Your choice of foods can interfere with the functioning of beneficial bacteria that are needed by your gut and your digestive system to boost your metabolism, energize your body and strengthen your immune system. Probiotics are a sensible choice to enjoy a tiptop gut health but if you want to make the most of your probiotic foods and supplements, you should avoid the following seven foods.
1. Hot and Spicy Foods
Hot and spicy foods release acids that create a hostile environment for your gut bacteria. Excessive intake of spicy foods can wreck havoc on your digestive system and upset the essential flora colonies which are responsible for regulating digestion and alleviating constipation. Certain spices kill the beneficial bacteria that are essential for promoting the health of your intestines and balancing your gut health.
2. Fried Snacks
More than 500 different bacterial strains thrive in your digestive system out of which 85% are beneficial and the remaining 15% are pathogenic strains. When you consume fried foods, they feed the bad bacteria that are linked to obesity and create an imbalance in the ratio of good and bad gut bacteria. This keeps the gut-friendly strains from performing their function of keeping the bad bacteria under control and their proportion is reversed. This tipping of balance invites digestive issues and leads to excessive gas and bloating.
3. Processed Foods
Processing eliminates much of the fiber which is of great value to good gut bacteria. When you consume highly processed foods frequently, your gut-friendly bacteria starve and perish because processed foods break down fast and are easily absorbed. The refined carbohydrates in processed foods deprive your gut bacteria of the goodness of fibers that help them survive and multiply.
4. Foods Containing Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners ferment after consumption and release gas. This creates discomfort and interferes with the functioning of probiotics. Artificial sweeteners alter your gut microbiome and bring down your metabolism rate leading to obesity and diabetes. They have a detrimental effect on the beneficial strains present in your gut and disrupt your gut flora.
5. Sweet and Sugary Foods
Whether you are taking probiotics in the form of foods or supplements, the bacterial strains are adversely affected by the acids present in sugary foods. Sugar intake leads to digestive troubles as the bad bacteria in your gut flora feed on sugar. High-sugar environments make it very difficult for the beneficial probiotic strains to survive in the digestive tract and gradually lead to weight gain and bloating.
Read More: Stevia and Gut Health: 5 Strange Facts How Stevia Affects Gut Health? 2022
6. Foods with High Pesticide Residue
Foods containing pesticides contribute to gluten intolerance and cause food allergies which actually arise due to an imbalance in the gut microbiome.
7. Genetically Modified Foodstuff
Foods that are genetically altered to deter pests are actually poisonous for good gut bacteria. The glyphosate found in genetically engineered foods is deadly for your gut flora and leaves you susceptible to infectious microbes.
The Best Way to Take Probiotics
Probiotic foods are the best carriers of beneficial bacteria but if you are taking the best probiotic for gut health and weight loss, it is best to take them just before you have your meal or along with it. Taking them after your meal would do little to restore your gut flora as the stomach acids increase after a meal which makes it difficult for the beneficial bacteria to survive and thrive.
Benefits of Probiotics
Here are 10 ways in which making probiotics foods and supplements a part of your daily diet can benefit you besides aiding digestion, absorbing nutrients and boosting immune function.
- Aid in the overall functioning of the body and provide energy to the brain
- Probiotics replenish the good bacteria that build your bones & strengthen your skeletal system.
- Reduce the risk of developing skin ailments like eczema
- Prevent the growth of harmful microbes that cause urinary tract infections
- Neutralize cancerous cells & control the growth of free radicals
- A daily dose of probiotics is proven to reduce the risk of kidney stone formation.
- Stimulate the production of vitamins like B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid and biotin
- Probiotic bacteria boost bowel movement and alleviate the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
- Probiotics restore the depleting levels of beneficial bacteria to ward off bacterial infections.
- Reduce the incidence of allergies and seasonal infections
How Do Probiotics Maintain Better Gut Health?
The gut is a delicate ecosystem that is responsible for optimal well-being, since it is connected to other vital systems that affect immunity, energy, mood and even behaviour. In practically every living being, a large part of the immune system is located within the digestive system, which relies on the gut micro flora to fight off harmful invaders and promote proper functionality of all the vital systems in our bodies.
The gut has helpful and harmful bacteria alike, and a balance of both is necessary to ensure proper gastrointestinal health. Probiotics are the beneficial microbes that help maintain this balance, by encouraging the growth of good bacteria and fighting off bad ones. Ideally, the optimum gut balance should consist of 85% probiotics and 15% pathogens.
Abundance of good bacteria has a host of other health benefits too, from producing various vitamins and essential fatty acids, stimulating the production of anti-cancer cells and processing a large number of nutrients, to restricting the growth of disease-causing organisms – all this, above and beyond increasing the efficiency of the digestive and immune system.