Do you know that your intestine is home to trillions of digestive bacteria? Do you also know that your digestive health, and your overall health to a great extent, depend on these bacteria?
If you do not, you are not alone. Many of us know very little about our digestive system and what makes it work. In this article, we take a look at intestinal bacteria and their role in digestive health.
Introduction About The Digestive Bacteria
The microorganisms present in your intestine are collectively known as gut flora. They play a vital role in your health. They break down proteins and carbohydrates and allow your body to absorb them easily, boost your immune system, and regulate metabolic function. They prevent allergies and inflammatory bowel disorders.
Most importantly, digestive bacteria inhibit the growth of harmful pathogens in your intestine. When they are present in a sufficiently large number, they are able to contain the growth of bad bacteria. When their number declines, they are not able to do so. As a result, you start developing digestive problems, allergies, and a variety of other health problems.
Factors that Cause Intestinal Microbial Imbalance
Taking antibiotics is one of the main causes of microbial imbalance. Antibiotics generally kill good bacteria as well as bad bacteria and change the levels of gut flora. Taking too many antacids, eating a diet rich in sugar, and mental stress can also lead to a microbial imbalance in the intestine.
Improving Intestinal Microbial Balance
One of the best ways to improve your intestinal microbial balance is by taking probiotics regularly. Prebiotics are non-digestible substances that feed the digestive bacteria in your intestine and promote their growth. They also balance bowel pH and improve bowel regularity.
The food sources of prebiotics include raw kiwifruit, raw chicory root, raw dandelion greens, raw garlic, and wheat bran. The highest concentration of prebiotics, however, is found in inedible parts like skin, seeds, and roots. Moreover, a single serving of dandelion roots or kiwifruit may not contain the amount of prebiotics your body needs. So, it is advisable to take prebiotics in the form of dietary supplements.
Choosing a Prebiotic Supplement
You can choose a kiwifruit based prebiotic supplement. Kiwifruit is a rich source of prebiotic fiber (which feeds the digestive bacteria in your intestine), phenolic compounds (which inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in your intestine), and digestive enzymes (which improve digestion). You should also make sure the supplement you choose does not contain artificial chemicals in any form – be it colors, flavors, or preservatives. An all-natural product is always the best choice.
Taking Prebiotic Supplements
The best way to take a prebiotic supplement is by adding it to your everyday diet. A regular dose of prebiotics not only promotes the growth of digestive bacteria and prevents digestive ailments, but also lowers the risk of allergies, inflammatory bowel disorders, diabetes, colorectal cancers, and a variety of other diseases. So, make prebiotic supplements part of your diet today and take the first step towards improving your digestive health.