How feeding bugs is vital to good health

Symptoms of GI imbalance and how to fix them

I hope you’ve been enjoying the summer!

Did you know that our mouth, lungs, digestive tract, urinary tract and skin are all home to bacteria?

That means that we have about 100,000 million bugs in our intestine alone! And they literally weigh a little over 3 lbs.

These bacteria, collectively known as “gut flora,” are an important and vital system when it comes to health. The good kind help maintain normal functioning of the digestive tract, protect against infection, and help stimulate the development and maturation of the immune system.

But, this is not all...these bacteria also do things like:

  • detoxification
  • help in the production of key molecules like serotonin
  • lower cholesterol
  • decrease inflammation

What is happening in the gut is so far reaching it has an effect on the brain, heart, and even metabolism.

But what happens when the bad outnumber the good? A lot of imbalances occur. For example:

  • gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea
  • acne or rashes
  • anxiety/depression
  • recurrent infections
  • candida

I’m telling you these tiny little creatures are SO incredibly impactful and you want the right ones on your team. And there are a few key points to keep in mind of actions you can take to make a more hospitable environment for good bugs:

Use antibiotics judiciously: antibiotics do have a place, but the amount of antibiotic resistance that is developing is quite alarming and scary because of overuse. If you have a viral or fungal infection, antibiotics are NOT going to be helpful. On the note of antibiotics, it is also worth staying away from meats or milk from animals that have been fed antibiotics as those lead to resistance in humans, as well.

Eat lots of vegetables, including onions and garlic. The long strands of fiber in veggies are great food for gut bacteria. Sauteeing cauliflower or broccoli stalks and eating those in addition to the florets will help feed your good bacteria.

Eat traditional fermented foods: Bacteria have been used traditionally to create fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha etc. This is a wonderful way to introduce good bugs into our bodies. Homemade is best, but finding a good reputable brand is also an option.

Deep breathing: Our gut bacteria also respond to stress and decrease if we are constantly worrying or anxious. Taking 3-5 minutes to do deep belly breathing is going to signal relaxation and help promote a more normal gut flora.

I hope you'll give these ideas a try. On my summer list is to make sauerkraut and kimchi. I'll be reporting back! 

All the best,