HEALTHY GUT TIPS
Few words healthy gut tips
Tip #1 What to look for when choosing a probiotic supplement:
- Choose a reputable brand
- Select products specifying probiotics by genus, species and strain, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS- Look for strains that occur naturally in human gut microbiota, and that have been clinically tested
- CFU (Colony Forming Units). The number of live microorganisms in each serving or dose through the expiration date should be mentioned
- Recommended dosage should be indicated
- Choose age/condition-appropriate products
- Ignore meaningless claims about health benefits. If they sound too good to be true, choose another brand
- Proper storage conditions. Some probiotic products should be refrigerated and others stored at room temperature
- Corporate contact information should be provided
- the expiration date and the batch number should be mentioned on product packaging
- select products with fewer or no additives
Tip #2 Probiotics during and after antibiotics:
- Follow the recommendations of your health care professional
- Follow manufacturers’ recommendations for dosage and frequency if taking probiotic supplements
- Generally, take probiotic food/supplements 1-3 hours after taking antibiotics, and continue for at least 2-4 weeks after the antibiotic course
- It is important to consume prebiotic food as it stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria
- Consume nourishing foods that will boost your immune system and help to balance your gut microbes
Patients taking antibiotics may suffer from digestive upset and are at risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, thrush, and Clostridium difficile infection.
Tip #3 How to increase the microbial gut diversity:
Why should you increase the microbial gut diversity? Microorganisms residing in our gut contribute to our wellbeing and to the way our body functions. Researchers study extensively their role in health and in disease. The westernized lifestyle and diet reduce our microbial diversity, consequently contributing to many inflammatory non-communicable diseases. There is still a lot to be learnt but we currently know that the microbial gut diversity increases resilience, stimulates our immune system and strengthens the ability to fight off specific diseases.
The more microbial diversity the better our health foundation!
- Go for a healthy, balanced and diverse diet, for example add to your cuisine washed raw vegetables and fruits, fermented vegetables, fermented dairy products, and foods rich in soluble fiber. Raw foods and fermented foods harbor environmental microbes, whereas fiber rich foods promote growth of beneficial bacteria
- Avoid or reduce consumption of sugars (sugars serve as food for “bad” bacteria and stimulate the growth of yeast such as Candida albicans)
- Breastfeed your infant if possible, components of breast milk nourish not only the infant but also friendly bacteria present in mother milk and in the infant’s gut. Microbes present in breast milk and in the gut contribute to the development of the infant’s immune system
- Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and other medications (hormones) as their use have a negative effect on your microbial diversity
- Avoid unnecessary medical interventions, such as plastic surgeries or C-sections out of convenience. If a C-section is medically necessary, consider swabbing the newborn with mother’s vaginal microorganisms
- Reduce the use of hand sanitizers and wash your hands with water and soap
- Get dirty, have contact with nature, farm animals and pets (contact with animals is microbiologically beneficial especially at the young age)
- Consider taking probiotic supplements (see tips #1 on how to select a probiotic supplement)
- Go back to the basics and think of foods, environments and activities our grandparents were brought up with! Simple, unprocessed foods and contact with nature!