I’ve got gut bugs! This may not sound desirable but it’s something that everyone should be able to enthusiastically shout from the rooftops. A balanced and healthy digestive tract plays host to thousands of bacteria types. These bacteria form a community known as microbiota and work together to break down food, absorb nutrients, support the immune system, and develop neurotransmitters. However, these beneficial bacteria are not exempt from invaders. An individual’s lifestyle, environment, and diet can all negatively impact the success of these microorganisms. The good news is that lifestyle, environment and diet can also help the bacteria thrive. Reducing stress, eliminating toxins, exercising and eating a balanced diet will give good bacteria the necessary support to flourish and function.
Let’s start by talking about probiotics. What’s the hype? You might be wondering if you need to supplement your diet with probiotics. Probiotics are worth the hype, however, not everyone needs to supplement. The best source of probiotics is found in food. We know it is better for the body to absorb nutrients from food rather than supplements. This holds true for probiotics too. If you have had an infection, have been taking antibiotics or have experience with a chronic disease, consuming supplements may be beneficial. The safest and most valuable choice is integrating probiotic rich foods into your diet on a daily basis. A few probiotic staples include sauerkraut, pickles, fermented beets and carrots, kimchi, chutney, pickled jackfruit, kefir, yogurt, sour cream, water kefir, coconut milk kefir, homemade salsa, pickled ginger, relish, natto, miso, tempeh and tamari sauce. Pick one probiotic rich food to eat each day. Your body will thank you and you can proudly exclaim that you’ve got gut bugs.