How to keep your gut bacteria in good form


From obesity to inflammatory conditions, health conditions are skyrocketing, and it's all to do with the state of the gut microbiome.

The gut microbiome is all the bacteria living in the intestines that affect your health - when all is well, the bacteria protect the immune system, nourish the body with nutrients and aid digestion.

When the harmony is disrupted, aspects such as your mood and inflammatory processes are influenced. To make sure this is avoided, health expert Dr. Raphael Kellman has listed some things which affect the microbiome to Mind Body Green.

Pre-prepared food

Healthy, fresh food being good for you is no secret, but there's still so many people constantly tucking into ready meals that are full of fat, sugar, preservatives, chemicals and empty calories. These are all linked to destroying the bacteria, as they work best on nutrients and prebiotics - typically non-digestible fibre compounds that boost the growth and advantages of the microbiome.

You can get supplements to take, or you could simply fill up on seeds, nuts, fruits and fresh vegetables/leafs along with pure, clean water to keep things in good form.

Overusing medication

Yes, the advancements in the world of medicine have proved extremely beneficial by saving lives and improving the quality of others, but it can be taken a step too far. Over-prescribing and over-using has become all too regular, and these have detrimental effects on the microbiome.

Dr. Kellman uses an example of an 18 year old having consumed around 10 to 20 courses of antibiotics to date, with many more on the way. It was recently found that a single course of antibiotics can have a negative impact of the microbiome for up to a year and when the healthy bacteria die, they're replaced by ones contributing to inflammation and disease. This is also the case with painkillers known as NSAIDs and heartburn medicine called proton pump inhibitors.

This may sound like a trickier issue to curve, but again it comes down to diet and lifestyle. Herbal remedies could help - just discuss thoroughly with your doctor to get the best advice and aid.

Planned C-sections

Of course a natural birth isn't always possible, but scheduling a C-section at a convenient time may impact your child's health problems later in life. In the womb, a baby is exposed to its mother's bacteria, but it's when the tot passes through the vaginal birth canal that more beneficial bacteria enter the newborn. It's been found that when this process is taken away, kids are more at risk of celiac disease, Type 1 diabetes and even asthma.

Research also notes that even a small labour before an emergency C-section allows this good bacteria to get into the newborn, whereas a C-section cuts it out entirely.

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