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On Wednesday night, Sakara HQ hosted three of the world's top microbiome specialists for a panel on everything bacterial. And what did we learn? To stop being so afraid to get a little dirty! Bacteria are your friends! Joined by Dr. Robin Berzin, Dr. Aviva Romm, and Dr. Raphael Kellman, we learned about how to achieve botanical body-worthy healing in the form of organic, whole, plant-based foods. Now THAT we can do. Read on for our top 10 favorite gut-bliss nuggets of wisdom:

~ Begin thinking of your bacteria as powerful, ancient allies. We need to change our perspective on bacteria; from our obsession with wiping them away with Purell, to welcoming, and even celebrating bacteria as living, hard working, healthy beings inside of us. We need to love our bacteria! They’re doing us so many favors for a longer, healthier life. According to Dr. Kellman, we are all just “bacteria dressed in a suit”.

~ Depending on the food that you’re feeding your gut bacteria, metabolites (the by-products of said bacteria), are what can either be helping or harming your gut. If you’re not eating enough fiber, these bacteria will feed on your gut lining and break it down, causing a host of autoimmune and inflammatory problems. And speaking of feeding your microbes, they may want to eat things that your taste buds don’t necessarily crave. Be mindful of what your gut calls for, rather than your busy head. As Dr. Berzin mentioned, “Those who live and those who die in your gut is based on what is going on in your mouth.”

~ Your gut contains up to 95% of your serotonin (happiness neurotransmitter!) levels, so it is critical to understand how inextricably linked your sense of joy is to your gut health. And speaking of hormone levels, your gut metabolizes estrogen, and if not in balance, it can throw off your entire hormonal, endocrine system. External toxins mimic estrogen and create estrogen triggers. Plant-based fiber helps the body rid of excess estrogen (flax seeds are key!).

~ Some gut flora may make a difference in your metabolism: some may take away more calories from you to support themselves. And, a restriction of food will actually throw your hormones out of wack, hiking up estrogen levels, upsetting balance and causing weight gain.

~ Your microbiome is not only made up in your gut; there is a whole 3 pound and brain-sized microbial universe living in you, as well as on you. You’ve got an oral microbiome, a vaginal microbiome, a breast milk microbiome, a skin microbiome, and on and on; they all work synchronistically.

~ Bacteria eavesdrop on our state of mind  that means that when you're stressed, they are too. They can also pick up on someone else's "vibes", so be careful who you surround yourself with and listen to that "second brain" of yours. Choose your "mirror neurons" wisely. Keep calm, and healthy microbiome on.

~ Leaky gut is a very real thing that happens in the body when the food it’s fed creates metabolites, forming a unique chemical language that can either make or break the gut. The membrane that separates the immune cells from these other bacteria can be infiltrated if we don't provide our guts with the right kind of bacteria and fiber by eating whole, real and fiber-dense foods. Keep in mind, that an overgrowth of yeast thrives on sugar, so turn down the cake until your gut is feeling a whole lot better.

~ Top two simple things to begin doing daily to heal the microbiome? 1) Cut out everything that comes with a barcode, and 2) Eat at least 35g of organic quality fiber from plants to feed good bacteria.

~ Use fermented foods to supplement, well, everything! Eat something fermented every single day if you can, and learn to incorporate Apple Cider Vinegar into your everyday life (internally, as well as in homemade cleaning products). ACV is a superpower aid with alkalizing stomach acid.

~ There is an emotional and a spiritual shift when changing our gut climate. Dr. Kellman noted that he has seen many adults on anti-depressants for the recurring theme of numbing their bad mood for less morbid thinking, but, when he has seen many go the route of healing the gut to solve depression, he has seen a significantly positive difference in energy, overall positivity, vitality, encouragement, and even universal unity.

    Filed Under: Body, Botanical bodies, Discover, Dr. aviva romm

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