Taking care of your microbiome

August 22, 2017 by Ann Rea, Phoenix Acupuncturist

 

 

So now you know from my Facebook video that you have hundreds of trillions of bugs living in and on your body, that help you with all kinds of body functions. For reference, there are more bacteria on the back of your hand than there are people in the world!!

 

Having a healthy balance of these bugs(microbes) will ensure your digestion and absorption is optimal (hello great skin and energy!), immune system is on point and brain health is in tip top shape. I like to think of my bug as my partner in health and I want to do my best to take care of them so they protect me from sickness and keep inflammation in check.

 

Here are 4 tips for taking care of your bugs so they will take care of you.

 

  1. Eat plenty of fiber! Your bugs love fiber and if you feed them enough two things will happen. First they will produce compounds call Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) will are super stars at fighting inflammation in the body. Next the fiber will help to prevent autoimmune conditions by keeping leaky gut away.

 

                   Leaky gut = autoimmunity. Fiber = no leaky gut.

              The FDA recommendation for fiber is 38 grams per day for men and 29 grams per day for                             women. If a lot of fiber makes you bloat, that ok. Just start lower, maybe 10-15 grams and                             gradually increase by 5-10 grams per week.

 

  1. Avoid hyper-sanitation! Your immune system, just like your body, needs to workout to be in top shape. While there is no evidence that we need to get sick more often to boost our immune systems, we do need to get dirty! This keep our immune system on alert. Just like if you decide to skip the gym and lay on the couch for months, if your immune system doesn’t workout- it gets lazy!

 

                Some opportunities to get dirty include

                Dirt (gardening)

            Shaking hands

            Computer keyboards

            Door handles

            Cell Phones

            Shopping cart handles

            Outdoor activates

            Being in new environments

 

Put down the hand sanitizer and embrace microbial diversity!

 

  1. Eat Fermented foods! Probiotic supplements are all the rage right now but food is always going to be the best medicine. Eating a variety of fermented foods will provide the best microbial diversity to keep our bugs happy! Fermented foods include kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass, kombucha and other fermented vegetables. You only need a small serving of 2-tablespoons a day (more might bloat you). Check out fermentedfarmer.com to buy awesome fermented foods, or even better, make some yourself! If incredibly easy to make sauerkraut; here’s a recipe.

 

  1. Avoid antibiotics! You can probably tell from the name that antibiotics are bad for your bugs! They kill good bacteria and can let more harmful bacteria over populate (bad!). it can take years for bacteria to re-normalize after just one round of antibiotic but the reality is your bugs will never be the same.

 

Consequences of antibiotic use include:

            Increased susceptibility to illness

            Emotional disturbances

            Digestive disturbance

            Skin issues

            Autoimmune response

            Weight issues

            Altered immune response

            Malabsorption of nutrients

 

Antibiotics should only be used if your life is threatened. Otherwise, there are plenty of natural solutions to things like sinus infections that will not harm your bugs.

 

Keep in mind the important of the bacteria in your body and remember, if you take care of your bugs, your bugs will take care of you!


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