While you may be tempted to see ’microbiome’ as nothing more than the latest health and wellness buzz word, we want you to be assured that there’s a very real reason behind its growing popularity. More and more recent scientific research is showing us just how important the gut is to human health.
When we founded NutriKane, the gut health space looked a lot different than it looks today. The concept of a ‘microbiome,’ being a collection of all the microbes that naturally live in our body contributing to most if not all the aspects of our health was only just being formed. When NutriKane was created, we knew it had a positive effect on the gut, but we didn’t really know how, or realise just how powerful fixing the gut truly is.
Over the years of study, we not only learnt about the inflammation pathways that the gut controlled, but we also found out just how important a fully functional gut was to all aspects of our health. Research has told us how important managing systemic inflammation can be and what role ‘Food as Medicine’ plays.
Our bodies are designed to protect themselves from different problems, but only if it is working properly. Often ‘Food as Medicine’ doesn’t directly “fix” or “cure” conditions, rather it gives the body the resources it needs to allow it to readjust and revert to normality. Most importantly, effective use of “Food as Medicine” allows the body to fix the issues itself.
Medications may still be required to manage specific parts of our biochemistry that are broken, however what we realise now is in many “lifestyle” or “chronic” diseases, often things aren’t broken, rather they are not being serviced properly.
Below is a list of just some of the issues that have been proven to be positively affected by good microbiome health:
1. Intestinal health
It is widely known, and obvious that gut microbiome health directly affects overall intestinal health. Our understanding of the scope of this has increased dramatically, with gut health directly affecting matters such as IBD, IBS and colon cancer.
2. Blood sugar control
Again, it is obvious that foods affect your blood sugar – it’s all about the type of foods you eat. What is now better understood, is that it isn’t just a matter of carbs, fats, and glycaemic index. Rather the quality of the food you eat is also determined by its micronutrient content and this can play a much more important role. Grapes for example have one of the highest sugar contents of fruit yet grapes lower blood sugar levels.
3. Weight Loss
Calories in, calories out is just too simplistic a view: while it is broadly true that you need to eat less energy than you consume to lose weight – it isn’t just a straight numbers game. We know that hunger is not based around calories but rather nutrient profile, so where you are getting your calories is as important as how many there are. It has also been shown that the microbiome directly affects our ability to lose weight. The gut needs certain nutrients and bacteria to lose weight.
4. Viral infection
It has now been shown that people with different microbiomes and dietary situations have different risk factors for viral infection. These infections do not need to be directly gut related. For example, our intestinal microbiome affects our likelihood to get respiratory tract infections.
Our knowledge surrounding different skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, has vastly improved. We know now that it isn’t only affected by the bacteria on your skin, but rather, your gut health.
6. Mental Health
Changes in the gut microbiome and inflammation in the gut can affect the brain and cause numerous different mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Dietary changes and addressing vitamin deficiencies are now a core part of many mental health practices.
7. Cancer therapy
It has now been shown that your microbiome affects how well cancer therapy works on individuals. This is probably a combination of both systemic inflammation and the need for certain microbiome generated nutrients.
The role of ‘Food as Medicine’ is to make your body work properly so that it can cope more effectively with infections and the like. If we help our body to work properly, it can stop things from breaking which means that you won’t need other remedies to help repair it down the track. It is much better to regularly change the oil than to have to replace the engine because it wasn’t lubricated properly.
However, as we know, it is hard to get healthy foods in our modern world. MediKane is dedicated to providing specifically designed ‘Food as Medicine’ products as a tool to ensure you get the nutrients you need to function properly.