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Say the word 'bacteria' and we most often think of the nasty variety that we use cleaning products or antibiotics to kill. However, we now know more about the importance of some health-promoting bacteria found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. (500 different strains including the 'good and 'bad' variety).
The good bacteria can help break down food, aid absorption of nutrients, promote immunity, and even affect our mood and a correct balance of these good and bad bacteria is key. In fact, 80 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive system, so if its full of unhealthy bacteria, there is a good chance your immune system will be suppressed as a result.
Eating a diet rich in sugar and processed fast foods actually nourishes the bad pathogenic bacteria in your gut.See this excellent experiment (www.medicaldaily.com/10-day-mcdonalds-diet-leads-devastation-mans-gut-bacteria-333036)
Sugar cravings, headaches, nausea, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea can all be signs of an overabundance of the bad bacteria variety taking residence inside you. How can you help to change this? The two words to remember are Probiotics and Prebiotics.
So where can I find Probiotics?
- Foods like un-pasturised yogurt, kefir, miso soup, sauerkraut, raw cacao (you can buy this in powder form and sprinkle on yogurt etc), raw cloudy apple cider vinegar and sourdough bread.
Supplement form such as powders and tablets.
You can help feed the healthy variety of bacteria with foods containing Prebiotics. Food sources include garlic, onions, cabbage, leeks, and asparagus.