With life moving at a lightning-fast pace and diets full of fast foods and refined sugar, it's not surprising that people suffer from indigestion now more than ever. The digestive tract is home to a complex community of bacteria and other microbes, otherwise known as gut flora. When in balance, the digestive process runs smoothly, but when harmful bacteria and microbes overtake beneficial forms, people experience indigestion symptoms like heart burn, acid reflux, constipation, or diarrhea. Because almost three quarters of the immune system resides within the digestive tract, indigestion symptoms might be signaling bigger problems.
The Importance of Healthy Balance
For good health, the ratio of beneficial microbiota in the gut to harmful forms should measure 85 percent to 15 percent. In addition to promoting vigorous gastrointestinal function, a healthy balance of gut flora helps prevent colon cancer, inhibits the buildup of yeast in the mouth and vagina, and protects the body from infection and the development of autoimmune disease.
A host of modern lifestyle factors contributes to an imbalance of gut flora. Some of these factors include:
- Use of prescribed antibiotics
- Consumption of over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers
- Diets high in sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates
- Diets low in fermented and cultured foods
- Lack of exercise
- Chronic stress
Related: Healthy Living Is A Personal Choice
Ways to Restore Healthy Balance
Making changes according to the factors listed above is an obvious approach for reducing indigestion symptoms and restoring a healthy balance of gut flora. People can begin by changing their diet. Trade sugary, processed foods for those high in fiber like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and eat fermented and cultured foods like kimchi and Greek yogurt. Get more exercise, participate in stress-relieving activities, and limit the use of NSAID pain relievers. Take a probiotic supplement every day to boost beneficial bacteria in the gut, and when antibiotics are required, take extra probiotics.