Are Your Daily Habits Destroying Your Gut Health?

March 22nd, 2015, in Living ToxicFree®, Health Risks, Experts

When my family is getting a nice dose of healthy probiotics on a daily basis, we find that we are much healthier and fight off illnesses faster. In fact, when one of us does get sick, we often realize it was during a time when we were eating a diet higher in sugar and processed foods low in probiotics.  One of the first steps to build a healthy immune system is to help make sure your gut is healthy!

My guest blogger today, Dr. Tanya, shares the scoop on friendly bacteria. If you are ready to strengthen your gut health and start taking steps to Make Your Immune System a Powerhouse, read on!

You'll learn what probiotics are, how to make sure you are getting enough of them and what to do to avoid destroying your friendly bacteria!

Dr. Tanya Hudson currently leads the Research & Development team at OneBode. Dr. Hudson has worked in nutritional health and education with elite athletes, traveling to consult with NBA teams. Her passion is helping individuals and families develop “true health standards and skills” that will last a lifetime.

Probiotics for Immune Health — More Than a Gut Feeling

Not all bacteria are harmful to your health. In fact, research has shown that some bacteria helps support your immune system, as well as your digestive system. These groups of good bacteria are referred to as “friendly bacteria” or Probiotics. Probiotics means “for life”—these friendly bacteria live in and on your body.

In our bodies, bacteria outnumber our cells by more than 10 to 1! The vast majority of the bacteria in our bodies are found in our intestines.

Probiotics = “for-life” | Antibiotics = “against-life”

Bacteria are living organisms. Good bacteria is always competing with bad bacteria (such as E. coli, Salmonella) for growth and dominance. Think about this balance as a neighborhood. You always want good neighbors to strengthen the community. Friendly bacteria will run the bad bacteria “out of town” as they compete for dominance and help direct a healthy immune response to other invaders, such as viruses and fungus.

Did you know up to 70% off your immune system cells resides in your gut?

The average adult has about 2 pounds of bacteria in their gut!

The benefits of friendly bacteria are endless. Friendly bacteria can:

There Goes the Neighborhood — 9 Things to Avoid:

  1. STRESS — Any real or perceived threat (physically or emotionally) can alter gut motility, gastric secretions and change the composition of gut bacteria. Set time to relax and manage stress levels.
  2. ALCOHOL / SODA — Limit or avoid alcohol and soda consumption. Hydrate with ToxicFree®, filtered water.
  3. PESTICIDES / CHEMICALS — Residue on food can alter bacterial balance. Choose organic, non-gmo, pesticide- and chemical-free foods.
  4. MEDICATIONS — Drugs, such as antibiotics, kill both bad and good bacteria. Antibiotic resistance is among one of the CDC’s top concerns. Studies show that 50% of the time, antibiotics are prescribed when they are not needed or are misused. Before taking antibiotics, first make sure that treatment is absolutely necessary. If you must take it, increase intake of probiotic rich foods and supplements to restore your gut balance.
  5. CONVENTIONAL MEATS — Animals are raised with antibiotics to prevent disease and promote growth of the livestock, but can contain antibiotic residues. Choose organically-raised meats and nitrite/nitrate free sandwich meats.
  6. TRAVEL — Avoid travel, especially to foreign countries. Travel can increase your exposure to strains of bacteria that you may not be used to. This can alter your good/bad balance of bacteria. If you must travel to a foreign country, do your research to see if the water is safe there to drink, and if there are certain foods you should avoid during your travel. Makes sure you are getting enough probiotics before, during and after your travel to give your immune system the best chance at fighting off potential bacteria that could make you ill.
  7. OVERUSE OF LAXATIVES — For temporary bowel relief, laxatives can increase the excretion of residential friendly bacteria and can alter the gut balance. ENEMAS in practice, is a jumpstart to mild colon cleansing and supports bowel regularity. This can increase the excretion of residential friendly bacteria and alter the balance. Chaé Brain & Body Boost is a great way to help constipation in a natural form.
  8. PROCESSED / PACKAGED FOODS — Foods that have been heated and pasteurized do not contain probiotics. Limit processed foods and switch out for organic, fresh and living foods. Processed foods also are a source of the always unwanted “added sugar."
  9. LOW FIBER DIET — A diet low in fiber can reduce bowel motility and keep potentially harmful bacteria in the gut to grow. A high-fiber diet can support a healthy digestive system and promote regularity. Fiber is also a source of fuel for probiotics. Food for probiotics are referred to as “prebiotics”.

Eat Living Foods

Fermented foods are a “living” food source of friendly bacteria. Traditionally, many societies around the world regularly consume fermented food. In modern societies, these foods have been replaced with pasteurized, cooked and processed foods that do not contain probiotics.

Eat and drink living fermented foods (sauerkraut, kim-chee, miso, kombucha) as a condiment or side dish. Fermented foods contain living, friendly bacterial cultures and can be made at home or purchased at a health food store. 

If you're interested in using foods to increase your probiotic intake, check out lacto-fermented pickled vegetables.

NOTE: Sauerkraut purchased in a can off the shelf has been pasteurized during the manufacturing process which kills all bacteria, including the good ones. Canned foods do not contain probiotics.

Supplement with Probiotics

OneBode Live, packaged in the OneBodē Daily Health Pak, contains a blend of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria and other probiotics as a source of good daily probiotics.   

What about dairy products that you hear are full of probiotics? Yogurt, kefir and other dairy products have been commercialized as a source of daily probiotics. If you choose to eat dairy, look for organic varieties with “live active cultures”. Once the products have been pasteurized for packaging and distribution, they do not contain live cultures. Probiotics must be added back into the food with “live active cultures”. Also, read the label to avoid “high fructose corn syrup."

Ongoing Balance

There are many things that can disrupt your bacterial balance. Fortunately, you can easily influence a healthy balance through food selections. Remember to trust your gut!

Interested in improving your family's immune systems naturally? Read more of the How to Make Your Immune System a Powerhouse series!