Anti bacteria is good right? I don’t want that bacteria, right?? Bacteria is bad for you, right??? Ohh, the confusion of bacteria!!!
We live in a world that is anti bacteria forward, but when we talk about gut health, bacteria and fungus is what we want in there. There are bacteria that are harmful to our health, true, but there are also bacteria that are beneficial and necessary for a healthy body and gut. This is an area in health that is still under intense research, but so far research has shown that healthy gut bacteria is necessary for a healthy immune system, to fight inflammation, relieve gastrointestinal disorders, and stave off other serious diseases.
Just like hormone imbalances, unhealthy guts can be linked to high levels of stress, too little and low quality sleep, unhealthy diets, and overtaking of antibiotics. Stomach issues like constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, gas, and bloating are all signs of an unhealthy gut. This could be coming from foods that you eat regularly. High sugar foods will cause your good gut bacteria to diminish, while fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods will cause your gut bacteria to flourish. Foods and liquids like kimchi, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, and kombucha are foods that will feed your good gut bacteria and introduce healthy bacteria into your gut microbiome. These are called prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics will fertilize your good gut bacteria, and these are healthy fiber filled fruit and vegetables, while probiotics are foods that contain live bacteria like yogurt, and other fermented live culture food items like miso, kifer, or tempeh (and the ones mentioned above). Including pre and probiotic foods into your diet will help you serve that eviction notice to the bad bacteria and bring your gut bacteria into good standing, so all of the roommates living there will be happy and they all will flourish and do good things for your stomach and immune system. A diverse community of good gut bacteria is the team you want defending any unwanted invaders, they will take them down like the 2021 Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line.
Gut health has become more heavily researched over the last couple of decades and there has been an enormous increase of diagnosed celiac disease, people with gluten intolerance and people curious and confused about gluten and its possible relation to their ever growing stomach, skin, and overall immune system issues. Gluten deserves its own post, but I had to mention it here since I am speaking about gut health. If you are having ongoing stomach issues, and have not been diagnosed with celiac disease or with having a gluten sensitivity, it would be prudent to get allergy tested to really know what you may be allergic to and start fresh with a lifestyle of clean and healthy eating, because once you root out the culprit of your stomach issues, I think there will be no stopping you on embarking onto a journey of health.
Take probiotics, eat prebiotics. Welcome fermented foods into your diet. Spice up your meal with some gochujang, warm up your belly with some miso soup, make an apple cider vinegar based salad dressing. Your gut will welcome this bacteria with open arms. Now you know, you do need that bacteria!!