HEALTHY GUT POWER TOOLS, PART 2
Just as our bodies were created to heal themselves, we were created to praise and worship and fellowship with our Lord Jesus. Praise and worship are like power tools we need to walk with Jesus. Praise and worship brings His presence and often His peace as we “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise”. (Psalm 100)
Just as powerful praise and worship can be to the reborn spirit, our gut can be completely restored effortlessly, as we cooperate with Him and eat the foods He made. We have already discussed two gut power tools: FIBER and PROBIOTICS. Fiber is a necessity for gut health and thankfully it is easy to come by. Like fiber, the focus of probiotics is on your gut health. Whether it is taken in liquid, pill, or powder form, it is essential for feeding the good bacteria in your gut biome.
Our gut power tool #3: PREBIOTICS. Prebiotics are beneficial to your gut’s micro biome and your entire GI tract. Prebiotics are more like insoluble fiber that is indigestible and exists solely to serve your gut bacteria.
Table 1: Prebiotics are found in these foods:
*apples, barley, wheat bran (best to avoid)
*oats-good cooked or raw (best to avoid)
*asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama root, leeks, onions-good cooked or raw
*bananas- the greener the better
*burdock and chicory roots
*cocoa- a great flavoring
*dandelion greens, flaxseeds, garlic
*seaweed, sweet potato, carrots, radishes
*coconut meat and milk(lowfat)
Prebiotics feed the good bacteria, and these can multiply and benefit the whole body. There are two primary types of microbes in the gut- FIRMICUTES and BACTEROIDETES. Excessive Firmicutes make us fat while Bacteroidetes help us stay lean. The prebiotic foods feed, help, strengthen and grow these same Bacteroidetes. When the Bacteroidetes. Are in control and dominate, we typically lose weight and get thinner. Consuming a diet high in sugar, carbs, and starches and low in fiber, favor the growth of firmicutes and more weight gain. Prebiotics also produce BUTYRATE, which is one of the most important benefits for the gut. Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid 9SFCA) and it is fuel to the cells in your colon. Butyrate also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Table 2: Prebiotics also do the following:
*gives you energy
*help with weight loss
*strengthen the probiotics already in your gut
*increase mineral absorption(ie: magnesium, calcium)
*reverse common adverse effects of stomach acid lockers
Use as many naturally prebiotic-rich vegetables in your salads or cooked meals as possible. Aim for 12 grams of prebiotic per day and make it a habit!!
Our power gut toll #4: POLYPHENOLS
You probably love Polyphenols and don’t even know it . Polyphenols are antioxidant phytonutrients found in plants that are great for your body. A few of the healthy ones include: Berries (black, blue, and raspberry),black tea, coffee(organic), dark chocolate(72% or more), green tea and olive oil and olives( high in phenolic oil or oleocanthal) Also a few polyphenol supplements include: grape seed extract, green tea extract, or pine bark extract. As with fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics , NOT every source is recommended for gut restoration. Staying with low sugar/low fructose means avoiding most fruits and fruit juices, as well as grains and beans (because of lectins). Most nuts, spices and seasonings are fine. Two squares of dark chocolate (72% or greater) per day is a great source of polyphenols. There is a considerable increase in benefits to your overall health:
Table 3: Polyphenols Help
Helping heal the gut
Promoting brain health and cognitive function
Helping prevent long-term complications from diabetes
Protecting against dementia
Helping you lose weight
Improving bone metabolism, reducing risk of osteoporosis
Reducing the effects of aging
Improving the function of the endothelial cells in your arteries
Reducing the risks of many cancers
Lowering blood pressure
Making you feel good
I have found personally that polyphenols can boost your proper F/B (Firmicutes/Bact.) ratio in your body. Extra-virgin olive oil or oleocanthal in supplement form, for me, is my primary source of polyphenols. It has removed inflammation and pain in my elbow, both hands, and a knee in less than one week after taking it. You cannot get too much of it and can add it to salads, soups, and cooked veggies(good olive oil) Enjoy your coffee, chocolate and teas, and consume as many as possible daily. Our last power tool for the gut will come in health letter #3 in two weeks.