What Affects The Gut?
There’s a complex ecosystem inside your gut. A universe of good bacteria, fungi and viruses that defend your body against pathogens. These gut bacteria play a vital role in shaping your health by enhancing your immunity, metabolizing dietary nutrients (like fats, protein, vitamins, minerals) and also controls the release of cholesterol and sugar levels into the bloodstream.
Throughout your life, various changes occur to these bacteria. Factors like genetics, mode of delivery, lifestyles (rural and urban environments) and type of medications affect the microbial genome. To date, nutrition has repeatedly been shown as a crucial factor in affecting the composition of good bacteria. The Science direct article states that over 50% of the variation of gut microbiota has been related to dietary changes.
How Does Diet influence Gut Health?
The gut harbours 10,000 species of micro-organisms and they need rich energy sources to grow and function normally. Research suggests that a sedentary lifestyle and reduced intake of nutrients can contribute to an array of chronic conditions such as obesity, depression, allergies and autoimmune diseases. It is vital to enhance the nutritional value of our diet for the benefit of microbial diversity and stability. Are you confused about what to eat and what not to eat?
Gut Healing Food
It can be tricky to know what’s good for your gut. So here’s a list of gut-healing foods you can include in your diet.
Yoghurt is a simple probiotic you can have with your lunch or as a snack. It is an excellent source of good bacteria. There is a variety of yoghurt available, like sugar-free and full fat, that is convenient for diabetes and keto diets. You can add seasonal fruits, nuts and seeds to make it more nutritious. Other fermented foods with good probiotic properties are kefir, pickles and parmesan cheese.
Fatty acids and polyphenols are important for the growth and development of gut bacteria. We can find these components in olive oil. Studies have supported that it helps to reduce inflammation. You can use it as a salad dressing, drizzle them over your cooked vegetables or use them to bake snackables.
Freshly grated ginger aids in the production of stomach acid and stimulates the gut to keep the food moving. One way to consume ginger is by pouring boiling water on grated ginger for refreshing ginger tea. You can also add ginger to stews, soups and green smoothies.
A high fibre diet is necessary for the gut bacteria to flourish. Peas are full of soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. A Fibre-rich diet has a lot of benefits from relieving digestive issues to promoting heart health. You can increase your fibre intake from whole grains, legumes, pulses and nuts.
Hydration is extremely essential to a healthy gut, you can boost your water intake through juices, teas and Kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea with a sharp vinegary taste that is rich in probiotic good bacteria. One can drink it straight from the bottle or mix it with fruits and spices. It is also great as a base for cocktails.
Fruits and Vegetables
The more fruits and vegetables you consume, the better. Eating a lot of leafy greens and fruits creates an ideal environment for the gut microbes. They are fibre rich sources of vitamins and contain a specific type of sugar that fuels the growth of good bacteria. Broccoli, kale, onions and green peas are a good addition. Fruits like banana, apples, pear, mango, all the berries and citrus fruits.
It is therefore clear that what you eat contributes immensely to the dense microbial environment in the gut. A balanced diet feeds trillions of bacteria in your gut which looks after your well-being. There is a diverse community of bacteria so including all the food groups meets the needs of different bacteria.