When we think of gut health, we automatically think of our stomach in most cases but the gut comprises a huge expanse in the human body, the whole way down from the mouth to the anus.The body houses trillions of bacteria and the most densely populated areas of bacteria are actually in our gut.
What you eat can have a huge bearing on how well your body performs. Therefore, it is wise to feed the good microbes the right food as these bacteria play a critical role in digestion, immune function and weight management.
Microbiotics are the beneficial bacteria, also known as live cultures, that live in the intestinal tract. Although the word bacteria is usually associated with germs and illness, beneficial bacteria are essential for the body to function properly.
From new born infants to grandparents there is a formula that Udo Erasmus has created to best serve the gut flora appropriate to each age group. Beneficial bacteria are essential for digestive health at all stages of life, from infant to advanced age, which means that microbiotics are good for everyone.
Digestive enzymes are like scissors that cut up the foods we eat into basic building blocks that our body then absorbs and reassembles to build cells, tissues, organs, glands and entire body systems.The human body makes and uses more than 3,000 kinds of enzymes that initiate or speed up chemical reactions.
Udo’s Choice Digestive Enzyme range contains plant based enzymes to assist the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, soluble fibre, starch, milk sugar and complex sugars aiding healthy digestion and nutrient absorption. They do this by providing enzyme activity combinations which are precisely balanced to optimize the body’s absorption and use of food nutrients.
Tips to Top-Up your digestive health
Tip 1: Eat a wide variety of vegetables, nuts and seeds
Plant based foods provide the gut with the fibre it needs to feed and keep it healthy - keep a diary and ensure you are eating 5-10 portions daily. Diversification is key, as like anything, if you keep on having the same foods the body will get lazy and bored! Having a rotation of different fruits, cruciferous veggies, fibrous vegetables, wholefoods and nuts will go a long way to help keeping the gut happy. Try foods like, carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, squashes, cauliflower, cabbage, aubergine, radishes, sweet peppers, apples, pears, berries, basil, parsley, dill, lettuce, brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds are a great starting point – go and explore your local market and see what foods are in season!
Tip 2: Include prebiotic foods that ‘fertilise’ the gut
Prebiotic foods are also important as the fibre in these veggies will help to feed, nourish and stimulate the growth of the good bacteria found in the large intestines or colon. They act as a fertiliser for the good bacteria that is already there. Prebiotic foods are garlic, leeks, red and white onion, bananas, oats, asparagus, chicory, Jerusalem artichokes and black strap molasses.
Tip 3: Add in probiotic foods to support the gut
Probiotic foods introduce bacteria into the gut to help support and build the good bacteria against the bad bacteria. Fermented foods such as Kombucha (fermented tea), kimchi (fermented vegetables), sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), miso soup (fermented soy), yoghurt and kefir (fermented milk). Udo’s Choice Beyond Greens contains a fermented grass blend of oat grass, barley grass, wheat grass and alfalfa grass creating it’s own probiotics that may help re-establish a healthier intestinal tract and improve digestion.
Tip 4: Top-Up with a ‘live’ bacteria and digestive enzyme supplement
Poor diet or health, antibiotics or simply the stresses and strains of modern living can disturb the delicate microflora environment in the digestive tract, compromising health in all kinds of ways. Udo’s Choice Super 8 replenishes gut bacteria. It contains 8 live bacteria strains which will support the upper and lower digestive tract - Lactobillus in the small and Bifidobacterium in the large. By including strains from both families Super 8 ensures that your entire digestive system is covered.