Nutrition: A Healthy Gut = A Healthy Human

Post by: Dr. Pia Martin from http://drpia.com/ 

As a mom your gut health is vitally important to the health and well-being of your unborn child.

We are learning more and more about epigenetics and the understanding that while genes play an important role in the characteristics of our unborn child, 80% of their gut health is based on the environment and the immune health of the mom.

Research has shown that during each of the three trimesters of pregnancy the gut bacteria changes and we are learning that it is more than likely due to the shift in Hormones.

If you yourself were bottle-fed, were born via C-section, took birth control pills and had several course of antibiotics during your life and you have not regularly eaten fermented foods or taken probiotics, chances are that your gut flora is not optimal.

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Intestinal imbalance occurs when the number and type or location of intestinal flora is changed from its natural balance. Typically we see an overgrowth in the bad bacteria resulting in a myriad of digestive issues, skin problems, yeast, sugar cravings, anxiety, headaches and more.

Not only are these ailments stressful for you as a mom they expose the fetus to higher levels of endotoxins and stress.

Why is Gut health important!!

The first and most overlooked reason is that your digestive tract is critical to your health because 80% of your entire immune system is located in your digestive tract.

In addition to the impact on your immune system, your digestive system is the second largest part of your neurological system.  It is called your enteric nervous system and is located in your gut. This is why it is called our 2nd Brain.

Secondly, and extremely important, is that your unborn baby obtains their initial gut flora via the vaginal canal during birth and then subsequently from your breast milk. We are learning that all kinds of health and behavioral issues are link to the gut dysbiosis of Mom and then subsequently baby.

Here is our checklist for maintaining a Healthy Gut:

  • Take a probiotic supplement. Make sure it is from a good source and has the beneficial bacteria’s for good gut health. Listed below are the seven types of Friendly Bacteria:
  1. Lactobacillus acidophilus
  2. Lactobacillus bulgarius
  3. Lactobacillus reuteri
  4. Streptococcus thermophilus
  5. Saccharomyces boulardii
  6. Bifidobacterium bifidum
  7. Bacillus subtilise
  • Keep stress levels low because stress kills your probiotic flora. One of the reasons we suggest that you continue taking a probiotic supplement postpartum, the other is to ensure your breast milk is optimal and baby will also get a small does of probiotics via the milk.
  • Limit sugar and refined carbs
  • Stay well hydrated to flush out toxins
  • Add apple cider vinegar to your salads
  • Enjoy Yogurt (Raw milk or goat’s milk). Made from a bacterium that ferments the natural sugars in milk, yogurt is a classic food that just about everyone has had before. Using raw milk or goat’s milk preserves the natural sugars and other nutritious elements that would otherwise be destroyed in a pasteurization process. If you do purchase yogurt in a store, make sure it is plain yogurt with no flavors, colors or other additives.