Updated 5th October 2018
The mere mention of the word ‘bacteria’ nowadays can quickly conjure up images of grotty little gremlins ready and armed to destroy your health - thanks in large part to television adverts that have given them faces and even names in some cases! And there’s an almost endless choice of antibacterial sprays, wipes and sanitizer gels available to make sure they can’t. Or so we’re led to believe…
As much as it’s important to avoid potentially harmful bacteria, it’s also crucial to remember that bacteria aren’t all bad. In fact, bacteria provide you with the foundations of a strong, healthy immune system and without these good bacteria you wouldn’t be able to fight off the bad bacteria.
Beneficial bacteria live mostly in the gut and they are the frontline of your immune system. There are around 100 trillion bacteria that line your intestinal tract and defend your body from outside invaders.
If you take steps to nurture this important internal army, you will support your immune system and experience better health overall.
• Stress & sugar feed bad bacteria. Hormones secreted during the stress response and sugary drinks and snacks promote the growth of ‘bad’ bacteria, which are more likely to cause disease than promote health.
• Wholefoods, relaxation & fermented foods feed good bacteria. Rest & relaxation and fresh wholefoods cooked from scratch promote the growth of ‘friendly’ bacteria. Fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha and kimchi are a great addition to the diet as they supply beneficial bacteria that are quickly incorporated into the gut population.
• A daily multi strain probiotic supplement helps to support an optimal balance of bacteria in the gut. It’s crucial to choose a supplement that contains specific strains that have been well researched and demonstrated a high level of effectiveness. Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® is considered to be the world’s most widely researched probiotic strain, additional well-researched strains include Lactobacillus paracasei lpc-37, Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07, Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-04 and Saccharomyces boulardii.