As we talked about in an earlier blog, the digestive tract is full of different kinda of bacteria and yeasts, some life supporting (pro biotic) while others are not so friendly. We also talked about how we can boost the levels of the beneficial bacteria in our diet by eating more fermented foods such as Kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kim-chee, miso and pickles. While these foods and probiotic supplements can help us improve digestive health by increasing the numbers of good guys, there are also things that have a negative impact on these beneficial bacterial colonies. One of the most important to be aware of are antibiotics.
Although antibiotics are truly life saving drugs when used in the proper context. They are often overused which can destroy friendly gut bacteria when used on a frequent basis or for a long period of time. Ironically, pro-biotics organisms are crucial for maintaining a strong immune system which acts as your body’s own natural anti-biotic. By destroying the probiotic organisms in your digestive track, pharmaceutical antibiotics actually reduce your natural immunity. So it is a good idea to minimize the use of antibiotic drugs whenever possible. For instance, they are often prescribed for a common cold. A cold, however is caused by a virus and not a bacteria so antibiotics are virtually worthless unless you have a secondary infection. If you find yourself in a situation where antibiotics are really necessary make sure you take a strong probiotic on a daily basis restore the friendly bacteria in your digestive system.
You are now one tip closer to a healthier gut! Be sure to check back for our next digestive tip when we will be talking about how stress affects your digestive system.