We have billions of organisms in our bodies whose only job is to keep us healthy. Also called gut flora, this microbiome in our bodies is what keeps our immune system strong. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things we do to ourselves that kill off a lot of these bacteria, and that lower our immune system’s response to threats. When we don’t take care of our gut microbiome, it can’t take care of us, in other words.
We need to have a good way to rebuild our gut flora so we can stay healthy and thrive. Otherwise, we risk getting sick too often and this impacts our ability to stay productive, maintain relationships, and have a good quality of life. In this article, we will go over several ways that we can rebuild our gut flora and take back control of our immune system.
1 – Consume lots of probiotics
Probiotics are essentially like colonizers that we consume that will help bacteria find a new home in our guts. When we have been sick or stressed and reduced the number of beneficial bacteria in our systems then replacing them with a new colony is the way to go.
There are a lot of ways to get those probiotics into our system. There are plenty of foods that contain beneficial bacteria as well as supplements. A supplement that is getting a lot of press these days is Floraspring. Is Floraspring probiotics worth the hype? Probably, but you shouldn’t rely solely on one type of probiotic plan.
In addition to supplements, you should make sure that you are consuming lots of different types of foods that contain these bacteria. Fermented foods are the answer. If you love sauerkraut then you are in luck because it contains a lot of living bacteria that will find a new home in your gut.
Other things like kimchi, fermented pickles, and fermented milk products work great. Examples of milk products to try are yogurt, kefir, and other cultured products. Just make sure to read the label so you know it contains plenty of probiotic bacteria.
2 – Avoid antibiotics when possible
Antibiotics are great when it comes to treating bacterial infections and saving lives. But, if we use them too much or misuse them, they can cause some serious problems, especially for our microbiome.
When we take antibiotics, they not only kill the bad bacteria causing the infection, but also the good bacteria that make up our microbiome. This can lead to an imbalance in our microbiome, which is known as dysbiosis. This can cause a bunch of issues like an increased risk of infections, allergies, and even chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes.
It’s also important to be mindful of the antibiotics found in our food supply. Many industrial farms use antibiotics to promote growth in animals and prevent disease, which can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. By choosing to consume organic, antibiotic-free meats and dairy products, we can reduce our exposure to antibiotics and support the health of our microbiome.
3 – Avoid processed foods
Processed foods often contain preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals that can disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome. There are so many other disadvantages to eating processed foods that it makes sense to avoid eating them at all costs.
It seems like everything is processed these days and this makes it a daunting task to try to avoid eating them. With some effort, you can eat less processed foods and incorporate more whole foods into your diet to rebuild your gut flora.
Changing your shopping habits is the first step including how you navigate the grocery store. The perimeter of the store usually contains fresh produce, meats, and dairy products. These foods are typically less processed than the foods found in the middle aisles.
Pre-packaged meals and snacks often contain added sugars, sodium, and artificial ingredients. It may seem hard to avoid pre-packaged meals and snacks. By planning out meals and doing weekly meal and snack prep you can make sure to not always default to eating packed foods when you are busy.
Focusing on keeping the microbiome strong by eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and avoiding processed foods, antibiotics, and other factors that can disrupt the gut microbiome can help to promote a healthy gut and improve overall health. If we can change some habits then we can make sure that we are allowing our bodies to do what they need to stay healthy.