The Hidden Health Factor Everyone Is Talking About


For some of us the expression, “Go with your gut,” means that you should rely on your instincts. For Erica and Justin Sonnenburg, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, it has much deeper nutritional implications.

In their book, The Good Gut, released last year, the Sonnenburgs present groundbreaking scientific research that has underscored the strong connection between your health and the trillions of organisms that live within your body, the microbes known as the microbiota. These organisms help us fight infection, beat bloat, and reduce risks of preventable diseases, just to name a few ailments that trouble us, and research shows the microbes flourish best when fed certain types of foods and supplements.

Your gut microbiota is very responsive to the food choices you make. For example, dietary fiber provides a banquet for the bacteria in your gut. Without adequate fiber, your bacteria will feast on…you! Plant fiber can also increase bacterial populations for optimal gut health, to ultimately help boost your immune system and help fight inflammation. Vegetables like onions, garlic, and leeks are just a few sources of beneficial fibers. Foods rich in probiotics also help the microbiome by regulating the immune system, curtailing the severity of certain diseases, and perhaps even playing a role in preventing obesity. Lastly, it’s important to only ingest antibiotics when you absolutely need them, because they can ki…

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