Bacteria get a bad rap. We wash our hands, scrub our floors, and wipe down counters to keep bad bacteria at bay. But the truth is, some bacteria are beneficial, particularly those that live in your gut.
Your gut is lined with trillions of microscopic organisms - including more than 1000 kinds of bacteria - whose job it is to break down foods so that your body can absorb nutrients efficiently. These little critters create their own ecosystem inside your intestine, called a microbiome.
Your gut microbiome doesn't just keep your digestive system in good working order, but also helps regulate your immune system and even your mood. If the beneficial microorganisms in your gut are happy and healthy, your whole-body benefits. By the same token, when your gut microbiome is out of whack, you can develop mild to severe health problems, like irritable bowel syndrome, yeast infections, and autoimmune disorders. Because the GI tract also connects to the brain through the gut-brain axis, prolonged damage to the microbiome can have an adverse effect on brain function, making it difficult to focus or possibly causing depression.
Repairing Your Microbiome Even if you eat a well-balanced diet, your gut microbiome can be weakened by things like stress, artificial sweeteners, and antibiotic medications. That's why it's important to keep your tummy in tip top shape by including probiotics in your diet.
The prefix "anti" means "against," and antibiotics are designed to kill the harmful bacteria that can cause infection or other illnesses. Conversely, the prefix "pro" means "for." Probiotics provide good bacteria for your gut, to improve your digestion, boost your immune system, and give you more mental clarity.
Many people choose to take probiotic supplements, whether in capsule form or by adding a probiotic powder to their morning smoothie. But the most effective way to populate your microbiome with beneficial bacteria is by consuming foods and beverages that are packed with naturally occurring probiotics. For example, plain Greek yogurt and kefir (a type of yogurt drink) both have live cultures that are good for gut health. Fermented foods, like homemade kimchi, fresh sauerkraut, and refrigerated pickles also contains hundreds of different probiotic strains.
Getting a Head Start You can supercharge the beneficial qualities of probiotics by also adding prebiotics to your diet. As the name suggests, prebiotics are special plant fibers that help prepare your gut, so the good microorganisms can flourish. Asparagus, bananas, chicory, garlic, onions, leeks, and Jerusalem artichokes all are rich in prebiotics. You can also choose to add a prebiotic supplement to your daily wellness regimen.
Another way to benefit your gut health is with Simply SatisfyTM full-spectrum hemp oil. This 100% organic, terpene-rich tincture is specially formulated to support digestion and have a positive impact on your mood, making it a great addition to your morning routine. Simply Satisfy also helps curb your appetite, so you'll have an easier time avoiding high-carb and high-sugar foods, which can hinder good microbes from colonizing in your gut.
When you take care of your tummy, your whole-body benefits. You'll be less bloated and have more energy, and your immune system will be stronger. If you're not getting enough probiotics in your diet already, consider making some simple changes to improve your overall health.