The modern world is changing every single day. Because of this constant state of change, our bodies frequently have to adjust. We have a food supply being degraded and depleted of nutritional content, which causes our bodies to become depleted. Our soil and water are contaminated with antibiotics and deadly fertilizers. All of which become part of the food chain, we rely upon. Because of this, antibiotics are failing, and superbugs like MRSA are rising. Lack of nutrition and the overuse of antibiotics are just a couple of the things wreaking havoc on our intestinal health. But there are ways to combat this and keep the gut healthy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been around for thousands of years, and the approach of this medical system is to treat the patient holistically. TCM is effective at treating a wide variety of ailments, including digestive issues. Part of this is because TCM focuses heavily on diet and nutrition.
Qi is equated with energy, and every organ, pathway and cell in the human body is composed of energy. For the body to function correctly, Qi must be sufficient at all times. One of the best ways to maintain adequate Qi is our daily diet. Science is proving what TCM practitioners have known for centuries, our digestive health is vital for the body's cells to function optimally.
The gastrointestinal tract acts as a "second brain." It can constantly transform us. The Human Microbiome Project is an ongoing study confirming microscopic bacterial colonies in our digestive tract have significant jobs to do. The bacterial colonies help keep us healthy both physically and mentally. But because of human intervention, these bacterial colonies in our guts are becoming sick, depleted and dying.
Many people are turning to TCM help to rejuvenate these gastrointestinal bacterial colonies. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas are excellent methods of reviving our gastrointestinal Qi. The stomach and spleen are the two main pathways TCM practitioners focus on when treating somebody who exhibits digestive Qi deficiencies. TCM can help to repair the Qi of the spleen and stomach meridians. But TCM can't do it alone.
This is where fermented foods come into play. Fermented foods have been around for centuries as well. Fermentation is one of the oldest attempts to preserve food. But in today's world, fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and yogurt are being utilized to help restore the healthy bacterial colonies found within the gastrointestinal tract. In fermentation, bacteria or yeast feed on natural sugars found in foods. This makes certain foods more manageable for the gut to digest and allows the nutrients to be absorbed during digestion. People who do not ingest fermented foods can develop immune deficiencies, leading to severe illness and disease. For instance, sauerkraut, fermented cabbage, has anti-carcinogenic components that can help prevent cancer. Yogurt can help prevent colorectal cancer, breast cancer and yeast infections. Kimchi has been shown to help improve asthma symptoms and other allergic reactions, lowering LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels.
Incorporating fermented foods in the daily diet and getting regular acupuncture treatments that help balance the body's Qi can lead to a healthy gastrointestinal tract. And when the gut is happy, the body is happy.