Rich Habit #4: I will devote part of each and every day in caring for my health
The food we eat passes from the mouth, to the esophagus, to the stomach, to the small intestine and finally into the large intestine. What remains then passes into the colon (longest portion of the large intestine) and into the toilet.
During this entire process, there is a lot going on. The latest research on what happens in the large intestine, however, is turning medical science on its head.
The types of food we eat alters the makeup of the bacteria that lives in our large intestine. This bacteria is called the microbiome.
The microbiome is responsible for extracting energy from the calories we consume. It also synthesizes vitamins out of the food we consume.
Having the right microbiome in your large intestine makes you healthy.
Having the wrong microbiome in your large intestine causes colds, flus, upper respiratory infections, cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and all sorts of other horrific diseases.
The microbiome in fat and obese people is very different than the microbiome in thin people, according to Microbiologist Ruth Ley, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Fat and obese people consume too much fat, too many carbohydrates and too little fiber. This high fat diet results in the accumulation of too much firmicutes, also known as obese microbiota, and too few bacteroidetes, also known as lean microbiota.
Ironically, the firmicutes microbiota are able to extract more energy from every calorie, storing that excess energy in fat cells, which causes you to gain weight.
Bacteroidetes, conversely, are not as efficient in extracting as much energy from every calorie. What is not converted to energy, is discharged as waste by the colon, in the form of stool.
Those who consume food which contains more bacteroidetes than firmicutes, are therefore leaner.
Those who consume food which contains more firmicutes than bactericides, are therefore fatter.
The Right Food
Two third’s of your diet needs to be high in fiber (plant-based and fruit-based) in order for the right microbiome to thrive. Yogurt is also a rich source of the right microbiota. The other one third is everything else: meat, bread, sweets, junk food, etc.
High fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables, contain lean microbiota. You can also find these lean microbiota in supplements known as probiotics, which line the shelves of drug stores and retail outlets.
Probiotic supplements allow you to consume healthy, lean bacteria, otherwise found in fruit and vegetables. The jury is still out as to whether or not the bacteria in these probiotics are able to survive the highly acidic environment inside the stomach, before making their way to the large intestine, where most of the microbiota lives.
Microbiota survive inside the large intestine by eating the otherwise undigestible plant and fruit fibers that make their way from the stomach to the large intestine. So, fruits and vegetables not only provide you with the right microbiota, they are also a food source for these microbiota.
Food for thought.