Keep your digestive system in tip-top shape with ‘good’ bacteria


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Let’s talk bacteria, and not because it’s flu season.

Instead, let’s focus on what’s going on in your belly and how to make sure you’re doing all that you can to maintain a healthy gut. There are trillions of microbes living in our digestive system. “Good” bacteria help us function by digesting foods, producing nutrients and fighting off diseases, while the toxins released by “bad” bacteria cause a laundry list of physical and mental health problems.


Foods that promote good bacteria

The first key step in developing and maintaining a healthy gut is to foster “good” bacteria. Foods high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, help the stomach process and foster good bacteria. Likewise, yogurts and other fermented foods contain probiotics.


Killers of good bacteria

Developing and maintaining good bacteria isn’t enough though — we also need to fend off the bad bugs. Common killers of good bacteria include antibiotics; Advil, Motrin, Midol or other over-the-counter drugs; chlorine in drinking water; non-organic meats, poultry and dairy because of the antibiotics fed to the animals; a diet of processed foods, cigarettes or alcohol; constipation, which in turn keeps us from evacuating harmful bacteria AND allows them to multiply inside of us; stress; and radiation and chemotherapy.