Overall wellbeing and gut health go interchangeably. The microflora in our gut contains five to 10 times as many cells as the 37 trillion cells that make up the human body. In fact, 70% of our immune system resides in the gut, so it’s no secret that our gut health affects all parts of our body. An unbalanced gut can be the reason behind all the bloating, gas and other discomforts we endure and could even lead to more serious health problems.
When the microbiome is healthy, gut flora rebounds quickly from imbalances. However, for those who have dysbiosis – an overgrowth of bad bacteria – challenges arise because repairing the microbiome with a healthy diet alone can be difficult. Strategies need to be established when it comes to gut health since there is not a single remedy that works for everyone. Moving beyond the basics of probiotics, and using all tools at your disposal, can aid in restoring the balance of bacteria, increasing your overall well-being.
IgY: The Discovery Scientists are Excited About
You may look at your breakfast plate differently after hearing about this hero nutrient for gut health. Egg yolks are known to have immune health benefits. Beyond high levels of vitamin D and zinc, eggs contain a very important antibody protein, IgY (immunoglobulin yolk). IgY supports the innate immune system by helping bind and destroy bad bacteria.
Scientists are excited about IgY because it facilitates the elimination of bad bacteria in the gut to speed recovery times and free up the immune system to do its day-to-day job. IgY has even been the subject of more than 1,300 research papers published in the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine.
Vitamin D and zinc are great for the immune system, but you need a lot of them all the time to see the benefits, which is where IgY comes in. IgY helps the body recover quickly from illness or injury while providing an extra boost of energy. IgY provides the same benefits to anyone recovering from sickness or frequently exposing themselves to the stress of travel or crowds of people.
Probiotics: A Known Warrior
We are all aware of the benefits of probiotics by now. They are plentiful with good bacteria, making it harder for the bad bacteria to survive in your gut because they fight for the same nutrients. What you may not know is that once you stop taking probiotics and ingesting that good bacteria, the gut imbalance returns. In addition, our stomach acidity is so extreme that when our enzymes break down food and nutrients, oftentimes probiotics don’t make it through to the gut in their full form.
Prebiotics: A Popular Addition
Another addition to gut health that has gained popularity in recent years is prebiotics. Prebiotics take on many forms, but the underlying feature of them is that they provide an environment in the gut that causes good bacteria to thrive. Prebiotics share properties that are the same in that they are non-digestible foods that pass through the stomach, stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria.
Postbiotics: Next-Level Ingredients
Want to level up your gut health even more? Postbiotic formulas are the next generation of ingredients for your gut because they deliver the by-products that your healthy bacteria should normally produce. Postbiotics are compounds that the good bacteria in your gut produce as a by-product of feeding on the prebiotics and other nutrients that we eat. When these are plentiful in your gut, the environment created causes the good bacteria to thrive.
It All Comes Back to Your Strategy
Beyond supplementing, there are some simple dietary changes that can optimize your microbiome. A diverse diet of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and consuming fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut are ways to support the population of good bacteria in your gut. In addition, switching to whole grains instead of processed grains is also highly supportive.
Avoiding drinks that have alcohol and sugar is key. Certain medications can also be harmful to gut health. Antibiotics help eliminate infections, but in turn attack the good bacteria in your gut, leading to the depletion of health in our microbiome and causing problems down the road.
Finally, monitoring the amount of stress we endure is critical. Researchers have discovered that stress is so important in regards to gut health that stress and depression can reshape the gut bacteria’s composition through stress hormones, inflammation, and autonomic alterations. We all get stressed, so stress reduction techniques such as moderate exercise, meditation, yoga, stretching and getting plenty of sleep are essential.
Supplementing with probiotics, prebiotics, postbiotics and IgY as well as having a balanced diet and managing stress levels is a great way to level up your gut health. When your microbiome is balanced, your overall health is also balanced, which will benefit you in the long run. If we make gut health a part of our daily health routine, we will come out stronger and healthier.
Greg Macpherson is a pharmacist, biotechnologist, cellular health expert and author of, Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging: to live your healthiest life. For more than a decade, he has been working in the biotechnology sector, specifically focusing on the aging process at the cellular level. This work led him to discover ways to harness the nine identified, scientific hallmarks of aging, which is the premise of his book that addresses the natural aging process, how to age more favorably and simple strategies to slow the aging process and build a functional healthspan. Beyond theory and concept, Macpherson has used his entrepreneurial spirit to further develop solutions to this new paradigm of aging, by launching SRW Laboratories, (Science, Research and Wellness), a science and research based company that curates the latest biotechnology research to formulate natural products designed to help slow the onset of aging and disease, and develop evidence based solutions for those who are experiencing age-related health concerns or who want to improve their healthspan. Connect with Greg Macpherson at: Twitter: @gregmacpherson https://twitter.com/gregmacpherson http://www.theninehallmarksofaging.com/ and http://www.srw.co