There’s a war going on right now, Inside your gut microbiome. The good bugs are fighting the bad bugs. The survival at stake – is yours. And the army that wins, is the army you feed.
Many of the trillions of bacteria inside your gut can be roughly divided into two armies – good bugs and bad bugs.
Good bacteria eat healthy fibre and work hard inside your gut, doing a variety of important jobs, like1
- Suppress bad bacteria
- Help you digest your food and absorb nutrients, fueling every body system
- Maintain healthy mucous membranes
- Produce B vitamins needed to run your nervous system.
- Eat prebiotic fibre and produce short chain fatty acids that reduce inflammation inside the gut.
- Promote diversity of other good bacteria inside your gut
The bad bugs – well, that’s another story. Imagine them like no-goodnik thugs, loafing around the street corners, armed and dangerous. They eat junk (sugar and processed food) and they don’t do any helpful work like producing protective mucous. Instead, they kill off the good bacteria. A microbiome controlled by bad bugs will have low diversity – and low diversity equals poor gut health. A high level of bad bugs will also result in gut inflammation, low vitamin synthesis, intestinal discomfort and ultimately, disease.
- Kill off good bacteria
- Don’t produce any protective mucus
- Reduce diversity inside your system
- Grab any opportunity to take over
- Cause bad breath, rotting teeth, unhealthy gums, poor digestion
- Thrive on sugar and processed foods
- Form nasty biofilms inside your gut that are difficult to get rid of
Why does the balance between good and bad gut bugs matter so much? Because your stomach is in an epic battle not to digest itself.
The inside of your stomach is full of acid to break down your meals — but there are intricate forces at play to make sure that when stomach acid is done with your dinner, it doesn’t move on to eating your gut itself.
There’s a protective layer of mucus in the stomach that keeps the two warring factions apart with a special neutralizing agent. But when that mucus fails to protect the outer edge of the stomach, it begins to digest itself. You’re probably familiar with the process — it’s what creates ulcers.
Your hard-working good gut bugs produce mucus. Your no-goodnik bad bugs don’t produce mucus. If the baddies begin to take over, the level of protective mucus decreases, and you begin to get heart burn, ulcerations, inflammation.
This impacts more than just your digestive system – because your gut houses 70% of your immune system. Your gut system is a training ground for your B cells, which patrol your system and look for pathogens, viruses and cancer cells. It’s the job of your B cells to find, inactivate and get rid of pathogens.
But… if your B cells are distracted by trying to patch up inflammation burns and ulcers inside your system, their defense against pathogens becomes patchy — and things can begin to go horribly wrong. Like a war zone where fighting is continuous and no productive work gets done, your overall health may begin to decline.
If your skin is bad or you have allergies, can’t seem to lose weight, suffer from an autoimmune disease or allergies, struggle with fibromyalgia, or have recurring headaches, the real reason may be that your gut is unhealthy. This may be true even if you have NEVER had any digestive complaints.2
So what can you do to help the good bugs?
- Eat a fibre–rich, whole foods diet—it should be rich in beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, all of which feed good bugs.
- Drink a Gut Health Smoothie Daily – this contains probiotics, prebiotics, and everything else you need to promote good gut health.
- Limit sugar, processed foods, animal fats, and animal protein—these provide food for unhealthy bugs. View our Gut Health Diet here.
- Avoid the use of antibiotics, acid blockers, and anti-inflammatories—they change gut flora for the worse.
- Consider specialized testing— Microbiome Testing can determine whether you have resistant biofilm pathogen infection which has gotten established inside your system after dental infections, food poisoning or UTIs – these may need additional treatment to dislodge.