A healthy gut is vital for good overall health and functioning of the body and mind, a strong immune system, general wellbeing, healthy ageing and efficient metabolism to stimulate the burning of fat.
There are around 100 trillion living bacteria in your gut right now, more than 10 times the number of human cells in your entire body. It is vital that there’s a balance between good bacteria, known as probiotics, and bad bacteria. This balance is achieved when there are at least 85% good bacteria and 15% bad.
Imbalances in your gut ecology, where you have too many bad bacteria, can cause other health problems and potentially bigger issues too. There are over 100 illnesses that are believed to be linked to an imbalance of the gut flora. These are gluten intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune diseases, mood swings, mental health disorders and behavioural problems, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cold, flu, pneumonia, liver diseases, cirrhosis and liver cancer, eczema, acne, chronic fatigue syndrome, food allergies, wheat allergies, and obesity, to name but a few.
Due to lifestyle and a lack of information about the importance of gut health, millions of people all around the world lack good bacteria in their gut and therefore, have unknowingly developed bad gut flora by consuming:
- Processed, refined and artificial foods.
- A limited diversity of plant foods.
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners found in sodas, diet drinks and foods, chewing gum, yoghurts, toothpaste, laxatives, alcohol.
- Pesticides and antibiotics, in medication or in meats, fish and dairy products.
- Not getting enough sleep and environmental factors are also a big part of the problem – people are exposed to environmental toxins and pollution regularly, if not on a daily basis.
THE GOOD NEWS
Knowing that these microbes have such a huge impact on our health and wellbeing, it is essential that we do what we can to support a good balance – and the good news is that there is so much we can do. This will not only improve our longevity but have an impact on every aspect of our health.
Think of your gut microbiome as a garden. If you do nothing to tend to your garden, it can become overgrown with weeds, leaves, branches. All of these can just sit there, rot and become moldy overtime. Compare this to the garden that is cared for, where the weeds are pulled out regularly, where seeds are being planted for new flowers and trees to grow and one that is being watered daily. It would be colourful, bright and it would look much healthier. Much like your gut.
SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT FLORA
We can start working to support better levels of good microbes by doing the following:
- EAT GOOD BACTERIA
Eat plenty of Probiotics which are good bacteria that we can consume to help increase the numbers of good bacteria that we have in our gut.
- FEED THE GOOD BACTERIA
Eat or drink a diversity of plant-based foods daily. Plant foods include vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, teas, herbs, beans, legumes, whole grains, etc.
Eat high fibre foods, also known as prebiotics. Our gut uses this fibre to nourish the good bacteria, allowing them to grow. Studies have shown that as we feed the good microbes, we also lower the pH of the gut and start to naturally crowd out problematic bacteria. We should be aiming for a minimum of 30 grams of fibre per day as adults, which is the government’s daily recommended amount. This is why you require both prebiotics and probiotics in your diet to support good health. SO PERF bars contain both prebiotics (to feed the good bacteria in the gut and allow them to grow) and probiotics (to add to the number of bacteria in the gut). The probiotics used in SO PERF are spore-based, which means that they plant seeds in the gut and allow new good bacteria to grow.
- SLEEP WELL AND EXERCISE
– Sleep 7 – 8 hours per night, and sleep and wake at similar times every day.
– Exercise, go outdoors and breathe fresh air.
– Get yourself some pets! They are also great for the microbiome (on top of being your best friends).
- AVOID PROCESSED FOODS
– Avoid processed, refined, sugary and artificial foods as this has a negative effect on your gut and can allow for problematic species to grow.
- AVOID UNNECESSARY MEDICATIONS
Unfortunately, certain medications, antibiotics (both in food and as medicine), and other household and environmental toxins can indiscriminately wipe out good bacteria in the gut, leaving both your and your child’s microbiomes depleted and out of balance.
Most probiotics are transient, this means they enter the gut and hang around for 5 – 7 days but then they leave. SO PERF cold pressed bars contain spore-based probiotics which start to create spores that take residence in your gut – they don’t leave and are like seeds that start to grow in your gut, becoming part of your gut ecosystem and allowing for a healthier and stronger gut and immune system.
SO PERF bars are also loaded with fibre which feeds our microbes, known as prebiotics. Prebiotics are important because they feed the good bacteria that are already in your gut and allow them to grow and flourish. The more bacteria we can feed the better we can support our gut and immune health. When there are good levels of the good bacteria, it makes it harder for the problematic bacteria to take hold. The government recommends that we have 30 grams of fibre daily to support better health. Most of us are not meeting that requirement. Each bar gives you approximately 10-15g of fibre, which helps you reach this goal. The bacteria produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA) from the fibre. The SCFA are magic! They are what heals a leaky gut, brings down inflammation, regulates our gut, immune health, supports our mood, detoxifies us, supports liver function and the gut-brain connection, regulates energy and creates vitamins.