Gut Health Promotes Good Health

Gut Health Promotes Good Health

Did you know your digestive system contains about 80 percent of your immune system? Your gut has so much influence over your health because of the 100 trillion bacteria, about three pounds worth, that line your digestive tract. This is an extremely complex living system that aggressively protects your body from outside offenders on a daily basis.

Having the correct ratio of beneficial bacteria, or flora, to pathogenic bacteria is what keeps us healthy and from getting sick. More and more studies are being published about the important roles gut flora plays in maintaining overall health. The great news is the amount of influence each person has in this area. Processed foods high in sugar and chemical additives, stress, pollution, toxins, and antibiotics are all things that kill off the good bacteria. Every course of antibiotics tends to wipe out the majority beneficial or good bacteria which gives an opportunity for the pathogenic bacteria that causes illness to grow uncontrolled and occupy new areas of your gut. The good bacteria will recover but depending on the species it can take two weeks to two months to fully regrow. “Reseeding” your gut with fermented foods and probiotics if you have to take an antibiotic, may be one of the most important steps you can take to improve your health.

The ideal balance of beneficial to pathogenic bacteria in your gut is about 85 percent good bacteria and 15 percent bad. Again, this can be achieved from taking a probiotic supplement and/or eating fermented foods. Every traditional culture, even going back to the Romans, has fermented foods that were part of the regular diet. Some traditionally fermented foods you can try are:

  • Natto
  • Miso
  • Kimchee
  • Tempeh
  • Kefir
  • Yogurt
  • Olives
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickles

If you eat a diet rich in fermented foods that have not been pasteurized (this will kill the probiotics), then you will enjoy great digestive health and you may not need any supplement. If these foods do not appeal to you, you are traveling, undergo a stressful situation, or just prefer taking a supplement, a probiotic supplement will also give you the same benefits. To insure you have a high-quality probiotic supplement you should look for the following: a list of specific bacteria strains, a high potency shown by an independent lab test, dairy, soy, wheat and corn-free, vegetable-based capsules, stable at room temperature, and contains at least 10 billion colony-forming units.

If you have digestive problems or irregularities, you have taken antibiotics, you get sick more often than those around you, or you just want to improve your health adding some type of probiotic is a vital step. Having good digestive health promotes overall health and wellness throughout your body. Remember you have a great amount of influence on your digestive health, so do something to improve it today! Work with an experienced medical professional such as the Wellness Doctor Englewood CO locals turn to!

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Thanks to author Dr. Jacqueline Berens at Envitality Wellness Center for insight into Digestive Health and Wellness.