By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
November 15, 2017
- Ridiculously healthy seniors have this in common with 30-year olds
- Three foods that destroy your gut microbiome
- Reset your microbiota for a longer, healthier and more active life
Here’s something I bet will get your attention:
People over the age of 90 who are “ridiculously healthy” have a gut microbiome similar to that of a healthy 30-year old.
This discovery is absolutely amazing. It actually suggests that if you can reset your microbiota to that of a 30-year old, you could live a longer, healthier and more active life.
Now, the concept of gut microbiota and health isn’t new.
Your gut is where the bulk of your immune system lies. And when it gets thrown out of balance, it can lead to multiple health problems. But I’m not just talking about gastrointestinal issues.
An unhealthy gut microbiota can contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, bowel problems, reduced brain function, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and many other health concerns.
So it stands to reason that, if a healthy diversity of gut microbes can reduce all of these issues, it could also help you achieve ridiculously good health in your later years.
But these days, there are a lot of things standing in your way.
Three Foods That Destroy Your Gut Microbiome
When we choose the foods we eat, the concepts are pretty simple. “Oh, this food will make me fat”… “This food is (or isn’t) good for me”… “This one tastes better than that one”.
However, most people don’t eat with their gut microbiota in mind. And it could be destroying your health.
- Eating too much meat upsets the delicate balance of bacteria in your gut. In just a single day, a primarily animal-based diet can cause the bacteria linked to inflammatory bowel disease to flourish. In four days, it increases about 21 other types of bacteria. And not all of them are good for you.
- Millions of people opt for artificially sweetened foods and beverages to combat weight gain and diabetes. Unfortunately these fake sugars also alter the gut microbiome. And they do it in a way that actually has a negative impact on your metabolism. This can lead to abnormally high blood sugar levels and weight gain. Now there is a class action lawsuit against the soft drink industry accusing them of misleading consumers to believing drinking diet soda will help in weight control.
- Genetically modified foods that contain glyphosates are horrible for your gut. Glyphosphate is a dangerous poison found in Round-Up, which is used liberally on Round-Up ready crops. When these crops are harvested, they not only end up in the foods at your grocer’s shelves. They also end up in animal feed, which means commercial meats are also tainted with it.
When glyphosates from GMO foods enter your body they severely disrupt beneficial bacteria in your gut. This leads to an overgrowth of some very nasty and unhealthy microbes that spark an inflammatory reaction.
So if you want to achieve – and maintain – amazing health well into your senior years, these foods are ones you want to avoid as much as possible. You’ll also want to stay away from processed foods and unhealthy fats. (Keep your meat intake to a maximum of about 13-15% of your overall diet and always choose grassfed/pasture-raised/wild-caught.)
However, there are other foods that can keep your gut hale and hardy during the aging process.
Restore Your Microbiota for a Longer and Healthier Life
Earlier I mentioned that an animal-based diet can rapidly change the composition of your microbiota. Well, a plant-based diet has effects that occur just as rapidly. But there’s a big difference.
The diets high in fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries – but low in meat – are associated with a highly diverse microbiota that’s good for your health. This makes it a good idea to make a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables a big part of your daily diet.
Not only are these fresh foods high in life-giving nutrients and antioxidants. They are also a great source of fiber and digestive enzymes, which are especially beneficial to a healthy gut microbiome.
I also recommend enjoying more fermented foods. They’re a great source of natural probiotics that feed your gut. Kimchi, miso, natto, kefir, tempeh, kombucha and sauerkraut are all fermented foods.
You can also add a probiotic to your daily regimen. Look for a formula that contains a prebiotic along with lactobacillus, bifidobacteria and other strains of healthy bacteria. The higher the colony count, and the more diverse live strains involved, the better off you’ll be. Just make sure to take it daily with food.
Above all, don’t eat the same thing every day. Mix it up when eating your rainbow of brightly colored foods.
‘Ridiculously healthy’ elderly have the same gut microbiome as healthy 30 year-olds. News Release. University of Western Ontario. Oct 2017.
Bian G, et al. The Gut Microbiota of Healthy Aged Chinese Is Similar to That of the Healthy Young. mSphere, 2017; 2 (5): e00327-17.
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David LA, et al. Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome. Nature. 2014 Jan 23;505(7484):559-63.
Suez J, et al. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota.Nature. 2014 Oct 9;514(7521):181-6.
Samsel A, et al. Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2013 Dec;6(4):159-184.