I take gut flora seriously because my mother died of stomach cancer. As we already know, cancer is partially hereditary. So obviously, I have to be aware of what goes inside my stomach.
Now for the disclaimer – I’m not a doctor. However, I know what I’m talking about because I paid a professional to make me a custom diet. This guy has a Masters in Nutrition and is a Certified Trainer (weightlifting), so he also doubled as one of my two weightlifting coaches. (Yes, I take self-improvement seriously).
That’s the thing about me – if I don’t know something important, I’ll pay someone with more knowledge on that topic to coach me. Since health is important to me, I hired two trainers and a dietician.
Why eat foods in increase your gut flora?
Education should always explain why. Knowing something without knowing why is lame. So you know that WWII ended shortly after the USA bombed Nagasaki. But do you know why the countries fought in the first place? I strongly believe that the latter is more important than the former. Same with health.
Good gut flora improves your immune system. It helps you digest certain vitamins and minerals. It improves your metabolism.
Also, it decreases your chances of being obese. And it even decreases your chances of getting certain inflammatory diseases. It more than likely reduces your chances of stomach and intestinal cancers.
Well there you go. I think I gave you enough facts on why you should be concerned.
Which foods increase your gut flora?
You can either take probiotic supplements or consume foods that actually have friendly bacteria in them. We chose the latter, because my wife and I happen to like yogurt. Cottage cheese also contains friendly bacteria.
Keep in mind, there’s a lot of garbage out there. Make sure you’re buying the real deal. Don’t ever buy low fat anything. They always replace the fat with either chemicals or sugar. Read the ingredients carefully before choosing which ones to buy.
Sauerkraut and Kim Chee
I love these both. Both help stimulate the good bacteria within your digestive system. Although to be honest, I prefer Kim Chee. We eat this stuff several times a week.
Vegetables that help increase gut flora
Certain vegetables also help increase the good digestive bacteria. Specifically, onions, garlic, most leafy greens, and asparagus. You should be eating that stuff anyways though as those are all highly nutritious foods.
Apple cider vinegar
My dietician had me add real, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar to my diet. This stuff is great! It helps salads taste better and also helps your gut flora.
He specifically recommended Braggs’. So that’s what we buy.
Now, keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list. If you know this stuff well, you might be thinking “you forgot to mention…”
Yes, I’m aware. I’m just recommending what my dietician recommended because you have to understand, we’re in California and you have to buy what’s easily available. I’m not going to go on a long drive to search for exotic ingredients just to look cool.
And now, the bad guys
Stress will kill you. Literally.
I’m quite confident that researchers will find a strong link between stress and everything from cancer to obesity. Do whatever you can to reduce your stress. There are many ways to reduce stress. Pick your favorite and stick with it.
Also, either reduce your processed sugar intake or cut it out completely. We already know that sugar leads to obesity. But did you know it’s bad for your gut flora too? Well, if you didn’t know before, now you do.
Antibiotics of course kill friendly bacteria as well as unfriendly bacteria. A good doctor will warn you about that. A lot of them don’t.
I only take them when I absolutely have to, which was so far three times in my life. Keep that in mind – antibiotics kill everything inside you, including the good guys.
Chlorinated tap water kills friendly bacteria as well as unfriendly bacteria. Chlorine kills everything. Anyone remember World War I when they used it on troops?
Good filters will filter out the chlorine.
Well, I hope you find this information useful. If you have a favorite that I didn’t list, let me know in the comments section. Also, if you want to talk about the bad guys, feel free to comment.
And even if you have questions. I’ll either answer them directly or get back to you after I ask my dietician. I’m planning on living to 100.