How Ayurveda helps us care for our gut: a look at spices and our microbiome.

Image by atul prajapati from Pixabay  

While there are many ways that Ayurveda supports gut health, research is helping us understand that spices influence our gut health, and also that the type of bacteria in our gut can influence the nutrition we receive from the spices - referred to in one study as a bidirectional effect. 

Gut bacteria imbalances have many causes

When gut bacteria are imbalanced, it is referred to as dysbiosis. There are many causes such as a diet lacking enough fiber, having excessive refined sugar, some medications including antibiotics and nsaids, stress, lack of exposure to nature, and more. 

There are many ways to improve and support gut health, but one way may be to include spices in our diet. Of course every culture on the planet incorporates locally grown herbs and spices depending on the season, geography and climate -  and in the wisdom of Mother Earth, these are said to be just what’s needed for the people of that area!

But now we have access to spices from around the world (and I am so glad, as I live in Illinois :)) and research is suggesting that spices impact our gut health.  

It’s interesting to me that researchers are looking into the impact of spices  - many commonly used in Ayurveda - on our gut. Once in our gut, they can affect our microbiome in different ways. They can act ON the gut microbiome,  mproving the balance of good and bad bacteria. They also are transformed BY the gut microbiome, with gut bacteria metabolizing the spices and releasing phytonutrients.

This same process is being studied with fruits, vegetables, herbs. Because every one of us has a unique microbiome, and differing diets there has not been sufficient research on specific prescriptions for use of spices.

However, Ayurveda has ancient guidance for incorporating herbs and spices for health and balance based on your dosha, geography, season and more!

We invite you to enjoy herbs and spices visually, the aroma, and taste to nourish your gut and overall health!


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Food Nutrition Research,

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