Did you know that there are more than 40 trillion bacteria living in your body at any given moment? Most of these bacteria are found in your gut and actually help your body and brain stay healthy and functioning the way they should. There are more than 300 different types of bacteria that live in your gut alongside different types of fungi and even some viruses. Scientists have dubbed this gut colony as a microbiome.
Each person’s microbiome is unique and learning how to improve and strengthen it is important in preventing things like depression, colon diseases, heart disease, and more. Because of this, it’s important to make sure you’re constantly looking to improve and strengthen your gut health so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Eat A Variety Of Foods
Your gut’s bacteria are diverse and each type of bacteria needs a slightly different source of nutrition. As our world has become more centralized and people have moved away from eating wider varieties of foods as we did many years ago. Back when populations relied on rural farming and a variety of plants and animals to sustain them, gut biomes were happier and healthier. In an ironic twist, people who live in rural, less developed nations often have healthier gut biomes than people living in the world’s most advanced cities.
“Today’s diets are often loaded with fats, sugars, and grains in levels that aren’t diverse enough to support a healthy gut biome,” says Juan Pablo Cappello, Co-Founder and CEO of Nue Life. “Our bodies need a variety of fuel sources to create a healthy biome of good bacteria to keep our guts strong and healthy. Including these varieties of foods is not an easy task, as western diets have moved away from the diversity that would have been found in the diets of our ancestors who were able to grow and harvest their own food.”
Probiotics And Prebiotics
Probiotics and prebiotics are wonderful ways to improve and strengthen your gut health. Probiotic foods and supplements contain live bacteria that you can introduce to your gut colony to encourage a happier, healthier gut. Prebiotics are the food that the bacteria need to survive in your gut.
“Probiotic and prebiotic supplements and foods can dramatically improve gut health,” says Dr. Payel Gupta, CMO and Co-Founder of Cleared. “While you can eat fermented foods to introduce these probiotics, there are also supplements out there as well. The same goes for the prebiotics. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain these essential gut health flora, so supplements can be a great way to make sure your gut stays healthy.”
Look For High Fiber Produce
As mentioned in the previous section, it’s important to give your gut bacteria something to eat too. Fiber is one of the best sources of food for the good bacteria that live in your gut and keep you healthy. High fiber produce is a great way to include vitamins and minerals in your diet and feed your gut flora at the same time.
“Not only do high fiber produce options help you maintain a great balanced diet, but they help your gut too,” says Jae Pak, Founder of Jae Pak MD. “High fiber produce like beans, legumes, bananas, broccoli, raspberries, and apples are great healthy foods that can introduce the necessary fiber into your gut biome to fuel those good bacteria.”
Explore Fermented Snacks And Drinks
Fermented snacks and drinks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they can be a fantastic source of probiotics that can benefit your gut and strengthen its good bacteria colonies. Your microbiome is made up of lots of different good bacterias that help break down non digestible foods and also promote a healthy gut.
“Kombucha, kefir yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi are great fermented foods to introduce probiotics to your gut,” says Natália Sadowski, Director of Aesthetics at Nourishing Biologicals. “Foods like kefir, certain cheeses, and saurkraut are actually considered synbiotic because they provide the gut with probiotics AND a source of fuel for those good bacteria.”
Select Whole Grain Options
Not only are whole grains good for your body, but they’re great for gut health too! Whole grains are rich with fiber and elements that are non digestible to us, but are fantastic food sources for our gut’s bacteria colony.
“Whole grains are something we should be including in our diet anyway,” says Michael Fischer, Founder of Elite HRT. “Whole grain foods are much better for our bodies than processed grains and breads. These whole grain options allow the bacteria within our gut’s microbiome to flourish with energy provided through the parts we don’t digest.”
What are polyphenols? They’re actually a plant compound that helps combat things like high cholesterol, inflammation, high blood pressure, and more. They actually aren’t digested by humans well at all, which seems like it would be useless. However, the good bacteria in our guts LOVE polyphenols and use this plant compound as energy to fuel their growth and maintain your healthy gut.
“Polyphenols are actually in some of my favorite foods and drinks, so it’s not a difficult component to remember to include,” says Lindsay Hischebett, Head of People and Partners of Flaus. “Polyphenols can be found in cocoa, dark chocolate, red wine, green tea, almonds, and blueberries. Next time you’re indulging in one of these tasty snacks, you can feel good about the fact that you’re also helping out your gut!”
Having a healthy gut isn’t just a nice idea – it’s essential to keep your body healthy and functioning the way it should. There are many ways to improve and strengthen your gut health, and it comes down to supporting the good bacteria that live there and help your body operate the way it should.
Fueling your gut with a variety of foods is a great way to start maintaining a healthy gut biome. Introducing new good bacteria through probiotic foods and supplements can help strengthen your gut’s bacteria colony as well. Whole grains, fermented foods, and polyphenols are all great ways to encourage these bacteria to stay active and healthy so they can help your gut out.
Having a healthy gut means watching what you eat and being conscious of the foods you’re using to fuel your gut biome. You have to provide nutrition for your body as well as the bacteria that support healthy gut health too. Hopefully these tips and tricks have given you a starting point to make your gut better and stronger than ever before.