You may not be aware of it but bacteria are infesting your body and they mostly reside in your gut. Now before you over think or start panicking it is actually quite normal for you to have them.
Gut bacteria and flora have a surprising role in our digestive system. They help us digest food that we normally cannot absorb or breakdown. There may be more than 500 different species of bacteria in your gut and they have different functions and habits.
If experts are right, there might be 10 times more number of bacteria than the actual cells in the human body and this diversity is what powers a healthy gut.
Relatively, your gut bacteria are not harmful to the body, but if you are experiencing otherwise then your gut bacteria might be having an imbalance. In this case, you might experience these 5 signs that they are out of balance:
Digestive Problems – If you are experiencing disruption in your bowel movement either if you feel constipated or suffering from loose bowel movement, they could signs of an unbalanced gut.
If you feel bloated, gassy or experience heartburn it might be explained by an unhealthy gut.
Mental Issues – Other symptoms that you might be experiencing that may be caused by an unbalanced gut are depression, anxiety and brain fog.
Experts have observed that gut bacteria can produce neurotransmitters and these can send a variety of signals to the brain that can cause mental deficiencies.
Vitamin Deficiency – If your body is not getting enough of Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12 and B7, then your gut bacteria might be struggling. Bacteria play an important role in helping the body synthesize these vitamins and minerals.
If they are unbalanced then your body will have a harder time to get enough of the vitamins.
Antibiotic Abuse – A practice can cause a lot of problems with your gut bacteria is called antibiotic abuse.
Antibiotics are indiscriminate with their role when you ingest them, so they kill both the bad bacteria and the beneficial ones as well. So you have to be careful when using very strong antibiotics.
Unmanaged Stress – Stress is always present in your life. But if left unmanaged, it can cause some serious effects on your body. And one of these effects is in your digestion.
Stress creates an imbalance in the body that can change the pH levels in your gut make it harder for the bacteria to survive. And an unhealthy gut will further feed your stress and continue to wear you down.
This is why it is very important to always keep your gut balanced. And new research shows that the best way to do this is eating right. What we eat is what ultimately what our bacteria will consume as well.
According to the study by the Human Food Project a seasonal diet, similar to the few remaining hunter-gatherer groups remaining today can vastly improve the balance of our gut bacteria. They did this by studying the Hadza tribe. It seems that people of the tribe experience changes in diversity by season.
The highest being on the dry season this is when the Hadza eat a lot of meat, it was observed to be at least 30% more than the rest of the people western civilization.
The second is during the wet season when they change their diet to foraged berries and honey. They also observed that there were no cases of colon cancer within the tribe as well; pointing to a connection between having a more diverse group of bacteria can make you healthy.
Commonly there are hundreds of different types of gut bacteria. But not all of them have a beneficial effect on our guts.
Most of them are just neutral so to give you an idea of their types and benefits here is a short list of some of the beneficial bacteria in your gut:
Lactobacillus – Lactobacillus is a type of bacteria that helps in preventing diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammation of the colon, constipation and too much bacterial growth in the intestines.
Streptococcus Thermophilus – A probiotic that is used as a starter culture for manufacturing yogurt, mozzarella cheese and other fermented dairy products.
S. thermophilus gives relief to abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.
Bacillus Coagulans – Another probiotic found in the gut that helps treat diarrheal symptoms associated with an antibiotic regimen, travelers and children’s diarrhea, inflammatory disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Bifidobacterium Breve – In a study published on February 2011 on the issue of Nutrition Journal, it was found this type of bacteria helped combat childhood constipation.
There are a still a lot of types of bacteria that can found in your gut. And researchers are still finding out the benefits of these bacteria types. Most of them are still undocumented or hard to observe.
But the colon needs an ideal environment in order for the many types of bacteria to thrive. The ideal pH of a normal colon needs to be between pH 6.7 to 6.9 a change of these for example to a neutral 7 can inhibit the growth of the bacteria.
It is also a good idea to try and adopt a more diet that has a more seasonal approach. Fresh produce like fruits and vegetables is also a welcome change that your gut bacteria can appreciate. Like the Hazda, seasons should also dictate the way you eat.
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