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Sunday, January 19, 2020

How to of the Day

How to of the Day


How to Knit Scrubbies

Posted: 19 Jan 2020 04:00 PM PST

Scrubbies are small abrasive dishcloths that you can use to clean hard surfaces and dishes. You can knit your own scrubbies using a special type of scrubby yarn or a combination of dishcloth yarn and nylon netting. This is an easy, quick, and useful project for knitters of all levels, so make some scrubbies for yourself and your friends!

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Designing Your Scrubbies

  1. Choose a textured scrubby and/or cotton yarn. A textured scrubby yarn is ideal for making scrubbies, but you can also use a cotton yarn. Try checking online or in your local craft supply store for a textured scrubby yarn. If none is available, then opt for a cotton yarn.[1]
    Knit Scrubbies Step 1.jpg
    • Red Heart has a yarn called Scrubby that is specifically for making scrubbies.
    • Sugar n' Cream is a popular type of cotton yarn, but you may use any brand you like.
  2. Get a pair of knitting needles that will work with your yarn. Check the yarn label to determine what type of knitting needles will work best for the yarn you are using. This will help to ensure that you get the best possible results.
    Knit Scrubbies Step 2.jpg
    • For example, a pair of US size 7 to 9 (4.5 to 5.5 mm) knitting needles will work well if you are using a medium-weight scrubby yarn.[2]
  3. Add nylon for extra scrubbing power if desired. If you want extra texture in your scrubbies or if your yarn is not textured, then you can incorporate some nylon into your knitting. Purchase some nylon net and cut it into strands. Then, tie those strands together to make nylon yarn that you can knit into your scrubby.[3]
    Knit Scrubbies Step 3.jpg
    • Check your local craft supply store for nylon net or buy some online.

[Edit]Knitting a Simple Scrubby

  1. Hold 2 strands together for a thicker scrubby. If you want a thick durable scrubby, then knit with 2 strands of scrubby yarn at once. Another option is to hold 1 piece of scrubby or nylon yarn and 1 piece of cotton yarn as you knit. However, you may also knit with 1 strand of scrubby or nylon yarn to make your scrubby.
    Knit Scrubbies Step 4.jpg
    • If you are working with a single ball of scrubby yarn, then divide the ball into 2 equal-sized balls before you get started.
    • If you are using nylon to add texture to the scrubby, the hold 1 strand of nylon yarn with 1 strand of cotton yarn to knit the scrubby.
  2. Make a slipknot. Loop the yarn around your index and ring finger twice, and pinch the intersection of 2 loops (where the loops begin and end). Slip the loops off your fingers while pinching this section, and then bring the second loop over the first loop. Tug on the tail-end of the yarn to tighten the loop slightly. Slide the loop onto your right-hand needle and tug on the tail to tighten it further.[4]

    • This slipknot counts as your first cast on stitch.
  3. Cast on 15 stitches. Loop the yarn over the left-hand needle and insert the right-hand needle into the loop. Yarn over the right-hand needle and pull through to create your second cast on stitch. Keep casting on until you have a total of 15 stitches.[5]

    • If desired, you may cast on more or fewer stitches than 15 to create a different size scrubby.
  4. Knit across the first row. To knit, insert the right-hand needle through the first stitch on the left-hand needle going from front to back. Then, loop the yarn over the end of the right-hand needle and pull this new loop through the old loop, and then let the old loop slide off the end of the left-hand needle.[6]

    • Repeat this sequence all the way to the end of the row.
  5. Turn your work and continue knitting. Switch the right-hand needle with all of the stitches on it to your left hand, and place the empty needle in your right hand. Then, continue knitting across this new row. By turning your work after each row, you will be working in the garter stitch. This stitch has a little stretch and texture to it.[7]

  6. Continue to knit until the scrubby is the desired size. After you finish casting on, knit across the first row and then continue knitting all of the rows until the scrubby is the desired size. A good scrubby size is about , which is roughly 22 rows.[8]

    • You can measure your scrubby when it looks like it is close to the desired size, but you can also just guess. Scrubbies do not need to be perfect since you will just be using them to scrub counters and dishes.
  7. Bind off the last row. To finish your scrubby, you will need to bind off the stitches. Start by knitting the first 2 stitches in the row. Then, use the left-hand needle to lift the first stitch on the right-hand needle over the second stitch. Then, knit 1 and use the left-hand needle to lift the first 1 up and over the second 1 again.[9]

    • Keep doing this to the end of the row to bind off all the stitches.
    • After binding off the last stitch, tie a knot through it and cut the excess yarn.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Scrubby yarn
  • Cotton yarn (optional)
  • Nylon netting (optional)
  • Knitting needles in US size 7, 8, or 9 (4.5, 5.0, or 5.5 mm)
  • Scissors

[Edit]References

How to Help a Cat with Anxiety

Posted: 19 Jan 2020 08:00 AM PST

Just like humans, cats sometimes struggle with anxiety. If you notice your feline friend acting nervous, irritable, aggressive, or clingy, this may indicate that it's anxious. You may be able to help by offering an enriching, low-stress environment. If your cat's anxiety is new or severe, make an appointment with your vet to discuss possible causes and treatment options. It may not always be obvious if your cat is anxious, so get familiar with common signs of anxiety in cats if you're not sure how your companion might be feeling.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Creating a Calming Environment

  1. Offer places for your cat to perch and hide. Avoid trying to give the cat attention as it may interpret this as a sign of aggression. Back off and allow the cat to do what it needs to do to feel safe, even if that means hiding away for a while. Provide your cat with furniture to help it feel more secure, such as a cat tree with perching platforms and built-in "apartments." Upside down cardboard boxes with a couple of holes cut into the sides also make good hiding spots. If your cat doesn't feel like it has a safe space to retreat to when things get stressful, it may feel anxious and overwhelmed.[1]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 1.jpg
    • Your cat may also appreciate having a designated area in the home where it can get away from other pets or children. For example, if you have a utility room, you could put a litter box and cat bed there and put a baby gate in the doorway to keep your dog out.
    • Cats also enjoy having high places where they can safely survey the world around them from above.[2] You may want to clear a pathway for your cat that's up off the ground, such as along a shelf or along the back of a couch.
  2. Give your cat safe areas to eat, sleep, and use the litter box. Your cat needs to feel secure while it is doing basic functions like eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom. Place your cat's food dishes, litter box, and bedding in low-traffic areas where it won't be harassed by other pets or kids.[3]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 2.jpg
    • For example, if your dog tries to pester your cat at mealtimes, try putting your cat's food and water in an area the dog can't reach, such as on a countertop or cat tree.
  3. Provide toys for your cat to keep it busy. Cats are natural predators that need to engage in stalking and hunting behaviors to feel fulfilled and happy. To keep your cat from getting anxious and bored, provide a variety of toys and other forms of entertainment. Try to offer enrichment items that make your home more like the cat's natural environment. Some good options include:[4]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 3.jpg
    • Puzzle feeders to make mealtimes more fun and enriching.
    • Moving toys, like windup mice or robotic bugs, that your cat can chase.
    • Fishing rod toys, feather wands, or laser pointers for interactive play.
    • Fun things for your cat to watch, like fish tanks, bird feeders located outside your windows, or footage of fish, birds, or bugs on your TV.
    • Cat-safe plants, like potted cat grass or catnip.
  4. Make sure your cat has scratching posts. Cats need to scratch to maintain their claws, but they also do it to mark their territory and relieve excitement or nervous energy.[5] To keep your cat from feeling anxious or engaging in destructive scratching, provide at least one scratching post or horizontal scratching surface.
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 4.jpg
    • You can buy a scratching post or board scratcher from a pet supply store, or make your own scratching post.
    • Pay attention to whether your cat prefers to scratch while standing upright or down on all fours. Choose an upright scratching post or a horizontal scratching board based on your cat's preferences.
    • Cats like to scratch right after they wake up, so place a scratcher near your cat's sleeping area. You can also place a scratcher near furniture or other objects you don't want your cat to scratch.
  5. Ignore your cat unless it's asking for attention. This may seem counterintuitive, but one good way to calm an anxious cat is to act as if it isn't there at all. Instead of trying to soothe your cat or sneak around quietly when it's acting timid or scared, go about your business as usual. This will help your cat feel more at ease and less like it is the center of attention.[6]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 5.jpg
    • Don't make direct eye contact with your cat, talk to it, or try to touch it unless it approaches you first.
    • If your cat does approach you, reward the behavior with praise, treats, or gentle petting.
    • Getting down on the cat's level can also make you seem less intimidating, such as by kneeling or even lying on the floor. Avoid looking down at the cat while standing up.
  6. Use treats to bond with your anxious cat. Treats can help your cat build positive associations with you and its environment. Try offering treats to reward your cat when it approaches you or behaves calmly. You can also put treats around to encourage your cat to explore and get comfortable with the different parts of your home.[7]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 6.jpg
    • If your cat is nervous about coming near you, try placing a treat in the palm of your hand. Sit quietly with your hand outstretched and see if the cat will come and take the treat from you.
    • If the cat is too anxious to get close to you, try tossing a treat to it at a distance. As your cat gets more comfortable, you can toss the treat closer to you.

[Edit]Using Medications and Anxiety Aids

  1. See your vet to rule out any underlying medical problems. Sometimes anxious behaviors can be a sign of a more serious physical condition. If you're worried about your cat's behavior or haven't had any luck with adjusting your cat's home environment, talk to your vet. They can give your cat an exam and try to determine what's going on.[8]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 7.jpg
    • Many common signs of anxiety, such as irritability, changes in appetite, or urinating outside the litter box, may also be symptoms of illness in cats.
    • Let your vet know when the behaviors started and if you've noticed any other symptoms.
    • If your vet can't find any physical cause for your cat's symptoms, they may refer you to a feline behavior specialist.
  2. Try a pheromone spray in your cat's living areas. A pheromone spray, such as Feliway, mimics the soothing scents that cats produce naturally from their facial glands. Your vet may recommend spraying a pheromone spray around your cat's living and sleeping areas or placing a diffuser in rooms where your cat spends time.[9]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 8.jpg
    • You can purchase pheromone sprays and diffusers online or from pet supply stores, such as Pet Remedy.[10] You may also be able to buy these products directly from your vet's office.
    • You can also buy "calming collars" that are saturated with synthetic pheromones. Place one of these on your cat like an ordinary collar so that it can smell the calming pheromones at all times.
    • If you use a diffuser or calming collar, check the instructions to find out how often it needs to be replaced.
  3. Ask your vet about using anti-anxiety medications. If your cat has severe anxiety and other treatment approaches don't work, your vet may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for your cat. Follow your vet's directions for administering the medication, and don't hesitate to reach out to them if you have any questions or concerns.[11]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 9.jpg
    • Most anti-anxiety medications work by adjusting the balance of natural feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, in your cat's brain.
    • You may need to give the medication for a few weeks before you notice a major difference in your cat's behavior.
    • Let your vet know if your cat experiences side effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or difficulty urinating.
  4. Discuss using a calming supplement for your cat. While there are numerous supplements on the market that claim to treat anxiety in cats, there's not always a lot of evidence for their effectiveness. Before trying a supplement, ask your vet to recommend one that may be safe and effective for your cat. Some supplements that may help include:[12]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 10.jpg
    • Milk proteins, such as casein or alpha-casozepine. You can get prescription foods or tablets that contain these proteins.
    • L-theonine, an amino acid found naturally in tea.
    • Cat-safe botanical extracts, such as Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense.
    • Melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep patterns and reduce stress.
    • Tryptophan, an amino acid that helps stimulate the production of serotonin.

[Edit]Recognizing the Symptoms of Anxiety

  1. Watch for withdrawal and hiding behaviors. Many anxious cats will run from people and spend a lot of their time hiding. If you hardly ever see your cat, or if it gets skittish and runs away when you try to approach or touch it, that's a good sign that your cat is feeling anxious.[13]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 11.jpg
    • Your cat may retreat under the bed or hide in a high place, such as the top of a wardrobe or even your refrigerator.
  2. Make note of your cat being extra clingy. While some cats react to anxiety by hiding, others won't leave your side. If your cat won't stop following you around and pestering you for attention, that may be a sign that it is feeling anxious.[14]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 12.jpg
    • Some cats suffer from separation anxiety, and may become restless and destructive when you leave them alone.
  3. Keep an eye out for changes in appetite. If your cat starts eating more or less than usual, this can also be a symptom of anxiety. Keep an eye on your cat's food habits and pay attention to any changes.[15]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 13.jpg
  4. Listen for unusual vocalizations. An anxious cat may yowl, cry, or meow more than usual. Listen for meowing at unusual times, like the middle of the night.[16]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 14.jpg
    • Like many other symptoms of anxiety in cats, this behavior can also be a sign of a physical illness. For example, yowling at night can be a symptom of a thyroid condition.[17]
  5. Notice aggressive behaviors. Cats that are anxious may become irritable and lash out at humans or other pets in the home.[18] While it may seem like your cat is being "mean," aggressive behaviors often signal that your cat is feeling stressed and fearful.
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 15.jpg
    • Always consult your vet if you notice sudden or unusual aggressive behavior from your cat.
  6. Check for problems with using the litter box. Urinating of defecating outside the litter box are common signs of stress or anxiety in cats. In particular, cats that are anxious may spray urine in inappropriate places to try to mark their territory.[19]
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 16.jpg
    • If you notice your cat having litter box issues, contact your vet. These behaviors may also mean that your cat is sick. For example, a cat that urinates outside the litter box could have a urinary tract infection.
  7. Be mindful of changes in grooming. An anxious cat may neglect its coat, causing it to appear dirty or scruffy.[20] On the other hand, your anxious cat might also overgroom itself, leading to bald or stubbly patches and skin sores.[21] Call your vet if you notice changes in your cat's grooming behaviors, since these can be signs of either behavioral or physical problems.
    Help a Cat with Anxiety Step 17.jpg
    • For example, a scruffy coat, bald patches, or skin sores can also be signs that your cat has a flea allergy.

[Edit]Tips

  • Your vet may be able to prescribe short-term anxiety medications or sedatives to reduce anxiety in high-stress situations, such as a move, a long plane or car ride, or a vet visit.
  • If you notice changes in your cat's behavior, try to think of possible triggers, such as the addition or loss of a pet or human family member in the household, or unusual noise or activity in your home.

[Edit]Warnings

  • Most of the symptoms of anxiety in cats can also be signs of pain, injury, or illness. Don't assume your cat is anxious just because it displays some or all of the common symptoms of anxiety.
  • Be patient with your cat. Getting angry at it or trying to force it to overcome its anxious behaviors too quickly will only make your cat feel more stressed and fearful.[22]

[Edit]References

How to Start Learning Guitar

Posted: 19 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST

Learning how to play the guitar can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. If you're just starting off, it's important that you practice specific techniques before trying to tackle an entire song. First, you'll need to learn how to strum single notes on the guitar. Then, you should learn how to play basic power chords. Once you get those techniques down, you can play songs by reading tabs or you can reinforce what you know with books or professional instruction.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Buying and Tuning the Guitar

  1. Purchase or borrow a guitar. Decide whether you want to learn on an acoustic or electric guitar. Acoustic guitars don't require an amp or cords, so they are easier to set up when you're first starting. On the other hand, electric guitars are often easier on your fingertips, which may enable you to practice for a longer period of time. Determine what kind of starter guitar you want based on your budget and the equipment that you already have access to.[1]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 01.jpg
    • Guitars with nylon strings are often easier to use at first than guitars with metal strings.
    • It's best to start on a 6 string guitar rather than an 8 string guitar.
    • Classical guitar strings are higher on the fretboard, which makes it tougher to create clear sounds and is harsher on your fingertips.
  2. Tune your guitar to standard tuning with an electric tuner. In standard tuning, your strings should be set to E, A, D, G, B, E, starting from the top string. Turn on the electric tuner and hold it next to your guitar. Then, strum the top string. Adjust the knob connected to the top string until the tuner reads an E. Move down to the second string from the top and adjust the knobs until it's an A. Continue this process on the rest of the strings until your guitar matches standard tuning.[2]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 02.jpg
    • Before you start playing, your guitar must be in tune or it won't sound good when you play it.
    • Standard tuning is what most beginners use.
    • The bottom string, or E, is an octave above the top string but is still the same note.
  3. Place the guitar in your lap and hold the neck with your left hand. Sit down in a chair, straighten your back and square your shoulders. Place the guitar on your right thigh so that it sits comfortably in your lap. If you're left-handed and are using a left-handed guitar, you'll place the guitar on your left thigh and hold the neck with your right hand.[3]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 03.jpg
    • The body of the guitar should be resting against your torso.
    • Use a guitar strap if you don't feel like sitting down.

[Edit]Learning How to Strum Single Notes

  1. Hold down the first fret on the top string. The frets are the square spaces on the neck of the guitar that are divided by small metal strips. Hold down the first fret of the top string with the tip of your index or middle finger. Your palm should be facing up and your fingers should be bent as you hold down the fret.[4]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 04.jpg
    • Your fingers should be pressing down the strings in the middle of the fret, not on the metal strip.
  2. Pluck the top string with a pick and listen to the sound. Hold the pick between your index finger and thumb in your right hand. Move the pick over the top string to make a sound. If the string sounds muted or unclear, press down harder on the fret with your left hand. Continue strumming the top string until the note sounds clear.[5]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 05.jpg
    • A metronome may help you stay on beat.
  3. Move your left hand down the fretboard to play different notes. Move your hand from the first fret to the second fret. Try strumming and making a clear sound. Then, alternate playing the first and second fret. Try to stay on a specific beat and continue switching back and forth between the first and second fret as you strum. Once you feel comfortable alternating between frets, you can experiment with strumming different notes on the neck of the guitar.[6]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 06.jpg
    • As you get used to playing single notes, you'll build up the muscle memory that will help you locate specific frets without looking at the guitar.
  4. Play different frets on the 5th string. Pluck the 5th string, or the 2nd string from the top string, without holding any frets to play an A note. If you want to play a B note, hold down the second fret on the 5th string. You can practice alternating between the 5th and 6th string to see how it sounds.[7]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 07.jpg
  5. Experiment with notes on the 4th string. Strum the 4th string in the open position, or without holding down any frets, to play D note. If you want to play an E, hold down the second fret on the string. This note is the same note as the top string when played open but at a higher octave, or tone.
    Start Learning Guitar Step 08.jpg
    • You can play other notes down the neck on the 4th string.
  6. Strum notes on the 3rd string. The 3rd string, or G string, is the third string from the bottom or 4th string from the top. Hold down the 2nd fret to play an A and then 4th fret to play a B. Alternate between the two notes to create a basic beat. Then, play the 5th fret to switch to a C note.[8]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 09.jpg
  7. Play higher notes on the 2nd and 1st strings. Playing the bottom 2 strings, or the 1st and 2nd string, will result in notes at a high octave. These strings are usually played during solos are help make up different chords. Practice playing the 1st and 2nd strings as you did on the rest of the strings.[9]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 10 Version 2.jpg

[Edit]Learning Power Chords

  1. Hold down the first fret on the top string with your index finger. A power chord is a simple chord that's popular in rock music and is comprised of 2 notes. To start the shape of the chord, press down on the first fret of guitar on the top string, or 6th string, to form the first note in the power chord.[10]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 11.jpg
    • The root note is the note that your index finger is on. Since your holding down the first fret on the top string, this power chord is an F.
    • The strings go in sequential order, starting from the bottom, or 1st string, and going to to the top, or 6th string.
  2. Hold down the third fret on the 5th string with your ring finger. To complete the chord, hold down the third fret on the second string from the top, or 5th string, while holding down the first fret of the top string. It may take some practice to hold down both strings at the same time.[11]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 12.jpg
    • This is known as the power chord shape and can be replicated anywhere on the 5th and 6th string of the fretboard.
  3. Strum both strings to play the chord. Strum the 6th and 5th strings on the guitar to play the F power chord. It should sound clear and the string's individual notes should come together for a full chord. Play the chord several times until your hands feel comfortable in the position.[12]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 13.jpg
    • Do not strum the other 4 strings because the chord won't sound good.
  4. Move your hand down 2 frets to play the G power chord. Move your left hand down 2 frets, or one whole step, to play the G power chord. Keep the same shape that you did when you held down the first and third fret, but this time hold down the third and fifth frets. Alternate between the F and G power chord to create a melody.[13]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 14.jpg
  5. Use the same shape down the neck to play other power chords. You can play power chords almost anywhere on the 5th or 6th strings. For instance, hold down the second fret of the 5th string and the fourth fret on the 4th string to play a B power chord. Hold that same position and slide your hand down a half step, or 1 fret, to play a C power chord. You can do this on any position on the 5th and 6th string.[14]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 15.jpg
    • Refer to a note chart if you're unsure of what power chord you're playing.
    • A progression is when you play a series of notes or chords together to form a melody or song.

[Edit]Reinforcing Your Skills

  1. Take guitar lessons from an instructor. A professional instructor will be able to teach you advanced techniques and music theory that can develop your guitar-playing skills. Search online for instructors near you and read reviews online to see past student experiences. Once you sign up and attend your first class, tell the instructor what your goals are and how much experience you have before they start teaching.[15]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 16.jpg
  2. Read guitar books and guides. Beginner guitar books and manuals include lessons, drills, and examples that will help develop your guitar playing skills. In addition, some books may also include charts that will help you play specific chords.
    Start Learning Guitar Step 17.jpg
    • Popular guitar books for beginners include the Guitar Chord Bible, Complete Technique for Modern Guitar, and Guitar for Absolute Beginners.[16]
  3. Watch Youtube videos to learn more advanced techniques. There are a ton of tutorials on Youtube and other video streaming sites that will help you develop your guitar playing technique. Watch the videos to learn more about music theory, chords, notes, and progressions.
    Start Learning Guitar Step 18.jpg
    • Popular guitar Youtube channels include JustinGuitar, GuitarLessons.com, and JamPlay.
  4. Learn how to read and play guitar tabs. Guitar tabs are a simple way to learn how to position your hand to play certain tunes. The number on the tabs represent the fret that you should play, while the lines on the tabs represent the string that you'll play the note on. Tabs put the top string, or 6th string, on the bottom line, the 5th string on the second to bottom line, and so on.[17]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 19.jpg
    • Tabs do not designate how long to hold a note or chord, so you'll have to listen to the song that you want to play as you learn it.
    • For instance, if the tab had 1-1-1 on the top line of the tab, that would mean that you strum the bottom string, or 1st string, 3 times in a row.
  5. Cover songs that you enjoy. The easiest way to play popular songs is to use guitar tabs. Look up the tablature for the song that you want to play, then practice perfecting it. Start off by playing simple songs that only have a few notes and chords, then advance to more elaborate songs with many different parts.[18]
    Start Learning Guitar Step 20.jpg
    • Playing other people's songs will teach you popular chords and progressions.

[Edit]Video

[Edit]References

How to Increase Good Bacteria in Your Gut

Posted: 18 Jan 2020 04:00 PM PST

There are two kinds of foods that help balance your gut: prebiotics and probiotics. You can get both through a healthy diet. However, if you're still having digestive trouble, you might want to consider adding a supplement. Keep in mind that everyone's gut will react differently to different kinds of foods. Instead of trying to stick to strict rules, find a diet that works well for you and makes your gut feel good.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Eating Gut-Friendly Foods

  1. Opt for a mostly plant-based diet. Animal products can irritate the gut and kill good bacteria. On the other hand, plant-based foods act like fertilizer for good bacteria and create a healthy environment for good bacteria to grow in. You don't need to be a vegetarian or vegan to increase good bacteria, but adding more fruits, vegetables, and legumes to your diet can help.[1]
    Increase Good Bacteria in Your Gut Step 1.jpg
    • Plant-based foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes.
  2. Include plenty of prebiotic foods in your daily diet. Prebiotic foods promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Eating prebiotic foods is essential to maintaining a balance between good and bad bacteria. Try to include a prebiotic food into every meal.[2]
    Increase Good Bacteria in Your Gut Step 2.jpg
    • Some of the best prebiotic foods include oats, asparagus, dandelion greens, leeks, garlic, bananas, onions, apples, flaxseed, and cocoa.
  3. Eat 25-30 g of fiber every day. Fiber feeds healthy bacteria and promotes good digestion. Get a mix of soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber helps produce stool and could lower cholesterol. Insoluble fiber helps move food through the intestines.[3]
    Increase Good Bacteria in Your Gut Step 3.jpg
    • Some good sources of soluble fibers include: fruits like apples, oranges, and grapefruit; vegetables; legumes like lentils, dry beans, and peas; barley; oats; and oat bran.
    • Some good sources of insoluble fiber include: fruits with edible peels or seeds; whole-wheat bread, pasta, and crackers; bulgur wheat; corn meal; cereal; bran; rolled oats; buckwheat; and brown rice.
  4. Add more fermented foods to your diet. Naturally fermented foods are one of the best natural sources for probiotics, and they help introduce good bacteria into your gut. There are no guidelines for how much fermented food you should eat to see the benefits, so add in as much fermented food to your diet as you can.[4]
    Increase Good Bacteria in Your Gut Step 4.jpg
    • Good sources of fermented foods include sauerkraut, kombucha, miso, tempeh, pickled vegetables, yogurt with live cultures, and kefir.
    • There is some debate about whether or not the live cultures survive all the way to your gut, but people who eat fermented foods usually report fewer digestion issues.
  5. Limit how much red meat, dairy, and saturated and trans fats you eat. Red meat and high-fat dairy products can slow down the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Fried foods can also promote the growth of bad bacteria.[5]
    Increase Good Bacteria in Your Gut Step 5.jpg
    • Lean meats, like skinless chicken or turkey, as well as fish and shellfish are good alternatives for red meat.
    • Choose olive oil over butter or margarine.

[Edit]Using Medicine

  1. Try taking a daily probiotic supplement. Probiotics may help some people digest better, and add good bacteria to the gut. However, you have to take them consistently every day in order to keep good bacteria alive and functioning. Look for probiotics that include lactobacillus acidophilus if you have trouble digesting dairy, bifidobacterium bifidum if you have IBS, lactobacillus rhamnosus to guard against traveller's diarrhea, and bifidobacterium longum if you struggle with constipation.[6]
    Increase Good Bacteria in Your Gut Step 6.jpg
    • Follow the dosing instructions that come with your specific probiotics.
    • Some people feel better when they take probiotics while others don't notice a difference. Give it a few weeks after you start taking probiotics and if you don't notice a change, it's probably not worth it.
  2. Consider a fecal transplant for stubborn gut infections. A fecal transplant is a relatively new procedure for people who suffer from C. difficile colitis. If you suffer from diarrhea, stomach aches, or bloody stools that last for 2 or more days, this could be a sign of C. difficile colitis. During a fecal transplant, a doctor will use a colonoscopy to introduce donor stool into your colon. You will be sedated for the procedure. A fecal transplant is usually only considered in stubborn or recurring cases.[7]
    Increase Good Bacteria in Your Gut Step 8.jpg
    • A fecal transplant is considered after a round of antibiotics.
  3. Avoid antibiotics unless they are absolutely necessary. Antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad bacteria. Of course, you should take antibiotics if you really need to, but talk to your doctor about if you have other options.[8]
    Increase Good Bacteria in Your Gut Step 7.jpg
    • Antibiotics are used in animal agriculture, so there is a possibility that eating more animal products can put more antibiotics into your digestive system and kill good bacteria.

[Edit]Tips

  • Prebiotic carbohydrates are a substrate that help good bacteria and beneficial microbiota grow.
  • Many things affect your microbiota, some of which you can change. Your maternal microbiota are present when you're born. However, diet, environmental exposure, and antibiotic use can have secondary effects on microbiota colonization.
  • Practicing healthy habits like exercising, getting enough sleep, and managing stress could also potentially have a positive impact on good bacteria in your gut.

[Edit]References

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