This week I’ve been doing a lot of reading about gut health. I’m learning that I have several symptoms of an out of balance flora. I think calling it “flora” as opposed to saying “guts” all the time sounds better, don’t you? So from now on you’ll know what I’m talking about when mentioning my flora.
Anyway, the biggest and most troublesome symptom I have is extremely dry skin. Seriously. It’s been a huge problem my whole life. I can’t get enough lotions and oils applied to keep it hydrated for any length of time. Over the years I’ve been told to drink more water. Well…I drink plenty of water and have for a long time. It hasn’t fixed it. And to top it off ~ while the skin all over my body is super dry, my face and head are oily. I started having problem prone skin on my face back in elementary school. And I’ve always had oily hair. I just thought it was hereditary since my father also has oily hair. But the more I read about healthy gut flora the more I’m thinking that if I can get that in balance then I might balance out all of my skin problems.
When your flora is out of balance, meaning the bad way outnumbers the good, it can block your body from absorbing nutrients properly. Not “can” really ~ it DOES block nutrient absorption. That explains a lot in my case. For the last few years I’ve been slowly evolving my diet to a more healthy one. It’s not anywhere near perfect yet. But one would think making any changes should show some improvement. I’ve really seen none. The best my skin has been was when I was taking Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil supplements and a decent probiotic supplement in addition to adding lots of bone broths into my diet. Well as funds ran out and I couldn’t get either supplement anymore, my body went right back to the state it was in prior.
In reading about healthy flora, I’m learning that fermented foods can be very beneficial. In fact, correctly fermented foods should contain more healthy probiotics that the very best therapeutic strength probiotic supplements.
There are many options for getting fermented foods into your life. And you should choose to consume some from several forms. Homemade Kombucha, kefir, yogurts fermented vegetables are a few examples. Each contain different types of micronutrients to give you a wide variety. This is one of the most important steps to healing an out of balance flora ~ get in enough fermented foods from different sources! We have 500 – 1,000 different microbials that inhabit and reproduce in out guts.
Here is a great reference I found to give an idea on the steps to take to heal your flora. I found this completely by accident while searching how to ferment more foods. Over at Heal Thyself they have several great articles, but for me in the place I am at right now the most important one lists the steps that are needed from the get-go to recover my gut health.
Include these nutrient dense foods in your diet DAILY (from Heal Thyself):
Homemade bone broth. every. single. day. 1 cup (MANY nutrients needed for detox, plus minerals)
Homemade milk kefir. every. single. day. 1 cup (gradually work up) (B vits, enzymes, most probiotic in proper ph)
Homemade kombucha. every. single. day. 1 cup (start with an ounce, increase by 1 ounce a week) (displaces and replaces candida albicans in the gut, only if no mercury / amalgam fillings / toxicity issues, nor nursing)
Green smoothie. every. single. day. 2 cups (any frozen fruit plus any dark leafy greens, rotate produce)
liver. on ounce, only three times a week. (B vits essential for detox)
lentils or beans. 1 cup per day. (folate, molybdenum)
Coconut oil. 1 Tbs every. single. day. (medium chain fatty acids, kills candida in the large intestine)
Fermented Cod Liver Oil. every. single. day. (most expensive item) (vit A, D, K, EFA’s)
Bubbies sauerkraut. 1 Tbs. every. single. day. (or other raw, fermented food) (probiotics)
Brazil nuts. 1 ONLY, every. single, day. (selenium) [at least it says only 1, I don’t care for nuts too much]
Lemon juice. fresh squeezed, 1 tsp. in every glass of water or smoothie. (alkalizing to body ph, paradoxically)
Raw local honey. 1 Tbs. at bedtime. (helps bifidum bacteria to grow in the gut) [mmmmmmm….honey]
Nettles infusion. 1 or 2 cups per day. (many vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients)
[Nettles infusions contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, chromium, selenium, trace minerals, Chlorophyll, B Vitamins, manganese, silica, iodine and sodium. It’s also a great source of Vitamins A, C and E, B complex vitamins and beta-carotene. This is a source of easily absorbed vitamins and minerals. Two cups of nettle infusion has all the vitamins and minerals you need for a day and in their natural, effective, complex forms.
To make a nettles infusion simply add one (1) cup of dried nettles to a quart jar, cover with hot water until the jar is full and steep for 4 to 10 hours. Strain and drink.]
Kelp. 1 tsp every day
Epsom salt baths, 1 cup in a tub of water 3x/week for 20 minutes.
Total cost: about $4 per day.
Ok, so that’s a list of 15 things to do with the addition of the Epsom Salt baths. And, of course, this is all in addition to a healthy varied whole foods traditional diet that includes plenty of animal fats (saturated fats). And I’d say the above list is the minimum you need to ingest. The GAPS diet recommends having a cup of bone broth with each meal totaling a quart of broth per day per person.
Over the next few weeks we will be creating our own ferments. And as usual will share the results. So make sure to sign up for email updates so you’ll be sure to not miss a post.