Many people across the world suffer from gastrointestinal disorders. These disorders are caused by the forty trillion bacteria living in the intestines, all of which includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. In a digestive system, or gut, these bacteria would work in harmony with one another by promoting nutrients and other key vitamins and helping us digest food. There is a system of balance when both good and bad bacteria work together. However, if the bad bacteria manage to outnumber the good bacteria, the gut will suffer tremendously. But there is good news; improving your gut health can be as simple as changing your diet.
The type of bacteria found in our guts reflect what we consume. In other words, the age-old adage, "You are what you eat", is very much true here. This is shown through a condition called SIBO.
SIBO, or Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth, is disorder in which there are an unusually high amount of bacteria in your gut. And while this mainly consists of harmless bacteria, the more bacteria there is in your gut, the more likely that good bacteria will change into harmful bacteria. Symptoms of SIBO usually include weight loss and malabsorption, and has even been associated with irritable bowel syndrome. While it was thought to have occurred in relatively a small amount of people, it's now understood to be more common.
One of the ways you can treat SIBO is by changing your diet. A diet for SIBO typically includes eating foods low in carbohydrates and fiber. Rather, eat foods that will starve the bacteria, and Because of this, these carbohydrates often serves to feed the person, rather than the bacteria. This will cause the bacteria to starve, and eventually return to their former levels. Foods that are high on carbohydrates such also be avoided, meaning you may have to say no to the white bread at the supermarket, or even the jelly-filled donut at the office. Eating soluble fiber can also help treat SIBO by promoting the good bacteria, rather than the bad.
You can also drink plenty of water to treat SIBO. Not only does it help give you energy, but it can also flush out bacteria from your gut. By doing this, the bacteria count in your gut will go down. You can also use water to help flush out any harmful toxins in your body.
But even after you've gotten your gut health back to normal, you still have to make sure to promote the growth of the good bacteria. One way you can do this is by taking a probiotic. Probiotics fight the bad bacteria bacteria, by growing good bacteria. These probiotics could also be used to help with SIBO, and are available in supplement form. However, probiotics can also be found in foods such as yogurt and kefir. Kombucha is also a wonderful beverage that contains probiotics that treats the overgrowth of harmful bacteria that not only treat SIBO, but can also improve your gut health and overall well-being.
Sugars and processed foods should be completely eliminated from the diet. Refined carbohydrates high on the glycemic index should be avoided as well— this means you will need to rethink reaching for the white bread at the supermarket, and you will have to say no to that high GI jelly-filled donut at the office. Your diet should consist of these low GI foods (foods that are low on the glycemic index): fruits, vegetables, juices, legumes, whole grains, and plenty of fiber (can be a fiber supplement). High fiber foods include: lentils, chickpeas, raspberries, broccoli, kidney beans, cannellini beans, and artichoke. Fermented beverages, like Kombucha are also considered to be low GI. This is the healthy alternative to drinking a high-in-sugar soda.
All in all, you can improve your gut health by making these simple changes:
1. Introduce a probiotic
2. Eliminate sugars, processed foods, and high GI foods
3. Drink Kombucha
4. Increase fiber intake
5. Diversify your diet
6. Increase water intake
There is more to life than a simple steak and potatoes dinner, or even a ham and cheese lunch. You must be bold with your food choices, and use common sense when you're in the kitchen. If you find yourself rummaging through the refrigerator for a snack; take some fruits and blend it into the smoothie; grab an apple; eat some yogurt; even eating ice will help. Not only that, but it is also important to promote the good bacteria in your gut, rather than the bad, and to be sure that you maintain the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria through the use of probiotics. This will allow you to help improve your overall gastrointestinal system, as well as make sure that you're eating all the right things.
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