As we continue on our #SIMPLEmillsLIFE journey, we are learning that simplifying is especially necessary when it comes to keeping our bodies healthy. Clean, simple ingredients not only provide important nutrients, but are easy for our bodies to digest. Once these foods enter your digestive system, the next key player takes over - gut bacteria. And if you’re wondering what that is, here are 5 things you need to know about gut health.
YOU NEED IT
Bacteria is all around us – in the air, on our skin, and most importantly, inside our guts. And in our gut lies good bacteria, which helps to neutralize toxins and bad bacteria. Good gut bacteria is what keeps our insides healthy. In fact, 80% of our entire immune system is located in our digestive tract.
LIFESTYLE IS IMPORTANT
A healthy lifestyle is key when it comes to gut bacteria. Stress, illness, an unhealthy diet, traveling… All of these things can negatively impact our gut flora. So it’s important to exercise, keep stress levels as low as possible, and observe clean, healthy eating habits.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GUT FLORA
Gut bacteria, aka gut flora, basically neutralizes all toxic byproducts of digestion, like fungi and yeasts. It also helps our bodies absorb nutrients and produce necessary vitamins. The gut flora also works to stimulate our digestive process. The byproducts of the gut flora keep other gut cells in our digestive tract healthy.
Probiotics, live bacteria that are beneficial to our digestive system, thrive naturally in our gut. But if you feel like you need a boost, probiotics can be found in plenty of foods and supplements to keep the gut flora healthy and well-balanced. Eating probiotics can also help to lower inflammatory bacteria and stabilize the balance between good and bad gut bacteria.
SUPER GOOD GUT FOODS
Perhaps the best and easiest way to protect our good gut bacteria is to eliminate GMO foods, preservatives and processed sugars. While probiotic supplements can be extremely beneficial, there are plenty of foods out there that are naturally rich in probiotics. Think fermented foods: kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, miso, kombucha, and raw cheeses.
If you have other tips and tricks for keeping your gut health in check, share it by leaving a comment below! And don’t forget to follow along our journey with hashtag #SimpleMillsLife.