The trillions of bacteria living inside your gut do all kinds of amazing jobs for the body – just like an extremely useful and friendly lodger.
To understand how important it is to look after our gut bacteria…..meet Flora, your friendly gut bug! Flora is the best lodger you could ever hope to have.
Flora cleans and tidies for you every day. Especially when you’re resting and super-chilled, like relaxing with friends, doing yoga or having a bath…she’s there sorting everything out. That’s because when you are in a relaxed state, your digestive system works optimally; absorption and assimilation of nutrients and the clearing of debris all work best while calm. Even doing something as simple as just taking some long, deep breaths can help get us into this state.
Flora also takes care of the groceries when the supermarket delivery arrives. All the tough, fibrous foods that you can’t manage is a treat for Flora! She happily munches through it all and makes a wonderful array of gifts for the household to enjoy. Gut bacteria ferment fibre and resistant starch to produce vitamins, enzymes and short-chain fatty acids which are health-giving to the body.
She is also a very good security guard; she doesn’t let in any intruders or strange guests that haven’t been invited. This is one of her most important roles. More than 70% of your immune system is located in the gut: your friendly gut bacteria along with the lining of the gut act as a barrier and communicator between the inside and the outside world to keep immune responses under control.
The other very important job that Flora does is to keep the good vibes flowing throughout the house….Around 90% of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin is produced in the gut, so when Flora is happy, everybody is happy!
Keeping Flora well-fed with plenty of fibre-rich foods, is the key to the success and happiness of the entire household! Her favourite foods are vegetables, fruit, pulses and legumes, whole grains and nuts and seeds – all washed down with a glass of kefir.
Flora is not so keen on sugar, high fat, ultra-processed foods, alcohol, fizzy drinks, lack of sleep, heightened stress and sitting around a lot. At best she becomes grumpy and unproductive…at worst she leaves, and the unwanted guests take over the house. An unhealthy diet and lifestyle are detrimental to our gut bacteria and increase the strains of less friendly bacteria.
So think of Flora and all that she does for you, day after day. Looking after Flora means she stays in tip-top condition, rewarding you with easy, painfree digestion, razor-sharp cognition, a powerful immune system, restful sleep, positive mental health and strong stress resilience.
You look after Flora, and she’ll look after you!