(HealthyResearch.com) – The human body contains an entire system made of microbes, many of which are vital to all sorts of functions. This is the microbiome. All these “good” microbes, or probiotics, are meant to live as a healthy extension of their host — but they need to be treated well to properly do their job. The wrong moves can wind up undermining their efforts, and that could contribute to numerous health issues including allergies, asthma, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and even cancer. Read on to find out how many of these probiotic disruptors could be affecting your health.
1. Eating Processed Foods
When you eat, you’re feeding far more than just yourself. You’re also providing nourishment for the 100 trillion microbes that reside in your gut. The problem with processed foods is they lack the nutrients these good microbes need to stay alive. In essence, a highly-processed diet starves out many of your microbiome, leading to less gut diversity. The fewer varieties of good microbes thriving in your gut, the higher the likelihood that you’ll suffer from chronic inflammation and related conditions like insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
2. Stressing Out
There’s an intimate connection between the gut and the brain — one you can feel every time you get nervous to the point of “butterflies” in your stomach. Studies have shown you can negatively alter the composition of your gut microbiome by doing nothing more than stressing out. Your microbiome may affect the way you handle stress, creating the potential for a vicious cycle of anxiety and depression. Work on stress-relief techniques like deep-breathing exercises to help break that cycle.
3. Taking Antibiotics
Antibiotics make quick work of bacterial invaders. Unfortunately, they make quick work of your microbiome, as well. There are times when you have no choice; antibiotics can be life-saving. Still, taking them can have lasting effects on your microbiome, which can leave you open to dangerous opportunistic infections like Clostridium difficile. Probiotic use may help restore some of what you lose, but more extensive therapy may be necessary if too much of the diversity is lost.
4. Overloading on the Sugar
High sugar consumption can alter the ratio of microbes in the gut, which can increase body inflammation and destroy a person’s metabolism. A study on the effects of a high-sugar diet on teenagers found it led to significantly reduced numbers of beneficial Eubacterium and Streptococcus strains, both of which are necessary for proper carbohydrate metabolism. Simply put, too much sugar could be murder on your good microbes.
5. Not Consuming Enough Prebiotics
A microbiome needs fuel in the form of prebiotics or foods that benefit the microbiome. Many researchers believe we might avoid chronic inflammation, metabolic syndrome and many related illnesses if we all fed our microbiomes better. You may even be able to avoid or reverse obesity with a dietary change or two improving the health of your good gut flora.
Your gut health could affect nearly every aspect of your body and health. Could you be disrupting your probiotics? By making a few changes, it might be possible to enhance the health of your gut microbes. The happier you can keep your microbiome, the better you’ll feel overall.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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