In your body, there are around 40 trillion bacteria – most of which live in your gut. Collectively, these are known as your “gut microbiota” and are hugely important for your general health and wellbeing. However, there are certain types of bacteria which reside in your intestines which can cause issues and lead to diseases.
Looking after your gut health will directly affect the types of bacteria which live in your guy, so by improving your gut health, you’re better protecting yourself against a number of ailments and diseases.
Eat A Diverse Range Of Foods
There are hundreds and hundreds of different species of bacteria which live in your gut and each species plays a different role when it comes to your health and require different nutrients for growth. Generally speaking, having a diverse microbe is considered to be healthy, because the more species of bacteria you have, the greater the health benefits.
A diet which is made up of different food types can lead to a diverse microbiota, but unfortunately, most people’s diets are not hugely diverse and are often rich in sugar and fat. Eating a diet which is rich in whole foods – fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains – can contribute to a wider and more diverse microbiota, which is hugely beneficial to your health, as well as the regular consumption of fermented and fibre-rich foods.
Enjoy A Diet Full Of Whole Foods
Fruits and vegetables are one of the best sources of nutrients which lead to a healthy microbiota. They are rich in fibre, which although can’t be digested by your body, can be digested by certain groups of bacteria in your gut which then stimulates their growth. Beans, pulses and legumes are also known to have high levels of fibre, which are essential to having a healthy gut.
Many fruits and vegetables are high in fibre, which then helps to promote the growth of healthy and beneficial gut bacteria, predominantly bifidobacteria. Apples, artichokes, almonds, pistachios and blueberries have all been found to increase the presence of bifidobacteria in the gut, and these are considered to be beneficial as they help to prevent inflammation in the gut and enhance gut health.
Increase Your Consumption Of Prebiotics
Prebiotics are foods which promote the growth of healthy and beneficial bacteria and microbes in the gut. These are mainly complex carbs or fibre which can’t be properly digested by cells in the stomach, so instead certain bacterias digest them and use them for fuel. Many vegetables, fruit and whole grains contain these prebiotics, but they can also be found in their pure form.
Taking prebiotic and probiotic supplements (or alternatively vegan probiotics) can be useful when you feel like your diet is low in foods which naturally contain prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics, especially, promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, especially bifidobacteria, which can help to reduce symptoms of gut related ailments and diseases.
Whilst probiotics don’t massively alter the composition of microbiota in healthy guts, in those people who are sick or suffer from a poor gut or digestive system, they can improve the microbiota function which then can restore the gut to good health.