Replenishing Healthy Gut Flora

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Dr. Kristin Schnurr, ND

The Three Ways to Cultivate Healthy Gut Flora
1.  Our first microbes are introduced in the vaginal canal after the natural birth process, and are delivered through breast milk. We inherit our gut flora from our mother at birth, where it settles in the baby’s sterile system and becomes the microbiome of the gut. Breastfeeding is another way the mother passes her beneficial flora to her baby. Bottle fed babies acquire completely different gut flora than those that are breastfed.

2.  Healthy digestive microbes come from ingesting uncooked and live culture fruits, vegetables, and dairy products that contain live probiotics.  Routinely eating some fermented foods 
such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso or kombucha can also assist in replenishing healthy bacteria.  It is important to ensure the products are guaranteed to contain live cultures since many brands destroy the essential bacteria with high temperature processing during the manufacturing process. If it’s in the fridge at the store it is more likely to contain live culture, if it’s on the shelf it has been pasteurized.  Making your own yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha or kefir assures an active bacteria content.

3.  For some people, the level of depletion of beneficial organisms in the digestive tract requires the consumption of a daily probiotic supplement in order to replenish beneficial bacteria.   It is important to consider that infants, children and adults require different combinations of specific bacteria.   And, it is important to be cautious with dosing in the treatment of skin and autoimmune conditions.

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