Discover The World Within
It’s in you. It’s all over you. It is you. Embrace the world within.
You are an excellent host! In fact, you are so hospitable that trillions of microorganisms have chosen to call your body home! Living in and on you, these tiny visitors are collectively referred to as your microbiota.
We’ve been taught by clever marketing campaigns that all bacteria are bad. The truth is, the majority are actually beneficial – even necessary – to our survival and good health. Our microbiota is comprised primarily of friendly bacteria, the majority of which live in our gastrointestinal tract, and help us digest food, protect us from harmful organisms, and influence our mood and energy.
Getting a good start.
We each have a microbiota that is as unique as our fingerprint. While we are all born sterile, by the time we are 2–3 years of age, the make-up of our gut microbiota has already been established. It has achieved a natural, balanced state which it strives to maintain throughout our lives.
The composition of our personal microbiota can be influenced by environmental factorssuch how we are born (vaginally or by caesarian section), diet, habitat, who we share our lives with (including pets!), antibiotics and exposure to disease-causing agents.
Diversity is necessary. Scientists have discovered that our microbiome fingerprint actually needs to consist of many different types of bacteria to keep us strong, healthy, and resilient. When our microbiota becomes unbalanced, we may become unhealthy and even susceptible to physical and mental illness.
Using the microbiota to predict, prevent and treat disease.
Understanding, managing and protecting the human gut microbiota represents an opportunity to solve growing health challenges. While certain elements of our microbiota may influence our likelihood to develop certain illnesses, these may also offer new opportunities to predict, prevent and treat debilitating diseases including diabetes, cancers, asthma, obesity, dementia and more.
Knowledge about the microbiota is relatively new but growing everyday. There is much to learn but most agree that there are also incredible benefits to be gained. Our ability to establish, enrich and protect a healthy microbiota could very well prove to be our most powerful tool for enhancing lifelong health. A healthy microbiota means a healthy you, so embrace the thought of being the ultimate host to the incredible world that lives within.
PRE AND PROBIOTICS
Fuel Your Microbiota: Understanding Probiotics and Prebiotics
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that you ingest as supplements or probiotic-fortified foods. When you consume enough of these active helpers, you’re supporting the diversity of your gut microbiota and that can help protect and enhance your good health. To ensure ongoing probiotic benefits, we need to consume probiotics regularly. When you stop taking probiotics, the population of those microorganisms in your gut goes back down as your microbiota returns to its natural, balanced state.
Prebiotics are food for probiotics.
Our microbiota is comprised of a diverse collection of living microorganisms. Just like us, they need to be fed to survive and thrive. So while we ingest probiotics, we also want to consume things that contain prebiotics. This is easy to do. Naturally occurring prebiotics from:
• fibres and starches like: fruit and root vegetables;
• grains like: barley, rye, and whole grains;
• and also fermented foods like: yogurt and honey.
Not all probiotics are created equal, so you’ll want to:
1. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
About the probiotics listed on the package then choose the one that is best for you.
2. Make sure they are alive!
Look for labels that say “active” or “live culture.” Labels will also need a “best before” date, and specific storage instructions..
3. Keep on learning!
Search the internet or scientific journals for new and credible sources of information to help you choose the right probiotic for you.
Support your microbiota. Feed your fibre-famished gut.
Our bodies house more microorganisms than there are stars in the Milky Way and helping them thrive is essential to our good health. One way we can support our microbiota is by maintaining a high-fibre diet.
So what is fibre, anyway?
Fibre, or roughage, is stuff that our bodies can’t actually digest but it is very important. It promotes healthy motion though the digestive tract and helps support proper absorption of nutrients, regulate blood sugar levels, manage healthy weight loss and lower cholesterol. And, because fibre is a prebiotic, it also supports good gut bacteria.
Ready to get more fibre in your diet?
It may be easier than you think to feed your fibrefamished gut. Boosting daily fibre can be as easy as making healthy choices at mealtime and when you snack!
Why not try:
• STARTING each day with high-fibre cereal
• DIPPING a pear or apple into fibre-enriched yogurt;
• DUNKING broccoli or cauliflower into hummus;
• SPREADING avocado on whole wheat toast.
Wondering what to look for at the grocery store?
Choose food packages that say “high in fibre” to help you reach that daily goal. Check the nutrition labels for the grams of fibre per serving. Shop around the outside aisles of the grocery store first for whole fruits and vegetables and then head to the middle aisles for high-fibre foods like legumes, nuts, seeds and cereals that contain whole grains or are bran-based.
Look to the CDHF for:
• Educational videos
• Fact Sheets
• Personal stories
• Symptom summaries
• Online seminars
• And more…
Trusted resources built for you and available online for free at CDHF.ca
Join the CDHF at our FREE Public Education Event
Learn from health care professionals who will present information you need to know, including:
• Managing IBS, IBD, Constipation and Acid Reflux
• Nutrition & Fibre
• And more!
See you on Mon. Nov. 7, 2016 | 7–9pm
Design Exchange | 234 Bay St | Toronto
Register now at www.CDHF.ca/HealthyGut
You must register to attend. Seats are limited.