What is a best friend? A best friend is someone who understands you, fends for you, has fun with you, and supports you at all times, making your world a better place. We often use diamonds as an analogy since it symbolizes love, romance, is everlasting, and helps make memories. But I think the bacteria that reside within each and every one of us actually matches the best friends checklist better!
Controversial, I know, but let’s understand these fancy beings that live within us and get familiar with our gut.
The total surface area of the gut is approximately the size of a tennis court or a studio apartment.
It has functions beyond just digestion – in fact it is the largest organ supporting the immune system, it helps regulate mood and behavior (90% of the feel good hormone responsible for your mood and behavior is made in the gut) and helps in weight management – every girl’s dream!
The gut is largely influenced by the foods you eat and the environment you live in, and the integrity of the gut lining can be easily compromised with the toxins that complement wrong foods and faulty lifestyles. This can lead to gut inflammation which can extend to different parts of the body and lead to health disorders.
And how does the gut do all this? You guessed it! It’s with the help of bacteria – these wonderful species that reside within us, predominantly in the large intestine. They are essential for human development, immunity, and nutrition. They also have the reputation of a supporting organ weighing 5LBS, due to its key roles in promoting the day-to-day operations of the human body.
Every person has a unique organ that is determined by one’s DNA. The first exposure to these bacteria is as an infant, during delivery in the birth canal and through breast milk. As you grow, the bacteria begins to diversify with environmental exposures. The key is to keep the right balance.
This magical organ has numerous benefits that include :
- regularizing bowel movements, detoxification resulting in glowing skin
- managing blood sugar levels, preventing diabetes and obesity
- lowering inflammation in the body, preventing diseases, improving focus and aiding brain health
- preventing mood swings, reducing risk of depression, adding more joy and laughter, and also sharpening your instincts
After learning about these qualities, don’t you think they qualify to be a girl’s best friend? It is now important to understand how you can support them. Every friendship is a two way street and the process of receiving begins with the art of giving. Feed your gut with:
- Fermented veggies like cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, cucumber and radish.
- Increase fiber in the form of whole grains, legumes, fruits and veggies. Oat bran, quinoa, amaranth, onion, garlic, leek, asparagus and jerusalem artichoke- the fiber in these foods that are not digested by us are actually consumed by these bacteria that make essential vitamins, short chain fatty acids and immune regulating compounds in the body supporting overall well being.
- Don’t feed it too much sugar, refined flour and packaged foods.
- Avoid excessive usage of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. When consuming these, remember to give your gut a little more love with the adequate rest and nutrient dense foods.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners and meat heavy diets.
- Add turmeric to all foods. It is an anti-inflammatory herb creating a healthy environment in the gut.
- Add moderate amounts of healthy fats such as coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, raw nuts, raw seeds, and avocados. These provide energy for the detoxification process, promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and reduce inflammation.
- Eat a rainbow of foods ensuring a variety of nutrients. Too much of one group of food often leads to deficiency of other food groups.
These beautiful friends help attain optimal health, which makes it easier to build a strong foundation.
Learning about these wonderful beings and how much they do for our well being, would be worth saying, it’s not diamonds but bacteria that is a girl’s best friend.
To discuss more about the benefits of bacteria, we got in touch with nutritionist Karishma Chawla. Watch our video, now uploaded on YouTube, below:
Note: Nutrition is of utmost importance to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle. We consult with experts daily to provide you some authentic tips on how to take care of yourself in the right way. Find out more articles on nutrition right here.