Why do we need to feed the good bacteria?
- With our highly processed, refined, sugar laden diets with lack of real variety in vegetables and fruits we are seeing microbiomes that are lacking a variety of good bacteria as well as an imbalance of the bad vs the good.
- Poor variety and poor nutrient dense diets lead to this microbiome imbalance that then can lead to many digestive and extra digestive issues or worsening of certain conditions for people such as:
- IBS or irritable bowel syndrome
- IBD – irritable bowel disease – ulcerative colitis, crohns.
- Celiac Disease
- Gut Dysbiosis or imbalance creating IBS like or other symptoms
- Anxiety & Depression – our good bacteria and bad speak to our brains via the gut brain connection of the vagus nerve and influence our mental health.
- Abdominal bloating, cramping and painBy adding in some foods to feed the good bacteria we can begin to tip the balance bring back into focus the scale of good v bad. Some people will need much more intervention but its good to start trying to add in some good fermentable pre and probiotics to your diet to increase the diversity.
- Remember food first before supplements below are some fantastic foods you can add in and get a diverse array of bacteria as well as food for the bacteria.
Also ensure you start slowly especially with any of the foods that are full of good bacteria as you may not be used to them so adding in just a tablespoon of kefir or sauerkraut and increasing the overall fibre of the diet can take time for your gut bacteria and intestines to get used to it. A normal reaction is producing more gas this will slow down if you slowly build up your tolerance it is the gut bacteria creating gas after digesting the food you have given them.
Food to Feed the Good:
- Yoghurt – without sugar can also be in the form of coconut yoghurt.
- Kefir or Kombucha – can try diary Kefir or Water Kefir. Dairy Kefir is like a fermented yoghurt so offers the same benefits as good old fashion yoghurt but offers a few different bacterial strains. Kombucha is a fizzy fermentable tea drink similar to Kefir.
- Sauerkraut – non-pasteurised (that would kill all those good bacteria) you can easily make your own at home from 2 ingredients salt and cabbage very easily. Here is a link to how to make your own sauerkraut – http://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/recipe/natural-fermentation/sauerkraut/
- Garlic, Onions, Leeks – raw or cooked they serve as prebiotic foods or foods that feed the good bacteria.
- Apples – they are full of pectin which is a type of fibre and this type of fibre specifically increases butyrate which is an amazing short chain fatty acid that feeds the good bacteria of your gut. Apples are also anti-inflammatory and full of beneficial antioxidants.
- Greens and fermentable fibre – increase you variety and quantity of greens (spinach, kale, collards, cabbage) ensure you get a good variety and when ones are in season try to eat them.