• Christine Phillips

Make Friends With Your Gut

Contrary to those commercials about disinfectant, a healthy body is not free of microorganisms.  It is not a sterile environment meant to be kept pristine. Our bodies need a whole host of good microorganisms to function properly and stay healthy.  Most these microorganisms live in your mouth and gut, like the gut bacteria that helps form vitamin K for blood clotting and wound repair. Instead of asking, “How do I get rid of all this?”, your question should be, “How can I make the bacteria thrive?”


  1. Limit your intake of Antibiotics: While antibiotics are a medical miracle, misuse of antibiotics is detrimental for your gut bacteria and your overall health. Antibiotics are used to treat several infectious diseases but some people abuse it and start taking them for the wrong reasons, or for ailments that antibiotics can’t fix. Excessive use of antibiotics disturbs your normal gut flora and replaces the normal microorganisms in your gut with opportunistic microorganisms and resistant bacteria. Opportunistic microorganisms can cause superimposed infections while resistant microorganisms are those bacteria with an altered structure and altered virulence. These resistant bacteria take up residence in your body and begin working against your body the next time you take an antibiotic, making these drugs less and less effective.

  2. Consume Probiotics: Probiotics help maintain a healthy level of gut flora.  You can take one orally over the counter, but you can also find many foods that pack a great probiotic punch. Pickled vegetables, beans, oats, onions, and asparagus are great examples. Yogurt is also a great probiotic; it improves your gut health and can relieve symptoms of diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.

  3. Consume Prebiotics: Supplement your meal with prebiotics, which are non-digestible carbohydrates that boost the effects of the probiotics. Foods rich in prebiotics include bananas, asparagus, garlic, onions, and tomatoes.

  4. Consume vegetables: Reducing meat in your diet is a good move to healthy gut bacteria because meat is rich in cholesterol and can put you at a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart diseases, and diabetes. Limit your meat intake, and substitute vegetables when you can. Vegetables are a rich source of antioxidants and clear you gut of toxins and noxious products. A diet rich in vegetables is beneficial for gut microorganisms. According to research, “The microorganisms present in gut change dramatically within few days to a healthy flora once the subjects switched from a meat rich to a plant-rich diet.”

  5. REDUCE SUGAR: Cut sugars and processed meals from your diet. Processed meals especially contain excessive amounts of sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients that are no help to your gut. “Sugar rich diets can cause negative changes in the gut bacteria and can lead to an intolerant digestive system.”


So be kind to your gut!  Make all that healthy bacteria feel at home and they will serve you well.



Yours in health,


Christine

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