What are good gut bacteria?
Firstly, it’s really important to understand what our good gut bacteria are all about and the impact that they can have on different areas of the body. From weight management to bloating, their influence throughout our body is widespread and getting them in balance can be beneficial for a number of reasons.
Throughout your digestive system you have trillions of bacteria which can be broadly split into good and bad types. Surprisingly, we need both – but the key to good digestive health is getting them in the correct balance. You see, your friendly bacteria are very important for helping to keep bad bacteria and yeast in check. Without sufficient levels, the bad bacteria or yeast can take over and we end up with an imbalance in our numbers which is called dysbiosis.
Dysbiosis is thought to have a part to play in a number of conditions such as IBS and gives rise to a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms.
How can you keep your gut in balance
So, what can be done to rectify an imbalance in gut bacteria? Follow my simple guide below to help beat that bloat once and for all!
1. Keep up the good work with the advice in Steps 1-4.
To support your good bacteria you need to keep up with everything you’ve learned so far. This includes managing your diet, keeping on top of unhelpful eating habits and supporting your stomach. Stomach acid is very important for supporting the environment in the gut, so keep up with your intake of bitter herbs if you feel they are helping.
2. Add in a prebiotic
Prebiotics are components of our diet that can help support the growth of our good gut bacteria. Interestingly, it seems they can do this in a number of different ways.
Firstly, we have common dietary prebiotics such as bananas, onions, garlic, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, leeks, and grains including wheat and barley. These foods contain specific non-digestible elements such as inulin and FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) which are thought to ‘feed’ our good bacteria.
By eating these foods we are not only supporting our good gut bacteria, but we are also eating less of the foods which the bad bacteria thrive on such as refined carbohydrates, sugar or alcohol. So, we are essentially starving the bad bacteria and allowing the good bacteria to thrive in numbers!
So, we have the food sources as mentioned above which literally act as ‘food’ for our baceria, but there are also some other substances that can help support the internal environment of the gut – like the ‘air’ the bacteria need to survive!
Many of the healthy bacteria in our gut don’t actually need oxygen to survive, they are anaerobic and are called lactic acid producing bacteria (LAB). This lactic acid that they produce is an important ingredient for supporting the pH of the gut, and therefore supporting further growth, and this is the ‘air’ our bacteria need to survive if you like.
Made from fermented organic milk, our Molkosan is a fantastic rich source of L+ lactic acid so can help to do just that. It can help to support the growth of the good bacteria which in turn helps to keep the bad guys at bay.
If you can give them the ‘air’ and the ‘food’ they need to survive your bacteria will flourish!
3. Top up your numbers with a probiotic
Once you’ve established the perfect environment for your good gut bacteria to survive, you can then begin to think about topping up your numbers which is where probiotics come in. There’s no point in doing this too soon as they’ll simply die off and won’t do you much good. However, get the gut environment just right, and you’ll be much more likely to see a difference in your symptoms.
Optibac Probiotics For Every Day is the perfect option for supporting your numbers going forward. It contains 6 different strains of bacteria, specially chosen for their ability to survive the stomach’s acidic environment. These are able to work together to improve your gut health by gently increasing the number of good gut bacteria. Each daily dose contains 5 billion live cultures, as well as the helpful addition of some prebiotic FOS.
My top product picks for managing the symptoms of IBS
Use Silicol® Gel rich in silicic acid to help soothe your gut in the event of uncomfortable flare ups. Once your symptoms have settled, take Molkosan rich in L+ lactic acid to support the internal environment of the gut, and top up your numbers of good bacteria with Optibac’s ‘For Every Day’ probiotics.