Bad gut bacteria can influence everything from our weight, to our mood, to our cognitive ability. It can be the reason for our back pain, the root of our depression, and of course, the cause of our digestive issues. If you’ve tried all the basic gut health advice, and it isn’t resolving your gut health issues, you may have a tougher issue on your hands. First, consider taking the GI-MAP stool test to see what your microbiota issues are. Then, try some of the strategies to start beating those bad gut bacteria.
1. Take Natural Digestive Aids
If your gut is having a hard time digesting, for whatever reason, help it out by consuming natural digestive aids.
- Betaine HCL and Apple Cider Vinegar are helpful for folks with insufficient stomach acid to break down food (common signs of this are heartburn or upset stomach).
- Digestive enzymes are helpful for folks with a sluggish gallbladder or pancreas.
- And ginger is helpful for those with sluggish migrating motor complex (MMC), which helps clean out the small intestine between meals.
2. Remove Toxins from Your Life
Sometimes it seems like we are doing everything right, but we still can’t seem to get a handle on our gut health issues. In this case, there is often some hidden toxin that’s bogging down our immune system.
For example, are we eating all of our food out of plastic with BPA, a known gut toxin? Or are we living in a home that’s covered in gut-harming mold? Or are we sleeping on a new bed that is sprayed in toxic flame-retardant chemicals?
Gut-harming toxins are all around us. The electromagnetic waves from our smartphones can even mess with our guts. So finding and removing these toxins is often instrumental in healing the gut.
3. Try a Ketogenic Diet
Although a Ketogenic diet doesn’t seem to work for everyone, it appears to be a good way to reduce inflammation in the body more generally, improve insulin resistance, and clear gunk from the cells. It also tends to be good for getting rid of bad bacteria and parasites. Why? Because the Ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet, and gut bugs primarily eat carbs.
Keep in mind that starting a Ketogenic diet can often result in a few days or weeks of Keto flu—headaches, leg cramps, sugar cravings, and some other annoying symptoms. To prevent Keto flu, make sure you’re getting electrolytes (especially sea salt, magnesium, and potassium). An easy way to do this is by drinking homemade “ketorade”.
And if you don’t feel good eating Keto after a few days, stop! If your body is already stressed, Keto can be too stressful for your body to handle. You might instead opt for a moderate to low carb diet just to reduce your sugar intake.
4. Eat Probiotic Foods
Consuming probiotic foods is probably the best thing you can do for gut health. Although probiotic supplements can be helpful, they are usually too small to make much of an impact. If you do want to try pills, get pills with 50 billion colony forming units (CFUs). I suggest the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii, which has been shown to combat digestive issues.
5. Break Up the Biofilms That House Bad Gut Bugs
When bad gut bugs just won’t leave, it’s often because they have a protective home, or biofilm, to hide in. Taking biofilm disrupting supplements can start to jar them loose. The biofilm disrupters include: Allicin (from Garlic), N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), and Monolaurin (from coconut oil).
6. Detox The Liver
Our livers are responsible for detoxing us of the harmful byproducts of dying gut bugs. Eating liver supportive foods can help us reduce die-off reactions and kill bad gut bugs with more ease.
To help the liver and body detox, consider taking milk thistle supplements, calcium D- Glucarate, NAC, or liposomal glutathione. Next, eat bitter greens like dandelion leaves, raw radishes, and mustard greens to promote more bile excretion and process toxins effectively. And be sure to eat cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, collard greens, bok choy, and arugula. These contain diindolylmethane (DIM), a substance that helps the liver detox effectively.