The body has 40 trillion microbes inside your body. The majority of which reside within your digestive tract.

Collectively, they’re called the gut microbiome and are essential to the overall health of a person. However, certain types of bacteria found within the intestines are associated with a range of ailments.

Many factors, such as your diet, can affect the kind of bacteria you’ve got in the digestive tract.

Here are 5 methods that are based on research to improve the bacteria in your gut.

1: Baby feed

The microbiome of babies begins to grow properly from the time of birth. However, research suggests that infants may be exposed to certain bacteria before they even arrive.

For the first two years of their lives, the infant’s microbiome is constantly evolving and is full of beneficial Bifidobacteria that are able to digest the sugars in milk.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that infants fed formula have a different microbiome and have less Bifidobacteria compared to infants fed breastmilk.

Additionally, the breastfeeding program is also linked with lower levels of allergic reactions as well as obesity and other health issues that could result from changes in the microbiota of your gut.

SUMMARY

The benefits of breastfeeding help babies build a healthy microbiome which can help prevent certain diseases later on in life.

2: Consume whole grains

Whole grains are loaded with fibre as well as nondigestible carbs like beta-glucan. These carbohydrates are not digested in the small intestine but instead travel into the large intestine in order to aid in the development of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Research indicates that whole grains could encourage the development of Bifidobacteria lactobacilli, as well as Bacteroidetes in humans.

In these studies, whole grains improved feelings of fullness and reduced inflammation, as well as risk factors for heart disease.

But, remember the fact that research suggests that gluten-rich grains, such as barley, wheat and rye can actually harm gut health by causing an increase in intestinal inflammation and permeability for certain people.

This is mainly the case for people suffering from celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity however, further research is required to establish whether eating foods that contain gluten can alter the microbiome of the gut for healthy adults with no ailments.

SUMMARY

Whole grains are rich in non-digestible carbs that may encourage the development of beneficial bacteria in the microbiome of your gut. The changes in gut flora could enhance certain aspects of metabolic health.

3: Get a plant-based diet

Diets that contain animal-based food sources encourage the growth of various types of intestinal bacteria, whereas diets based on plants do.

A variety of studies have proven that diets with no meat may improve the microbiome of your gut, which could be because of their high fibre amount.

A tiny 2013 study showed that a diet of vegetarianism led to lower levels of harmful bacteria in obese people and also reductions in body mass, inflammation as well as cholesterol levels.

A review from 2019 found that plant-based foods are high in certain nutrients that increase the number of beneficial bacteria and reduce bacteria that cause harm to promote gut health.

It is not clear what the effects of eating a vegetarian-friendly diet on the microbiome of the gut are due to the absence of meat consumption or if other factors are involved.

SUMMARY

Vegan and vegetarian diets can enhance the microbiome. But, it’s not clear what the benefits that these diets bring can be explained by a deficiency of consumption of meat or other factors that could be responsible.

4: Eat foods rich in polyphenols

Polyphenols are plant substances which have numerous health benefits, such as reductions in blood cholesterol, inflammation, pressure levels and oxidative stress.

Human cells can’t always digest polyphenols. Since they’re not absorbed in a streamlined manner the majority of polyphenols make their way into the colon where they’re processed by the gut bacteria.

Examples of foods high in polyphenols include:

dark chocolate and cocoa

red wine

grape skins

green tea

Almonds

onions

blueberries

Broccoli

Polyphenols in cocoa can enhance the quantity of Bifidobacteria as well as lactobacilli in humans, and decrease the amount of Clostridia.

Additionally, these changes in the microbiome are correlated with lower levels of triglycerides as well as C-reactive protein which is a sign of inflammation.

The polyphenols present in red wine can have similar effects and have been found to increase the quantities of healthy bacteria among people suffering from metabolic syndrome.

SUMMARY

Polyphenols aren’t digested effectively by cells of the human body, but they are effectively broken down by gut microbiota. They could improve health outcomes associated with inflammation and heart disease.

5: Make sure you are getting enough probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms typically bacteria, that offer certain health benefits when consumed.

Probiotics do not permanently colonize the intestinal tracts in most instances. But, they could improve your health by altering the composition of your microbiome and assisting in the metabolism of your body.

A study review discovered that probiotics have no impact on the composition of gut microbiomes of healthy individuals. There is however evidence to suggest that probiotics can enhance the gut microbiome of patients with certain diseases.

A review of 63 studies discovered mixed evidence about the efficacy of probiotics when it comes to changing the microbiome. The researchers also noted that the most powerful results were in the process of restoring the microbiome to an ideal state following a period of being affected.

However, some studies have demonstrated that probiotics may improve the function of specific gut bacteria, and the particular kinds of chemicals they create.

You can boost your intake of probiotics by eating more probiotic-rich food items, such as fermented foods such as kimchi sauerkraut, kefir and yoghurt.

You could also think about probiotic supplements. But, make sure you consult your physician prior to beginning any supplementation, particularly when you’re taking other medications or suffer from any medical conditions that are causing you to suffer.

SUMMARY

Probiotics don’t significantly alter the microbiome composition in healthy individuals. However, they could boost microbiome functioning and bring the microbiome back to healthy levels in people with specific health issues.

The final line

Your gut bacteria are crucial to various aspects of your health.

The benefits of breastfeeding help babies build a healthy microbiome which can help prevent certain diseases later on in life.

Whole grains are rich in non-digestible carbs that may encourage the development of beneficial bacteria in the microbiome of your gut. The changes in gut flora could enhance certain aspects of metabolic health.

Vegan and vegetarian diets can enhance the microbiome. But, it’s not clear what the benefits that these diets bring can be explained by a deficiency of consumption of meat or other factors that could be responsible.

Polyphenols aren’t digested effectively by cells of the human body, but they are effectively broken down by gut microbiota. They could improve health outcomes associated with inflammation and heart disease.

Many studies have revealed that a microbiome that is not functioning properly can cause a variety of chronic illnesses.

The best method to maintain an enviable microbiome is by eating diverse, fresh, whole food items, mostly from plants like vegetables, fruits and legumes, beans as well as whole grains.

Probiotics don’t significantly alter the microbiome composition in healthy individuals. However, they could boost microbiome functioning and bring the microbiome back to healthy levels in people with specific health issues.

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