Bacteria and germs on your kid’s hands might be a ‘bad’ thing but when it comes to gut bacteria the more bacteria the better – and it’s all about the bacterial balance.
That delicate equilibrium between ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
Healthy tummies equal a healthier family and the health of your gut is often the forgotten link. Maintaining and nourishing that living factory of bacteria inside you is key.
More than 90% of your body’s cells are live bacteria and most of them live in your intestines. In fact, studies show that healthy gut bacteria may help us maintain good health throughout our entire body and may even help to stave off allergies.
Naturopath, Herbalist, and Educator for BioCeuticals, Amie Skilton says gut health is absolutely essential to building good healthy tummies for your family.
“In a perfect world the good bacteria outweigh the bad guys but if our diet, lifestyle or medications create an imbalance, we may be more prone to infections and health issues,” Skilton says.
Changes in the gut microbiota may leave us open to chronic health conditions, including diabetes, asthma, obesity and digestive disorders.
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Gut bacteria also play a major role in body fat distribution, metabolism, and the regulation of your mood and memory.
Extensive research indicates that gut imbalances can even impact your mental health, leading to issues like anxiety and depression.
A healthy balanced diet and the addition of good bacteria (and prebiotics) can play an important role in re-balancing the good and bad battle.
Bacteria, like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria strains, and the friendly yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii, can help with:
- Protection for the gut and rest of the body against harmful bacteria, fungi and parasites.
- Support the immune system.
- Regulate inflammation.
- Synthesise B vitamins and vitamin K.
- Support carbohydrate, fibre and fat digestion.
- Detoxify waste compounds.
You can help your family maintain a healthy tummy and gut by consuming:
- Fermented foods like lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner), fermented organic milks, various pickled foods and fermented soy.
- Probiotic supplements – Probiotic supplements are available with many different types of bacterial species and strains. They assist with digesting food, improve absorption of some vitamins and minerals, maintain a healthy balance of intestinal microflora and support the immune system. Of course, always consult your healthcare practitioner if you are unsure as to whether this product is right for you or your family and always read the label.
- Prebiotics help keep beneficial bacteria healthy. They are non-digestible foods that help beneficial bacteria (probiotics) grow and flourish. Put simply prebiotics feed the “good” bacteria and their presence in your digestive system helps boost the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Do you or your family currently take any probiotics or prebiotics to promote gut health? Please share in the comments below.