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Fix Your Gut Bacteria, Fix Your Health

Fix Your Gut Bacteria, Fix Your Health

I have been going on for some time now about the link between good gut health and good overall health. My thing is look after the big things and the little things will look after themselves, in this case the big thing being gut bacteria.

When it comes to gut health my understanding of its importance began fairly simply with a news website article that discussed the latest scientific findings about the link between the gut and the immune system. So fibre was in.

A little bit further down the track I came to the realisation that probiotics were essential, so I began taking a probiotic supplement. However at this stage I knew little about how important your gut bacteria are to your overall health.

As it turns out, good gut bacteria is essential to good health and even affects things like stamina. A study showed that  elite level rugby players have a greater gut bacteria diversity than the average person.

Another study in mice found that when they swapped the gut bacteria between a slim, fit mouse and an obese mouse, the fit mouse got fat and the fat mouse got fit. Now I know that studies on mice don’t always translate to humans, but currently in this case, that is where the thinking is at. That good gut bacteria is responsible many areas of good health.

When I began to use probiotics, I knew very little about them. I just grabbed a supplement and that was that. Acidophilus this or that. Didn’t really know what to look for.

As time has gone by, I have started to understand a little bit more. I want to discuss two probiotics that you might want to look out for Lactobacillus Plantarum and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus.

Firstly Lactobacillus Plantarum. A study done on mice (once again) found that when the mice were fed Lactobacillus Plantarum, they increased their muscle mass and their stamina.

Since I found out this, I have found a probiotic supplement with Lactobacillus Plantarum as one of the cultures it contains. However, some people are claiming that probiotic supplements are not worth the money you pay for them, so where else can you get this inportant probiotic in food? Well there are two good sources that I would be prepared to eat – sauerkraut and kimchee. Kimchee is a Korean dish that I now get a plate of every time I go out for Korean.

Now I know what some people are thinking, because I was of the same mindset. Sauerkraut? Yuck! Yes it does take some time to get used to the tasted of fermented foods if it isn’t something you have grown up with. I personally have spent all my life feeding the bad bacteria in my gut with far too much sugar. Of course my body is going to rebel against bitter tasting foods. However I can tell you, soon enough your body loves the stuff and loves the taste of the stuff.

Next up is Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. This is a bacteria found in Bulgarian yoghurt. The thing about Bulgarians (and people throughout the world who have a diet high in ferrmented foods) is that they have historically had one of the highest level of centenarians in the world. Another thing about this is that the comsumption of yoghurt in Bulgaria has been falling and so has the number centenarians they have.

Since discovering Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, I have been having Bulgarian yoghurt every day. It’s been fairly easy  to do. A bowl of muesli every morning topped with Yoghurt and honey. The oats in the muesli are what’s known as fermentable fibres or prebiotics. Prebiotics are foods that feed the good bacteria. By the way, if you can’t find Bulgarian yoghurt, don’t worry. At the supermarket I go to, the Greek yoghurt has Lactobacillus Bulgaricus in it. Just check the pack.

I’m not naive enough to ever think that there is one superfood that will solve all of my ills (fortunately I don’t suffer from too many). However from the reading I have done, the inclusion of fermented foods, probiotic supplements and fermentable fibres into your diet will improve your gut health and overall health immensely.

Image Source:  Schw√§bin (Wikimedia) / , via Wikimedia Commons

About The Author

Shaun

A guy obsessed with stripping down whatever field he studies to get the optimum return from effort expended. Sort of like Tim Ferriss, except with zero fame.

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