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How to Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria

INSIGHTS

How to Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria

By: Ashley Meyers

In the past few years, you may have noticed that “Gut Health” has become increasingly popular. As science and research progresses, we are learning more about the digestive system, what is referred to as our “gut”, and how the food we eat today may be impacting both.

The term “gut microbiome” refers specifically to the microorganisms living in your intestines. A person has about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract. WHOA! While some microorganisms are harmful to our health, many are incredibly beneficial and even necessary to a healthy body.   

Having a wide variety of these good bacteria in your gut can enhance your immune system function, improve symptoms of depression, help combat obesity, and provide numerous other benefits. 

Fun Fact: It is estimated that 90% of the body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract. Serotonin is one of our “feel good” hormones and helps balance our mood. With a healthy gut, serotonin production can be more effective and efficient.

Increase Your Gut Health By:

  • Increase probiotics
    • Consider a supplement if food sources are not frequent
  • Increase prebiotic sources of food 
  • Focus on all aspects of Well-Being

What are Probiotics?

-Foods or supplements rich in live bacteria

-Nourish and assist healthy bacteria, while eliminating any harmful bacteria

-Found naturally in Fermented Foods 

Fermented Foods

  • Yogurt, Kefir 
  • Kimchi, Sauerkraut
  • Kombucha
  • Aged Cheeses, Sourdough Bread
  • Tempeh, Soy Sauce, & Miso

Probiotic Supplements

Look For:

  • 6-10 Billion CFU (Colony Forming Units)
  • Multi-Strain Sources

*Always consult your doctor before starting a new supplement regimen

Prebiotic’s

-Known as the FUEL for probiotics as they nourish and provide energy to healthful bacteria

-Aid in regulation of electrolyte levels, improve intestinal lining, and encourage bowel movements

Prebiotic Food Sources

  • Onions, Garlic
  • Asparagus, Artichoke
  • Bananas, Dandelion Greens
  • Oat Bran, Oatmeal
  • Flax, Honey 

Other Considerations:

Be mindful of sugar intake & increase whole foods while decreasing processed foods  – High sugar and processed food diets can decrease the good bacteria in the gut, and “feed’ the bad bacteria.

Hydration – Staying hydrated helps improve digestion and promotes a healthy gut.

Sleep – When improving gut health, sleep is key! Poor sleep dulls activity in the brain’s frontal lobe, which controls decision-making and impulse control. For many, poor sleep is just asking for sugar cravings and poor food choices.

Hippocrates once said “All disease beings in the gut”. Start focusing on your gut health today! Reach out to Ashley at ashley@spectrumsp.com for any additional questions.

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