The Gut: Where Health Starts

The Gut: Where Health Starts

Treat your gut right—by eating foods like yogurt, kefir, and/or sauerkraut—and your health may just improve.

There's no question that you need a healthy gut to have overall good health. For starters, 70 to 80 percent of our immune tissue is located in the gut. A healthy gut also seems to regulate levels of the body's main antioxidant, glutathione, which fights a host of diseases. What's more, an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in the gut has been found to trigger inflammation in the body, which has been linked to everything from acne to heart disease.

Here's some of the latest research, which adds further proof of this connection between the gut and health:

√ Steer clear of artificial sweeteners. Those little yellow and pink packets found near most coffee and tea dispensers are chemical-based sweeteners that have been found to alter the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut, triggering insulin resistance and subsequent glucose intolerance. The research, published in the journal Nature, found that this gut imbalance triggered by artificial sweeteners (also found in diet sodas and sugar-free candy and gum) can pack on pounds and lead to diabetes.

√ Take probiotics to reduce your risk of cancer. A healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in the body is key to cancer prevention, found researchers at UCLA. According to the researchers, healthy gut bacteria can reduce gene damage and is an anti-inflammatory—both of which help to cut your cancer risk. Probiotic supplements, say the researchers, could potentially prevent cancer from forming. The researchers also note that healthy bacteria can also be found in yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut[ii].

√ Enjoy a margarita every once in awhile. A new study from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Mexico found that tequila—the key ingredient in margarita—contains ingredients that work with intestinal bacteria to enhance the absorption of calcium and magnesium in the body. These minerals are essential to bone health. The researchers found that tequila's key ingredients work with good gut bacteria to form new bone, even in the presence of osteoporosis[iii].

I'm sure we'll be seeing even more research about the gut moving forward. Stay tuned!

Eat healthy & you will be healthy,