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Make bacteria your buddy

Make bacteria your buddy

Your gut may look toned and healthy, but what’s it like on the inside?

Our bodies contain more than 100 trillion bacteria. Many are actually beneficial, known as ‘friendly bacteria’ or ‘probiotic’ bacteria. These live on their host and in return give positive health benefits.

The most beneficial bacteria are the lactic acid group which live in our digestive tract. These include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidiobacterium. They help the body digest food, thereby increasing the amount of nutrition available to us.

Antibiotics and antibacterial products kill off many of our beneficial bacteria. It’s believed a reduction in gut flora is the cause of many health problems. Putting good bacteria back into our bodies is a good way to redress the balance.

How to be friendly to your bacteria

  • Eat dairy foods rich in probiotics. Natural yoghurt, kefir, soya milk and even dark chocolate are great choices.
  • Eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, blue cheese and olives.
  • Eat sourdough. This contains wild yeasts and natural bacteria.
  • Take prebiotics to replenish good bacteria.
  • Eat a wide variety of foods. This encourages gut microbiota which is wide and supportive.

How bacteria is friendly to you

  • Weight loss. Foods containing lactic acid (such as yoghurt) improve the ability to extract energy from food and discourage fat storage. They also help fill us up by aiding digestion.
  • Higher immunity. Around 75 per cent of our immune cells live in our gut. Foods high in probiotics are therefore believed to help fight colds and flu.
  • Protection against allergies.
  • Protection against diarrhoea, IBS and flatulence.
  • Improved mental health. Good bacteria produce a signal which curbs depression and anxiety.

What’s the simple solution to healthy guts?


Gym and yoghurt!