Your gut is your largest immune organ

The Microbes That Control You

Your gut is your largest immune organ, with a surface area of 100-130 square feet! Inside of you are trillions of microbes that make up the body known as you. Without them, you can’t digest your food and receive the nutrients that you need to build your body and to have the building blocks of nutrients needed for a healthy body. Your gut is responsible for 80 percent of your immune system. The more good bacteria you have, the better your immune system is. Pathogens and viruses are running around looking for a human host to inhabit. When your body finds a pathogen or virus, your body has special helpers - T cells -  designed to seek and destroy this invader. Certain good bacteria in the gut influence the strength of the immune system by increasing the number of T cells. Having lots and lots of good bacteria in the gut increases T cell production and keeps communication among all the cells functioning at optimum levels.

Your emotions, believe it or not, are controlled by your gut bacteria, and studies now suggest that gut bacteria are controlling anxiety and stress responses. Your cravings for food are determined by the types of microbes you have in your gut. If you crave a lot of sugar and fat, then you have a lot of sugar- and fat-loving microbes and the same with healthy foods. If you reset your microbes by changing what you eat, the markers that create inflammation and disease and cravings for junk food diminish, and this in turn will also keep your emotions in check as well.

There’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in this world that is out of your control, but there is one thing you can control and that is what you put in your mouth. You do this one thing and watch your microbes help you. Reset your gut and your body will respond accordingly - it's amazing! It takes a firm decision on your part and you’re going to see such a change. Here’s what happened to me in the very beginning.

I made a firm decision. I was going to make a kefir smoothie for breakfast every day. I started to feel better, so I drank more of it, and then I decided to try some kombucha and then cultured vegetables. I felt so much better, so I added more healthy foods that fed my microbes like fruits and vegetables and it started to snowball. Then I started exercising and sharing with my friends and they got better too. And it snowballed into a health-and-wellness movement. I have specific things I did and still do that keep my gut in check. If you're struggling in any capacity, be it health or emotional wellness, then check your gut health. It is usually a warning cry that your gut needs to be repaired. I have easy ways to do this and it all begins with food.

Here are 10 ways to change your Gut


Fertilizer for Your Microbes

Your trillions of microbes can be harmed by a diet high in processed foods and sugars. These foods starve the microbes of their main source of food which is prebiotics in the form of fiber. Without the necessary fuel in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, your microbes can even start to eat the lining of your stomach which can lead to leaky gut and a host of other problems. When your microbes don’t have any food, this can cause the pH in your gut to shift. This shift can favor the growth of less healthy, negative endotoxin-producing gut bacteria. Studies done in mice have shown that the microbes can actually start to eat the mucosal lining of the gut when fiber-deprived.[1] Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is like fertilizer for the good microbes in your gut. You won't believe what a difference it can make to have half your plate as vegetables at your meal. It can change your microbiome in a day and you will feel the difference. The more you do this, the more you will crave these foods and the more your good bacteria will grow and thrive. Article: More About Prebiotics 


Kefir Persimmon pudding

Rebuild your Microbiome with Kefir

Starting your day with kefir is the one habit I developed that changed everything for me. Kefir has more probiotics than any cultured food and if you want to help your gut, adding 50+ good bacteria found in kefir is a quick way to accomplish the task. I add lots of helpful things to my kefir in my morning smoothie or bowl, and I don't really go without it because it not only helps my gut, but it also helps my blood sugar and blood pressure stay normal and healthy. I've tried going without it with disastrous results, so I always have my morning kefir. Article: 7 Reasons I Have Kefir 

Yogurt blueberry compote.jpg2

Special Yogurts

I can't tell you what a difference these new yogurts have made in my life. Most of the bacteria found in these yogurts are not in kefir and are essential bacteria that should be residing in our bodies. L. reuteri is a powerhouse and this yogurt is crazy good with huge benefits. Yogurt Plus has been a game-changer for me. It is loaded with Bifido longum, a bacteria that feeds so many of the other bacteria. We all need this special species in more abundance. L. gasseri yogurt also has many benefits, especially for female health. Check them all out for building more good bacteria in the body

Check out all the yogurts

shelley's veggies

Cultured Vegetables for a Healthy Gut

A jar of cultured vegetables can last many, many months perfectly preserved in your fridge. The process of fermentation removes pesticides from the vegetables with the special bacteria L. plantarum. Not only does it help remove pesticides and chemicals from the veggies, [2] but it removes them from inside of you, too.

Stomach Distress Of Any Kind: L. plantarum is pretty powerful and can even knock out food poisoning (as I myself have witnessed). It has been studied and found successful in the inhibition of food poisoning and pathogenic bacteria, and it is being studied for use in improving the microbiological safety of foods. [3] It’s also superior for any kind of stomach distress. I’ve seen this again and again and received so many emails with stories telling me how effective it was in stopping vomiting, stomach cramps, and nausea with just a spoonful of the brine or vegetables. Try it and it will make you a believer, too. Nothing works better for stomach distress. Article: 7 Reasons I have Cultured Vegetables

Apple peel powder

Apple Peels Heal the Gut

Apples, and especially the peels, feed the all-important bacteria called Akkermansia Muciniphila. A. muciniphila helps to maintain our gut lining and has many health benefits. Our gut lining keeps us protected from the outside world. When it's damaged, we can have leaky gut syndrome which is linked to IBS, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. In this day and age, with so many taking Ibuprofen that can damage our gut lining and can create more problems than it solves, it's important to strengthen your gut lining. Foods can be powerful medicine and apples can keep your gut and microbes thriving.

Once I learned about how to feed Akkermansia, I spent days peeling apples and making applesauce to feed the special microbes that had made themselves known to me, and then I discovered apple peel powder. I love adding it to my smoothies in the morning but I also eat lots of apples too.

Article: An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

HMO smoothie 2

Prebiotic HMOs to Build Bifidobacterium

Bifidobacteria have long been regarded as one of the most beneficial members of the human gut microbiome. Lower levels of this beneficial bacteria have been shown in obese and diabetic individuals and in individuals taking antibiotics. You acquire most of your Bifidobacteria shortly after birth and mostly it comes from the mother and mother's milk.[4]  Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are specific carbohydrates, and essentially a super prebiotic. They actually make HMOs through precise fermentation, and bio-identical HMOs deliver all the benefits without any actual human milk in the product. When you consume HMOs, they promote the growth of powerful probiotics in the gut such as Bifidobacterium and Akkermansia muciniphila, which help heal, seal, and protect the gut lining.

HMOs help improve the immune system by stimulating innate immune system responses, inhibiting pathogens, and reducing inflammation. I've been adding HMOs to my morning kefir for about a month to help build this important bacteria. It's fast and easy and so effective for boosting your immune system. Article: HMOs and Bifidobacterium

Kombucha Sizes

Kombucha — the Fermented Tea Your Gut Loves

Kombucha protects the stomach lining. It neutralizes toxins produced by harmful pathogens and sends out a signal to the body to reduce inflammation that can lead to a number of negative health outcomes. The probiotic in kombucha (S. boulardii) can also act as a decoy to harmful pathogens. It attracts and binds with the pathogens, keeping them from attaching to the intestinal wall and doing damage. [5]

Kombucha assists the liver in detoxification. Kombucha is full of glucuronic acid, which plays a part in one of the body’s most important detoxification processes: glucuronidation, a process in which glucuronic acid binds to toxins and transforms them so they can be easily eliminated by the kidneys. The liver produces this substance naturally, but sometimes the body can’t keep up with the number of pollutants that it comes into contact with. The extra glucuronic acid in kombucha basically helps make up the difference. [6]

Article: 10 Reasons I drink kombucha

Simple Reds2

Red Phenol Powder

Your gut bacteria love berries. Those red pigments keep your skin and heart healthy and have a lot of other benefits too. Berries have strong anti-inflammatory properties and you can get them in a concentrated form. The benefits are huge.

Inflammation is your body's response to infection or injury.  Berries can help you reduce inflammation and give you sustained energy throughout the day. Inflammation also affects your blood pressure and heart health.

Blueberries contain antioxidant polyphenols called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins from berries may reduce oxidative stress and enhance the function of arteries which lowers the risk of heart disease.

You can find red phenol powders in many places including health food stores and online. Here is a good one that I use.

 Simple Reds Phenol Powder

Grape ginger Kefir soda 2-2

Replace Your Soda With Kefir Soda or Water Kefir

You can make probiotic Kefir Soda which is fun and super fast to make. Kefir Soda can be made using either kefir powder packages or using kefir whey from milk kefir. Getting kefir whey from your kefir is very easy and we have step-by-step instructions. You only need one ferment and it will make you lots of bottles in less than a day.

These bubbly drinks are so much better for you than any store-bought sodas, be it diet or those filled with high fructose corn syrup. These store-bought sodas can cause a host of problems such as skin rashes due to brominated vegetable oil (BVO), brain fog, headache, memory loss, [7] and metabolic syndrome.

Contrast this with fermented probiotic sodas which increase good gut flora and also contain very little sugar since the microbes consume most of the sugar. These sodas promote health and good gut flora. You can taste and feel the difference between them. Article: Different Ways to make Probiotic Sodas

Chicken Bone Broth

Gelatin, Collagen, and Bone Broth

I have used bone broths, gelatins, and collagen as a form of natural healing in my life and in the lives of my family members for many years. They all have the same composition but are used in different ways.

I first noticed how crucial it is to consume these foods about twenty years ago when my daughter had IBS. I made her tons of soups made with collagen-rich bone broths which helped heal her gut lining and she also had at least one cultured food at every meal. In a month, she began to heal in a powerful way. As I've gotten older, I notice how much these foods help my skin and joints stay strong.

The benefits of bone broth and collagen as a traditional food are many. To start with, they have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-aging qualities. They do an amazing job of helping to fill in the missing amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) in the diet. These amino acids are making important substances such as hormones and enzymes. Studies show that your body can make it, but most people won't make enough to cover their needs.

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Listen To My Podcast

Your gut is your largest immune organ and is responsible for 80 percent of your immune system. The more good bacteria you have, the better your immune system is. Your emotions, believe it or not, are controlled by your gut bacteria, and studies now suggest that gut bacteria are controlling anxiety and stress responses. Healing your gut and keeping your gut strong are crucial to having a healthy body and mind. Tune in to learn more.

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