Back then, our digestive system was considered relatively simple rather than complex, which essentially consisted of a long tube through which our food could pass, absorb, and then be expelled out after digestion.
Today, "Gut Health" describes the function and balance of bacteria in many parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Ideally, all organs such as the esophagus, stomach, and intestines work together for us to eat and digest food without discomfort. All food eventually breaks down in the intestine into a simple form that can enter the bloodstream and be supplied as a nutrient throughout the body. All of this can only take place with a healthy digestive system.
A gut is said to be healthy if it contains a balanced amount of good and bad bacteria and immune cells that save the digestive system infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A healthy gut improves communication between the brain and nerves through hormones. It helps maintain overall health and well-being.
The Incredible Gut Biome
Your body contains trillions of bacteria. Most of these bacteria inside the body live inside your gut.
Gut microbiome, as a term, refers specifically to the microorganisms that live in your gut. Bacteria in the gut play several important roles in your health, such as communicating with the immune system and producing certain vitamins. Did you know that the bacteria in our gut have 250 to 800 times more genes as compared to humans alone?
Even more remarkable is that these bacterial genes produce substances that enter the human bloodstream and affect our body's chemistry. This means that the bacteria in our gut are very likely to affect our health.
What you eat is not just food for you; it also feeds the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut. Everyone has a different experience with each product, but if you want to improve digestion, lose weight, or take care of your overall health, some general guidelines apply. What you eat can change your microbes quickly, but are you eating the right foods that help your good gut bacteria? What to eat for a healthy gut?
Research shows that switching from a predominantly animal diet to a predominantly plant-based diet (and vice versa) can change the appearance of your microbiome in just 24 hours. Here is a list of ten foods that promote gut health.
Ten Best Foods for Gut Health
Probiotics can promote a healthy microbiome. These are amazing natural supplements for gut health that we can consume.
As proven by studies, probiotics can help restore healthy gut bacteria, which protect us from inflammation. Live fermented foods are a great source of natural probiotics that you can eat and drink. These traditional foods play an important role in regulating gut health.
Live yogurt is an excellent source of so-called friendly bacteria, also known as probiotics. Watch out for the fat-free and fat-free versions, and add your fruit to the delicious breakfast. Yogurt drinks can contain a large number of bacteria that are good for the gut, far more than those found in regular yogurt. Keep in mind, however, that they may be high in sugar.
Miso is a fermented paste made from soy, barley, or rice. As with other fermented foods, beneficial bacteria are produced during the fermentation process. You will also get protein if you eat soy miso. There is still a long way to go, which is good because miso is also high in sodium. Miso is great for sauces, dressings, and soup bases.
Kimchi, also fermented cabbage, is a spicy Korean cousin of cabbage. He may have added spring onions, radishes, and shrimps, which give it more flavor. Kimchi is delicious added to a bowl of fried rice with vegetables and eggs.
It is finely chopped cabbage that has been fermented. This great source of probiotics, fiber, and vitamins is best known as German food, but there are versions of it in Central and Eastern Europe. Choose a product that hasn't been fermented because it doesn't have the same benefits. It's delicious with sausages and can be cheap and easy to make at home.
If you want to ensure the proper functioning of your gut, choose whole grain products and add that optimal colon function requires at least 25 grams of fiber per day.
Looking at refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta, whole grain products provide a lot of fiber and other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids. Gut bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids by fermenting fiber. These molecules support the proper functioning of the cells that line the colon, where 70% of our immune cells live.
Despite the large groups going crazy over low-carb diets for weight loss, avoiding grains completely may not be so good for the good gut bacteria that benefit fiber.
Oats are among the healthiest options you can eat when it comes to whole grain. They are not only rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber but also naturally gluten-free. Additionally, oats are rich in antioxidants, especially avenanthramide. This antioxidant has been associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer and lower blood pressure.
Brown rice is widely recognized as a healthier alternative to white rice. This is because it is a whole grain, which means it contains the nutrition of whole grain, including bran, germ, and endosperm. Meanwhile, the white rice has eliminated bran and sprouts.
Because bran and sprouts are rich in nutrients, brown rice contains more fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants: 100 grams of cooked brown rice contains 1.8 grams of fiber, while 3.5 ounces of white rice only provides 0.6 grams of fiber.
Herbs can be an incredible option to add to your diet when it comes to promoting the health of your gut. A healthy gut leads to a fit body, mind, and soul. Of course, it is very important to get to the root of the problem before real healing is achieved. When you are looking to really heal your gut and add some of these herbs to your diet, you improve your gut health and achieve balance in life!
Garlic, with its antibacterial and antifungal properties, helps keep "bad" gut bacteria in check and helps balance the yeast in the gut. Use it as a flavoring for salty foods. The properties of garlic act as a fuel source, which allows bacteria to do their job better, which generally improves bowel function.
When cooking with garlic, think of using it as a medicine. Garlic reduces the risk of heart disease and is also anti-inflammatory in the body. Garlic contains two main fibers, namely Inulin and fructooligosaccharides, which are a dynamic prebiotic pair.
Fresh ginger can help produce stomach acid and stimulate the digestive system to keep food moving through the intestines. You can add freshly grated ginger to soups, stews, smoothies, or French fries. Pour boiling water over the grated ginger and make a refreshing ginger tea.
The fruit is rich in fiber and other nutrients that are ideal for gut health. They contain polyphenolic antioxidants, which improve the health of the digestive tract and blood circulation and reducing the risk of oxidative damage and many other diseases. Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, and berries contain less fructose. These food options are easy for the digestive system to tolerate and less likely to cause gas.
Green bananas (unripe bananas) are best for the gut because they contain resistant starch, a type of indigestible fiber that produces tastier beetles when your microbes feed on them. Resistant starch is produced as we cook and cool down the grains. Then go to prepare barley in bulk for a whole week. Riped bananas are also high in fiber.
Try eating bananas with peanut butter or almond for healthy fiber, protein, and fat. Or add it to oats, Greek yogurt or high-fiber cereals, or premium whole-grain toast.
Peas, Beans and Legumes
Never stop consuming beans for fear of gas. Gas, although assumed bad, is a good sign in reality for gut health.
When you consume beans and legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, peas, lentils, and white beans and it reaches the large intestine (colon), these products still remain undigested. This is where the gut bacteria feed on them. This process is called fermentation. And the by-product? Gas. While it can be annoying, you can feel good because your mistakes are being worked hard.
Gut bacteria need fiber to flourish, so the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the better. Peas are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps keep your system in balance. Peas are an excellent source of protein, which can help reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance. Fiber and protein in pea also support a healthy gut. It can also help the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. These bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids that help promote gut health.
There are several types of foods known to cause inflammation in the body, which can effectively hamper overall health over time. If you constantly eat foods that irritate the gut and cause inflammation of the digestive tract lining, you can offset the beneficial bacteria that naturally occur in the gut. Here is a list of the biggest culprits for inflammation so you can reduce them and improve gut health.
Six Worst Foods For Gut Health
Alcohol is not the gut's best friend, but you already know that. It affects the intestinal barrier and also affects the rate at which food moves east. Alcohol can also increase the number of pathogenic microbes, as well as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating, none of which bring joy.
Simply put, reducing alcohol consumption is generally good for your health, but a special glass of red wine isn't all that bad. Contains polyphenols, antioxidants that protect you from inflammation and disease and increase the number of beneficial bacteria. If you turn red and blotchy while drinking, you may be intolerant to alcohol.
Red meat can cause intestinal bacteria to grow, leading to blockage of the arteries. Stick to poor protein sources like fish or plant-based proteins like beans and tofu. If you can't give up beef, pork, and lamb entirely, go for thinner slices with names that include round, loin, or sirloin.
Artificial sweeteners have zero calories and no sugar. Some of those examples are aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. These products pass through the intestine without getting digested, yet they come into contact with the intestinal microflora, which according to research, negatively changes the composition.
Furthermore, studies show that this altered microbiome can lead to conditions such as glucose intolerance. For now, watch out for aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose on the label of processed foods and drinks, such as diet lemonades and other calorie drinks.
Not to forget, some yogurts, protein, and granola bars should be on the top of the list. Each of them usually contains added sugar and salt, so it's not the worst idea to limit them.
Antibiotics deplete a lot of bacteria, not just the ones that vomit you up. Therefore, they should only be used under the supervision of a doctor if you really need them. Antibiotics are an essential means of fighting bacterial infections.
The problem is that we have used them too often, and antibiotic resistance is becoming a big problem. Your gut flora isn't interested in them either, and for a good reason. Antibiotics change the composition of the intestinal biome in the long and short term. Therefore, some doctors also prescribe a probiotic.
Processed And Refined Foods
While I wouldn't go so far as to say that you need to eliminate certain foods from your diet forever - food, after all, is also about pleasure - limiting highly processed foods with ingredients and salt will help you and your gut microbes. It is difficult to study "processed foods" as a whole because each food has different ingredients, but the biggest problem with processed and refined foods is that they lack variety and fiber and are often filled with added sugars, salts, artificial sweeteners, or additives and preservatives.
Fried food is harder for the body to digest. People often cook them in oils rich in saturated and trans fats, which can further irritate the stomach and cause diarrhea, flatulence, and stomach pain.
Fried foods can also promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. Limiting fried foods further reduces the risk of liver disease. Liver disease can cause a variety of gastrointestinal problems and can compromise a person's overall health. Doctors sometimes advise people with liver problems to stop eating fried foods.
Keep Your Gut Healthy!
No single meal is the magic key to good gut health. In fact, some fermented foods, which are often a popular choice for probiotics, can worsen the gut health of people on a poor diet. Other foods, such as red meat and fried foods, may be best if you want to avoid or cut back on them to improve gut health. People hoping to improve gut health can talk to their doctor or dietician about their specific gut health goals.