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ABC Catalyst: Gut Reaction…What you eat could be making you ill

ABC Catalyst: Gut Reaction…What you eat could be making you ill | Mr Vitamins

Did you catch Catalyst last week on the ABC?

Nutritionist Karen Ball has some important insights based on this first program in the ABC TV series. Read Karen's advice on maintaining the health of your digestion.   The show discussed:
  • How the food we eat effects our health – especially that of our gut bacteria
  • Can we prevent diseases by simply changing our diet?
  • Research shows that food intake may contribute to heart disease, cancer, asthma, allergies, autism, arthritis, depression, MS, diabetes, obesity, autoimmunity and so on…

What does eating healthy food mean?

Eating good food to feed our gut bacteria in our digestive system. Simply…eat good food and feed the good bacteria, eat bad food and feed the bad bacteria!

Today’s society has changed our gut bacteria dramatically:

  • Increasing incidence of caesarean sections rather than natural births
  • Widespread use of antibiotics – often unnecessary
  • Reduced breast feeding and increasing reliance on formula feeding
  • Cleaner living standards and use of antibacterial cleaners in the home
  • Consuming ‘food-like’ products in a high processed Western diet instead of natural wholefoods
We are home to trillions of bacteria cells…they outnumber us by 10:1, and weigh up to 1.5 kg in total. Are we human, or are we microbe? Are they our bacteria, or are we theirhuman? There is a theory that we are a ‘super-organism’ of human + bacterial cells that work synergistically together for greater good.

Gut bacteria has enormous effect on health!

  • Educates and regulates our immune system in our gut – the first line of defence against microbes
  • Bacteria tell our immune system what to attack
  • Regulates inflammation and hormone signalling
  • Influences our brain chemistry and mood
Diet changes what we feed our bacteria – poor food choices will result in overgrowth of bad bacteria, whilst good food choices will support a healthy bowel flora.

Research shows that a diet high in fibre is extremely beneficial for healthy gut bacteria.

Overall, a decrease in gut bacteria and diversity predisposes us to an ongoing state of inflammation leading to further activation of the immune system and worsening health.

The take-home message? Eat more vegetables, fruit and fibre for healthy gut bugs!


Get great Nutritional Advice from Karen Ball

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