Taking probiotics is a good first step for improving your digestion, but it is not the whole story. It can be confusing at first to understand why taking probiotics doesn’t work with some people. You have to make a friendly environment in your gut for the bacteria to live and thrive. Certain things can interfere with your microbiome getting healthy.
I became aware of how my diet affected my health in college, I drank a lot of coffee and stayed up late cramming for exams many nights. I ate restaurant food because I worked as a waittress through college to pay my expenses. Because my focus was on my studies and my GPA I did not pay attention to certain nutrients my body needed, such as B12. I developed pernicious anemia, and was counseled by my doctor on eating better foods if I wanted to stay in school and not get sick. She gave me a list of suggested foods and I began to eat more consciously.
What I didn’t know is that the bacteria need an environment conducive to a healthy internal colony, after all the bacteria are directly affecting your weight, your health, your skin, and ability to fight infection. For me that became a lifelong obsession with good nutrition and natural foods.
There are trillions of bacterial cells in and on your body, more than all your human cells. If they are a colony of healthy bacteria, then your body is better able to make, absorb, and utilize the nutrients in the food you eat.
Your bacteria need a place to live that suits them, both in terms of fiber to keep things moving, essential nutrients, and pH. Your body is an amazing sequence of distinct environments to maximize the digestive process. The specificity of each digestive enzyme is dependent on how acidic or alkaline that part of the digestive tract is working.
One thing I learned from my process of having better digestion is that my stomach has a clock, and it digests better at some times, but not at other times. I watch my internal clock to see what my body needs at certain times of the day. I have a tendency to have more liquids in the morning to get things flowing, and have a salad with protein at lunch, and eat healthy small meals before bed, usually a bowl of vegetable soup or hummus and baby carrots.
You will have different choices as every body is unique, nor are your food preferences going to be the same as mine.
However, keeping a food journal helped me get in touch with how many grams of sugar in the food I ate. Sugar is often overused and omnipresent in many processed foods, including frozen vegetables. You may want to lose weight, but if you don’t eat well, chances are you will get bloating and cramping. It is good to pay attention to the quality of your food intake as well as the calories.
It is hard to change eating habits permanently. You can go on a diet, but often people gain weight back because they go back to what they are used to eating.
You may have a good diet or a bad diet, depending on how you were raised, and foods you have learned to like as an adult. Awareness will help you with your diet no matter what you eat. You will see the results of eating more fruit and vegetables, versus lots of meat, alcohol, cake, cookies, & candy, white bread, greasy fried salt (snack foods like Doritos and potato chips).
The thing I want to point out here is just paying attention to what you partake of, and how it affects your digestion and comfort levels is important. I used to count my calories, but I didn’t lose any weight. After I really started paying attention to my digestion did I start to lose weight and feel better.