So if we have poor gut health, we can see the link between low mood and sleep issues without the conversion of these two compounds.

Another example is a compound called tyrosine, which is found in lentils, seeds, edamame. It Is converted to dopamine, which motivates you, and adrenaline, which helps with fight or flight response.

Eating certain types of foods is necessary to keep you healthy, but it’s not enough on its own. A healthy microbiome is needed to be able to execute these conversion processes.

So what makes a healthy microbiome

You have different types of bacteria that digest different things. In a healthy gut you have diverse species in there.

If you decided to just eat one certain type of thing, then your gut will have more of the type of bacteria that feed off that type of food. Your gut microbiota is therefore less diverse. Without diverse beneficial bacteria in the gut, it allows pathogenic opportunistic bacteria the chance to creep into the gut microbiome more easily and cause digestive issues.

How do we reverse gut dysbiosis?

The first step is finding out what’s inside your gut. Once we know the mix of bacteria (good and bad) then we can modify it.

Eating a diverse mix of plant-based foods to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria.

Eating prebiotics to allow healthy bacteria to thrive.

Supplementing with a good therapeutic dose of beneficial bacteria.

Removing nasty bacteria, parasites, and yeast that contribute to lower numbers of health bacteria in the gut.

Exercise. Studies have shown that exercise has a number of benefits for gut microbiota. Exercise is linked to increases in the number of beneficial bacteria as well as enriching microbial diversity. It has also shown to enhance short-chain fatty acid synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism.

To treat digestive issues from the underlying cause, make time to see our South Yarra naturopath,  Brisbane naturopath, Sydney Naturopath, Perth Naturopath, Hobart naturopath, or Adelaide Naturopath, or find out if we can help you by booking a FREE 20 minute Discovery Call online via zoom

Yvette is a qualified Melbourne-based Naturopath and Nutritionist, MINDD Practitioner, member of the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia, and Complementary Medicine Association. Yvette specialises in the treatment of digestive complaints, skin issues, mood disorders, hormonal concerns, fatigue, and also has a key interest in children’s digestive and neurological conditions. Yvette consults Australia-wide via ZoomBook HERE

 

 

 

 

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