How many times have you heard older generations say, we are too clean nowadays! There is so much truth in this as we liberally spray antibacterial all over our kitchens and pour bleach everywhere! The chemicals are one thing, but also the killing off of the bacteria is more than a bit concerning.
We are made up of more bacteria than human cells. We are actually more bacteria than human, blows the mind doesn’t it? Anyway, this is more serious a situation than most of us think. Our bacteria perform many functions which help and support our immunity and brain function. This means that the focus of destroying bacteria through overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial cleaners have resulted in us having more allergies and gut issues than ever before.
Get in the garden…
Get in the garden and play in the dirt, avoiding the washing hands every few minutes. A recent study found that bacteria present in soil can stimulate serotonin which produces the feeling of happiness! Through inhaling and contact with the skin, the bacteria provides antidepressant effects lasting around 3 weeks also improving learning.
The gut garden
Seeding your own garden, that being the gut bacteria that help produce serotonin (improving mood) and boosting your immunity to keep you healthy and happy is easy when you know how. Looking after your gut health just happens to be the way to eat well and be well too. All of my plans (www.passionatenutrition.co.uk) are focused on having a healthy body and mind, longevity and ease.
Questions to ask…
1.Are your meals nutrient dense?
Including a lot of nutrients in one meal is a sure way to boost your immunity and feed the good bacteria along with a whole host of benefits. If for example, you are eating white pasta which contains carbohydrates and very little else, this is nutrient deficient. The easiest way to make your meal nutrient dense is to add a range of colours. If you are just starting out or introducing your children to more nutrients begin by adding a few peas, sweetcorn moving on to a few greens leaves, tomatoes, peppers etc.
* I started to add a few Spinach leaves into my daughter’s smoothies and they had no idea. Green is life, chlorophyll, iron and essential for a beautiful gut garden.
2. Do you have healthy poo?
I know a great topic -haha! But a very important one. Moving your bowels at least once a day is healthy and is a sign that you are getting enough fibre and drinking enough. However, if you have very loose stools there may be room for improvement in your diet. Check the bristol stool chart on the following link to find out more detail.
3. Are you healing from an illness or condition?
Looking after your gut garden is an essential part of healing from any illness or condition. As mentioned earlier, your immunity will be boosted when your gut is healthy. In fact keeping your gut lining intact and strong can prevent autoimmune conditions. Taking a high strength probiotic (please ensure you buy from a reputable company, there is a scientific process that must happen to keep the bacteria live. I trust Nutriadvanced – link on my site or Lamberts) in powder or capsule form will add bacteria to your gut The next step is to ensure you are eating plenty of prebiotics and probiotics to keep the good bacteria thriving. (probiotics have the live bacteria, prebiotics are the food for these bacteria).
Foods to eat more of:
wheatgerm (contains gluten)
Tamari – a fermented gluten free soy sauce
miso (a fermented paste good to use as stock)
As always, contact me via FB, email or comment here if you have any questions.