Digestive Health Bacteria
Many people think of disease and bacteria as synonymous terms. but when speaking of the intestinal tract inside your digestive system, this is not the case. There are two types of bacteria which constantly reside in your gut; the good and the bad.
Yes, the bad bacteria can be harmful and dangerous but in a healthy and well-balanced system it is kept at bay by the over-powering good bacteria. This type of bacteria, also called friendly, beneficial, intestinal flora, or even probiotic bacteria is the key to getting and maintaining good digestive health.
How did we get this bacteria in the first place?
The only time a human is completely clean and sterile is when it’s a fetus. From the moment we travel through the birth canal we start gathering bacteria from our mother. Then we get even more from breast milk and even the air we breath.
An adult has around 100 trillion bacteria which include an estimated 400 to 500 different types. They are identified with such names as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, Bacteroids etc. You may recognize one or two of them such as Lactobacillus from the kind we find in yogurt.
Enemies of beneficial bacteria
There are foods we will talk about that help increase the good gut bacteria but there is also a list of things that cause their destruction:
- Antacid medications
- Birth control pills
- Mental stress
- Unhealthy fats
- Processed foods
- Chlorinated water
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen etc)
Our beneficial bacteria protects us from disease-causing microorganisms such as salmonella and parasites from colonizing on our intestinal walls, specifically in the large intestine which is also called the colon.
When dangerous bacteria is allowed to, it colonizes on the colon wall forming tissue cells. These cells can later become polyps which are the precursor for colon cancer.
Prebiotics increase benficial bacteria
The foods that are important for us to eat are called prebiotics. These are typically the ones that supply us with dietary fibers. Unrefined grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. These contain a dietary fiber known as soluble fiber which is non-digestable. It goes through the entire digestive tract without getting digested and when it enters the colon starts to ferment.
The fermentation process of this soluble fiber is what creates the nutrients that the good probiotic bacteria feeds on to grow. While at the same time, scientists believe that prebiotics also inhibit the growth and cell formation of the dangerous bacteria, therefor helping to prevent colon cancer.
Learn about an all-natural prebiotic digestive supplement made for increasing your probiotic bacteria