More and more research is proving how incredibly important bacteria are to our health. Worryingly, most people do not eat the right foods to nourish and maintain healthy bacteria in their digestive systems and are more likely to fall ill or even become overweight. The tendency for unnecessary antibiotics and the over-sanitation of our houses, workplaces, food and kids only serves to heighten the issue. Here’s what you need to know…
Cultivating the right microbes will:
- Neutralise invading harmful bacteria
- Help manufacture neurotransmitters such as serotonin
- Regulate stress
- Maintain healthy weight
- Help prevent chronic and acute disease
- Aid digestion
- Manufacture vitamins such as Vitamin C, niacin B3), pantothenic acid (B5), B12 and K
- Prevent or diminish diarrhea & constipation
- Manage IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
- Fight inflammatory bowel disease (such as Chron’s and ulcerative colitis) and cancer
- Combat thrush and urinary tract infections
- Reduce eczema, colic and colds
Top 5 ways to improve your gut health:
- Eat more high fibre foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, legumes and wholegrains
- Include fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir or yoghurt
- Mimimise the use of antibiotics where possible. Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria and increase the chances of developing resistant strains that cannot be cured by with medicine. If you do need antibiotics, ensure you take the whole course, then rejuvenate your body’s micobes with a supplement for a month or so afterwards.
- Do not use antibacterial products to clean – this can also create antibiotic resistant bacteria and is simply not necessary in a domestic environment.
- Encourage children to play outside in the garden and come in contact with a wide range of microbes.
If you’re wondering whether you have an intolerance to food which may be resulting in IBS style symptoms, visit the Monash FODMAP Facebook page for starters. Their revolutionary program will help identify exactly what foods groups are causing problems and their app will assist in eliminating them. This will then put you on track to improving your overall gut health and improving your bacteria’s health.
If all of this information seems overwhelming and you don’t know where to begin. Please contact me for guidance. I offer nutrition couselling based on the Sunshine Coast.