The microbiome-also known as the bacteria that live in your gut- is a big part of how things happen in your body.
While not directly related to aging YET, it is directly affected by age and is huge in terms of your overall health.
You’ve heard me say a thousand times, “Take Care of Your Telomeres”, well now, today I am going to tell you how to take care of your microbiome so you can reap the maximum benefits from these hopefully symbiotic bacteria, and not have to deal with an unhealthy microbiome.
But first a few facts you should know about the microbiome:
- An unhealthy microbiome is an unhealthy person! The microbiome can actually become pathologic and cause disease. The best studied one is anti-biotic induced colitis caused by C. Difficile and other species.
- The microbiome is the reason “calories are not calories” and why some non-nutritive and non-caloric sweeteners can potential cause hunger and weight gain. The microbiome processes and ferments many of the things that we put into our bodies even those that are “non-digestible” and makes things from them that can be used for calories or to feed both good and bad bacteria in the gut.
- Because of #2 the microbiome is critical for absorption and transport of certain vitamins and minerals.
OK now here are some tips on getting it healthy.
- First identify whether or not you have big food type sensitivities. I am not talking about the so-called avoidance diets but BIG things like gluten and dairy (usual lactose). For most people these are sensitivities rather than true allergies. The tip is if you feel bad, get bloated, gassy and experience a change in bowel habits. These are usually not subtle, you know if you pay attention that what you ate got you feeling this way. Similarly, if you feel really really tired after you eat but you did not overeat, changes are your body is reacting negatively to a food group like dairy or gluten. Try eliminating one of them at a time.
- Maintain some vegetable mater in your diet including cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. For me I have to buy them and keep them visible in the fridge because my high fat diet is otherwise very filling and I don’t feel like eating more. So, I eat them first. This is a great way to do calorie restriction and intermittent fasting routines as well because the non-digestible fiber fills you.
- This may sound strange but don’t get too dehydrated. Hydration status affects the gut in a big way so don’t neglect water consumption especially if you are in a warm climate or working out hard.
- If your diet is suspect or you are dealing with a less than optimal microbiome don’t forget to supplement with a multi-vite!!!! Consider it an insurance policy to keep your entire body in optimum support.
- Consider fermented foods. Things like Sauerkraut and Kimchee or Kefir are great sources of healthy bacteria. The problem with the later is they always always always add sugar in store bought so see if there are any raw dairy farms around, or get some Kefir grains by mail! Its hard to make your own Kefir unless you have the true non pasteurized culture in what you buy and some good raw milk but you might want to try it. It can be an eye opener! At least 50% of the time you wind up with spoiled milk and no Kefir. If you use raw derived Kefir and raw milk you get something you can propagate for weeks that never spoils. By the way the milk microbiome is the reason raw milk keeps in your fridge 2-3 times longer than store bought. Store bought has no defense against bad bacteria and goes rotten in 5-7 days even when kept cold. Once you open it you start the process!
- Take a Probiotic. Mine is enteric coated to make it past the stomach and contains pre-biotics to foster healthy growth of the cultures.
- Avoid alcohol tobacco and cannabis products! It’s a shame I have to say it but if your gut is healing don’t beat it up!!! You need 6 weeks of abstinence before you indulge if you do those kinds of things.
If you don’t do any of the things 1-6 above then you really really really need my probiotic!!!!
Personally, I follow my own guidelines 90+% of the time but I still take Pro Life PB daily.