What do you think when you hear the word bacteria? Does is conjure up negative thoughts? It doesn’t need to because bacteria can be either good or bad. As it turns out, the majority are quite harmless.

Your body is full of bacteria much of which resides in your gut. Making sure you have enough good bacteria and helping them thrive are essential to your health and well-being.

One thing you can do to promote a healthy gut is adopt a diet high in plant-based foods with lots of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit to ensure you’re getting plenty of dietary fiber. Also, consume less meat, and eat less processed foods. You can also take supplements to support your gut health.

Having the right gut bacteria has been linked to numerous health benefits, including the following:
weight loss
• improved digestion
• enhanced immune function
• healthier skin
• joint health
• reduced risk of some diseases

Conversely an unhealthy gut is linked to:
• obesity
• type 2 diabetes
• irritable bowel syndrome
• heart disease
• colorectal cancer
• Alzheimer’s
• anxiety and depression
• inflammation

Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that help keep your gut healthy by fighting off bad bacteria when you have too much of it, thus helping you feel better. Consuming probiotics helps keep your body healthy and working well.

The most common probiotic bacteria are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. You can find probiotics in foods prepared by bacterial fermentation as well as in supplements.

Plant-based foods with probiotics :
• kombucha (for more info. read last week’s blog)
• fermented vegetables
• tempeh
• sauerkraut
• kimchi
• miso soup
• raw pickled vegetables

Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, that the microorganisms in your gut feed and grown on. They serve as food for beneficial bacteria in your gut and help keep it healthy.

Plant foods containing fiber work best to feed the bacteria in your gut. That’s why a plant-based diet that includes a variety of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit is beneficial for your gut health and your overall health and wellness as it increases the diversity of your gut microbiome.

Consuming the Standard American, SAD, diet which is high in sugar, fat, salt, additives, and highly processed foods can cause a decrease in beneficial bacteria which could increase intestinal permeability and inflammation.

Always check with your physician or health care provider before making major dietary changes or taking supplements.

To learn more about supplements that can support a healthy gut contact me.

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Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.


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