Health

How to eat for a healthy gut

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So, it turns out that the bacteria in your gut has a much bigger impact on your daily life than you ever may have thought it did. And while you think of bacteria as being a negative thing, the truth is that you absolutely could not live without it.

Bacteria in your stomach make the digestion of your food possible. That seems like an obvious thing, but bacteria also does far more than that. The bacteria in your gut affects everything from your health to your personality.

But the bacteria in your stomach are always in a delicate balance which can get thrown off by a huge number of things like, most importantly, your diet. So how do you tweak your diet to eat for a healthy gut?

What is gut flora?

Gut flora is the technical term for the world of life-forms that live inside your intestines. Over 100 trillion species of bacteria live inside you and establish their own complex microbiome. Part of the microbiome in your body was passed down from your mother while you were in the womb. And the other part is created by your diet and environment.

No two people have the exact same gut flora.

What does it do?

Your gut flora does so many different things that it’s hard to describe it all. First, they assist in the digestion of all the food you eat. And they help break down food into nutrients your body needs.

Secondly, there is a direct relationship between the makeup of the things that live in your gut and many different kinds of disease. It’s been shown through studies that healthy people have a more diverse variety of microorganisms in their body than people with diseases. That means a healthy and diverse gut flora is important for your overall health.

Finally, there’s evidence that your gut flora can actually influence your personality. Scientists studying the gut bacteria of lab mice found that the mice with a higher level of anxiety became calmer after the gut flora of less anxious mice were transplanted into their bodies. That suggests that a lot of what makes you who you are is directly related to the bacteria in your gut.

How to eat for a healthy gut

So now that we know about all the important things your gut flora does, how can you make sure you eat for a healthy gut? Well, there are a few types of food that are known to increase the diversity of the bacteria in your gut.

Yogurt

Yogurt and other dairy products are known to contain lactobacillus, which are bacteria that help break down dairy products. People with trouble eating dairy products can often benefit from eating yogurt or taking lactobacillus supplements.

And there’s even evidence that eating a serving of yogurt every day can help prevent vaginal infections.

Fiber

Fiber is the food that feeds the bacteria in your gut. And a high fiber diet is one of the best things you can do for your stomach. And there’s research that suggests that people who eat more fiber are thinner than people who don’t.

Whole grains have a lot of fiber and are a healthy way to get more fiber into your diet. In addition, foods like split peas and lentils have more fiber than a piece of whole grain bread.

Fermented foods

Foods that are fermented have larger amounts of diverse and healthy bacteria. This is due to the way they are prepared. The fermentation process introduces strands of helpful bacteria which can help boost your immune system. Foods like sauerkraut and miso paste are good for promoting a healthy gut.

Kombucha

Kombucha is a tea that is brewed from a culture of fungal spores. That might sound gross, but Kombucha is really good for you. It can help you restore the balance of bacteria in your gut. Things like taking antibiotics can destroy the biome of bacteria in your stomach, which is why having foods like kombucha can help after surgery or illness.

Probiotics

Probiotic supplements are another good way to make sure you’re getting enough healthy bacteria in your body. These are supplements that are full of helpful bacteria that can help take up the slack from your diet if you’re worried you aren’t getting enough from what you eat.

There are tons of different kinds of probiotics and a little bit of internet searching should help you find the best one for you.

The most important thing when it comes to eating for a healthy gut is to make sure that you are getting a diverse diet. The natural variety in the food you eat promotes a diverse environment of bacteria in your gut.

Mostly, the best way to eat for a healthy gut is to stick with the traditional idea of a healthy diet. A diet with plenty of vegetables and grains and a lot of variety is the best kind for every aspect of your health. So just maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fresh and varied food and your gut should stay in good health.

Wyatt is a writer and your friend. You can follow him on Twitter @WyattRedd.