The Ultimate Guide On How to Rebuild Good Bacteria in the Gut
The gut plays a crucial role in your overall health. If your immune system is weaker than it should be, most of the problem can be traced to the gut. Bad gut health is responsible for a myriad of health issues, but many people fail to realize this and ignore what they're putting into their bodies.
Fortunately, with a little care and attention, you can become fully conscious of your gut health and work to restore it to its full working potential. This largely involves looking at how to rebuild good gut bacteria. In short, if your gut is healthy and balanced, then so are you.
What is Gut Bacteria, and Why is it Important?
We often associate bacteria as being something bad. The truth is that there are just as many good bacteria as there are bad. The good bacteria keeps us healthy and holds the bad bacteria at bay. Without it, the bad bacteria take hold, and that's what makes us unhealthy.
The gut is home to more than 10 trillion bacteria. They feed on dietary fiber and help create vital vitamins such as vitamin B and K. As the good bacteria work to break down the dietary fiber, fatty acids are released, which are a crucial energy source for our bodies.
Furthermore, your gut is responsible for 70% of your immune system health. If the balance of good vs. bad bacteria is not right, this will start to affect how your body responds to illness.
What are the Benefits of Gut Bacteria?
Having excellent gut health reaps many benefits. The most notable are:
- Support for your immune system.
- Inflammation control and reduction.
- Digestion help.
- Management of bad bacteria.
- Prevention of bad bacteria entering your bloodstream via the gut lining.
- Vitamin creation.
Good Gut Bacteria vs. Bad
Bad bacteria can enter the body in a number of ways. You can ingest bad bacteria via the food you eat, the water you drink, or the air you breathe. Their job is to multiply as fast as possible to make you sick. When you're sick, they make your body contagious so that they can be passed on from host to host.
Once bad bacteria have entered your body, the good bacteria come into play. These microorganisms work hard to provide essential nutrients to help you stave off infections.
Without good bacteria, your body stands no chance against the bad stuff. Bad bacteria are everywhere. We ingest them every day. Fortunately, you aren’t usually aware of this because the good bacteria does such a good job of keeping your body healthy.
Types of Bacteria in the Human Gut
Three main types of bacteria exist in your gut. They are either beneficial, opportunistic, or harmful.
We already know what harmful and good bacteria do. Opportunistic bacteria can either be neutral or harmful. If you're healthy, then opportunistic bacteria have no effect on the body. However, if the body is weak, this type of bacteria flourishes and has an adverse effect on the body.
Common examples of good bacteria:
- Lactic acid bacteria
Common examples of bad bacteria:
- Clostridium perfringens
- Escherichia coli (E. coli toxic strain)
Common examples of opportunistic bacteria:
- E. coli (nontoxic strain)
How Gut Bacteria Affects the Brain and Body
Before looking at how to replenish gut bacteria, you need to understand how it may be affecting you. This will tell you if you have a gut bacteria imbalance.
Hardly anyone considers how their mental health could be linked to their gut health. However, this is one of the most obvious signs that your gut health could be suffering.
Gut microbes produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, and GABA, all of which have an effect on the brain. Most notably, concentration, mood, anxiety, and motivation are all affected by your gut bacteria and the number of neurotransmitters that are being produced. Depression, anxiety, and the ability to control and process emotions are all symptoms of bad gut health.
Your metabolism is also adversely affected by bad gut health. This can eventually lead to issues such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are caused by a lack of anti-inflammatory gut bacteria. This also makes developing arthritis more likely.
Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease
Gut health and disease go hand in hand. Therefore an excellent way to combat bad health is to rebuild good bacteria in the stomach. The healthier the gut, the healthier the body that surrounds it.
Can Gut Bacteria Cause Weight Gain?
The enzymes contained within your gut bacteria help you break down and process food. Every person is different when it comes to the composition of bacteria in their gut, which means some people are more likely to suffer from obesity than others.
Of course, what you eat has a huge effect on gut health and your overall weight, but gut bacteria composition can mean the difference between staying slim easily and struggling to keep off the pounds.
Can Gut Bacteria Affect Mental Health?
Since gut microbes produce neurotransmitters, their role in your overall mental health is huge. Bad gut health can lead to a variety of mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.
Gut Bacteria and COVID-19
It's been discovered that the makeup of your gut biome can determine how severe the symptoms will be should you contract COVID-19. This gut imbalance also plays a role in whether or not you're likely to suffer from "long-covid" or not.
Studies have shown that COVID-19 patients have far less immune system enhancing beneficial bacteria like bifidobacterium adolescentis, faecalibacterium prausnitzii, and eubacterium rectale. They also have much higher numbers of certain bad bacteria, such as ruminococcus gnavus, ruminococcus torques, and Bacteroides dorei.
What is a Gut Bacteria Imbalance?
An imbalance occurs when the bad bacteria start to outweigh the good, or the diversity of bacteria is lost. This can happen in a variety of ways:
- A diet of processed and unhealthy foods.
- A sudden change in diet such as an increase in fat, sugar, or protein intake.
- New or a change in prescription medications.
- Alcohol and substance abuse.
- Ingestion of chemicals such as pesticides.
How to Maintain Gut Balance
It's important to make realistic lifestyle changes that you can maintain long-term. It's no good going on a strict diet to restore your gut flora, only to return to bad habits once everything is in order.
Taking good quality supplements is a great way to keep that good bacteria topped up. There are many on the market, so choose one that is right for you that you don't mind taking regularly.
What are the Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut?
Keep a close watch on your body and how it is behaving and feeling. This can provide reliable clues that your gut health is less than optimal. The classic symptoms of poor gut health are:
- You have or suddenly develop food intolerances.
- You feel tired and fatigued often.
- You often suffer from digestive problems such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and heartburn.
- Sleeping well is a problem.
- You suffer from skin irritations like eczema and psoriasis.
- You experience unexplained weight gain or loss.
- You have extreme food cravings.
- Mood swings and extreme emotional responses are commonplace.
- You start getting migraines.
What Does it Mean to Have a Leaky Gut?
A gut bacteria imbalance is often blamed for leaky gut syndrome, an affliction where toxins and bacteria pass through enlarged gaps in the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. The bacteria then flows through the body and can create health issues or worsen existing issues.
Balancing out your gut health will eliminate leaky gut syndrome and prevent nasties from entering your bloodstream.
Can Gut Bacteria be Restored?
Absolutely. By learning how to rebuild gut flora via eating and lifestyle changes, your gut bacteria can be restored in a few months. Something as simple as taking a daily probiotic supplement can vastly improve your gut bacteria.
How to Rebuild the Good Bacteria in the Gut
The path to restoring healthy gut bacteria is easier than you think. Simply switching up what you eat or cutting out certain activities can have dramatic and rapid effects. Taking care of yourself through good sleep, exercise, and stress reduction are surprisingly beneficial for gut health.
How to Restore Your Gut Bacteria Naturally
Healing your gut is thankfully a natural process. The most restorative steps you can take are to:
- Take probiotics.
- Eat fermented foods.
- Increase your vegetable and fruit intake.
- Cut out sugar.
- Take time to relax and reduce stress levels.
- Only take medication – especially antibiotics – if absolutely necessary.
- Have an adequate amount of sleep.
- Take exercise regularly.
- Reduce the presence of nasty chemicals in the home (cleaning products, pesticides, cosmetic products) and switch to natural alternatives.
Does Fasting Improve Gut Health?
When looking at how to rebuild gut bacteria, intermittent fasting is a great option. Fasting increases the variety and diversity of your gut flora and reduces or eliminates leaky gut syndrome.
Which Foods Heal the Gut?
The best foods to eat for gut health are fermented or containing probiotics. Live yogurt is a great source of probiotics. Kefir, miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and sourdough are all fabulous fermented options. Additionally, olive oil, almonds, bananas, garlic, ginger, and peas are great foods for restoring gut health.
In general, fruits, nuts, legumes, and vegetables are always going to be beneficial when looking at how to replace gut bacteria through diet changes.
What Can You Drink to Clean Your Gut?
Kefir is one of the best drinkable options for gut health. Kombucha, ginger tea, bone broth are also excellent. If you prefer to keep it simple when deciding how to rebuild intestinal flora, you can opt for drinking plenty of water instead.
Which Probiotics are Best for Gut Health?
While the types of good bacteria are too numerous to list, a few are always found in popular gut health supplements:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Saccharomyces boulardii
How Long Does it Take to Rebuild Good Gut Bacteria?
Mild gut imbalances may only take around four weeks to heal. However, you should expect optimum results after six months. Of course, many factors can influence how long the restoration period takes. It depends on how imbalanced it was to begin with, and which measures you choose to take to improve it.
How to Find Good Gut Health Products
The array of gut health products on offer can be overwhelming. However, the right supplement can make all the difference to your overall well-being.
Choose a brand that places gut health at the core of everything they do, such as KAIBAE. As well as providing expertly produced gut health products, we also take care to protect biodiversity and sustainability through regenerative agricultural principles.
We allow you to “rewild” your microbiome by creating products that contain polyphenols and prebiotic fiber derived from wild plants. The next time you ask, "how can I restore my gut flora?” look to KAIBAE as the experts in this field.
Now you understand how essential a balanced gut is, you can begin to take the necessary steps to improve your own gut health. Within six months, you may enjoy improved health and an enhanced well-being just by healing your gut. It's got to be worth a shot!