Twenty-five hundred years ago, Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Medical science now supports the truth of that statement. The human intestinal tract is home to 100 trillion bacteria, about three pounds of it! Some of these bacteria are beneficial, and others are a hazard to your health.
The authors of a recent report published in BMC Immunology write:
The gut microbiota makes up the majority of the human bacterial population, and although the gut microbiota resides in the intestines, it is able to exert systemic effects. Therefore, many diseases and conditions could be impacted by the gut microbiota when its composition is imbalanced, otherwise known as dysbiosis.
Gastrointestinal disorders are increasingly being healed by treating them naturally with probiotic foods and supplements. Although most people have heard the term, there is confusion as to its meaning. Simply put, probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are beneficial to gut health. Although they are found naturally within the body, they are easily destroyed by poor diet, stress, antibiotics, and medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Probiotics help your body absorb nutrients, and research conducted in 2015 and early 2016 show additional benefits of probiotics. According to an article in NaturalHealth365.com, probiotics:
1. Act as a co-treatment with radiation therapy for cancer
2. Counter and improve digestive diseases (acute and chronic diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and colorectal cancer)
3. Demonstrate cholesterol-reducing potential
4. Halt and treat obesity-related metabolic diseases (type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers)
5. Curb autoimmune response (Celiac disease, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroiditis, and more)
6. Inhibit and improve allergies (food, dermatitis)
7. Halt aging (restore acidic skin pH, alleviate oxidative stress, attenuate photo aging, improve skin barrier function, and enhance hair quality)
8. Boost brain health (cognition, memory, mood, and more)
A nutrient-dense diet of non-GMO vegetables, fruits and beans help replace healthy microbes. Here are the top four probiotic foods. They are trillions of times more potent than any probiotic supplement you could take:
1. Kimchi: This popular Korean side dish is a very spicy pickled cabbage. Aged kimchi is rich in probiotics as well as vitamins and calcium. In 2014, the Journal of Medicinal Food reported the benefits of kimchi include “anticancer, anti-obesity, anti-constipation, colorectal health promotion, probiotic properties, cholesterol reduction, fibrolytic effect, antioxidative and antiaging properties, brain health promotion, immune promotion, and skin health promotion.”
2. Sauerkraut: This fermented cabbage (and sometimes other vegetables) has been made since approximately 400 BCE. It is rich in probiotics and vitamins.
3. Kombucha: This sweetened, fermented black tea enhances antioxidant and antibacterial activities, and may help heal ulcers. Drink it hot or cold.
4. Pickles: While homemade pickles best, most have some microbial value. They are high in sodium, so use them in moderation.
Science now supports what the ancients believed. A diet rich in alkaline and probiotic foods is your best defense against ill health.