Gut Guardians

Nutrition Health & Wellness
By: Brooke R. and Olga G. February 15, 2017

Gut Guardians

It is a known fact that our bodies are comprised of trillions of cells; this is also the case for the microbial kingdom. Given authenticated scientific research, it is impossible to predict the exact ratio of bacteria to cells that make up our physical constitution. There are a variety of factors to consider such as weight, height, health habits, environment, etc., which varies from individual to individual. These microorganisms play a significant role in determining the physical manifestations of health or disease within our system.

What is microbiota & microbiome?

Microbiota is the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic and pathogenic microorganisms that share our body space.

Whereas, microbiome refers to the microorganisms themselves.

Maintaining bio-dome for our gut-guardians:

More than any other organ or body part, the highest concentration of microbiome is found in our gut. It has been speculated by the scientific community that ideal ratio between the bacteria in your gut is 85 percent “good” and 15 percent “bad.” Therefore, if you don’t have enough good bacteria, the bad bacteria can proliferate and grow. Lack of diversity in friendly gut bacteria and unbalanced flora can affect many parts of your body and can cause illness, chronic inflammation, poor nutrition, yeast infections, bloating, mental health problems, digestive issues, immune system breakdown, autoimmune disorders, overgrowth of bad bacteria, absorption of toxins into your bloodstream, skin conditions, cognitive problems and much more. Even the National Institute of Health has funded a large-scale study called the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) with the mission of generating resources that would enable the comprehensive characterization of the human microbiome and analysis of its role in human health and disease.

Microflora thrive in alkaline environment, therefore it is essential to support these little, yet mighty guys with proper diet and holistic self-discipline. It is just as important to acknowledge that your gut bacteria are very vulnerable to your lifestyle choices and environmental factors. This is especially true given the current state of our adverse external environment. Refined sugar and grains, processed foods, antibiotics (including the ones given to livestock,) chemicals, heavy metals in our food and water supply, as well other free radicals constantly jeopardize the survival of microbiome.

So if you find yourself asking, “how do I protect my gut-guardians?” We are here to provide you with some supportive tips!

“Tale of Two Wolves”

A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other.

One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.

The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”

The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed.

As per Cherokee parable “Tale of Two Wolves” it is the wolf that you feed the most that is the one who wins the battle. In addition to positive thinking, intake of phytonutrient filled foods and juices, and physical activity, we must consume pre-biotics and pro-biotics in a capsule and food form alike.

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. They produce digestive enzymes, help absorb vital nutrients, stimulate the immune system, but also compete with bad bacteria in your system.

*Found in sauerkraut and other fermented products such as yogurt and kefir. There are also a variety of reliable companies that pre-package these ingredients into capsule form.

Prebiotics are a special form of dietary fiber that acts as a fertilizer for the good bacteria already living in your gut. While probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gut, prebiotics act as a fertilizer for the good bacteria that’s already there. They help your good bacteria grow, improving the good-to-bad bacteria ratio.

*Found in dandelion greens, garlic, and onions (+ any vegetables in that family, e.g. leeks), asparagus, bananas, chicory, coniferous vegetables and in general, most raw plant-based foods. Similarly to probiotics, probiotics can be consumed in a full-spectrum supplement form.

Raw Republic recommends:

High-potency, physician grade capsules and powders. In addition, probiotics with variable number of strains and greater bacteria count. Probiotic supplements that contain multiple strains tend to be more effective because different strains of probiotic bacteria have slightly different functions and tend to concentrate in various parts of the gut. All of these strains work synergistically to influence the enhancement of our health, and the more of them you have, the greater the coverage.

Raw coconut-meat based yogurt:

Eating sugar feeds the “bad” or pathogenic bacteria yeast and fungi in your gut, which may actually harm you. Unlike a typical yogurt in your grocery store, Raw Republic created sugar-free and dairy-free yogurt, using a gluten-free, plant-derived probiotic. It is supremely nourishing and infused with billions of “good” bacteria from various strands.

Why dairy-free?

There is little to no regulation on organic meat and dairy in the United States. Therefore, when buying from main-stream food suppliers, there is very little guarantee that the product you are consuming actually comes from antibiotic-free livestock. It has been reported that it takes only one dose of antibiotics to demonstrate significant effects on 1/3 of bacterial species. Where some species recovered, others were permanently reduced, leading to serious complications in the gut and overall health.

Going Coconuts?

Coconut meat contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which is a healthy type of fat. Its contents are transported from the intestinal tract to the liver, and immediately transformed into fuel. This then means there is very little MCTs left to circulate and deposit as fat tissues in the body. Also, they are converted into ketone bodies which show potential as a replacement energy substrate for the brain. It is essential for optimal health function that the brain makes use of glucose as energy source. Coconut meat is also a great source of protein and coconut water is rich in electrolytes.

Written by Republic Head Chef Olga Gavrilenko 

Photos by Brooke Rosenblum Photography