Gut Bacteria - it's not a dirty word
Bacteria are better known for causing disease, so any idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health can seem a bit hard to swallow! There is more and more scientific evidence that suggests you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with food and supplements containing certain types of live bacteria eg probiotics ('for life').
Your body has played host to millions of bacteria. In fact, the bacteria in our gut actually out number the amount of human cells in your body.
These good guys are essential to our health.
Here are a few of their responsibilities:
- they contribute to the absorption of minerals
- enhance immune function
- improve digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats
- regulate bowel movements (help relieve diarrhea and constipation)
- participate in the production of some B vitamins
- help reduce cholesterol
- help manage blood sugar levels
- help combat fungal and yeast infections
- break down bacterial toxins
- balance intestinal ph
- protect against environmntal toxins: mecury, pesticides, and pollution.
- they affect our mood!
That's why after a dose of antibiotics ('against life'), it's important to get those friendly guys back in your gut, back to work and to look after them - self insure.
A few tips on how to do this:
- eat foods that encourage their growth, eg cultured foods like miso, sauerkraut, organic natural yoghurt
- enjoy lacto-fermented drinks like keffir and kombucha
- eat your greens - good bugs love them
- if you buy a probiotic make sure it's a good quality. The therapeutic benefits of probitotics vary from strain to strain - check with a health professional first
- check the labels of your 'probitotic' and beware of anything with added sugar which negate the benefits of the probiotic
- eliminate sugar - it fuels illness and disease
- eat wholefoods as nature intended
- manage your daily stress
- reduce exposure to toxins, chemicals, and radiation
Gut and digestive health are great indicators of when your body is out of balance. Listen to your body - what's your gut telling you? Taking time to cultivate our 'army' of good bugs helps establish a strong foundation for great health.
'All disease begins in the gut' - Hippocrates 460 BC