Skip to Main Content

Easy techniques for rebuilding good gut health, strengthening the immune system, and reducing inflammation

• Examines the many functions of your intestinal flora and their role in a healthy immune system, including their anti-inflammatory effects

• Explores the major causes of weakened flora, especially the overuse of antibiotics and the overconsumption of refined, low-fiber foods in the modern diet

• Details how to restore your flora after taking antibiotics and how to strengthen your flora with prebiotics, probiotics, and simple changes in eating and drinking habits

Our intestinal flora perform a large number of duties--far more than just aiding digestion. Recent research has revealed that our intestinal flora help fight off infections by killing microbes and viruses, increase our resistance to allergens and inflammation, cleanse our internal systems by neutralizing toxins, and even support our moods and energy levels by interacting with hormones and neurotransmitters.

In this easy-to-follow guide, Christopher Vasey explains how to restore balance to your microbiome. He examines the many functions of intestinal flora and their role in a healthy immune system, including their anti-inflammatory effects and role in the creation of lymphocytes. He explores the major causes of weakened flora, especially the overuse of antibiotics and the overconsumption of refined, low-fiber foods, and he outlines the ailments and diseases that can result, such as bloating, food intolerance, mood swings, fungal infections, and greater susceptibility to colds and flu.

Offering step-by-step methods, Vasey explains how to restore the flora after taking medications such as antibiotics, how to support your flora with the ingestion of prebiotics: high-fiber foods that provide essential nutrients for good gut health, and how to strengthen your flora with probiotics: foods or supplements that facilitate the regeneration of healthy intestinal flora. The author explores simple changes you can make in your eating and drinking habits to support your microbiome as well as practices to keep the flora of the colon out of the intestinal environment where they can wreak havoc. He also details the steps of the healing process, including the cleansing reactions you may experience as your intestinal flora rebalances.

Providing everything you need to know for optimum digestive wellness, Vasey shows that repairing the balance of your intestinal flora is simple and accessible to anyone.

From Chapter Six: Feeding the Germs of Fermentation Well with Prebiotics

Prebiotics are dietary substances from the carbohydrate family that encourage the activity and multiplication of the germs of fermentation. They come in the form of plant fiber that cannot be digested by human beings but can be digested by the germs of fermentation, particularly those that reside in the lower part of the small intestine and in the ascending colon.

Please Note: It is important to not confuse prebiotics for probiotics. Probiotic is the name that is given to those intestinal germs whose activity is beneficial for our health. Prebiotics are the foods that nourish these germs.

Two Kinds of Fiber

Prebiotics are plant fibers, but this does not mean that all the fiber contained in the foods we eat are prebiotics, nor that foods that are high in fiber are necessarily a rich source of prebiotics. In fact, a distinction is made between two kinds of fiber.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is the fibers that form the protective envelope of cereal grains (the pericarp or bran) or the substance that makes the plant structure stiff, such as the stem, for example. These fibers appear in the form of cellulose. They are hard and coarse, and for this reason they are a source of irritation for the intestinal walls when too much insoluble fiber is present in the foods consumed.

Insoluble fiber is composed of chains of glucose that can include anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 units. Because of their length and their insoluble nature, these fibers cannot be broken down into smaller particles, which is to say they cannot be digested by the germs of fermentation. For that reason they cannot get any nourishment from insoluble fiber, which is why insoluble fiber is not prebiotic. Its role in the intestines is to provide roughage that contributes to a healthy intestinal transit.

Keep in Mind: Roughage Has No Prebiotic Properties

Wheat bran and oat bran are recommended as roughage to fight against constipation because they are both so high in fiber. They consist of 43% and 15% fiber respectively. However, the fiber they contain is insoluble fiber, therefore it has no prebiotic properties.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber is composed of short chains of glucose; these chains consist of as little as two to no more than twenty units of glucose. The simple nature of these chains makes them easily digestible by the germs of fermentation. Furthermore, the soluble nature allows these germs to easily transform through the processes of hydrolysis and fermentation. Because soluble fiber is able to be used as food by the germs of fermentation, it is prebiotic.

The Different Kinds of Soluble Fiber

Soluble fibers are very small in size, which often means they are not visible to the naked eye. They play a role in the formation of the skin of fruits and vegetables, but they can also appear in their flesh. They are also abundantly present in cereals and beans. There are several different kinds of these fibers.

Pectin

Pectin is a mucilaginous substance present in many plant foods. It is primarily known as a setting agent for jams and jellies, as one of its characteristics is to swell upon contact with water. This allows it to form a solid mass that makes the jelly less liquid. A food that is well-known for having a high pectin content is the apple.

Inulin (Fructan)

This substance has a composition close to that of starch, but its structure is much less complex. It consists of a blend of fructose and a variety of other simple sugars. Inulin can be found in many plants, but particularly in chicory roots and in the tubers of Jerusalem Artichokes.

The Oligosaccharides (FOS)

These fibers are composed of fructose and other simple sugars. They are found primarily in fruits, but they are also found in beans and in the seeds of whole grain cereals.

The Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)

These fibers consist of galactose in combination with other simple sugars. Galactooligosaccharides are the form in which plants store carbohydrates as a reserve fuel. This is why they are primarily found in the seeds of leguminous plants (green beans, red beans, Lima beans, lentils, and so on) and in the lower portions of plants (beetroot, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, and so on).

Foods That Are Sources of Prebiotics

Fruits

All fruits provide useful prebiotics for our intestinal flora, whether they are common fruits to Europe and North America like apples, pears, and grapes, or if they come from more tropical regions like grapefruit, pineapple, oranges, bananas, and so on. These fruits can all be consumed fresh to enjoy their benefits, but they are just as helpful when dried. Dried fruits would include dates, figs, raisins, apricots, prunes, and many more.

Instructions for Using Fruits

Fruits are an ideal food for snacks because they provide energy because of the carbohydrates they contain. They are able to lift the energy levels of the physical organism without demanding any great effort of the body because they are easy to digest. They also make it possible to avoid eating bad sugars such as those found in chocolate or pastries. The sugars in these foods place a much heavier demand on the digestive functions and contribute toxins.

Did You Know? Honey, thanks to its FOS content, also has a prebiotic effect.

Cow’s Milk

Another source of prebiotics is cow’s milk. In fact, cow’s milk contains 4.7 grams of carbohydrates per liter in the form of lactose. This is a bisaccharide that is made up of equal parts of galactose and glucose. It is the same galactose that is found in GOS and in OHM. The digestion of lactose can release galactose that can then be used as a prebiotic for the intestinal germs. Whey, which is a byproduct of milk, is rich in lactose and for this reason has been long used successfully as a means of regenerating the intestinal flora.

Christopher Vasey, N.D., is a naturopath specializing in detoxification and rejuvenation. He is the author of The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health, The Naturopathic Way, The Water Prescription, The Whey Prescription, and The Detox Mono Diet. He lives near Montreux, Switzerland.

  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press (June 29, 2021)
  • Length: 144 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644110935

“The ancient healing traditions stated that all diseases could be traced back to improper digestion. And the gut is where one needs to begin. Simply put: proper gut flora brings radiant health; depleted flora causes disease. Why? Because the gut stabilizes the immune system, preventing food allergies and autoimmune diseases; the gut is considered the ‘seat of digestion,’ where all nutrients are absorbed from the foods you eat; and the gut is also known as the ‘brain of the brain,’ since the vast majority of the neurotransmitters for the brain are made in the gut. Heal your gut and watch your health return, slowly but surely. Read this book to find out how.”

– Marianne Teitelbaum, author of Healing the Thyroid with Ayurveda

“Much more attention is being paid to the intestinal microbiome as being the culprit behind so many health conditions, from depression to ADHD to poor immunity. In Christopher Vasey’s new book Restoring Your Intestinal Flora, he sets out an easy-to-follow plan to not only restore this vital organ but also detoxify the wrong kinds of bacteria. This is a must-read book for someone who understands that the gut is the real foundation of health.”

– Elisa Lottor, Ph.D., HMD., author of The Miracle of Regenerative Medicine

“In a society increasingly plagued by inflammatory conditions and digestive disorders, Dr. Vasey’s pearls of wisdom on restoring intestinal flora make for a wonderful and interesting read, as well as essential. Referred to as our second brain, the gut is responsible for producing 90 percent of the body’s serotonin, a critical neurochemical responsible for inducing positive mental health. This book is a must-read for both mental and physical well-being.”

– Emma Mardlin, Ph.D., author of Out of Your Comfort Zone and Mind Body Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2

Restoring Your Intestinal Flora by Christopher Vasey, N.D, is well written, easily understood, and thoroughly researched on the role of intestinal flora on the digestive system. This book makes several important suggestions to improve your gut health that could have positive impacts on your overall health.”

– Kedar N. Prasad, Ph.D., author of Fight Diabetes with Vitamins and Antioxidants and Fight Alzheimer&

More books from this author: Christopher Vasey