Bacteria is often a subject of debate, as most people believe that all bacteria is harmful to our bodies. In reality, bacteria are present in plenty of regions in our bodies, including the nose, mouth, and most importantly, gut.
The human gut is medically referred to as the gastrointestinal system and involves the esophagus, mouth, stomach, small intestine, colon, and more. The GI system is responsible for digestion, nutrient absorption, and the excretion of waste products from our bodies. There are typically nearly 100 trillion microorganisms residing in the human gut, with a majority of them being beneficial bacteria. You might be wondering how bacteria can be beneficial when they are commonly known for causing diseases or infections. The role of bacteria depends on its function within the human body.
In the gut, bacteria can have various different functions. To properly understand how bacteria are beneficial to our health, we can examine one common bacteria found in the GI system. Lactobacillus is a bacteria that resides in the intestines and is assigned many different tasks. Here are just a few functions that lactobacillus may perform or initiate:
- Breaking down food particles
- Absorbing nutrients
- Fighting against harmful microorganisms
- Producing lactic acid
While these may seem to be normal functions of our organs, it is important to make the distinction that our organs themselves are not responsible for these functions. For instance, contractions in our colon cannot be initiated without the activation of a specific gene in our GI system. When the correct form of bacteria or other microbes are present, this gene can be activated, thus resulting in healthy contractions and bowel movements.
The most important role of Lactobacillus is producing lactic acid, directly preventing harmful microorganisms from residing in the intestines. These bacteria, in conjunction with others, are to thank for not having frequent diarrhea or similar bowel conditions. After gaining an understanding of how bacteria can be beneficial to our bodies, the next step is doing our parts in helping them keep us healthy.
What Foods Are Beneficial to Our Gut?
When choosing our diets, we often weigh factors such as how appealing the meal is and maintaining a balance between food groups. It is important to also realize that when we are consuming various meals, we are not just feeding ourselves, but the trillions of microorganisms residing in our bodies as well. While people from different backgrounds and cultures may consume vastly different foods, there are a few general guidelines to follow when promoting a healthy gut.
- Plant-based foods:
Like humans, different types of bacteria also have specific preferences when it comes to nutrition. The safest route to go is incorporating plant-based meals into your diet. Foods such as legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains contain large amounts of fiber. It is recommended to have a daily intake of fiber because it maintains regular bowel movements and reduces your risk of constipation, diarrhea, and other unwanted bowel conditions.
If you have ever consumed yogurt or bananas, you have already begun your journey towards better gut health. Probiotics are actually live bacteria that provide health benefits when they are consumed. They do this by fighting off harmful bacteria and assisting the bacteria already present in your GI system. It is important to monitor your intake of probiotics because overconsumption can be harmful to your health.
- Virgin olive oil:
An unusual addition to the list, virgin olive oil contains polyphenols, micronutrients that have plenty of antioxidants. Using this oil instead of fatty substitutes can also promote weight loss.
It is important to avoid consuming processed foods or too many antibiotics because they can both suppress or destroy “good” bacteria. If you do consume either of these, make sure to limit your intake. After using antibiotics, eating probiotics can revert the effect on “good” bacteria.
At Vital Force Therapy and Wellness, we strive to provide effective holistic treatment methods and therapy options. We specialize in regenerative medicine, such as hormone optimization, clinically dosed IV fusions, and more. We have successfully treated a variety of medical conditions, including heart disease, gut disorders, vitamin deficiencies, and autoimmune disorders.
Vital Force Therapy and Wellness currently services the city of Hoover, AL, and surrounding regions. Your satisfaction and health is a priority to our hardworking team of highly qualified medical professionals. If you are struggling with gut health, reach out for a consultation at 205-352-9141. We are looking forward to hearing from you!