8 Ways to encourage healthier microbiomes

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Do you know that there are trillions of bacteria in your body and most of them are in your intestine?

While some of the bacteria contribute to diseases, there are some that are very important for your health. These are collectively called the gut microbiota. When your gut is healthy, you have a lot of energy and feel healthy.

How are they good for your health? Well, they help your body to digest and utilise the nutrients from the food you eat. Also, they act as a defense against the bacteria and viruses that cause diseases and support your immune system.

There are a number of reasons that affect the healthy microbiomes such as your physical activities, your environment and of course stress and sleeping patterns. But the main factor that determines what type of microbes are in your gut is your diet. Whatever you eat, you are feeding every type of bacteria.

All disease begins in the gut. The unhealthy gut microbiome can cause several diseases, such as:

  • Cancer
  • Mental health disorder
  • Heart disease
  • Poor immune system
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Here we have a list of things that should be included or excluded from your lifestyle:

  • A plant-based diet is the best

Plant-based foods are good for a healthy microbiota. They have high fibre which can be digested by the certain bacteria to stimulate their growth. These fibres pass through the digestive system and reach the colon and prevent colon cancer by increasing Butyrate.

Here are some high fibre plant-based foods which are good for your gut microbiome:

  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Raspberries
  • Green peas
  • Broccoli
  • Apple
  • Almond

A high fibre diet prevents disease-causing bacteria in the human body. It also helps to prevent internal inflammations.

  • Eat prebiotic foods

These are the foods that promote the growth of healthy microbes in your gut. They are mainly found in plant-based food. These are indigestible by the body but can be broken down by some bacteria to use it as their fuel. Onions,  oatmeal, rice, potatoes, and garlic are an excellent source of prebiotics. Additionally, it reduces the risk factors of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

  • Consume fermented food every day

Fermented foods lead to a healthy microbiome. Foods such as yogurt, kimchi, kefir, miso, and tempeh contains beneficial bacteria named lactobacilli, that helps in fighting against the bad bacteria. Set a goal to consume one or two fermented food items daily.

  • Choose food and drinks with high levels of polyphenols

Polyphenols have many health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, oxidative stress, cholesterol level, and inflammation. They are the antioxidant that acts as fuel for microbiomes. Good sources of polyphenol are:

  • Red wine
  • Green tea
  • Onion
  • Dark chocolate and cocoa
  • Grape skin

They can’t be digested or absorbed efficiently by the human body. They make their way to the colon where they are broken down by gut bacteria and digested by them.

  • Remove sugar and processed food from your diet

It is difficult to maintain a healthy microbiome while having processed food or foods that contain sugar on a regular basis. It feeds the bad bacteria and causes gastrointestinal issues in the form of gas, diarrhea and bloating.

  • Do exercise

Having some physical activities in your daily life is really good for your gut microbiome. It is rich in diversity and increases beneficial bacteria. You can go for a walk or for a yoga session. Remember, low-intensity exercise provides you benefit and extreme exercise can have a negative effect on your gut.

  • Get enough sleep

A lack of sleep can disturb your bacteria. It can cause a shift in gut microbiome which can cause a metabolic disturbance. But having dietary probiotics can improve your sleep quality and the health of your gut. While it is important to get 7 to 8 hours of enough sleep, it is also important to have a night of quality sleep. It should be deep and should be in the restorative stage.

  • Go outside 

Outdoor activities are good for your microbiome. It actually improves your mood, helps you get better sleep at night and boosts your creativity. In fact, studies have shown that outdoor surroundings play a vital role as it produces some neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin which instantly change your mood and release stress.

It is always vital to keep in your mind the importance of your gut for your overall health. Even if you do not have any signs of gastrointestinal at all, there are still chances that you might have an unhealthy microbiome.

 

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