Last Updated on October 29, 2021
Many of us struggle with weight gain, fatigue and gut distress. Understanding how to care for and nourish the good bacteria in your gut can change these patterns and bring about better health.
Bacteria live in us and on us
Although there are many infamous bacteria we do anything to avoid its important to recognize that there are many bacteria that we couldn’t live without. In fact, there are over 100 trillion bacteria cells in our bodies! That means there are more bacteria cells than human cells in our bodies.
A healthy gut leads to full body health
Most bacteria live in our gut. By focusing on creating health in this complex internal environment we can realize better vitality, energy and digestion.
Generally speaking there are both “good” and “bad” bacteria inside of us. The good cells control the overgrowth of bad cells and maintain balance. Research is showing that even cells we refer to, as “bad” cells may be important in small quantities.
Causes of imbalance
Sugar and processed food consumption promotes the growth of bad bacteria in the gut by giving them access to lots of easily available simple carbohydrates.
Antibiotics are great at killing bacteria, bad and good bacteria. Because they indiscriminately kill bacteria they often lead to imbalance in the gut. Bad bacteria are capable of taking over when the good bacteria are killed off. Public health officials and doctors have been working to curb the excessive use of antibiotics. Unfortunately, antibiotics are still used in the agricultural industry to make livestock fat.
Stress can directly influence the production of digestive enzymes and too much stress can wreak havoc on our guts.
Establishing a healthy gut
There are many easy steps that we can take to improve our abdominal health.
Stop eating sugar and refined foods. This is the easiest way to make significant change in our abdominal health. These foods feed bad bacteria by eliminating these foods our guts can recover quickly.
Eating fermented food can help supply our guts with more of the good bacteria that make us healthy. These foods include kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir.
Eating foods rich in soluble fiber supplies our bodies with prebiotic materials. These are materials that the good bacteria can use to grow on and flourish. Foods like sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, garlic and kale are great at nourishing our good bacteria.