Feed the good bacteria and discover a healthier you.
(Article originally written for, and published by, Natural Arena. By Jamie Geurtjens)
This little community that lives in our gut is often forgotten, but it is the key to our health and well-being. The digestive tract contains 2-3 kgs of bacteria, whether this is made up of good bacteria or bad bacteria determines the state of our health. The key bacteria (Probiotics) are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, but there are around 500 different species.
What do bacteria do for us?
They are an essential part of our immune system, providing us with protection against illness. They work to produce Vitamin K needed for blood clotting, and B vitamins needed for energy and mental health. These bacteria are vital in preventing and treating many illnesses and conditions, such as viral infections, irritable bowel, chrons disease, allergies, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, chronic infections, eczema, asthma, chronic fatigue, and much more. They also help to digest foods and allow nutrients to be absorbed into the blood stream. Constipation, diarrhea or flatulence can be a sign that there is a problem with the gut bacteria.
How can we have more good bacteria?
Healthy eating is essential in providing the body with plenty of nourishment for these bacteria. Once they are feed the right foods they grow, out populate the bad bacteria, and provide us with amazing health benefits. Harmful bacteria such as Candida albicans feed on sugars, and refined carbohydrates, and they can cause you to crave foods such as bread and chocolate. Once they are fed they grow and can poison the entire body, causing physical and mental illness. There is plenty of research to show that the links between gut bacteria and mental illness. Antibiotics kill much of the bacteria in the body, quickly allowing the bad bacteria to become out of control. Even by avoiding prescription antibiotics the bacteria are still affected by antibiotics found in eggs and dairy products.
Choose organic dairy products.
Eat more of the foods that feed the good bacteria, such as fresh vegetables, and proteins from meats and nuts.
Discover fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and kefir.
Take a good probiotic supplement which contains a high amount of probiotics – over 15 million bacterial cells a day.
Add garlic into your cooking, or take a garlic supplement.
Eat natural unsweetened probiotic yoghurt.
Avoid sugars, refined carbohydrates, artificial food additives processed foods and alcohol as much as you can.
The guidance of a good naturopath can ensure you have your own personal health plan.