Have you ever considered the connection between the food we consume and the state of our mental and physical well-being? As we embark on a journey to unravel the intricate relationship between nutrition and health, it becomes clear that the power of food extends far beyond satisfying our hunger. This blog will help you understand what it means to maintain human ecosystem health and gut health.
It is important to be well-versed about the food quality one consumes. ‘Eaters Digest: The Care and Feeding of Your Microbiome’ by Dr. Andy Dyer is a life-saving guide that can help you learn about food quality and what you can do for your health and microbiome. What exactly is food for health, and how can it help you keep your microbiome healthy? Andy Dyer, in his book, explains to the readers that one should become healthy and well-informed.
How can you identify good food quality for your gut health? Following are some points discussed by Dr. Dyer in his book, ‘Eaters Digest: The Care and Feeding of Your Microbiome’ that can help you become more aware about the food you consume. To effectively evaluate our food choices, it is crucial to establish guidelines based on the principles of evolutionary biology. These guidelines should incorporate our understanding of what we suspect to be true about nutrition and its impact on our health.
1. Always Opt for the Fresh Food:
According to a highly respected professor at the University of South Carolina, Aiken and the author of the book, ‘Eaters Digest: The Care and Feeding of Your Microbiome,’ Andy Dyer believes that food should be as fresh as possible with no processing. Fresh foods, a prime reservoir of beneficial probiotics, can be compromised by the processing and sterilization methods of the commercial food industry.
2. Choose Foods that Are Slow to Digest:
Opt for foods that have a slow digestion rate to promote sustained energy levels and prolonged satiety. Slow-digesting foods, such as whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, can provide a steady release of nutrients, supporting optimal digestion and nutrient absorption.
3. Feed Your Microbiome First:
When it comes to meeting your metabolic needs, you need 1500-2000 calories per day. While you will undoubtedly fulfil these caloric requirements, it is important to emphasize the significance of food quality in relation to the microbiome. By increasing your intake of plant-based foods, you can naturally reduce the consumption of processed, calorie-dense options. A healthy microbiome thrives on the highest quality plants, characterized by cellulose and essential secondary compounds.
4. Nurturing Probiotic Potential:
Commercially grown produce tends to harbour bacteria capable of surviving chemical-laden environments. While not inherently unhealthy, these strains differ from those found in natural ecosystems and are often resistant to chemical treatments. As we explore the dynamics of microbiome recruitment, it becomes evident that new bacterial strains likely originate from our environment.
5. The Impact of Our Probiotic Environment:
Our microbiome development, from the beginning, is strongly influenced by family members and, later, by the people we cohabitate with. This phenomenon shows that we are sharing our microbiomes with our housemates, which can have a protective effect by increasing our personal microbial diversity. When a shared community, like a household, experiences similar health issues, it might not solely be attributed to genetic predisposition but can also be indicative of an unhealthy probiotic environment. As Andy Dyer says, ‘We are what we eat, but it also may be true that we are what those around us eat.’
6. Nurturing a Microbiome:
Expanding your supply of plant foods holds immense benefits, fostering a rich tapestry of bacteria within your colon. This diversity plays a vital role in preventing the dominance of a few bacterial species, warding off potential health issues. Moreover, it aids in avoiding gastric discomfort that might arise when introducing new and unfamiliar foods. Studies rooted in ecology have revealed that diverse systems possess a remarkable ability to extract a wider array of resources from the environment.
7. Quality Comes With Age:
It is important to eat plants that are grown slower, take longer, and have stronger flavours. Food producers prioritize aesthetics, and it’s no secret that young foods are visually appealing due to their limited exposure to pests and ageing. However, age brings more than just changes in appearance. It signifies maturity, which is the bedrock of quality, particularly in the plant kingdom. As Dr. Dyer says, ‘Skip the baby foods; go for foods with life experience.’
8. Understanding the Essence of Superfoods:
Andy Dyer has rightly said in his book, ‘Eat the plant, not the extracts’- but what does it mean? It is important to recognize that consuming plant extracts is not equal to consuming the whole plant. When medicinal compounds are derived from plants, the active chemicals are isolated, purified, concentrated, and then packaged for consumption. Unfortunately, this process often strips away the original context in which these chemicals existed within the plant. The intricate synergy of slow medicines found in plants, working in harmony with one another, is lost in isolation.
9. Eat Whole Foods:
Have you ever wondered why elders advise us to eat fruits without peeling the skin? Skin, peel or rind contains a treasure of nutrients that are not found in the sweet or starchy areas. According to Dr. Dyer, the skin is predominantly composed of cellulose, a complex substance that holds key benefits for your digestive system. By consuming the skin, you provide valuable information to your body, helping reduce the sensation of hunger and curbing overeating tendencies. Juicing might retain the liquid, but it often discards most of the beneficial cellulose found in the skin.
10. Empower Your Shopping Experience
Dr. Dyer believes that you should adopt an attitude of environmental, ecological, and scientific responsibility while shopping. It can be challenging to know the extent of genetic alteration and breeding our product has undergone to achieve the appealing characteristics we find at the store. It’s important to recognize that plants requiring a short growth period have likely been heavily manipulated, sometimes for several decades. The advantage of shorter-lived plants is that breeding efforts can be conducted in months rather than years. However, it’s worth noting that tree fruits and nuts generally undergo less modification compared to indoor-grown plants.
In conclusion, our understanding of the profound connection between nutrition and overall well-being continues to grow. By following these guidelines from Dr. Andy Dyer’s book, ‘Eaters Digest: The Care and Feeding of Your Microbiome,’ we can make informed choices to support our human ecosystem health and gut health. You can get your hands on this book by heading to the website or Amazon.