This section is like Pandora’s Box, only in a good way. Having started fermenting my own food and drink, I have become possessed. I cannot recommend delving into this activity enough. The benefits I have felt as a result are very real and very satisfying. Aside from that, the whole process has a life of its own and requires a level of surrender and tuning in to instinct which is very refreshing. Come on, dive in!
Fibre is important for our gut microbiome and for the health of our colon. Most of our microbes live in the colon (large intestine). Fibre survives the rest of our gut processes and makes it to our large intestine – it stops our microbes from starving. A lack of fibre leads to malaise in the microbiome.
With knowledge, comes understanding. I hope that understanding more about the magic that goes on inside us will make it easier to make some changes to better support our own health. It is easy to take the amazing system that is our body for granted – until things start to go wrong. Prevention is better than cure.
It is becoming clear that prolonged inflammation of the gut – basically a chronic immune response – may be the starting point for a very wide variety of illnesses – allergies, asthma, eczema, ADHD, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, Parkinson’s, even cancer. Our gut microbiome plays a fundamental role in our inflammation pathways.
Our symbiotic and complex relationship with our microbes has been going on since the beginning of our evolutionary journey. Despite Mechnikov’s work over 100 years ago, it is only very recently that we have really got our head around the fact that our microbes are not simply pathogenic; that they are integral to who and how we are.
It is early days, yet, in terms of research being able to clarify what we can do for ourselves to manage our microbiome in order to achieve better health. Microbial activities and interactions are so mind-bogglingly complex that it is going to take scientists a while to unravel it all. And that is without considering viruses, fungi and parasites. BUT, there are some things we can do to help.
We are at risk of forgetting what nourishing food really is. We are being seduced by “foods” that have been designed to hit the pleasure centres in our brain, to keep us coming back for more but which do not truly nourish us. In fact, slowly but surely, they make us ill. I am trying to cut the puppet strings – to get away from foods that drag us around by our pleasure centres in that sugary superficial way and, instead, eat mainly unprocessed foods that deeply satisfy and nourish us on a cellular level.