Gut microbiome is important for human health as gut bacteria have important metabolic and protective functions.
Gut bacteria process fermentable fiber which are not digested in stomach and small intestine. Gul bacteria also synthesize important vitamins vitamin K, biotin, and folate, which is needed for blood clotting, and the B vitamins. Its protective function includes maintain intestinal lining that prevent the entry of harmful bacteria in blood stream.
The food that we eat greatly affects the gut health by impacting the population of good and bad bacteria.
Choosing right food can keep gut healthy thus ensuring overall good health. Following is few science-based ways to improve gut bacteria.
Diversity in Food
A diverse microbiome is considered to be healthy one as more species bring more health benefits. Different species in gut need different nutrients in therefore variety of food promote diverse microbiome.
Eat Lots of Vegetables, Legumes, Beans and Fruit
Fruit and vegetables are the source of fiber that feed healthy gut bacteria and stimulate their growth. A study suggest that high fruit and vegetable diet also prevent the growth of bad bacteria. Apples, artichokes, blueberries, almonds and pistachios have all been shown to increase Bifidobacteria in humans which prevent intestinal inflammation.
Fermenting convert sugar in food to easily digestible organic acids or alcohol. Studies has shown that fermented food like yogurt increase good gut bacteria and lower harmful bacteria like Enterobacteriaceae, which is linked with inflammation and other chronic diseases.
Whole grains contain non-digestible carbohydrates that can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria within the gut microbiota. Myfy a well-known fiber supplement is made up of wheat dextrin a soluble fiber in most common cereal grain.
These changes to the gut flora may improve certain aspects of metabolic health.
What are Polyphenols
Polyphenols are a large family of naturally occurring organic compounds with multiples of phenol units. They are abundant in plants and are structurally diverse. They help in improving heart health, lower diabetes raise immunity and have anti cancer property.
Eat Foods Rich in Polyphenols
Polyphenols like cocoa, grape skins, green tea, red wine, onion, broccoli are not always digested in stomach and small intestine. They pass to colon where they are digested by gut bacteria.
Polyphenols from cocoa and red wine can increase Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli the good bacteria in humans, as well as reduce Clostridia the harmful bacteria in gut. This reduces triglycerides and C-reactive protein responsible for inflammation.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners negatively affect the gut microbiome A study has shown that Artificial sweeteners impaired insulin response and affect blood sugar level and make a person prone to diabetes.
Eat Prebiotic Food
Prebiotics are foods that promote the growth of beneficial microbes in the gut. They act as food for healthy gut bacteria in gut and promote their growth. Certain studies have proved that Prebiotics reduce insulin, triglycerides and cholesterol levels in obese people. Prebiotic supplements like MyFY are also available in market and have tremendous health benefits.
Take a Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, which exert a specific health benefit when consumed. Probiotics don’t permanently colonize the intestines but change overall composition of the gut microbiome positively. Probiotics benefit more in certain diseases and has little effect on healthy people. They are more helpful in restoring the microbiota to a healthy state after being compromised.
The best way to maintain a healthy microbiota is to eat a range of fresh, whole foods, mainly from plant sources like fruits, veggies, legumes, beans and whole grains.