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  • Linnette Johnson

Gut Health -- Do you know what your gut consists of? Have you ever heard of the microbiome??

Images above correlate with the information below-

The digestive tract is home to more than 500 species of bacteria, comprising about 100 trillion bugs altogether. Collectively, they are tremendously important for overall health. We give these bugs a home; in exchange, they do a variety of things for us. For instance, they help digest food, synthesize certain vitamins, and play an important role in immune defense. These bugs also act as a barrier to help our bodies filter and appropriately absorb nutrients from what we eat. There are ‘good’ bugs called probiotics, which we can constantly replenish. These probiotics also need nourishing food to help them grow. Prebiotics are the fiber-rich foods that probiotics feed and grow on. As an added bonus, a compound called butyric acid is produced when the probiotics break down prebiotic foods in the colon. Butyric acid is the preferred form of fuel for the cells that line the colon, and it serves to acidify the environment as well, making it harder for harmful bacteria to survive. Two of the main probiotic bacteria that reside in the digestive tract are Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. These can be taken in the form of supplements or included in the diet in the form of fermented (or probiotic) foods.

Probiotics foods: Dairy: Acidophilus milk, Buttermilk, Cheese (aged), Cottage cheese, Kefir, Sour cream, Yogurt (plain, no added sugar, active cultures)

Non-Dairy: Fermented meats, Fermented vegetables, Kimchi, Kombucha, Kvass, Miso, NattoPickled vegetables (raw), Sauerkraut, Tempeh, Yogurt (plain, no added sugar, active cultures)

Prebiotic foods: Apples, Asparagus, Banana, Burdock, Chicory, Cocoa, Dandelion greens , Eggplant, Endive, Flaxseed, Garlic, Honey, Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke), Jicama, Konjac, Leek, Legumes, Onion, Peas, Radicchio, Whole grains, Yacon

Also see previous post on "FIBER" for more on prebiotics... In order to maintain colonization in the digestive tract, probiotics must be taken or eaten regularly. General recommendations call for ingesting 1 to 25 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) daily. To put these guidelines into perspective, most store-bought probiotic yogurts contain about 1 billion CFUs per serving. To get the maximum benefit from fermented foods, it’s important to read product labels and choose only those that contain “active, live cultures” and preferentially raw, unpasteurized, perishable ingredients. Organic brands are the best choices, as they are not typically heat-treated after fermentation, so more of the good bacteria are present. Fermented foods can also be made at home. Though the probiotic content will vary by batch, home fermenting is a safe way to ensure that you are ingesting beneficial bacteria, as various cultures around the world have done for centuries.

This post is about the Gut and how to keep it at a healthy balance with probiotics and prebioties....

Education is key!!

Next up...

Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO)

Small Intestinal Fungi Overgrowth (SIFO- repost/took it down from the other day so it's after this post)

Small Intestinal Parasite Overgrowth (SIPO)

Other Gut Dysbiosis along with HPA axis/Adrenals, Vagus Nerve and more


1. Lipski L. Digestive Wellness. 4th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2012.

2. Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S, Raymond JL. Krause’s Food and Nutrition Care Process. 13th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier text; 2012.


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