|Doctors of chiropractic have long recognized the importance of gut flora — the naturally occurring bacteria in the intestines — to overall health. Indeed, the 1,000 trillion “good” digestive system bacteria are critical in helping the body absorb nutrients from food, as well as bolstering immunity.
But did you know that those friendly microorganisms may also be responsible in part for mental well-being? A new study supports the increasingly popular notion that an imbalance of gut flora could play a role in depression, anxiety, and even developmental disorders like autism.
Fortunately, you can take steps to improve and protect your GI health by supporting a normal, healthy balance of gut flora. Gut health is one of many reasons this chiropractic office recommends avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotic drugs. These potent medications kill both the “bad” bacteria they are prescribed to target and the “good” bacteria that keep your body healthy. This is why many people find that antibiotics upset their stomachs.
A balanced diet based on whole foods also promotes healthy gut flora. Choose a variety of vegetables, legumes, proteins, healthy fats and some whole grains. Limit sugars and refined carbohydrates. Some research suggests that restricting all carbohydrates is effective in treating chronic conditions related to gut flora. Probiotic foods that further support gut health include cultured dairy like yogurt and kefir as well as naturally fermented pickles and relishes.
Finally, regular chiropractic care can ease GI symptoms. By addressing misalignments in the spine. the doctor helps patients find relief from a surprisingly wide variety of disorders, many of which are connected to the nerve system.Dr. Barbara Smith