Countless bacteria live in the intestines, both good and bad, and a healthy gut flora is important to good health. The gut literally acts like our second brain, and indeed produces even more serotonin (a neurotransmitter which makes us feel good) than the brain itself.

Too many bad bacteria can cause ill health
If the good bacteria in your gut don’t predominate over the bad, your health can be affected. Get your bowel back into balance and your digestive system once again functioning at its optimum, and you will be amazed at the amount of symptoms which had been caused by the imbalance in the intestines. Those symptoms can disappear when the balance is restored.

Balancing bowel function
In order to achieve this recovery, there are a number of important steps. First, a good colon cleanse should be done to get rid of all the old waste that sustains the bad bacteria. After this you should take a probiotic.

Many people do not know that after doing a colon cleanse, it is important for them to adjust their diet, otherwise the good bacteria will not get the chance to develop properly in the intestine.

What is Fermentation? 
Fermentation is a natural process that occurs when vegetables are stored in an enclosed space in the presence of salt and it’s an excellent breeding ground for good bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria occur naturally on fruit and vegetables and convert sugars (starch or fiber from vegetables) into lactic acid by fermentation. During this process, the lactic acid bacteria reproduce and increase in number. When all sugars have been converted into lactic acid, the acidity has decreased and bad bacteria can no longer live there. Hence, well prepared fermented vegetables have a long shelf life.

A few generations ago, fermentation was still used for preserving vegetables to make them available out of season. Sauerkraut is a typical example, but the method could actually be used on any vegetable.

Which foods to eat?
There is no need to eat a lot of fermented foods, half a cup a day works wonders. Besides vegetables, you can also consider yogurt, quark or kefir, preferably made from unpasteurized milk. Kombucha tea is a good drink, also produced by fermentation.

Avoiding raw fruits and vegetables during the intestinal recovery phase
Not many people know that if you want to change your diet after a colon cleanse, there are certain foods which should be avoided. During the recovery phase of the intestine it is very important to avoid raw fruits and vegetables. You will probably think that this is strange advice because these are healthy foods, right? True, but they contain fibre which feed the bad bacteria in the gut, even though fiber would normally be considered healthy.

When you are rebalancing the intestines, it is better to only eat well-cooked and fermented vegetables. Avoid cereal and limit your dairy to only yogurt, kefir or quark (from raw milk), as previously mentioned. Organic meat is fine, as are soups from home made stock. 

The intestine is back in balance
Once the intestine is in balance, you can go back to eating raw or lightly cooked vegetables. The length of time for the gut to rebalance depends on the severity of the situation. In most people, the disappearance of certain symptoms would indicate that the bowel is back in balance. You are doing well when there is no more bloating, nausea, regurgitation, flatulence, diarrhea or constipation.

Fermented foods and heavy metals.
Even when the gut is back in balance, it is a good thing to continue eating fermented vegetables. They are not only good for rebalancing the intestinal flora, but also for transporting heavy metals from the body. They do this because the cell walls of the good bacteria in the fermented foods contain substances which have an attraction for mercury, lead, aluminum, etc. They bind to these substances and carry them out of the body.

Clearly, the benefits of eating fermented foods are enormous. Along with other measures they can help to restore the balance in the gut.