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Did you know there are 300 to 500 kinds of bacteria living in your gut? Healthy gut bacteria is important to help ward off illness and disease.
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Why is gut bacteria important?
I’m sure you’ve heard all about it. There’s a lot of talk lately about gut health, gut bacteria and about healing your gut. It’s an important topic.
Did you know there are 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria living in your gut (source)? As with (good and bad) cholesterol, there are good bacteria and there are bad bacteria. Increasing the good bacteria in your gut is important because good gut bacteria can help ward off illness and disease. On the other hand, an overload of bad gut bacteria can cause chronic inflammation which, in turn, can lead to a condition called leaky gut as well as chronic illness and disease (source).
What causes an overload of bad bacteria?
Some things that cause an overload of bad bacteria include a poor diet (eating the same foods over and over), alcohol, smoking, stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, lack of prebiotics (in your diet) and antibiotic use.
The problem with antibiotics is that antibiotics kill all bacteria, not just bad bacteria (just like chemotherapy as it kills all cells, not just bad cells).
All disease begins in the gut
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said “all disease begins in the gut”. More and more doctors from various medical professions are beginning to practice from this standpoint, and for good reason.
Gut bacteria can affect your immune system (source), which is why many autoimmune disorders can be healed, or at least improved, by healing your gut. Bad gut bacteria can trigger the following conditions, to name a few (source):
– type 2 diabetes
– heart disease
– crohn’s disease
– irritable bowel syndrome
– inflammatory bowel disease
– anxiety, depression
– colon cancer
This is just the tip of the iceberg. It is a serious issue, and one that can be avoided, or at the very least, increasing good gut bacteria can significantly improve your health and lower your risk of disease.
I am a good example
Hippocrates certainly knew what he was talking about. I believe it with every inch of my being. I can certainly attest to the validity of his claim.
I suffered with eczema, joint pain and digestive issues for years. After getting some help, I discovered that certain foods were causing my symptoms and, since eliminating those foods from my diet, I feel a million times better. I can help you do the same.
How to increase good gut bacteria
1. Resist taking antibiotics as much as possible. The problem with antibiotics is that antibiotics kill good bacteria, as well as bad bacteria. There are other natural, healthier options for curing an infection. You can find some HERE.
2. Take a daily probiotic. Learn more about probiotics and about choosing the right one for you.
3. Eat probiotic-rich and fermented foods such as yogourt, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha.
4. Add resistant starches to your diet such as cooked and cooled potatoes and ancient grains such as kamut.
5. Consume gut healthy foods such as bone broth (boil the bones, cartilage and fat leftover from your chicken or beef dinner for at least 12 hours).
6. Eat dirt. No really. My favorite online Naturopath, Dr. Axe, recommends that you resist washing fruit and vegetables (as long as they are organic), get a pet, swim in the ocean, walk barefooted to name a few examples (source).
7. Quit using commercial hand sanitizers. Commercial hand sanitizers act like antibiotics; they kill all bacteria as well. HERE is a natural option instead.
There is no doubt that there are other contributing factors when it comes to disease and illness, such as genetics, environment, etc. However, a good place to start, and an easy first step that you can take yourself, is to discover which foods may be causing you to be sick. You can accomplish this with an elimination diet. For help with this, you can learn more HERE.
Please share if you know someone who might find this helpful. Thanks! 🙂
Can you attest to the importance of healthy gut bacteria? What do you do for gut health? Share your comments below.
Be happy, stay healthy! 🙂