Probiotics: Get the Good Guys for Better Digestion
Are you struggling with digestive issues? Perhaps you’ve heard that your gut bacteria might be the culprit.
The large intestine is home to trillions of bacteria, fungi and yeast. Beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, play a big role in digestion. Due to diet, stress, medications, antibiotic use and other factors, many people do not have enough beneficial bacteria. This can lead to an imbalance between the good bacteria and the opportunistic (ready to take over) and pathogenic bacteria (the bad guys that can lead to issues).
When there is an imbalance between the good bacteria and those that are opportunistic or pathogenic, certain digestive conditions and symptoms are more likely:
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Acid reflux, also known as GERD
Balancing probiotics and other microorganisms results in improved digestion because probiotics:
- Increase transit time, meaning digested food is eliminated faster. This is important because constipation can cause a range of issues via toxic waste and hormones being reabsorbed from the stool.
- Help maintain the intestinal barrier. When the intestinal barrier is compromised, food particles are able to enter the bloodstream, which can result in an immune response (i.e. food sensitivities) and poorly absorbed nutrients.
- Decrease the frequency of diarrhea.
- Prevent opportunistic and pathogen bacteria from colonizing in the GI tract. These bacteria, such as the yeast Candida, are the culprits behind a host of digestive issues.
- Aid in the absorption of protein. Protein is necessary for repairing muscles, staving off hunger, creating neurotransmitters and other important molecules.
At Healthy Nest, we can determine if an imbalance in gut bacteria is causing your issues. We love probiotics — both fermented foods that contain them and supplements — and can help you identify the sources that are best suited to your needs. Click here to schedule online for a free, 20-minute phone consultation with a Healthy Nest holistic nutritionist.
Hi! I’m Robin, the founder of Healthy Nest Nutrition. I am a board-certified holistic nutritionist in Denver, Colorado. My passion is helping people find the right diet for their bodies and then showing them how to make healthy nutrition doable and delicious!