Health

The A to Z Guide of Gut Health

A is for antibiotics. Antibiotics kill the good bacteria in your gut and can cause side effects such as antibiotic-induced diarrhoea. There’s good evidence to suggest that taking high doses of probiotics like Bioglan Biotic Balance Super Strength while taking antibiotics, can help prevent AAD, and reduce the risk of developing infections such as Clostridium Difficile infection.

B is for bloating. In the digestive tract, there are healthy and unhealthy bacteria that compete, and when “bad bacteria” outweigh the good for one reason or another, an imbalance can lead to abdominal bloating and excessive gas.

C is for constipation. Unbalanced gut microflora can result in irregular bowel movements that leave you feeling lethargic and bloated.

D is for digestion. Eating probiotic foods or taking a probiotic supplement could be beneficial for your digestive system as they help promote friendly bacteria in the microbiome. These good bacteria are crucial in aiding digestion whilst also assist your body in absorbing key nutrients from the food we eat.

E is for energy. Energy comes from food, so a healthy and efficient digestive system will help your body’s ability to get more of it into your system.

F is for fermented foods. They contain friendly bacteria called Lactobacillus, which helps fight the bad bacteria present in our guts and helps restore the balance of our immune system.

G is for gastrointestinal tract (GI). This is the system of organs in our bodies that carries and digests food so that all the nutrients and energy can be absorbed

H is for harmonious microbiome. This refers to the environmental conditions of your gut. The higher the concentration of friendly bacteria in there, the more healthy and energetic you should feel.

I is for immune function. Your gut houses 70 percent of the cells that make up your immune system. Getting your gut bacteria healthy is one of the most important things you can do to get and stay healthy. If your bacteria are sick, so are you! Taking a superior quality probiotic such as Bioglan Biotic Balance daily can help improve your healthy gut flora.

J is for junk food. Junk food kills bacteria that help protect against obesity and heart disease. Scientists now believe a diet based on a limited range of highly processed foods, rather than those found in a balanced, healthy diet, can wipe out the number of good bacteria by more than a third.

K is for kefir. This fermented yoghurt is packed full of probiotics that can help improve the immune system and digestive health. It’s thought to contain as many as 40 different supercharged strains of beneficial bacteria.

L is for loss of appetite. Did you know that when we feel full, it’s not because our stomachs have been stretched to the limit? It’s our gut bacteria that tell us when to stop scoffing.

L is for lactobacillus rhamnosus. Lactobacillus Rhamnosus is one of the most well researched probiotic strains. Recent research has found that this wonder strain helps with immunity, urinary tract health and allergies including eczema especially in children. Bioglan Biotic Balance is one such probiotic on the market which contains this unique strain.

M is for mood regulation. In an Oxford University experiment, women given regular probiotics found they experienced positive psychological effects and reacted less negatively to emotionally charged images or words than the women who had been given a placebo.

N is for neurons. Long term stress can alter the neurons or nerve cells in your gut which can in turn halt the normal production of digestive enzymes.

O is for omega-3 fatty acids. Taking Omega 3 as part of a healthy diet with plenty of fibrous and probiotic foods can improve the diversity of your gut microbiome, which can in turn lower your risk of inflammatory gut conditions like colitis or crohn’s. Red Krill is the purest form of Omega 3 with 80 times more antioxidants than Cod Liver Oil.

P is for prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics are ‘good’ bacteria that help keep your gut healthy, while prebiotics are fibrous carbohydrates the body can’t digest which become food for these beneficial bacteria. Prebiotics aid normal bowel function and supports digestive health.

Q is for quince. This forgotten fruit is high in the polyphenols, which help increase good bacteria and decrease bad bacteria in the gut.

R is for radiant skin. Scientists believe that an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the intestines causes tiny holes between the cells, through which bacterial toxins and undigested food can leak into the body, causing acne and inflammation. Recent studies on the benefits of probiotics have shown how they can improve the texture of the skin and help protect against blemishes. By replacing harmful forms of bacteria, you could have clearer, younger-looking skin too, as the liver is able to eliminate toxins from the body more effectively.

S is for stress. Many studies have suggested that stressful like events are associated with the onset of or worsening of digestive conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease and IBS.

T is for tiredness. In an US study, researchers found that 80% of people with chronic fatigue syndrome had different gut bacteria to those who didn’t suffer from the condition. Their findings demonstrated that the gut bacterial microbiome in chronic fatigue syndrome patients isn’t normal, perhaps leading to gastrointestinal and inflammatory symptoms.

U is for urinary tract infections. During a UTI, gut bacteria like E. coli take up residence in the vagina and displace good bacteria, called vaginal lactobacilli, that normally live there, said Dr Ann Stapleton, professor of medicine at the University of Washington. Probiotics help to restore the natural bacterial environment to make it hard for the bad bacteria to cause infection.

V is for vegetables and fruits. Good gut bacteria veggies include Jerusalem artichokes, which are high in prebiotic Inulin. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetable like kale, cabbage and cauliflower are thought to help reduce gut inflammation.

W is for weight gain. Comparing microbes in the gut in obese and thin individuals, scientists have already shown that lean people have many more species of intestinal bacteria than obese people.

X is for eXcess wind. If you’ve got gas it might not be a bad thing! Flatulence is sometimes an indication that your gut microbes are healthy. And the more fibre you consume, the more wind you may have!

Y is for yeast. If allowed to run riot in your gut, certain yeasts can increase your craving for sugars, bad carbs and even alcohol. Yeast balancing foods include Omega 3 and coconut oil. You should also try to eliminate sugar, processed food and drink from your diet and take a daily probiotic.

Z is for zzz. Probiotics can help you sleep better. They produce and regulate a number of neurotransmitters and hormones that impact our sleep, including tryptophan, serotonin and cortisol.

Bioglan Biotic Balance is £14.99 available from Holland & Barrett.

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