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“The bacteria living in your gut (yep, they took up residence there and don’t even pay rent) are a major player in your overall health. If this is news to you, it’s time to listen up,” says Michele Alonso, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer who has a particular interest in gut health.

“The bacteria living inside us, called our microbiota, collectively have a strong influence on our metabolism, immunity, how we store and use energy, and even our brain.” Continues Alonso: “Some scientists now consider the microbiota an organ due to its significant role in our health. The quality of our microbiota is judged mainly by two criteria: the number of bacteria and the diversity of the species. This is an emerging field of science so we can’t say exactly how much of each species we need yet. To add further mystery, each of us has a unique microbial community based on where we live, our diets, genetic factors and even if we live with a pet or not! However, it is crystal clear that our diet is one of the biggest influencers.”

So how do we increase the number of beneficial gut bacteria?

“…by consuming fermented foods,” replies Alonso: “These foods contain live organisms. The most common would be a fermentable dairy product such as Greek yoghurt and kefir. The fermentation produces lactic acid, which is responsible for the tangy taste. Some other great options are kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Oh – and bonus points if you pickle your own vegetables!”

The dietitian concludes that she encourages all her clients to consume more plant-based foods, as these feed our microbiota: “Aim for 5-8 servings of different fruit and veggies per day, lots of legumes, and plain, unsweetened fermented foods.”






Probiotic supplements have shown to positively effect modification of the gut microbiota and competitive adherence to the mucosa and epithelium, while also strengthening the gut epithelial barrier and modulating of the immune system. So if you’re looking to further fuel the good bacteria in your gut with a probiotic, consider Releaf Probiotic 12-Strain, which contain a combination of 12 probiotic strains that may assist in improving or normalising the microbial balance in the human intestines and thereby the functioning of the digestive tract/gut.

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Releaf Pharmaceuticals | Natural Health Supplements
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