There are 40 trillion bacteria within your body, the majority of them reside in your digestive tract.
Collectively, they’re known as the gut microbiome and are vital to overall well-being. However, certain kinds of bacteria that reside in the intestines are also linked to a variety of diseases.
Numerous factors, including your diet, can influence the type of bacteria you have within your digestive tract.
Here are 4 ways based on science to boost your gut bacteria.
1: Enjoy a variety of food items
There are many species of bacteria living in your intestines, each that plays a particular function in your health and requires specific nutrients for growth.
A diverse microbiome can be considered to be healthy. The reason is that the more varieties of bacteria you can have, the greater health benefits they are in a position to provide.
A varied diet that includes a variety of kinds of food can result in an increased diversity of microbiomes.
Unfortunately, the standard Western diet is not that diversifying and is high in sugar and fat. In reality, around 75 per cent of the world’s food comes from only five animal and 12 plant species.
But, the diets of particular rural areas are typically more diverse and richer with various plants.
To this end, some studies have demonstrated that the diversity of gut microbiomes is higher in individuals who live in rural areas in Africa as well as South America than in people living in urban areas in Europe as well as those in the United States.
A varied diet that is rich in whole food sources will result in a diverse microbiome, which is advantageous to your overall health.
2: Take a large number of legumes, vegetables, beans, and fruits.
Vegetables and fruits are the most nutritious food sources for the health of your microbiome.
They’re rich in fibre which the body is unable to process. Yet, certain kinds of bacteria within your digestive tract can process fibre and in turn, stimulates the growth of these bacteria.
Beans and legumes also have significant amounts of fibre.
Certain high-fibre foods that benefit your gut bacteria are:
- green peas
- Whole grains
A study has found that a diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits slowed the spread of certain bacteria that cause illness.
Blueberries, artichokes, apples as well as almonds and pistachios have all been proven to increase the amount of Bifidobacteria found in human beings.
Bifidobacteria is regarded as beneficial bacteria because they may help to reduce intestinal inflammation as well as improve the health of your digestive tract.
A wide variety of vegetables and fruits contain a lot of fibre. Fibre is a key ingredient in the development of good gut microbes which includes specific varieties like Bifidobacteria.
3: Consume foods that are fermented
Fermented food products have gone through fermentation which is a process by which the sugars that they contain can be broken down through yeasts or by bacteria.
Some examples of foods that have been fermented include:
A large portion of these food items contain lactobacilli, an incredibly beneficial type of bacteria that may benefit your health.
Research has shown that people who consume a large amount of yoghurt have more lactobacilli within their intestines. They also have fewer Enterobacteriaceae which is a type of bacterium which is associated with inflammation as well as several chronic diseases.
Similar to this, several studies have demonstrated that consumption of yoghurt can boost intestinal bacteria and reduce the effects of lactose intolerant.
Additionally, yoghurt can help improve the function in the microbiome and its composition.
However, most yoghurts, including ones with flavours, are loaded with large levels of sugar. It is therefore recommended to choose plain unsweetened yoghurt or yoghurt that is flavorful but with no added sugar, which is composed exclusively of milk and bacteria mixtures, sometimes referred to as “starter cultures.”
In addition, for the benefits of a healthy gut ensure that the label says “contains live active cultures.”
Additionally, the fermentation of soybean milk can encourage the development of beneficial bacteria, for example, Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. It also helps in decreasing the number of other bacteria that are harmful. Kimchi can also help gut bacteria.
Fermented foods such as plain yoghurt are beneficial to the microbiome by increasing its functionality and reducing the number of bacteria that cause disease in the digestive tract.
4: Consume prebiotic food items
Prebiotics are foods that help promote the development of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
They are mostly fibres or complex carbs that our cells can’t digest. Instead certain bacteria within the digestive tract break them down and make them fuel.
A lot of fruits, vegetables and whole grains are packed with prebiotics. They are also available on their own.
Resistant starch is also prebiotic. This kind of starch is not absorbed by the small intestine. It is then passed to the large intestine which is where microbiota breaks it down.
Many studies have proven that prebiotics is able to boost the growth of different kinds of beneficial bacteria. This includes Bifidobacteria.
Certain prebiotics has been found to decrease insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels among people who are overweight, which may aid in the prevention of diseases such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
Prebiotics encourage the growth of different kinds that are beneficial to bacteria like Bifidobacteria. There are studies that indicate that prebiotics may reduce the risk factors of specific health issues by reducing the levels of insulin and triglycerides and cholesterol.
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