To have sustainable energy, good digestion and clear, healthy skin, it’s vital for you to make sure you are doing everything you can to encourage good bacteria and prevent or starve off the bad bacteria in your body.
To encourage good bacteria it’s important to eat a diet consisting of a wide variety of fresh, whole foods. It is also essential to be getting plenty of prebiotics and probiotics in your diet. Prebiotic’s are primarily found in high-fiber foods including onions, garlic, bananas, artichokes, and many greens. Probiotics are found in foods like fermented vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles) yogurt (go for no added sugar) kefir, kombucha, micro-microalgaealgae (spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae) and miso soup.
To discourage the bad bacteria you should stay away from sugar and processed foods, because those things help to feed it. “There are indications that a low-fiber, high-fat and sugary diet results in more harmful gut microbes,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. and author of “The Ultramind Solution”. A 2010 study compared a group of European children who had a diet high in fat, sugar, and starch, with tribal African children who ate high-fiber, plant-based foods, and found that the Africans had more health-promoting bacteria.
What About Antibiotics?
The antibiotics we take to kill pathogens also lay waste to the bacteria in our digestive tract. Research from Stanford University published last September found that taking two courses of antibiotics, spaced six months apart, changed the composition of good and bad intestinal bugs, disrupting the overall balance. Heartburn medications and some other medications have a similar effect, so Dr. Hyman suggests laying off of these as much as you can.
Another important thing to help prevent bad bacteria or parasites from taking over your digestive system is by being very cautious about the source and cleanliness of your food. This is highly important with all raw foods, including raw fruits and vegetables and prepared drinks, dishes or condiments that are made from raw foods. Know that their sources are trusted, and wash and clean everything thoroughly. Also be careful about warm temperature exposure and expiration time with raw foods.
If you start experiencing symptoms that you think that you think may be from a bad bacteria or parasite in your system, then along with greatly increasing your raw garlic intake (a natural anti-biotic) there are certain herbs you can use to as well. There are even fully designed cleanse treatments using herbs specifically for this purpose that can be very effective, but you may want to consult with a holistic practitioner for guidance first, because many parasite cleansing herbs can be toxic and disrupt your system if used improperly or if you don’t in fact need them.
Check your local health food store for a good probiotic supplement. Our two favorites right now are Garden of Life and Ultimate Flora.