Gut bacteria can be either one of the best allies in getting healthy or the worst enemies. Did you know that their makeup heavily depends on what and how you eat?
Recent studies keep on exploring the relation between gut bacteria and other important aspects of the human health. The conclusion is that changing the gut can go a long way in changing your life!
Not All Gut Bacteria Are Created Equal
There are more than 100 trillion cells of gut bacteria and they have a tremendous effect on our heath. However, not all gut bacteria are created equal. The good ones boost immunity, produce vitamins and improve digestion, while the bad bacteria may lead to indigestion, skin problems, and mental issues.
Are Your Gut Bacteria Imbalanced?
We should start by explaining how one could tell that their gut bacteria are imbalanced. This is not an easy thing to do, such as taking a thermometer and finding out if you have a fever. However, there are a few warning signs that indicate that your gut bacteria are out of whack. Check them out!
1. Digestive Issues
Digestive problems are the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the negative effects of imbalanced gut bacteria. While doctors typically prescribed drugs or antacids to manage the problem, these medications fail to address the root cause. You might have an unhealthy and imbalanced gut if you experience symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, irritable bowel disease, or irritable bowel syndrome.
2. Mental Issues
The gut health has a tremendous impact on the health of your brain. It has been scientifically shown that gut bacteria manufacture neurotransmitters, so this doesn’t come as surprise though. Some of the signs that indicate an unhealthy gut include brain fog, anxiety, depression, autism, and OCD.
3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency
A healthy gut is of utmost importance when it comes to the production and synthesis of vitamins and minerals. When the gut bacteria are imbalanced, the body finds it more difficult to get enough of the needed vitamins and minerals like vitamin B7, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium.
As long as used properly, antibiotics are one of the best innovations of modern medicine. However, improper use may lead to a wide range of gut issues. Many doctors sue them on factory-farmed animals and viral infections, which is completely useless. Antibiotics remove the bad bacteria, but wipe out many good bacteria at the same time. It has been scientifically shown that good bacteria removed by antibiotics don’t repopulate without your assistance.
5. Chronic Stress
Stress can make you anxious, increase blood pressure levels, and even damage the gut. Unfortunately, stress is very difficult to avoid these days! This is not the key problem though, as the bigger problem arises when you leave it untreated for too long. Chronic, unmanaged stress increases cortisol levels and compromises gut function. Those who have been stressed for the past few months or years are very likely to have an imbalanced gut.
6. Skin Conditions
Contrary to popular belief, symptoms of a condition don’t always appear at the same spot as the condition. As in the case with skin conditions, they are often caused by an unhealthy gut. If you suffer from conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, eczema or acne, it is very likely that you have an unhealthy gut.
7. Autoimmune Diseases
More and more studies link autoimmune diseases to unhealthy and imbalanced guts. If you are dealing with conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto`s, the chances are your gut is out of whack.
How to Balance Your Gut Bacteria in 4 Simple Steps
1. Avoid Toxins
The most important step towards balancing gut bacteria is to avoid toxic foods like unhealthy oils, grains, sugars, and conventional grain fed dairy. Watch out for the modern toxins such as antibiotics, pesticides, and NSAIDs, too.
2. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, lacto-fermented fruits and veggies, non-pasteurized cheese, and non-pasteurized yogurt, are an excellent source of good gut bacteria.
3. Take Probiotic Supplements
In addition to eating fermented foods, taking probiotic supplements is yet another good idea. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right supplement:
- Avoid ‘bargain bin’ prices
- Klaire Labs and Jarrow are two reputable brands
- Choose potent supplements ( at least 8 billion/ dose)
- Look for those that contain strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus
4. Manage Stress
Stress management is one of the best ways to improve your gut health! Do something that works for your and stick with it, such as practicing yoga, meditation, dancing, jogging, deep breathing, or anything else. Of course, make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
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