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Simple Tips To Maintain And Restore Healthy Gut Flora

What all of this research suggests is that healthy gut bacteria is crucial to maintaining normal weight and metabolism. Unfortunately, several features of the modern lifestyle directly contribute to unhealthy gut flora:

  • Antibiotics and other medications like birth control and NSAIDs
  • Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
  • Diets low in fermentable fibers
  • Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils that cause leaky gut
  • Chronic stress
  • Chronic infections

Bad Gut Flora

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We also know that infants that aren’t breast-fed and are born to mothers with bad gut flora are more likely to develop unhealthy gut bacteria, and that these early differences in gut flora may predict overweight and obesity in the future. It’s interesting to note that the diabesity epidemic has neatly coincided with the increasing prevalence of factors that disrupt the gut flora. I’m not saying that poor gut health is the single cause of obesity and diabetes, but it seems that it likely plays a much larger role than most people think. Our gut is home to approximately 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) microorganisms. That’s such a big number our human brains can’t really comprehend it. One trillion dollar bills laid end-to-end would stretch from the earth to the sun – and back – with a lot of miles to spare. Do that 100 times and you start to get at least a vague idea of how much 100 trillion is. The human gut contains 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body, with over 400 known diverse bacterial species. In fact, you could say that we’re more bacterial than we are human. WOW. Studies have shown that changes in the gut flora can increase the rate at which we absorb fatty acids and carbohydrates, and increase the storage of calories as fat. This means that someone with bad gut flora could eat the same amount of food as someone with a healthy gut, but extract more calories from it and gain more weight.

How To Maintain And Restore Healthy Gut Flora

The most obvious first step in maintaining a healthy gut is to avoid all of the things I listed above. But of course, that’s not always possible, especially in the case of chronic stress and infections, and whether we were breast-fed or our mothers had healthy guts. If you’ve been exposed to some of these factors, there are still steps you can take to restore your gut flora:

  • Remove all food toxins from your diet
  • Eat plenty of fermentable fibers (starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.)
  • Take a high-quality probiotic, or consider more radical methods of restoring healthy gut flora
  • Eat greek yogurt and Kefir
  • Treat any intestinal pathogens (such as parasites) that may be present
  • Take steps to manage your stress
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