What are the good bacteria?
Pre and probiotic
Do you easily become bloated after eating? What about gassy? Having problems with constipation or diarrhea? Bad breath? Do you feel that your stomach is always full? Constantly craving for carbohydrates? Do you have skin problems like acne and rosacea? Do you have candida? Leaky gut? IBS? Standing colds? Weight problem? Additionally, problems with your mental health?
Have you used a lot of antibiotics or drink water full of chlorine? It is enough that you have taken one antibiotic regimen to get an imbalance in your intestinal flora! Because antibiotics kill both the good and the bad bacteria.
Do you have any of those symptoms? If so, you may have an imbalance in your intestinal flora. An imbalance of the good and the bad bacteria that live in your gut. which unfortunately is very common in today's society. This imbalance should be remedied to prevent bigger problems. 80% of your immune system resides in your digestive system and there are more than a billion bacteria in a small drop of fluid in the gut! These bacteria are very important for our health. So having a healthy stomach means less disease and a healthier life.
Digestion is a complex process that can easily become imbalanced: from not chewing your food enough, food lacking enzymes (cookedor processed food), your stomach acid, or an imbalance of microbes that help digest food and absorb food nutrients. Additionally, if you are too clean! More on that later.
It is important that you provide your stomach with nutrients for a good digestion. Do you eat a lot of foods that are heavily processed and cooked, genetically modified (GM), and sugar-rich foods, you probably have an imbalance, and your stomach is likely inflamed, possibly leaking (leaky gut). If you continue to eat this way, you put your self at risk of both chronic and acute health problems.
So what can we do to help today's stomachs?
The easiest thing to do is to add good bacteria, both pre and probiotics. I will explain briefly what they are.
Probiotics (good bacteria) are lactic living microorganisms that are beneficial to intestinal flora and the immune system. The good bacteria thrive on the nutrients in the intestine, where they settle on the mucous membranes of the gut and make it difficult for pathogens (harmful bacteria) to gain access to vital nutrients. Healthy, good bacteria produces byproducts that make the stomach lining strong. Without these good bacteria, the mucous membrane becomes brittle and can easily lead to inflammation. If you have a lot of harmful bacteria, your mucosa can leak and allow pathogenic bacteria, toxins and undigested food to pass directly into the bloodstream (leaky gut) and negatively affect normal body function in many ways.
Probiotics contain several different strains of bacteria and have different advantages. The most common strains are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium found in the intestinal flora. Probiotics are also found in kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles.
Prebiotics are non-digestible oligosaccharides (a certain carbohydrate) which feed the good bacteria and stimulate their growth, which leads to positive changes in the activity of the intestinal flora. Therefore it is important to consume foods that contain both pre and probiotics! Prebiotics are in raw foods, such as green bananas, leeks, green cabbage, garlic, kale, oats and also legumes.
Do we really need good bacteria?
During the past century, our lifestyle has changed drastically when it comes to our health, standard of living, diet and medication. Today, most individuals diet consists mainly of industrial produced food, using preservatives, using freezers for food instead of fermenting the food like we did in the past. Furthermore, using antibiotics and drinking water containing chlorine. Our drastic lifestyle benefits the bad bacteria (pathogens) that can make us sick. Taking pre and probiotic may replace harmful bacteria, the bacteria that the modern, lazy dietary processed food consumption feeds.
Who discovered the good bacteria?
Deficiencies in the modern diet and their negative effects on the digestive system has become a daily problem. The discoverer of probiotics was Élie Metchnikoff (1845-1916). Elie M. researched the bacterial flora that lives in the intestine. Elie found that flora can be the cause of many diseases and digestive problems. He showed that the spoilage of bacteria in the intestine had the ability to produce substances that were previously linked to the development of digestive problems, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1908.
What does the research say?
Autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are common in more developed countries and rare in less developed countries. The cleanliness explains this uneven distribution. In affluent societies where children's exposure to a variety of enteric bacteria are less actually increase the susceptibility to disease by immune system is worse. We use antibiotics and hand sanitizer too often, which creates an imbalance in the intestinal flora.
Research shows that children who eat a typical Western diet rich in sugar, fat and meat had a lower bacterial diversity and more allergies, inflammation and obesity. What we eat plays a big role in the elaboration of autoimmune diseases due to the bacteria present in our stomach. Studies show that children who eat a raw, high-fiber plant based diet, had more different species of good bacteria in their stomach.
But is bacteria bad for us?
Today society consideres bacteria in general as something harmful, something that causes disease. Therefore, the general beliefis, healthy living occures when a very sterile environment is kept. Where all bacteria is eliminated. I see people constantly clean their hands with alcohol. It is really not necessary and does more harm than good. This means that the intake of lactic acid producing bacteria also has been greatly reduced. Today we are cleaner than ever but have more problems with the digestive system and other diseases. We need the continuous exposure to bacteria for a stronger immune system. Allow your children and yourselves to become dirty. The best thing for a child is to have a pet, like a dog. Their dirtiness gives the family a stronger immune system.
How can we go back to the healthy bacterial flora?
Eat better, adopt a cleaner diet that helps the digestive system. This can go a long way toward repairing the damage delt to the stomach. Introduce foods into your diet that contain these good bacteria. Unfortunately, our Western diet contains antibiotics and other additives, especially in animal products. 80% of antibiotics sold in the United States goes to the animals that are bred for consumption! So we have to go back to consuming unpackaged food and eat food that do not contain a large ingredients list. Below is a list of what you can do to get your stomach back in balance.
- Eat prebiotics that stimulates the growth of probiotics (especially eating raw)
Oatmeal, garlic, kale, leeks, onions, green banana, asparagus
- Eat traditional fermented-fermented foods
The best thing you can do for your stomach is to eat food that contain these good bacteria, daily. Tradional fermented raw materials contain these milk acid producing bacteria. But it's not enough to take a supplement of probiotics and then continue to eat “normally”. If you are aware that you are having problems with the good bacteria in your gut, then it is time to adopt a healthy diet and add these good bacteria to prevent other diseases. Avoid processed foods and add more organic natural food. Natural food has no ingredients list.
Fermented foods: Kefir, Pickles, saurkraut and kimchi, tempeh and natto (fermented soybeans)
- Taking probiotic supplements (there are many different varieties, make sure it contains:
Super-strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1,
Remains stable at room temperature for at least 18 months,
Free from dairy product and free of gluten, wheat, soy, corn and lactose
The capsules are made of vegetables
· For a healthier stomach, avoid:
1. Do not over eat, especially bad food (refined proccessed sugar, high fat, processed carbohydrates such as cakes, biscuits, pasta, bread)
2. If you are not vegan, reduce the consumption of animal products. Just a few days of a diet high in animal products, altered the good balance of bacteria in the stomach, and inflammation increases. Also, many animanl products contains antibiotics! Reduce animal products to only 1 to 2 times a week.
3. Some medications like birth controls pills, steroids, chemotherapy can cause imbalance.
4. Avoid Alcohol
In later articles, I will be posting recipes and explain how to make your own saurkraut and kefir. Very good!
Take care and let me know if you have any questions!