In the world of nutrition, it’s often said that our bodies are merely the hosts for billions of bacteria, the majority of which live in our gut.
Don’t freak out, though. Don’t start popping penicillin because you think you have a problem.
These bacteria guys are here because they have a job to do.
I’d like to list a what the bacteria do while they’re present in your gut, but it boils down to this: they help you to process what you eat. I liken it to a city, there are citizens that have been there forever; they’re part of the culture, going about, doing their business. But then there’s the bad element. These guys do harm, break down their surroundings, and cause a degeneration in the system. Normally, the bad element is the minority.
If you’ve suffering from a lot of inflammation, or gut-related issues, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Taking antibiotics isn’t the same as sending in the troops who know their enemy target; their effects are more like throwing a canister of gas into a room and knowing it’ll wipe out everyone who smells it. Antibiotics can’t distinguish between good bacteria and bad bacteria. After a dose of antibiotics, your gut is left without the friendly citizens who are helping you to stay stronger.
So, before a dose of antibiotics, before that imbalance occurs, I recommend introducing some PRO-biotics into your system. You can think of them as strong, healthy tourists that revitalize and strengthen your community’s good systems, and then move on.
You can supply your system with probiotics through either a pill-form supplement or from eating probiotic-rich foods where good bacteria occur naturally. These are fermented, or pickled foods like yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchee, and raw milk. If you’re considering a probiotic pill, look for the words “active, live cultures.” If you think about it, you’re introducing a stronger culture into your gut’s community. They’re bringing the party with them. 🙂
Look for similar words on yogurt packages and avoid yogurts with tons of sugar in them, because the bad bacteria will feed off of the sugar, and only make matters worse.
I honestly can’t think of many store-bought pickled or canned foods that have not been boiled to death due to industry standards, thus killing off the good bacteria, so my recommendation is this: Make your own.
Here are a few recipes to get you started. Btw, Nourished Kitchen is an excellent source of reference for those who want to balance their health through good nutrition.
And as always, check out the podcasts of Underground Wellness for more information.