Throughout history, humans have destroyed ecosystems in the pursuit of better well-being through cultural and technological advancement.
It is now being discovered that an additional and dangerous result of our advancements is the effect our modern lifestyles are having on the ecosystem inside of us, the microbiome.
For ages this perfectly balanced, internal ecosystem helped to regulate our weight, immune system, elimination of damaged cells, inflammation, mood, and hormones while also playing an essential role in digesting, producing, and absorbing essential nutrients.
Research is now showing a strong link between poor gut health and many chronic diseases. So what can you do to help prevent chronic disease?
You can follow the 4 Rs of gut health: Remove, Replace, Repair, and Reinoculate.
Remove - Remove the foods from your diet that cause damage, inflammation, and feed the less favorable microbes. These include pesticides, sugars, refined carbohydrates, processed, and fried foods.
- This step may also involve identifying and eliminating any food sensitivities (ex. gluten or dairy) through either an elimination diet or IgG blood test.
- You might also look into removing unfavorable microbes such as yeast overgrowth and parasites with herbal supplements.
Replace - Replace the missing nutrients in your diet. This can be done by including foods that feed the good guys such as protein, fiber (prebiotics), and polyphenols from colorful fruits and vegetables.
- In some cases, people might find it helpful to also take digestive enzymes in order to better break down and absorb nutrients.
Repair - Repair the damage to your gut. When your microbiome is out of balance, your gut becomes “leaky,” which is called intestinal permeability and needs to be repaired.
- This can be done by consuming restorative nutrients such as slippery elm, aloe vera, marshmallow root, vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as zinc, glutamine, quercetin, and glutathione.
Reinoculate - This means to bring in reinforcements! This can be accomplished in two ways:
- Probiotics - This is a common and frequently used way to bring in some extra good guys. Some challenges with probiotics are that they are generally unregulated for quality and have limited diversity.
- Fermented Foods - These include non-pasteurized, “live culture” foods like Kefir, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, and some other pickled vegetables. These are fermented either by starter cultures of microbes or by the microbes that were naturally on the vegetables from the soil they were grown in.
Over time these methods will help your microbiome to thrive and protect your gut lining from further damage as it heals. There are some factors of health that are out of your control such as genetics and other environmental impacts, but you can take control of what you choose to eat in order to give yourself a better future.
Choosing a healthy plant-based and vegan diet is most beneficial when it comes to:
Higher levels of energy;
Aids in energy and overall happiness;
Provides a sense of comfort and relief;
Could prevent major diseases such as obesity and diabetes;
Accomplish weight-loss and management; and
Improves mental and cognitive functioning.
There are really no excuses not to try healthier habits in your everyday life. If you are a man or woman looking for specific benefits of adopting healthier habits or just want to know about the general healing properties of herbs. Please remember to comment or post any health questions, or contact us directly!
Also feel free to share any of your favorite recipes to make and share it with the Assuaged community on our ➡️ Share A Recipe ⬅️ page!
Orr, M.R., Kocurek, K.M., & Young, D.L. (2018). Gut microbiota and human health: Insights from ecological restoration. Quarterly Review of Biology, 93(2), 73-90. dio 10.1086/698021 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34063879/
Smith, M. (2015). The 4 R’s of Gut Healing. Retrieved July 20th, 2021 from https://www.planetnaturopath.com/digestion/gut-healing/