Just the sound of the word makes us all cringe and makes us want to break out on antibacterial wipes. But not all bacteria are bad. In fact, we need it to survive.
Bacteria and other microorganisms live in our gut, where they play an important role in preventing disease and improving health.
To promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, it is crucial to eat foods rich in fiber.
And while we strive to kill bacteria in our kitchens and bathrooms, we need to be careful not to kill the good bacteria in our gut by eating the wrong things.
Top microbiome killers to watch out for:
Sugar, refined flour
Sugar and refined flours lack fiber, the fuel for good bacteria, and they can also decrease the amount of beneficial bacteria. Look for whole grain options where possible and keep added sugars to a minimum.
Animal protein is also devoid of fiber. They create a more inflammatory environment with an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease. Keep animal protein as a side dish on your plate or switch to more plant-based proteins that can help build healthy gut flora.
We know that the oils in fried foods are dangerous for our hearts, but they can also destroy good bacteria. Opt for baked options to find your crunch.
We often switch to sugar-free items to reduce our sugar intake. However, it can backfire on us and negatively affect our microbiome. Wean off the sweeteners and let your taste buds adjust to less sweet foods. Use small amounts of honey or pure maple syrup if a sweetener is needed.
High stress can actually alter the gut microbiome. Make sure to incorporate regular stress management techniques into your daily routine to improve gut health.
Although they are essential for clearing dangerous infections, antibiotics can also kill our beneficial gut bacteria. Be sure to include foods or supplements rich in probiotics after any antibiotic treatment, and avoid any animal product for which the animal has been given antibiotics.
Avoiding these microbiome killers is essential not only for building a healthy gut, but also for strengthening overall health.