Getting that good gut feeling
The gut is a massive system all by itself. It’s full of a diverse ecosystem of bacteria, viruses and yeast that live inside the gut. This is called the microbiome or, more commonly, gut flora.
These trillions of micro-organisms help to absorb nutrients from food and provide energy.
Recently, scientists have come to realise how important these gut flora are, and are now treating the gut as a major organ all by itself.
In addition to the fact that the bacteria in the gut are excellent for breaking down food and toxins, making vitamins and generally interacting with the immune system, they are also believed to assist in:
• the breakdown of complex carbohydrates
• producing vitamins and minerals
• producing short-chain fatty acids
• defending against pathogens
• training our immune system
• supporting detoxification
Although the microbiome is influenced by factors from birth, there is no doubt that lifestyle has a big impact on the ecosystem, so it’s vitally important that patients look after their microbiome in order to maintain a balance and to ensure a rich biodiversity of organisms that can positively impact on their health and well being.
Keeping a healthy lifestyle can certainly have a positive impact on the gut. What a patient eats can alter the composition of their gut microbiome and so eating a healthy, balanced diet can be hugely beneficial to them. Suggest that they eat lots of fibre-rich foods, such as fruit and vegetables, and foods that are rich in ‘friendly’ bacteria, such as yoghurt and kefir.
By keeping their digestive system healthy, patients will enjoy a better quality of sleep, a stronger immune system, clearer skin and better overall mood.
While a healthy diet can play a major role in keeping the gut healthy, however, there are times when nature needs a helping hand.
VSL#3 is a highly concentrated poly-biotic. That’s because it contains more bacterial strains per dose than any other brand. It works by delivering high levels of live bacteria across eight different strains to the gut, where it helps to support the microbiome and keep the digestive system healthy.
VSL#3 was purposely formulated with the gut in mind. That’s why every sachet contains 450 billion bacteria from a combination of eight different bacterial strains, making it the world’s most concentrated poly-biotic.
The sachets can be mixed and matched with any cold food or non-fizzy drink for a great taste every time. The product’s beneficial bacteria in VSL#3 are freeze-dried to survive the harsh conditions of the stomach and gut. Once they reach the stomach, they colonise and help to support the gut flora, thereby ensuring a healthy digestive system.
Here’s one example of how VSL#3 can be easily added to everyday food. This gut-friendly breakfast will start your day off well!
Coconut and Turmeric Yoghurt Ingredients:
• One sachet of VSL3
• Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
• 45 grams coconut yoghurt
• One tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut
Stir the ingredients together and top it off with one teaspoon of goji berries and a pinch of desiccated coconut.
There are so many easy ways in which you can incorporate VSL#3 into your diet. Why not add a sachet of VSL#3 to a bowl of fat-free Greek-style yoghurt topped with berries, banana, toasted oats or sugar-free granola and a generous squeeze of honey?
This wholesome combination will give your gut a healthy dose of poly-biotic goodness, mixed with antioxidants, fibre and slow- releasing energy to help keep you going all morning!
VSL#3 was a prescription only brand, but the good news is that VSL#3 now comes as convenient on the-go sachets, which can be purchased over the counter from the pharmacy, or can be delivered to a patient’s door.