Are you one of those people who only pays attention to your digestive system (gut), when something is wrong? Such as when you’ve had a big meal and get bloated after? Or maybe when you get changes in your bowel movements, such as constipation or diarrhoea? Perhaps things haven’t been the same ever since you got back from that overseas trip?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And sometimes people who come to see me spend much of their lives thinking that these feelings are normal. Actually they are huge warnings that there’s a problem with the balance of gut bacteria, what we in the trade call “dysbiosis”. And this is a big problem because your digestive system is the centre of your health. In fact, some recent research has linked virtually all chronic diseases, including conditions such as asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis and eczema, to gut dysbiosis.
Why? Well, did you know that there’s approximately 100 trillion bacteria living in your digestive system, the vast majority of which live in your bowel. Actually, you have more bacteria living inside you than you have cells in your entire body! The balance of all these bacteria is essential for your health and wellbeing.
How can you keep the balance? To start you need to provide fuel for your ‘good’ bacteria, and starve the ‘bad’ bacteria. By keeping a regular daily intake of five cups of vegetables and two pieces of fruit, 2 litres of fresh water, and minimal refined foods and alcohol, you will help this process immensely. Make three of those cups of vege leafy greens, daily.