Why does the right diet and nutrition help with improving immune function, protecting us from harmful germs, and providing the body with proper nutrients? It all starts with what we consider disgusting – bacteria. There are trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi living in and on us. And a good balance and bacterial variety is a huge advantage to us. Things like medication, environment, and even if we were birthed via C-section affects our micro biome.
In all aspects of my life, I try to find ways in which I have control. In this particular case, I have control over what I eat. Diet is the leading influence of our bacterial diversity and health. For example, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains are the best fuel to nourish our gut, improve immune system, and prevent inflammation which helps to reduce the risk of cancer.
A study was done where they switched the diets of rural Africans (high fiber) with a Western diet (high fat, highly processed). In just 2 weeks, the rural high fiber to high fat diet led to an increased inflammation of the colon and a decrease of butyrate which is a short-chain fatty acid that helps to reduce colon cancer. The opposite was true for the Western diet switched to a high fiber diet.
A low fiber, processed diet meant less fuel for our gut bacteria. These bacteria were essentially starving and feeding on the mucus lining of our gut. Increased gut bacteria from fruits, vegetables, etc. increases polyphenol which is an anti-oxidant that prevents cancer. Whole fat milk and sugary soda, in contrast, decreases this diversity.
How we prepare our food matters too. Raw, steamed, lightly cooked is better than deep fried. And probiotics also help our gut such as kim chi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha, yogurt, and things with Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria. These foods fuel the bacteria; resulting in a healthy gut and a thriving body. The moral of the story?… You can control your health with what you eat. Learn how to do it with ease and make it simply a part of who you are without dieting, weigh-ins, calorie counting, etc.
Get a free health consultation. See if this is the right match for you by addressing weight loss, cravings, emotional eating, balanced diet, disease prevention, and getting to the root cause of what’s keeping you stuck.
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~ Samantha Hua, Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach, San Diego, CA