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health expert Dr John

How probiotics can boost your digestive health

We are surrounded by bacteria – good and bad. Let’s find out how the good bacteria boost our health and quality of life.

Contrary to popular belief bacteria are not always the bad guys that cause disease and infection, they also support our health in many ways. Bacteria are all around us.  While some cause health problems, there are many others without which we couldn’t survive. Our gastrointestinal tract for example, carries around 500 different types of bacteria that not only help in digestion of food but also strengthen our immune system.

Our body is a constant battleground for good and bad bacteria. While the malignant strains cause health problems, the benign strains keep bad bacteria in check. A disease or infection is a result of bad bacteria overwhelming the good. The health problems created by this disproportionate growth may be as simple as diarrhea or as intricate as a systemic infection.

Eliminating pathogenic bacteria from our environment is neither possible nor advisable because a healthy human body needs a balance of good and bad bacteria, both externally as well as internally.

Colon: A haven for bacterial growth

The human bowel is a nutrient-rich environment with little oxygen. Additionally it’s warm and moist. All these attributes make our bowel a haven for bacterial growth. The problem is our poor eating habits encourage the growth of too much bad bacteria because we hardly eat any fiber and rely too much on sugar, salt and processed food. Not eating enough fruits, vegetables and essential fatty acids only makes the situation worse.

Such an environment in our colon leads to the growth of bad bacteria which release too many toxins into our system, which weakens our immunity and good health.

Maintaining Bacterial Balance is easy

Homemade fermented foods like sauerkraut and yoghurt are the ultimate source of good bacteria. So, it makes a lot of sense to include a small amount of naturally fermented food in our daily diet. But that isn’t always easy, which is why a good probiotic supplement can come in handy.

In addition to our eating habits, factors like stress, contaminated food, medicines and environmental pollution also affect the bacterial flora in our intestinal tract. So, to be on the safe side it makes sense to take probiotic supplements every day, whether you manage to fit in yoghurt and sauerkraut or not.

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