Nutrition

Keep Your Gut Functioning Properly

Improve your bodybuilding results with prebiotics and probiotics.

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Keep Your Gut Functioning Properly

 QUESTION 

I’ve been hearing about how bacteria can help us. How can I make sure I’ve got the good stomach bugs? 

 ANSWER 

Studies on the bacterial populations that live in our gastrointestinal tract have exploded in the past few years. These masses of germs—which are estimated to be at least three times more populous than your own human cells—are called your microbiome, and they have been found to influence everything from mental health and metabolism to the immune system and heart health.

One key to keeping them on your side and not turning into an unruly mob of harmful bacteria is to continuously add in more good guys to keep the baddies in check. And that means you should be getting plenty of foods that feature probiotics. Load up on naturally fermented foods like live culture yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, etc.

Our GI tract should naturally be more acidic, but factors such as substances in our water, poor food choices, antibiotics, or other drugs can make it shift to a more alkaline environment, which is not hospitable for the good bacteria. The acidic environment is essential for breaking down foods into the nutrients your body needs to absorb. If you’re not getting these nutrients, you’ll start to see deficiencies and decreases in your overall health.

Another way to help those beneficial bugs help you is by feeding them what they thrive on: prebiotics. Foods that do this are typically woody and dense raw vegetables like asparagus, onion, garlic, leeks, jicama, and kale stems because they have high amounts of a type of plant fiber called oligosaccharides that we can’t digest, but our gut bacteria loves.

 FLEX 

 

 

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