How to take care of your vital gut flora of bacteria
Bacteria is just now starting to come into the light as a friend of the human body, where for many decades it was simplistically considered a bad thing to most Americans. As scientists and medical researchers learn about the fantastic world of bacteria, they are finding that humans are greatly indebted to many aspects of this microscopic world.
If you’re like most Americans, you’re at a digestive disadvantage because you’ve been fed bad information — and bad food — for a long time. Few of us have been taught about the importance of bringing good bacteria into our bodies through diet. And we also haven’t been taught about how what we eat can affect our gut bacteria.
What do bacteria in our gut do?
There are many strains of bacteria, some bad, many good. The helpful bacteria in our gut does things like neutralise harmful by-products of digestion, and fight bad bacteria. The good bacteria can also aid in the absorption of vitamins and nutrients. While we don’t know everything bacteria does, research shows that bacteria is essential for digestion.
But, because good bacteria is not emphasized in the American diet, many of our gut floras have a severe shortage of the good bacteria they need to fully digest food. This shortage can leave us feeling gassy, bloated, crampy, and short on energy — it can even weaken your immune system. Other studies suggest that a poor gut flora can contribute to skin disease and acid reflux.
How do I improve my gut flora?
Well, one way you can give your gut a helping hand is to feed it probiotic-rich fermented foods. For example, sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and kimchi (fermented vegetables) are loaded with helpful probiotics.
Or, if you’d rather drink your probiotics, try kombucha — made from fermented black or green tea.
Yogurt is probably the most well-known source of healthy bacteria. But beware: not all yogurts were created equal, so make sure you choose one with live cultures. And avoid sugary, fruit-flavored yogurts, as excess sugar can actually hurt your gut flora.
Perhaps the easiest way to make sure you’ve got plenty of good bacteria under your belt is to take a daily probiotic supplement.
Learn more from silenceyourcravings.com.
Making your own probiotic-rich foods is a great idea. From lacto-fermented cherry tomatoes to kimchi to fermented carrot sticks, here are a few recipes to try: