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Rebalancing Your Gut

Health issues, such as thyroid imbalances, chronic fatigue syndrome, joint pain, psoriasis, autism and many other illnesses originate in the gut. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, upward of 60 million Americans are affected by digestive diseases. The secret to restoring your digestive health is balancing the good and bad bacteria in your gut. Research shows that probiotics can help you attain optimal health.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are bacteria that line the digestive tract and support the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection. There are 10 times the amount of probiotics in your body than there are cells!

How Do Probiotics Work

Your gut, or intestines, contains both beneficial and harmful bacteria. Digestive experts agree that the balance of gut flora should be approximately 85 percent good bacteria and 15 percent bad bacteria. If this ratio becomes imbalanced, dysbiosis can occur, leaving your gut with more fungus, yeast, or bacteria that can have negative effects on the body. Consuming certain types of probiotics can help balance the ratio of good to bad bacteria.

Probiotics Benefits Proven by Research

The strongest evidence to date finds that probiotics benefits include:

  •   Boosting Immune function
  •   Preventing and aiding in the treatment of urinary tract infections
  •   Improving digestive function
  •   Healing inflammatory bowel conditions like IBS
  •   Managing and preventing eczema
  •   Fighting food-borne illnesses

New studies underway focus on probiotics for:

  •   Reducing cold and flu
  •   Reducing overuse of antibiotics
  •   Treating kidney stones
  •   Treating colic
  •   Preventing cavities and gum disease
  •   Treating Colitis and Crohn’s disease
  •   Combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  •   Treating liver disease
  •   Battling cancer
  •   Managing autism
  •   Lowering cholesterol
  •   Fighting bacteria that cause ulcers
  •   Improving acne
  •   Aiding in weight loss

Probiotic Destroyers

The only way to heal the gut is to eliminate the foods that feed bad bacteria and start consuming probiotic-rich foods and supplements. In order to maintain balanced gut flora, be sure to avoid things that destroy probiotics. We’re constantly exposed to many foods, toxins, and stressors that can kill the good bacteria. This can cause your system to become a breeding ground for bad bacteria, yeast, viruses, fungi, and parasites. The top probiotic destroyers are as follows:

  •   Prescription antibiotics
  •   Sugar
  •   Artificial sweeteners
  •   Processed Food
  •   Tap water – especially chlorinated and fluoridated water
  •   GMO’s
  •   Grains – especially individuals on a high carbohydrate diet
  •   Emotional stress
  •   Chemicals
  •   Medications – particularly antibiotics

Steps to a Healthier Gut

Most people, including children, are in need of a probiotic boost due to the use of prescription medication, high-carbohydrate diets, the consumption of chlorinated and fluoridated water, and conventional foods, such as non-organic meat and dairy that contain antibiotic residues. The following are steps to avoid gut imbalance and improve your digestive system.

Embrace the Power of Sour

Step one is to consume more sour foods. These include foods like apple cider vinegar and fermented vegetables. These foods contain some probiotics, but also certain acids like gluconic acid and acetic acid that create an ideal pH level in your body, which supports the growth of probiotics in your system. Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a drink or salads two times a day. You can also consume fermented vegetables several times per week, like sauerkraut and kimchi.

Consume More Probiotic-Rich Foods

Another way to have a healthy gut, is to consume more probiotic-rich foods. Start by trying to consume one serving of probiotic-rich foods per day. Some great probiotic rich foods include:

  •   Sauerkraut
  •   Kimchi
  •   Coconut Kefir
  •   Natto
  •   Miso
  •   Kombucha

Feed the Probiotics in Your System

Step three to naturally boost probiotics is to feed the probiotics. Probiotics are living organisms; they need proper fuel to live. Their fuel comes in the form of fermentable fiber also called prebiotics. Some prebiotic foods includes:

  •   Chia Seeds
  •   Flax Seeds
  •   Asparagus
  •   Garlic onion
  •   Leek
  •   Jerusalem artichoke
  •   Apples

If you would like to learn more about Nutritional Health, feel free to give us a call at (646) 609-4250, or book an appointment for a Nutritionist Consultation!

Helaine Schonfeld
Helaine Schonfeld, Nutritionist, MSc., CLC

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