Supercharge the gut bacteria for good health

Supercharge the gut bacteria for good health
By Anuradha Sawhney Jun 16 2016
Tags: Leisure Writing
I recently received an email from, which spoke about something that I have long maintained…the importance of good gut health for a person’s overall health. The article reiterated it by showing the connection between good bowel condition (known as the microbiome) and cancer prevention. Good gut flora will help you prevent and fight cancer. That’s a fact.

Cultivating beneficial gut bacteria is your first line of defence against cancer and many other serious diseases. They do this by boosting your immune system at the places you are almost always hit first with toxins, heavy metals, parasites, fungi and harmful bacteria. We should all learn to nurture the system that protects us from so many layers of possible invasion of foreign contaminants.

A research conducted by the University of Chicago found that boosting gut bacteria (specifically with the probiotic bifidobacterium) equalled the results of immunotherapy (using our body’s immune system to attack cancer) in slowing the growth of melanoma cancer cells! The researchers then combined the two (gut bacteria and immunotherapy) modalities and achieved success that was comparable to anti-cancer drugs.

Another study conducted in France noted that some healthy gut flora was activated when immunotherapy was administered.

According to thetruthab­outc­, the human micro­biome is an incredible network of 100 trillion organisms that live in and on the body. They are made up of beneficial bacteria as well as fungi, viruses and bacteria that aren’t so beneficial. We need this microcosm to survive. The relationship between them and the humans who carry them is symbiotic in nature. Antibiotics disrupt this relationship in a similar way that chemotherapy affects the human body.

Chemotherapy wipes out perfectly healthy, non-cancerous cells, along with the cancerous cells, from one’s body. Similarly, antibiotics wipe out all bacteria (the bad kind as well as the good kind that you can’t live without). Destroying what keeps you healthy simply isn’t a good method of treatment.

Building up your gut microbiome is the way to prevent cancer, fight cancer and live a longer, healthier life overall. Diet is everything.

So, much of our poor gut health is linked to what we eat and drink. It is likely the primary reason native peoples have a non-existent rate of cancer. They have a far lower exposure to toxins, are not inundated with stress and consume a diet of natural, raw foods (definitely more of a hunter-gatherer way of life) that aren’t processed. They also don’t fill their bodies with antibiotics at every turn.

Incorporate into your diet the food source that healthy gut bacteria eat to survive, in the form of pre-biotics like artichokes, chicory, garlic, onions, leek, shallots, asparagus, beetroot, dandelion greens, fennel, peas, cabbage, nuts and seeds. Also, incorporate a variety of probiotic foods to diversify the healthy bacteria in your gut. Water kefir, kombucha tea, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut and pickled veggies are some examples of this.

According to, cabbage is high in anti-inflammatory properties, vitamins A and C. Cabbage also reduces lipids in the bloodstream. When cabbage is fermented into sauerkraut, the fermentation process opens up walls of its cells, thus, accessing a higher ratio of vitamins. It has been said that sauerkraut has 200 times more vitamin C than the head of cabbage before fermentation.

(The writer is a vegan chef and author of The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!)

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