I recently came across a book that’s causing quite a stir. Not since Dr. Oz appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show to discuss the shape and color of a healthy poop has there been such open discussions on the subject. Let’s be honest, everybody poops. But it’s something only young kids are comfortable discussing in public. But this book might change everything.
Giulia Enders’ book, Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ, is a publishing sensation. It has sold more than a million copies since its release last year, and translated into several different languages. Full disclosure: the book is not for the faint of heart or the germaphobe. But it is enlightening.
In it, Enders discusses the delicate function of the gut and the fact that if we could understand its role beyond basic digestion, and be kinder to it, our health might benefit. The idea that our health can be greatly affected by our gut is one that’s been attracting a lot of attention within the field of medicine – and not just our physical health, but our mental and emotional health, as well.
Enders has a lot to say about a big challenge for the gut … food consumption. Specifically, the fact that the food industry is increasingly departing from manufacturing the types of foods our bodies evolved to deal with. Our body’s attempts to digest such foods might be putting too much unnecessary strain on our gut.
What’s the solution? Altering our diets, for one. Secondly, a clinical trial at Oxford University suggests prebiotics may work as a form of nutritional therapy. While many of us are now familiar with probiotics, prebiotics still remain a mystery. But there are significant differences between the two. Probiotics are live bacteria in yogurt and other dairy products, often recommended to combat gastrointestinal issues. Prebiotic is a specialized plant fiber that beneficially nourishes the good bacteria already in the large bowel or colon. While probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gut, prebiotics act as a fertilizer for the good bacteria that’s already there.
So, next time you are in the restroom and well, ahem . . . looking for something to read, check out Enders funny and informative research and instruction. It might just enlighten your perspective a bit on eating and elimination!
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