Good health begins in the gut. Your “gut” or gastrointestinal (GI) tract affects EVERY aspect of your health. Although many people assume all bacteria is evil, good bacteria is extremely healthful as it keeps bad bacteria and yeasts in check, while also fighting off harmful pathogens. Having a large and diverse population of beneficial bacteria can support weight loss, reduce signs of aging, strengthen digestion, decrease inflammation, heal food allergies, and prevent disease. Follow these three steps to improve your overall health by balancing your gut with more beneficial bacteria.
Good bacteria/flora = balanced gut = optimal health
1. Discontinue Damage
The first step to get your gut on track is to stop doing damage. Problems occur when good bacteria is depleted, allowing for bad bacteria and harmful pathogens to take over. Antibiotics, oral contraceptives, poor diet (excess sugars, refined carbs and alcohol), stress, lack of sleep, chlorinated drinking water, being overly hygienic, and environmental factors, all destroy good bacteria.
Damaged gut health symptoms include: Candida overgrowth, digestive issues, chronic inflammation, food allergies, autoimmune disorders, fatigue, weakened immunity, frequent infections, poor skin health, and degenerative diseases.
2. Nutrition Improvements
Promote good bacteria and restore your gut flora by choosing more natural beverages and whole foods over processed, refined products. Avoid sugars, refined carbs, alcohol and processed products. Support your gut by enjoying diverse, anti-inflammatory foods such as vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices.
For maximum health benefits, include cultured and fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kvass beverages, raw milk cheeses, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, Zukay products, etc. When made properly and enjoyed raw, theses cultured foods turn naturally-occuring sugars into lactic acid (lacto-fermentation), which preserves the food and turns it into a natural probiotic.
3. Supplement Support
Probiotics promote gut health, boost immunity, decrease food allergies, protect against oxidative stress, and restore the correct acidity in your digestive system. The more bacteria and the more strains, the better. Vitamin D, via sunshine or supplements, is also excellent for supporting your gut and overall health. Vitamin D boosts the immune system because of its ability to produce special antibacterial peptides that help fight off undesired bacteria, fungus and viruses.