As has been said many times our health is in the gut, yet many people have no idea what this means and they eat any and all foods thanks to heavy advertising. The diet that the average Westerner follows, which includes too many chips, pies, cakes, confectionery, soft drinks, saturated fats, fried foods, and chemical-laden processed foods is killing the micro-organisms in the gut.
Health is balance and any imbalance in the gut ecosystem means trouble. There is research evidence that over-processed foods with little or no plant foods, is changing the proportions of the microbes that naturally live in the gut and people are getting sick because of that. Changes to the gut ecosystem is linked to illnesses such as chronic kidney disease, anxiety, depression, autism, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome.
Feeding the microbes in the gut is a win-win action for us and them. They live on cellulose, the indigestible fibers found in food, which they ferment to produce short-chain fatty acids which are beneficial to our health. The short-chain fatty acids are believed to prevent bowel cancer and asthma by enhancing the immune system. In a study done at University of Newcastle, people with asthma were given fiber supplements and their symptoms improved. That is food for thought.
One of the main links between gut health and kidney disease is the presence of inflammation, which can be linked to uremic toxins that originate from gut bacteria imbalance.
Additionally, many researchers have stated that CKD patients on prescription kidney medications may not have the healthiest levels of gut bacteria due to drug side-effects, and those on dialysis may be suffering from poor nutrition attributed to anemia and lack of appetite which can further exacerbate gut bacteria dysfunction. In this case, a probiotic can be very helpful in regulating the gut ecosystem and keeping inflammation down.
In a 2015 study, 20 African Americans, some of whom had polyps in their colons, swapped their diet for two weeks with 20 South Africans who live in the rural areas and had no polyps in their colons. After two weeks the African Americans’ gut had improved while the Africans’ guts had developed problems. This is simple proof that eating whole plant-based diet is beneficial to health.
We can improve our gut health by shopping more on the produce section of the supermarket (for nutrients and fiber) and buying dense grainy breads.
We can also restore the gut ecosystem balance faster by eating fermented foods and drinks such as:
- Apple Cider Vinegar (use it to make salad dressing)
And if learning the warning signs of kidney disease is as important to you as it is to us, you should definitely follow us all across social media, on LinkedIN, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and FaceBook!