First, let’s take a moment to consider the brain & the gut. Each is formed by the same type of tissue when the organs are developing in the fetus. In fact, the gut has more neurotransmitters than your brain. In my opinion, that makes it the first brain! Especially since it is capable of sensing and responding to information not immediately discernible to the brain in our heads. Perhaps that is where the saying “trust your gut” originates.
As we delve deeper into our guts (aka the microbiome), scientists have discovered a rainforest of bacteria and yeast that populate our enteric system. The enteric system comprises everything from the mouth and small intestine to the colon. Beneficial bacteria help the body in a variety of ways – see Dr Berk’s Q&A about fermented foods and their benefits.
Last year, 3 main types or clusters of bacteria were identified as the enterotypes that can be used to characterize individuals. Much like blood typing revolutionized blood transfusion mortality rates, understanding exactly what type of diet is best suited to each person’s bacterial makeup. While the discovery clearly shows these types, it is not yet known exactly which foods or dietary habits best support each one. But researchers are hopeful that by deepening our udnerstanding of our microbiome, new methods and medications may be invented to treat the autoimmune diseases that are plaguing our society.
So whether you know your enterotype or not, cultivating healthy bacterial balance in the gut is easy to do by simply adding fermented foods to your diet.
Which fermented foods are your favorites? Leave a comment below!
Want to learn more about fermented foods, GAPS friendly cooking and raw milk? Join me at the Real Food Symposium Sunday May 6th in Pasadena.
Got questions about brewing Kombucha, fermented foods or traditional diets? Drop me a line at email@example.com or leave them in the comments below!