In his book Healthy Gut, Healthy You, Dr. Michael Ruscio explains the 3 main categories of Probiotics. These include:
Once you develop a leaky gut, your immune system must deal with the food particles, bacteria, and microbes that leak into the body through the compromised gut barrier that would normally keep them from gaining access. This creates havoc in your system and triggers an immune response – which can lead to an autoimmune response in which your immune system attacks your own body (Think Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriasis, Chron’s Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis just to name a few.)
In order to heal our gut, we need to bring the good and the bad bacteria into balance.
Ways to Support Gut Health
Eating fermented foods that contain probiotics – like kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, and yogurt – can increase the amount of good bacteria in your system. However, most people would benefit from a quality probiotic supplement as well.
The probiotic market can be really confusing. It seems like there are hundreds if not thousands of options! How do you decide which to choose?
There is no one “perfect” brand to use. The most expensive one is not necessarily best, but it is important to notice if a probiotic is much cheaper than other brands on the market. Really cheap probiotics may not have the best quality control practices and likely aren’t independently tested.
How the Gut Gets Damaged
Let’s look at how we can use these principles to cultivate a healthy gut, and learn why it is so important for our overall health.
The brands that I recommend go through external audits to ensure that the product contains what is on the label while not containing unacceptable organisms, or common allergens such as gluten, dairy, and soy.
Stage 2 – Seed
This involves renewing the gut with beneficial bacteria and healing the lining of the intestinal wall. Not all probiotics are the same. They differ between species and strain. A naturopath will be able to help you determine which probiotic is most suitable for you.
Many herbs can help you with this final stage of detoxification: green tea, uva-ursi, dandelion root, slippery elm and gotu kola to name a few. These can be ingested as teas or powders added to smoothies and protein shakes.
Stage 3 – Feed
The final stage is all about nourishing and restoring the eliminatory organs and involves foods and herbs that have supportive and nourishing effects.
Stage 1 – Weed
In order for our body to flourish and thrive, we need to ‘weed out’ pathogenic microorganisms and improve the immune system. Antimicrobial herbs, clean eating and keeping your pH levels within a healthy range will ensure these nasty critters are eliminated from your body.
A proper detoxification program needs to be thorough and holistic and will take at least six weeks to complete. Throughout a detox, it is important to keep your diet as clean, wholesome and healthy as possible.
Eliminate caffeine, smoking, alcohol and sugary, fatty foods to ensure proper detoxification. Drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, make yourself some homemade vegetable juices and treat yourself to regular massages to help the process along. Each stage of the detox typically lasts two weeks, ensuring a thorough cleanse.
Through the entire detox it is best to follow a clean, healthy diet. There is plenty of information available on clean eating on the internet and your local naturopath can give you the guidance and support you need as well.