Originally published February 4 2009
Maintain Healthy Bacteria Levels Essential for Optimum Health
by Sheryl Walters
(NaturalNews) A balanced digestive tract is essential for optimum health and is responsible for 80 percent of the immune system. When there is not enough good bacteria in the body, unhealthy bacteria begin to proliferate, causing ill health and disease.
The body is loaded with both good and bad bacteria. There are approximately 100 trillion bacteria living inside each human. Ideally, the body should have at least 85% good bacteria for optimal health. This includes:
*A highly efficient immune system
*Protection against over-growth of other microorganisms such as Candida (fungi), parasites and bacteria that cause illness.
*Proper digestion of food
*Absorption of nutrients
*Production of vitamins
*Elimination of toxins.
*Prevention from allergies, since good bacteria allow the body to distinguish between harmful substances and healthy ones.
Good Bacteria and Weight Loss
An imbalance in digestive bacteria can cause weight problems. Because an abundance of good bacterium ensures digestion and absorption, a lack of good bacteria can lead to an increase in toxic fat and obesity.
Many studies have revealed that people who are obese have imbalanced intestinal bacteria, while people who enjoy healthy weight levels tend to have healthy gut bacteria.
How to get Good Bacteria into the Body
The most ancient way of replenishing good bacteria in the body is through fermented foods. Fermented foods have been eaten in most cultures. Yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi (fermented cabbage) and kefir are all traditional foods that are naturally dense in healthy bacteria.
A diet rich in these fermented foods is a great way to get good bacteria into the system. The key is to ensure that these foods have not been pasteurized, as the process of pasteurization kills off the good beneficial goodness.
In recent years, there has been a boom in the amount of good bacteria products on the market. Besides avoiding foods that have been pasteurized, choose foods which list a specific strain of bacteria on their label, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. The last two letters show what strain of bacteria the product contains, meaning that it has been scientifically proven to be good for the body,
It is also important that the product says "LIVE" on the package. It may contain good bacteria, but if the good bacteria are not alive, they are not beneficial. It is also necessary that the product is not out of date, as this can mean that the good bacteria are no longer living.
Taking a good quality supplement is another good way to ensure that your body abounds in friendly bacteria. Ask around and find the product that is most beneficial. Talk to specialists and people who are into nutrition. Not all probiotics are equal, so it is essential to find one that is live and powerful.
How to Avoid Killing off Good Bacteria
While it is important to replenish the body with good bacteria, it is equally, if not more important to prevent killing off good bacteria.
A diet high in processed foods and chemicals is likely to lead to an overgrowth in unfriendly bacteria. Relying on cooked foods as opposed to eating a diet high in living raw foods is also likely to yield a bacterial imbalance. Sugar is one of the worst foods for it fertilizes bad bacteria in the gut.
Perhaps one of the greatest threats to a balanced digestive tract is antibiotics. Antibiotics kill off all bacteria, which is why they have been used to treat illnesses. Unfortunately, antibiotics not only kill off the tiny unwanted bacteria in one part of the body that is causing an infection, they kill off the good bacteria throughout the body. This allows unhealthy bacteria to quickly proliferate, causing disease and ill health. The overuse of antibiotics, along with unnatural food, is one of the greatest causes of modern day illness.
The birth control pill and steroids have also been shown to create an imbalance in the healthy bacterial flora in the body, along with general stress and pollution.
About the authorSheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.
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