Many people think of stomach bacteria as something that only impacts digestion. While the primary role of stomach bacteria is to digest food, it does much more than just smooth the digestive process. It is believed that stomach bacteria problems may cause or worsen a host of physical problems such as inflammation, depression, diabetes, acne and obesity. If fact, as nutrition plays a significant role in most diseases and immune system health, stomach bacteria appears even more important as it breaks food into nutrients that the body can use. The good news is that there are a number of simple things that people can do to keep their good stomach bacteria thriving.
Most people who consume a Western diet do not drink enough water. Water is of key importance to the digestive system. Water is needed to help breakdown food, to move food and nutrients through the digestive system and to ease the process of eliminating waste. Bacteria also needs plenty of water to live and reproduce.
Many fermented foods are an overlooked source of good bacteria. Fermentation is the process of preserving food through the utilization of yeast or bacteria. While yogurt is the most well-known source of good bacteria, other fermented foods also provide the body with useful bacteria. From sauerkraut to miso, there are many traditional foods that are fermented and healthy to eat. Sourdough bread, and other foods made from a sourdough base, also carry naturally good bacteria.
In addition to taking steps to boost bacteria, a person should also work to protect his or her stomach bacteria. The overuse of antibiotics, frequent consumption of alcohol and a stressful lifestyle can all reduce the number of health bacteria. Taking some time each day to get some exercise, even a simple outdoor walk, can help to reduce stress and boost the overall health of the body.