Bacteria in your gut might sound like a bad thing, but your gut actually uses bacteria to process food into energy. We call these helpful bacteria probiotics. Most people have heard the term in yogurt ads, but that’s about it. What are probiotics and what do they mean to your body?
It all starts in your gut, the system in your body responsible for digestion. Proper digestion is essential to your health and probiotics are essential to your gut. When bacteria are out of balance, it can cause problems such as:
- Gas 
- Bloating 
- Diarrhea 
- Abdominal pain and cramping 
- Autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and diabetes
- Neuromuscular diseases
- B12 deficiency
If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to get your gut health back on track. Here are five awesome tips for promoting your gut health and well-being.
1. Take a Quality Probiotic
In 1907, Nobel Laureate, Elie Metchnikoff introduced the concept of probiotics. He published a groundbreaking study that linked longevity with consuming fermented milk that contained Lactobacilli, a bacterial strain that produces lactic acid and helps maintain healthy intestinal microflora. Today, probiotics supplements are available at health food, grocery, and online stores. When choosing a probiotic, look for these qualities:
- Probiotic supplements should contain 5 to 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units).
- Encapsulated pills are better than liquids because they help the bacteria survive the acidic stomach environment.
- Multiple strains of bacteria (different strains offer different benefits — some help with digestion of fiber, some help with vitamin absorption, some help promote bowel regularity).
2. Avoid Overuse of Antibiotics
Antibiotics kill bacteria. Although that includes the bad bacteria that can make you sick, it also includes the good bacteria your body needs. This disruption of intestinal harmony can cause a lack of diversity among bacteria that’s sure to affect your health.
3. Incorporate Fermented Foods Into Your Diet
Fermented foods can introduce good bacteria to your gut but know that it’s better to make your own. Store-bought options are usually pasteurized, which kills good bacteria. Some of the best fermented foods for promoting gut health include:
- Soy Sauce
- Fermented Tofu
4. Eat Less Refined Sugar
5. Lower Your Stress Levels
Much like the spinal cord, neurons cover your intestinal wall where they send information throughout your body. The existence of the brain/gut connection makes it clear that stress can be linked to gut health. When stressed, your brain sends messages to your gut in the form of chemicals. These chemicals affect how well your gut works.
5 Tactics to Reduce Stress and Support Gut Health
It’s amazing how much better you can feel about things if you just take some time to stop, breathe, and concentrate. If you need to use a mantra, go for it!
Aromatherapy harnesses the power of plant-sourced essential oils. Many people attest that this ancient, traditional practice helps them manage stress.
Physical activity affects stress and mood. If you’re feeling stressed, being active can help you overcome it!
What you eat can have a significant impact on your gut health. Stress-relieving foods can help.
Laughter can relieve stress by producing endorphins and lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Find a funny friend or turn on a comedy to produce a relieving chuckle. Your gut will thank you!
Bonus: Cleanse and Nourish Your Gut
Supplements are an excellent option for maintaining a healthy gut. You can find individual supplements based on your specific needs, but opting for a complete bundle of gut health supplements could save money. Global Healing Center’s own Gut Health Kit™ combines our very best supplements for overall gut health.
VeganZyme® is a digestive aid that provides your gut with the enzymes it needs to properly process proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and other essential nutrients. Oxy-Powder® cleanses your gut and helps flush your digestive system of accumulated toxins and waste. Aloe Fuzion™ soothes and comforts your gut while encouraging nutrient absorption, and nourishing your microflora. Floratex™ helps balance your microbiome with a comprehensive mix of live probiotic and prebiotics. You can also enhance the power of the Gut Health Kit with optional upgrades—Turmeric to help your colon heal itself at a cellular level and Bragg’s Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar to promote regularity and aid in detoxification.
What do you do to maintain a healthy gut? Have any stress-relieving tips? Let us know in the comments.
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
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