Did you know in a healthy individual, the number of bacteria and yeast in their body, outnumber the human cells in their body 10:1? Out of all of the genetic material in your body, only 10% is yours. What happens when these bacteria and yeast are out of balance?
It can wreak havoc on your health–including your digestive health, immune system, mental and emotional health just to name a few! 80% of your immune system relies on the presence of these healthy bacteria and yeast. Did you know that more serotonin is produced in your gut than in your brain? As we age, there is a natural tendency for these microbial populations to decrease, accelerating the aging process along with weakening the immune system making one more susceptible to cancer and infections.
Probiotics and Fermented Foods
One of the best ways to help promote a healthy gut flora (bacteria and yeast) is to regularly include fermented foods into your diet. Some examples include:
- yogurt and kefir
- fermented vegetables (including cabbage/sauerkraut, carrots, cucumbers and celery)
- Kim chee
It is important to note that store bought varieties of these are typically pasteurized, which destroys the live cultures. It is best to prepare these at home to get the true benefits. You can click here to check out a recent short video clip with Dr. Kelly showing how quick and easy it is to make kefir.
Avoid These To Protect Your Little Critters
- antibacterial soap
- antibiotics (unless absolutely necessary)
- meat/dairy from animals supplemented with antibiotics
- GMO grains
- herbicides and pesticides
- chlorinated/fluoridated water
Benefits For Health Conditions
Recent research has shown many benefits related to consuming these fermented foods or the use of a high-quality probiotic for the following conditions:
- heartburn and reflux
- irritable bowel
- colon cancer
- rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders
- constipation and diarrhea
- vaginal infections
- food-borne illness and food sensitivities
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- sleep disorders, depression and ADHD
A healthy gut flora is also essential in the production of various vitamins and nutrients your body relies on for optimal function. They also act as a natural chelator, meaning they help remove toxic elements like heavy metals and environmental toxins from your body. What a great friend they are for you!
If you are unable to regularly include fermented foods in your diet, you definitely want to be on a regular, high-quality probiotic supplement.