You’ve heard the good news about having a healthy gut, right? Good gut bacteria can calm digestive issues, boost immunity, help with weight loss, even improve mood. So how can you improve your gut bacteria? It’s easy.
The first step to improving your gut bacteria is to make sure you’re setting the stage for success. Adding the world’s best probiotics to your diet won’t do much to improve your gut bacteria if your lifestyle is toxic to these delicate microbes.
Drinking chlorinated water, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash, even popping NSAIDs are just a few of the dirty dozen lifestyle habits that kill gut bacteria.
The second step is adding probiotics to your diet. Probiotic foods and supplements restore gut flora by creating an acidic environment in your colon—the perfect environment to inhibit the growth of undesirable bacteria like Salmonella, Shigella, and E. coli, while promoting the growth of beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria.
One of the best ways to improve gut bacteria is to regularly eat foods that contain a lot of friendly probiotic bacteria. Examples of traditional fermented foods include pickled vegetables, fermented milk products, kefir, and fermented soy products.
Traditional fermented foods are also called "probiotic foods" because they are rich in beneficial lactic acid-producing bacteria. These are the bacteria that naturally make milk products go sour and cause vegetables to ferment.
In your digestive tract, these bacteria help ferment carbohydrates that we, as human beings, cannot digest. The byproducts from this process help keep the gut acidic.
Consuming naturally fermented foods not only supplies the gut with more of these desirable microorganisms, but the extra acidity they create helps to support the bacteria that are already there.
The best way to add traditional fermented foods to your diet is to enjoy them in small portions once or twice a day as part of your meal.
Although eating fermented foods is the most natural way to restore gut flora, many people either find it difficult consume fermented foods daily or dislike the taste. So, the next best way to improve gut bacteria is to take a probiotic supplement.
What could be simpler? Probiotic supplements deliver the benefits of probiotic bacteria without cooking or meal planning. The only catch is to making sure you choose the right product.
Over the last 20 years, the market has exploded exponentially. The strains of beneficial bacteria available have multiplied almost as fast as the number of products that are for sale.
For most people, taking a probiotic supplement and/or eating more traditional fermented foods will be enough to increase the number of beneficial microorganisms in the gut.
For some individuals, however, improving gut bacteria requires an additional step.
For decades, I’ve used a product called Lactic Acid Yeast by Standard Process Laboratories. Lactic acid yeast wafers work the same way fermented foods do, in that they help restore the bacterial flora of the lower bowel.
Lactic acid yeast is a modified form of brewer’s yeast that works in your intestines to produce significant amounts of lactic acid. The additional acid stops the growth of harmful bacteria while allowing good gut bacteria to flourish. It works rather quickly, and when followed up with a probiotic supplement, the results can be amazing.
Chew one lactic acid yeast wafer with each meal. In most cases, the product will only be needed for five to seven days. During this time, I would also continue taking a supplement.