5 min read
There are many circumstances that can disrupt the health of your gut such as illness, a change in diet, stress, diarrhea or even a course of antibiotics. Even with these disruptions, there are plenty of ways, such as taking a daily probiotic, to help maintain a healthy gut and get back on track when you face unexpected imbalances.
Your environment and your genes are constantly interacting, and their meeting point is largely your GI tract. One of the main reasons that your gut has such a big impact on your overall health is because your gut is the main point of your body that maintains your immune system.
When your gut it healthy and balanced, it promotes a strong immune system that can fight invading bacteria that enter your system. An unbalanced gut has been linked to several negative disorders such as asthma, obesity, diabetes, IBD and even rheumatoid arthritis! Thankfully, you can always care for your gut by taking probiotics to restore your gut balance and boost your health. Here are a few ways to maintain a balanced gut while boosting your immune system.
Choose Healthy Fats
There are so many diets trending these days that it can be hard to know what is good for you and what is just a passing fad. In addition, even for people who are not dieting, choosing the right foods to boot your GI balance can be confusing. Make sure to avoid foods that have high amounts of saturated fat. These types of fat are very harmful to the diversity of the microbiota in your GI tract so try to limit their consumption if you are not able to avoid them altogether.
A better option for fats is those that are plant-based such avocados, olive oil, seeds, and nuts. If you want to jumpstart your health, try to have at least one vegetarian meal day a week. Fiber is such an important part of a healthy diet and a balanced gut, by consuming a wide selection of whole plant foods you are feeding the microbes that break down fibers and encourage a healthy GI ecosystem.
Be Friends With Fiber
Fiber is a very important part of your diet, and it’s even more important to the maintenance of a balanced gut. The bacteria in your GI tract will always adapt to its environment, and those that are lacking in fiber will opt to break down the mucus lining in your gut instead of the fibers they crave. Filling your diet with a wealth of fruits, grains, pulses, and vegetables will give your microbiota plenty to chew on while maintaining a healthy gut balance.
Another great meal for your microbiota is resistant starch which is most commonly found on pasta, rice, whole grains, and potatoes.
Farm The Ferment
Foods that have been fermented properly are the best things you can add to your diet to maintain a balanced gut. Fermented food is jam-packed with probiotics. These probiotics will increase the number of good bacteria in your GI tract which will support healthy gut maintenance.
Fermented food, such as kefir, and those that are high in prebiotic fiber encourage good bacteria to grow that will help break down fiber and starch from plants and convert them into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs from your gut are important because they help your body to soak up all those much-needed minerals from the food we eat, such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. Other of these acids help control and protect our bodies from inflammation and cancer as well.
Cut The Pills
Antibiotics are an important innovation in healthcare, but there can be too much of a good thing that harms more than it helps in the long run. Antibiotics are meant to kill bacteria, which is good when you have an infection, unfortunately, it also kills the good bacteria in your gut, which can lead to an imbalance.
Regular consumption of antibiotics kill off the much-needed bacteria that your body needs to fight other infections as well as the bacteria your gut needs to remain healthy and balanced. Unless it's a dire circumstance, avoid taking antibiotics, even if your recovery time will be extended. Trust us, your well-balanced gut with thank you.
Feed Your Microbiota
Microbiota is a very important part of your gut that keeps everything balanced and working efficiently. Whatever goes in your mouth will meet with your microbiota, so it’s important to consume the right things to ensure that you maintain a healthy balance.
Food that is heavily processed, preserved or refined will quickly send your system out of whack, so it’s better to limit their intake for better health. Everything we eat has an effect on the composition of our GI microbiota, which in turn determines how well our microbiota will digest that food and absorb its nutrients. Diets that are high in healthy fibers, plants, and fermented foods are a great way to keep your gut balanced with good bacteria.
Elie Metchnikoff introduced probiotics in 1907 when he published a study linking fermented milk that contained Lactobacilli to longevity. Bring that concept forward to today, and you will find probiotics supplements in just about every store in the country. Consider starting on a regimen of quality probiotics to help maintain your gut balance and improve your overall health.
Your probiotic supplements should have at least 5-10 billion colony forming units enclosed in encapsulated bills. They should also have several strains of bacteria which will help your gut fight various bad bacteria that is ruining the balance in your gut. Make sure to eat foods that have natural probiotics such as yogurt, pickles, miso, fermented milk, buttermilk and various cheeses.