Chances are you may have heard these buzz words: gut flora, good bacteria and probiotics. We’re here to shed some light on what they means to you and how you can proactively improve your GI health.

With advancements in microbiology, gastroenterologists now have tremendous insight into the microorganisms in the human GI tract. We know that microflora, or good bacteria, helps metabolize nutrients and protects the gut from less beneficial bacteria. So-called bad bacteria can cause gas, bloating, inflammation and more serious GI conditions.

The good news is that we can re-set our gut flora. Good bacteria flourishes in the gut under certain conditions – and the food we eat is a primary factor. Here’s a helpful rundown on the foods to eat and a few to avoid to cultivate healthful microflora.