The Inside Outness Of Our Guts

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Think of your gut as an inside out sleeve. Really, your gut is on the outside of you and all that stands between the outside that is your gut and the inside of you is a single layer of mucous-covered epithelial cells. And your microbes of course. Everything you throw down your “sleeve” has to be sorted and digested and absorbed into your bloodstream or dealt with by your immune system (of which we now know our microbial community forms a crucial part) and ejected. Just one layer of soldier cells stands on the boundary of us. And these soldiers are supported by our microbes. Well they are if we are looking after them.

I am trying to make looking after them as simple as possible here because it is not just mine I am in charge of; I am trying to help my husband and 4 smaller people too. So simple is good. Simple might just be achievable over time. And this is the motto we are starting to try to live by (how many caveats did I get into that sentence??). Eat whole foods, mostly plants and not too much. I am trying not to demonise any one food group (well other than sugar but more of that later). I am trying to gradually, over time, shift the emphasis to foods that support a healthy microbiome rather than undermine it.

The cause of so many of our health issues seems to originate from neglected microbes. Other than the word “nourishment” which has been haunting me (especially as we were “Trick or Treating” on Monday), the word that has really got my attention is inflammation. So much of what we are chucking down our “sleeves” not only fails to nourish us but also invokes an immune response in our gut – it causes inflammation. And inflammation is useful if it is short-lived but if it is prolonged, it is not a good thing. Prolonged inflammation is linked with lots of things that are not good.

A good thing was our pizza tonight though – it was a leek pizza. Treat night with a difference. I told you I was taking small steps.

Find out more about inflammation.