Did you know that our bodies are ecosystem with community of living organisms? Yes, we are not just made of organ systems or blood vessels but also harbour tons of bacteria. In fact, there are more than around 40 to 100 trillion bacteria residing in our gut which is almost 1.3 times the number of cells in our body. Microbes exist in almost every part of the human body, skin, gut, nose. About 99% of all microorganisms are found in healthy adults.
Bacteria have always been known for their bad deeds such as causing infection. But do you know about good bacteria? Good bacteria are essential to remain healthy and maintain a balanced ecosystem. Good bacteria provide valuable support as it helps in digestion and produces important vitamins that our bodies need. You might be wondering why bacteria are important? As discussed earlier, bacteria that we harbour are an ecological community which is a balance of good and bad bacteria. And without this balance we are prone to several health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.
Bad bacteria are unavoidable as they are present everywhere in the environment and enter our bodies every day. Thus, having good bacteria in our bodies helps to stop bad bacteria from increasing or causing diseases. Lack of good bacteria may flourish disease-causing bad bacteria, leading to allergies or other serious conditions. Constant inflammation may also occur due to imbalance of good and bad bacteria.
Antibiotics are generally used to treat infections, and kill the bad bacteria that cause them. But antibiotics can also kill good bacteria and cause bacterial imbalance in your gut. This in turn helps bad bacteria to grow and increase the risk of diseases. Hence you may find that sometimes antibiotics are not as effective. Thus, antibiotics should not be used if not required.
Good bacteria may also get reduced due to eating too much sugar, fat or processed foods, toxins such as food additives or preservatives or drinking too much alcohol, taking lot of medicines or too much stress.
How do you know that your body’s ecosystem is affected?
If you have any of the below signs or symptoms, your body’s ecosystem may be affected, and you may need to rebalance your ecosystem.
- Unexplained weight loss
- Nutrient deficiencies
- High cholesterol levels
- Vaginal infections
- Bad breath
- Menstrual problem
- Allergy to dairy products
Tips to rebalance your ecosystem
Probiotics are good bacteria, found in foods like yogurt or dietary supplements. Taking probiotics can help restore the good bacteria in our body and improve our health. Here are a few tips to rebalance your gut ecosystem.
- Eat high-fiber and whole foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fruits, vegetables, and greens
- Avoid or limit intake of fat, sugar and processed foods
- Take probiotics daily
- Avoid intake of medicines such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or acid blockers
- Increase water intake
- Reduce your stress level
- Have a well-balanced lifestyle