Imbalance in gut bacteria
The prevalent uses of antibiotics, especially for a prolonged period of time, chronically, or starting from a young age have a huge impact on our gut bacteria.
While antibiotics certainly have their place in the world of medicine and have saved many lives, they don’t distinguish between the harmful invading bacteria and our beneficial bacteria. Slowly, over time and with increased use, they can eradicate species of bacteria that help us thrive.
The health of our mother’s microflora and whether we were breastfed has profound effects on our immunity and the wellbeing of our gut. Choosing farms who certify their animals weren’t given antibiotics ensures we aren’t consuming antibiotics unintentionally through our food supply. Birth control and other prescribed medications have an effect on bacteria as well.
As a society, we don’t eat as many fermented foods and therefore don’t expose ourselves to a wide variety of bacterial strains found in them. Even supplemental probiotics may not be colonizing the way they’ve been promised. Some studies are finding that the strains found in common probiotic supplements are slightly different than the ones that would colonize our gut and can’t withstand the acidic environment of the stomach.
This is such an excellent reason to consume fermented foods and beverages on a regular basis. The bacteria they contain are more likely to colonize the human gut and we’re more likely to expose ourselves to more strains of bacteria, thereby increasing biodiversity.
Benefits of eating fermented food:
Fermented foods contain live bacteria that feed on yeasts and sugars. This actually translates to a lower-sugar food because the bacteria digest sugars.
They are living foods with enzymes and organic acids. Whatever is fermenting is partially digested for us, and any active ingredients are far more bio available for absorption.
Bacteria make B vitamins which help our metabolism, immune system, and nervous system function properly.
85% of the immune system resides in the gut. Healing the gut is the ultimate way to increase immune function.
Fermenting food eliminates anti-nutrients found in food such as phytates and oxalic acid.