What does gut flora mean? The reason this question is paramount is that the advanced science of microbiology is discovering how impactful gut flora can have on our mental, physical, and emotional health.
The establishment of the Human Microbiome Project in 2007 and until 2016 has made a lot of discoveries and one of them is that your gut flora makes ups most of you. Meaning they outnumber your human cells as much as 9 to 1. So the human body is like habitat or an eco-system for the microbes to live in us and on us.
Gut Flora consists of different types of microbes:
Scientists used to think the unborn baby in the mother’s womb is sterilized until birth delivery but that is not the case now. These microorganisms live everywhere, inside and outside of you.
There is a microbiota (certain microorganisms) that live in the brain, heart, kidney, blood, muscle tissue, vagina, groin area, eyes, stomach, and the list is long. However, the most populated area is in the colon or the large intestine. This is part of the answer to what does gut flora mean?
but there is more...
Microbiota is a sub-community of microbes that habitat a specific area in and on your body. Meaning some species of bacteria live in the armpit while different species of microbes specialize in living in the small intestine, while other microbes specialize in living in the vagina, nostrils, mouth, and so on. Think of it as a region and it’s divided into different small communities with specific roles and tasks.
These sub-communities such as Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli build settlements where they reside which are scientifically known as biofilms (1). When you have the appropriate communities then these biofilms are beneficial and protective for you.
One of the important biofilms created by microbes is located in the gut wall including the small intestine this protective shield is a mix of mucus secreted by the gut wall cells and biofilm bacteria producing so no toxins, pathogens, nor undigested foods seep through to the bloodstream otherwise you will have something like leaky gut.
Leaky gut is considered the culprit of so many chronic diseases therefore the symbiotic relationship between the gut flora and the host (that’s you) is so essential to robust health.
After understanding what does gut flora mean, the next important question is how to rebuild gut flora if you have leaky gut syndromes such as Allergies, food intolerances, autoimmunity disorders, and gastrointestinal disorders to name some.
Knowing the importance of gut flora and how this community of microorganisms is an integral part of your gut health then you need to know how to rebuild gut flora that has been damaged by several factors. However, not to be overwhelmed, you need for now to focus on two things:
-The quality of food and what type of food.
-Avoid or minimize the intake of medications that can damage your gut flora thus impacting your gut health.
The Following Step: Foods - Quality and Type
If you are trying to improve your gut flora because you know it is the root cause of so many chronic diseases then give yourself a pat on the back. You are asking the right question!
Damaged gut flora is known as gut dysbiosis in a scientific term where you have opportunistic microbes out of control in your gut and producing all types of toxins damaging the gut wall to become leaky thus making you sick.
These pathogens thrive on highly processed foods and specifically carbohydrates. Even what we call “healthy vegetables” are not the best choice in the case of having gastrointestinal problems such as ulcer and/or low-grade inflammation, and irritated gut wall. Beneficial bacteria thrive on animal protein and fat and human cells favor the same thing.
Actually, it is essential to how to rebuild gut flora since these types of macronutrients are needed for cell regeneration to heal and seal the leaky gut, and at the same time, you are depriving pathogens of their favorite food (junk and highly processed packaged foods). Please read more about how to rebuild gut flora and digestive system to learn more about what is the GAPS diet or the GAPS diet stages.
Also do your best to choose quality foods. In other words, organic or even better local farm that uses no chemicals and treat their animals humanely by going out in the fresh air, under the sun, feeding their cows their natural foods (all types of grasses) and chickens get grasses, worms, grubs out in the pasture as well. This type of food is healing to your body and your gut flora as well.
The second major helper when it comes to food is supplying probiotics in the form of high-quality supplements and fermented foods.
The Avoiding Step to Rebuild Your Gut Flora
Antibiotics: Of course, I am talking about medications that you know are not necessary and you have alternatives to them. This is something you need to sit with your doctor and have a discussion about.
Antibiotics can be life-saving medicines but many people are taking them for every little cough and sneeze. The same thing with steroids, immune suppressors, and birth-control pills. However, there is another hidden enemy to your gut microbiome and that is consuming conventional plant and animal-based foods that are treated with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, antibiotics, and growth hormones.
Knowing now what does gut flora means to your health it is essential to avoid damage by avoiding unnecessary antibiotic medications, pesticides, and other man-made chemicals.
At the same time avoid creating imbalanced gut flora by consuming food wisely. You’ll find plenty of practical information about improving your gut condition which is the center of your overall health.