Affects of Alcohol on your gut flora – How Tigernuts can help
The festive season is our favourite time of year, however all this merriment is often accompanied by an overindulgence in our favourite things – food and alcohol!
Whilst research indicates that drinking in moderation is ok and in some cases can be a healthy inclusion in the diet (hello red wine), excessive alcohol consumption over a long period of time, or heavy periods of drinking can lead to a variety of health issues. However after a big night on the booze it’s not the long term affects of those couple of champagnes that we’re generally concerned with because we get a little distracted by the short term affects – the sore head and dehydration we feel the day after. One issue we often don’t contemplate is the long term affect alcohol has on our gut health.
Overconsumption of alcohol can cause an imbalance in the gut known as dysbioisis.
Doctor Edwards from Global Healing Center explains that our gastrointestinal tract is home to bacteria and microbes that form an ecosystem known as the gut microbiota. This collection of bacteria is essential for so many important processes in the body including good digestion, maintaining a healthy immune system and mental health (did you know that the gut is directly linked with the brain and is often called our “second brain” more about that later) .
Our digestive tracts are home to over 1000 different species of living bacteria – some of these are good bacteria, some bad. The aim is to ensure the good keep the bad in check. When the harmony is disrupted, the bad bacteria can take over and lead to issues such as poor digestion.
An excess consumption of Alcohol alter our gut flora but can cause leaky gut syndrome which can further lead to inflammatory changes in the liver and elsewhere in the body.
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
The growth and maintenance of good bacteria (like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) can be positively influenced by a healthy diet of raw, organic, prebiotic-rich food encouraging the gut microbiota to flourish.
Tigernuts contain a high amount of prebiotic resistant starch – your tummy’s new bestie for gut flora to thrive!
The resistant starch found in Tigernuts acts like an insoluble fibre. It isn’t digested in the stomach or the small intestine, but is passed through the colon acting as food for our body’s friendly gut bacteria (AKA probiotics). Resistant starch, or RS, is a unique kind of starch that humans by and large cannot digest. It’s not a fermentable fiber, but it acts like it. Upon its consumption, RS travels mostly unperturbed through the digestive tract into the colon where the colonic bacteria – who can digest the stuff – feast on it, get frisky, and reproduce. Multiple studies indicate that RS consumption generally leads to an increase in beneficial colonic bacteria and a reduction in pathogenic colonic bacteria, including a boost to bifidobacteria and a decrease in firmicutes.
Dr. Axe further discusses the fundamental role played by prebiotics and how they help increase the presence of good bacteria along with a list of 7 benefits of prebiotics, including:
- Better Gut Health and Improved Digestion
- Enhanced Immune Function and Cancer Protection
- Lower Inflammation
- Reduced Risk for Heart Disease
- Help with Weight Loss or Maintenance
- Protection of Bone Health
- Hormone Regulation and Improved Moods
Moral of the story? Try lower your intake of booze and be sure you’re munching down some prebiotic rich Tigernuts to help compensate for the silly seasons bubbles.
Don’t forget – Tigernuts are also perfect for all year round snacking to keep that bacteria balance in check. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.
Love TFF xx