Why support the balance of bacteria in your intestines?
Poor diet, lack of activity, use of antibiotics and other drugs have created an imbalance in the bacteria that inhabit our intestines
We know more about the surface of Mars than we know about the surface of our intestines!
We usually don’t need to take probiotics to add bacteria, we just need to feed the ones we already have
When we don’t feed the bacteria, they degrade the mucosal layer inside our intestines, creating leaky gut syndrome. Read the article “A Dietary Fiber-Deprived Gut Microbiota Degrades the Colonic Mucous Barrier and Enhances Pathogen Susceptibility” in Cell: Volume 167, pages 1339-1353, 2016. Actually, the title says it all.
A leaky gut allows undigested food to pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream, where it causes damage. Undigested food is not supposed to be in the bloodstream. Our immune system detects these materials, identifies them as foreign, and destroys them. The problem is that our immune system cannot tell the difference between a foreign food molecule and a similar material that is in our bodies. The result is autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks tissues in our own bodies.
The USDA estimates that Americans consume on average about 11 grams of fiber per day, compared to the 33 grams that they recommend in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Research is showing that a better target is 50 grams per day.
We don’t know how to eat 50 grams per day of fiber. Most veggies have fiber, but not enough. For example: 100 grams of broccoli has 3 grams of fiber. Good, but it won’t get us to 50.
Why Baked Goods?
Bakery products contain fiber naturally, especially when made with whole grains. And the fiber content can be enhanced to truly extraordinary levels. This is what we have done.
Baked goods contain a very good fiber called resistant starch. Basically, it is starch that is resistant to digestion in our stomach. It passes, undigested into the intestines, where the bacteria are able to digest it. In fact, it is food for the bacteria. The bacteria thrive, digest our food, protect us from pathogenic bacteria, and break down natural toxins that are in food (even organic food!). It is a good deal for the bacteria and for us.
The bacteria in our intestines actually do most of the work of digestion. The stomach starts the process by mixing the food we eat with water, enzymes and acid, so it starts to break down into simple sugar, amino acids and fatty acids. The hard work is done in the intestines, where bacteria add the enzymes needed. These bacteria also produce vitamins that we need. We literally would starve without these bacteria, and suffer from many diseases. There are thousands of different kinds of bacteria involved (that’s why taking probiotics may not help). When the balance of these bacteria is wrong, our digestion is impaired, our nutrition is suboptimal. When we have the right balance of bacteria in our intestines, digesting gluten, beans, cauliflower, etc. will not be an issue.
Isn’t gluten bad for our intestines? Gluten intolerance is caused by an imbalanced microbiome that is incapable of digesting gluten. Avoiding gluten is helpful, but doesn’t solve the problem. Restrictive diets have the unintended consequence of changing the balance of bacteria, so when we again eat the food we’ve been avoiding, we don’t feel so well. The problem wasn’t the beans, or the gluten, it is our bacterial balance. Unless you are truly celiac, gluten is not the problem.
What Can We Do?
Eat less sugar. The less the better, but an occasional splurge won’t hurt. With a little effort, we can recalibrate our taste buds to accept less sugar. We don’t need sugar in beverages. Coffee tastes even better without sugar. We don’t need sweet desserts or candy – or at least not every day. Sugar causes an imbalance in the bacteria in the intestines. Yeast for example will thrive and dominate when we eat a lot of sugar.
Be more active. Any activity is good. Strenuous exercise is the best. Our intestines benefit from activity.
Eat more fiber. A lot more than we do now. Start with healthy helpings of veggies at every meal. That is a good start, but it won’t take us to 50 grams. We developed these baked goods to make it easy and enjoyable to achieve 50 grams of fiber per day. We have learned the hard way that people do not stick to diets that are difficult, cut out the foods they love, taste bad, don’t fit their lifestyle or aren’t fun. Eating is too important to sacrifice what we enjoy. These baked goods are enjoyable, can fit our lifestyle and not disrupt our lives. This is how we create a sustainable change in our diets that we can live with. The idea is not to go on a diet, but rather to change our diet, for the rest of our lives.
What are the Benefits?
A high fiber diet has many benefits, including:
Improving the balance of bacteria in our intestines
Preventing leaky gut syndrome
Improving the digestion of food, enabling us to eat foods that would have caused flatulence, bloating, or indigestion before
Enhancing our immune systems
Making us less susceptible to pathogenic bacteria and viruses