Did you know that your digestive system makes up 70% of the body's entire immune system? Your gut is actually known as the second brain and contains more neurotransmitters than the brain itself!
Brain fog, mood swings, headaches and poor memory could all be indicators of an unhappy gut.
Because the gut plays such a huge role in a healthy body, it is important to not only restrict carbs while Banting, but to also restore the ecology of the digestive tract.
Gut flora or gut microbiota are the microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract that form an intricate system, which if out of balance, can have a detrimental impact on the body.
We have about 500 identified strains of bacteria in our digestive tracts, and more “bugs” than cells in our bodies – over 3 trillion in fact – which can weigh up to 2kgs! (Some might say that we are only 10 percent human as 90 percent of our cells are microbial.)
The ideal balance of beneficial to pathogenic bacteria in the gut is about 85 percent good to 15 percent bad bacteria. Maintaining this ratio is the secret to optimising gut health.
The good news is that you can cultivate new gut flora, in as little as 24 hours, by simply changing what you eat and following a LCHF diet.
Therefore, you are what your intestinal flora eat!
Each person's collection of gut microbes is unique and sensitive to environmental conditions, which starts at birth.
As the baby passes through the birth canal, it will pick up the "fingerprint" of the mother's gut flora, thus mom's diet during pregnancy could affect the child for the rest of his or her life. In the case of a C-section, the baby's gut flora, is virtually non-existent.
Compromised digestive health from such an early age, coupled with poor diet, stress, environmental pollutants, medications, antibiotics, and infections can swing the gut ratio the other way; where the bad bacteria far outweigh the good bacteria.
Carbs in excess are particularly destructive where gut flora are concerned. Restricting carbs without restoring the ecology of the digestive tract, with probiotic foods, doesn't make sense as it could take many years to return the colon to health without them.
Good gut bacteria also synthesize vitamins B7 (biotin), B12, and K. The deficiency of these essential vitamins, along with a high carbohydrate diet, contributes to diabetes, obesity, hair loss, grey hair, eczema, anaemia, internal bleedings, ulcers, strokes, cancers, degenerative disorders such as Parkinson and Alzheimer disease, and common gastrointestinal, respiratory, and autoimmune disorders.
Digestive complaints such as gas, bloating, oesophageal reflux (also known as GERD or GORD), heartburn, a feeling of fullness for many hours, gallstones and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are some of the first disorders to resolve themselves when Banting.