Friends and Foes of our Gut Bacteria
Friends of Gut-Flora
1. Diet: Our daily diet plays an extremely important role in the maintenance of our gut-flora.
Foods good for the gut flora:
- Khimchi: Cabbage boiled in water with salt and turmeric powder[Haldi]
- High fibre fruits
- Fermented foods such as idli, dhokla
- Ripe bananas
- Salads and vegetables in daily diet
- Kefir Grains are known to re energise our gut flora if prepared and consumed in right quantities
- Dark Chocolate: the kind of chocolate having high percentage of cocoa and no milk and sugar is considered good for gut flora but needs to be eaten in small quantities only
2. Exercise: Regular exercise is known to improve the gut flora in humans. Dr. Aniruddha Joshi has time and again stressed on the detoxification and other positive effects of exercise and he also recommends that every person must at least take a walk of 1 hour per day preferably in the sunlight.
3. Pro-biotic medicines: Nowadays many pharmaceuticals companies have come up with Probiotic bacterial preparations in the form of capsules or powders which help replenish our gut flora.[We should always seek a doctors opinion while selecting the probiotic medicines as each preparation is different and may be used in different ways]
4. Pro-biotic food preparations such as Probiotic Yoghurt [we should check for the sugar content of such foods as they do have a tendency to have excessive sugar]
5. Avoiding excessive and inappropriate use of anti-biotics. Especially we should avoid self-medication so as not to destroy the gut flora.
Foes of gut-flora
- High sugar foods: Excessive sugar is extremely bad for gut bacteria and they die very easily when too much sugar is consumed.
- Fried Foods: Too fatty amd fried foods are considered to be very bad for the gut flora
- Aerated drinks
- Anti-biotics: Anti-biotics are very important medicines used to treat many infections. These should be used with caution and should only be taken on the advice of a doctor. Sometimes people take these medicines without understanding the side effects they may be getting exposed to.
- Anti-biotics cannot differentiate between the bacteria which are helpful to us and the bacteria which are causing the infection. They kill both these bacteria. Hence inappropriate and excessive use of anti-biotics causes the death of good gut bacteria. Due to this we see many people who are taking anti-biotics suffer from loose motions after completing the course of the anti-biotics.
- Smoking is extremely bad for the gut bacteria.
- Vitamin-D Deficiency is now considered a major factor for disturbance in the gut flora in many animals which have been studied and so could be considered to be a major factor even in us humans. Here again Bapu’s advice about taking walks in the sunlight would be helpful for us to restorer our Vitamin D and even make our Gut flora proper again.
Anti-biotics should only be used on the advice of doctors. Generally nowadays most doctors prescribe PRO-BIOTICS along with the antibiotics to replenish the gut-flora which may be destroyed as side effect of the antibiotic therapy.