How to Improve Your Digestion Through Healthy Bacteria in 5 Simple Ways
By boosting healthy bacteria in your system with these 5 simple methods, you can protect yourself against illness and improve your overall health.
Your body depends on a balance between healthy bacteria and not-so-healthy bacteria. If one is lacking, you can experience major health problems, whereas an excess of the other can cause infections.
These infections were responsible for more than 50% of deaths worldwide before the invention of antibiotics.
You might be going about with your daily tasks, and the next minute you find yourself coming down with illness because bad bacteria have taken over your system.
You begin to experience symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, etc.
But the good thing is there are ways to boost good bacteria in your system, so you don't have to feel any of these symptoms caused by bad bacteria.
This article will discuss 5 simple ways to be on the safe side.
But first, why is it important to boost healthy bacteria in your body?
- Your immune system needs friendly bacteria for proper functioning
- Healthy bacteria help with digestion and absorption of nutrients from food
- Good bacteria help with the production of vitamins and enzymes needed for cell growth, repair, and overall health
- Good bacteria keep your gut lining healthy for proper functioning
It's therefore vital to increase the healthy bacteria in your system to avoid the bad ones taking over.
But how? You might ask. The following ways can help:
Eat more fibre-rich foods
You know how important food is to your survival.
But what you might know is that the bacteria responsible for the absorption of nutrients from the food you consume also need food to survive.
By eating foods containing fibre, you’re providing your gut bacteria with the fuel they need to thrive. Because fibre is a prebiotic, meaning it feeds the good bacteria in your gut to ensure their survival.
Eating fibre-rich foods will lead to an increase in the good bacteria in your body and a resulting decrease in the bad ones.
And failing to provide enough fibre-rich foods to feed these bacteria can lead to poor digestive function, weight gain, and constipation. Because you’ll be denying your gut the ability to absorb nutrients from food.
Here are some fibre rich foods you can try out:
- Whole grains (e.g. brown rice, oats)
- Fruits (e.g. avocados, apples, pears and peaches)
- Vegetables (e.g. broccoli, carrots and spinach)
- Nuts (e.g. almonds and walnuts)
- Dried fruits (e.g. dates)
Increase your probiotic intake
Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when you take them in adequate amounts. In particular, they restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut.
Imagine having a tiny house where both the good and bad bacteria live. Let's call this house the gut flora–a place where both bacteria feed daily, found in the digestive tract.
Antibiotics, stress, and a poor diet can disrupt your gut flora, causing it to become imbalanced.
So what probiotic does is that it crowds out the bad bacteria found in the gut flora when they're outshining the good ones. This eliminates the risk of health problems like diarrhoea, constipation, and intestinal inflammation.
It doesn't end there.
Probiotics also compete with harmful bacteria for space and nutrients, limiting their ability to grow. This in turn improves digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Probiotics can be found in:
- Foods such as yoghurt, cheese, etc.
- Probiotic supplements (available in tablets, capsules or liquid drops)
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Avoid antibiotics unless necessary
Antibiotics are a double-edged sword.
While they stop bad bacteria from taking over and causing infection in your body, they also kill off the good bacteria in the process.
Generally, antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial infections like tuberculosis, pneumonia, skin infections, and ear infections.
However, when you use them unnecessarily, they can kill the good bacteria in your gut, leading to an imbalance and a rise in harmful bacteria. This can result in digestive issues or leave you vulnerable to infections.
The following are some ways to avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary:
- Use alternative therapies such as probiotics or herbal remedies
- Boost your immune system naturally (e.g. getting enough sleep and exercise, eating a balanced diet)
- Avoid contact with sick people and wash your hands regularly
Related: Why detox bitters are important to your health
Limit processed foods
While processed foods may seem tempting at times, you should avoid them as much as possible. You need to avoid eating anything that has been frozen, canned, or packaged in any way.
Instead, focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
Processed foods contain high sugar levels, artificial additives, and unhealthy fats that can disrupt the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in your gut. This means you can end up with an imbalance that can result in health problems.
Some examples of processed foods that are high in
- Sugar includes candy, cookies, cake, and soda.
- Unhealthy fats include fried foods, fast food, and processed meats.
- Artificial additives can be found in food with artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners, and preservatives.
The benefits of reducing stress are numerous.
For one, when you’re stressed, your cortisol levels rise. And studies have shown that this hormone can kill off beneficial bacteria in your system.
But when you find ways to reduce stress, you get to keep your cortisol levels in check.
Long-term stress has also shown to weaken the immune system, leaving you susceptible to illness.
You can reduce stress through any of these:
- Get enough sleep: This gives your body enough time to rest and rebuild. Which will keep your gut bacteria healthy. You need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to maintain healthy bacteria levels.
- Exercise: Exercises improve mood and reduces stress levels, both of which can also have a positive impact on gut health. It also increases blood flow and helps move things through your digestive system.
- Try meditation: When you feel stressed, take a few minutes to meditate. This will help you gather your thoughts and stay calm.
At the end of the day, keeping your gut in shape is all about balance. Whether it's through the food you eat, or some other means, taking steps towards improving your gut health will allow you enjoy lifelong convenience.
Because whatever goes on in your gut can affect the rest of your body. So try out these 5 simple methods to boost the healthy bacteria in your gut.
If you have any questions, you can reach out to our care specialist for a FREE consultation.