Creating Balance in your Gut, Part 3: Restore the Good Gut Bacteria
So far we’ve covered diet and lifestyle changes you can make to create balance in your gut. Last but not least let’s talk about restoring the good gut bacteria.
Sometimes there aren’t enough good bacteria in the gut. This can be from taking antibiotics (which are good for wiping out the bad bacteria when you’re sick...but they also wipe out the good bacteria at the same time), lifestyle imbalance, or eating a highly-processed diet. Whatever the case may be, you need to repopulate your gut with the good guys! There are a few ways you can do just that:
Probiotics — Taking a probiotic supplement is an effective way to repopulate the gut with good bacteria. The most common strains you’ll find in a supplement are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. This is a great brand to try if you're just getting started: Garden of Life
Fermented Foods — Foods like sauerkraut and yogurt are another great way to add good bacteria back into your gut. The fermentation process aids in the growth of good bacteria and often makes the food more nutritious for you! Other fermented foods to try are pickled vegetables, kimchi, miso, and kombucha. Aim to include one a day into your diet and see if you notice any changes in your digestion.
Prebiotics — Prebiotics are lesser-known when it comes to gut health, but these are just as important as adding back the good bacteria. Prebiotics are what feeds the good bacteria. It's a type of fiber that the body can’t digest (your stomach acid can’t break it down) so it makes its way to the gut and the good bacteria feed on it (breaking it down there). Make sure to include prebiotic foods like plantains and legumes (beans, peas, and peanuts) in your diet so your good gut bacteria are well fed.
Challenge for the Week: Find a supplement or a fermented food to add each day. Take notice of any changes you feel throughout the week in your digestion.
That wraps up this three part series on getting your gut health back into balance. I hope this has given you some realistic steps you can implement into your daily life that have a positive impact. As always if you have any questions shoot me an email or leave a comment below. I’m here for you and your health.