It is common for all of us to experience digestive symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, nausea, heartburn, gas, and upset stomach occasionally. But when these symptoms occur on a frequent basis, you have chances to experience major disorders in your health.
Lifestyle and diet changes help in maintaining great gut health. If you want to know more about gut health and useful tips on improving the same it is better to talk to your doctor. Check out some of the effective ways to enhance your gut bacteria:
1) Consume A Diverse Choice Of Foods
Our intestines consist of hundreds of types of bacteria. Each type plays a unique role in health and needs a variety of nutrients for growth. In general terms, it is said that a varied microbiota is considered as a healthy one. It is because when you have more types of bacteria, you can enjoy a great number of health welfares. By following a diet that consists of various food types, your intestine can maintain a diverse microbiota. The worst part is the Western Diet because it is rich in sugar and fat and not diverse. It is found that almost 75% of the foods in the world are prepared from 5 animal and 12 plant species. Still, diets in some cultural regions are rich in various plant sources and are more diverse.
2) Consume A Lot Of Legumes, Fruits, Beans, And Vegetables
To have a healthy microbiota, consume sufficient vegetables and fruits, as they are rich sources of nutrients. Moreover, they are rich in fiber and the body cannot digest them. Still, some bacteria present in your gut can process fiber and that improves their growth. Legumes and beans contain high quantities of fiber. Certain high fiber foods that can be taken for improving your gut bacteria are as follows:
- Whole grains
- Beans (white, pinto and kidney)
- Green peas
Recently, a study has proved that by following a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, it is possible to prevent the development of certain disease-causing bacteria. Pistachios, almonds, blueberries, artichokes, and apples are proved to enhance Bifidobacteria in humans. It is a beneficial bacterium that helps in enhancing gut health and preventing intestinal inflammation.
3) Do Not Eat Artificial Sweeteners
In recent years, artificial sweeteners are used frequently as a replacement for sugar. Certain studies show that they have chances to negatively influence your gut bacteria. A study was conducted on rats that proved that Aspartame (an artificial sweetener) helped in weight loss but it impaired insulin response and increased blood sugar. Another similar study was conducted on humans and mice. It proved that artificial sweeteners negatively disturb blood sugar levels because of their influence on gut microbiota.
4) Eat Fermented Foods
Foods that are changed by microbes are fermented foods. The fermenting process involves yeasts or bacteria transforming the sugar present in food to alcohol or organic acids. Some of the instances of fermented foods are Tempeh, Kombucha, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, and Yogurt. Most of these fermented foods are high in lactobacilli- a kind of bacteria that can boost your health. Individuals who consume a lot of yogurts are said to have sufficient lactobacilli in the intestines.
Moreover, these individuals will have fewer Enterobacteriaceae. It is bacteria, that are connected with several chronic diseases and inflammation. It is vital to restore gut health: fix diarrhea, constipation, and bloating because several studies have proved this helps in the long run. Consumption of yogurt enhances lactose intolerance symptoms and modify intestinal bacteria in both adults and infants. Some yogurt products also lessen the abundance of some disease-causing bacteria, especially for people who have irritable bowel syndrome.
5) Consume Prebiotic Foods
The foods that improve the development of helpful microbes in your gut are referred to as prebiotic foods. They are mostly complex carbs or fiber, which cannot be processed by human cells. Certain kinds of bacteria process them and utilize for fuel. Resistant starch is also prebiotic. It is a kind of starch where the small intestine does not absorb. It passes through the large intestine and it is processed by the microbiota.
6) Consume Whole Grains
The best part of consuming whole grains is it contains sufficient nondigestible carbs and fiber-like beta-glucan. The small intestine does not absorb or process these carbs. So, these foods pass to the large intestine, microbiota breaks them down and enhances the development of some beneficial bacteria. Whole grains offer increasing fullness feelings and reduce heart disease risk issues and inflammation.
7) Breastfeed For A Minimum Of Six Months
The microbiota of the baby starts to progress at birth. Certain recent studies prove that babies would be exposed to certain bacteria even before birth. The microbiota of the infant will be continuously progressing for the first 24 months. It will be rich in useful Bifidobacteria that help in digesting the sugars present in breast milk. Breastfeeding is also connected with lower chances of obesity, allergies and several other diseases.
8) Consume Foods That Are High In Polyphenols
Polyphenol is a plant compound that has several health benefits including cutbacks in inflammation, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and cholesterol levels. Polyphenols cannot be processed by human cells. It means they are not absorbed efficiently. Most will reach the colon and gets processed by the gut bacteria. Some of the excellent sources of Polyphenols are dark and cocoa chocolate, broccoli, blueberries, onions, almonds, green tea, grape skins, and red wine.
9) Consume A Plant-based Diet
When you follow a diet consisting of animal-based foods, it enhances the development of different kinds of intestinal bacteria more than plant-based foods. Several studies have proved that vegetarian foods help to improve gut health and it is mainly due to their rich fiber content. A small study proved that a vegetarian diet results in reduced amounts of disease triggering bacteria in overweight individuals and also reduced weight, cholesterol levels, and inflammation.
10) Consume A Probiotic Supplement
Live microorganisms or bacteria are referred to as probiotics. It offers certain health benefits when consumed. They do not permanently inhabit the intestines. It aids your health by altering the entire structure of the microbiota as well as supports the metabolism.
11) Add Spices To Your Foods
Cooking with spices such as turmeric, ginger, and garlic makes your meal delicious and also controls the development of damaging bacteria in the gut. As these spices are rich in powerful antibacterial chemicals, they are not bad for good bacteria but they are bad for bad bacteria.
12) Consume Nuts
Nuts are high sources of fiber just like grains. A research was conducted on mice where they were fed walnuts. They experienced excellent transformations in gut microbes and progressed less evidence of colon cancer.
13) Take Care Of Your Dental Health
Oral hygiene is connected to gut health. Several studies revealed that harmful kinds of bacteria develop in mouth transfer into the gut and also the bloodstream. By regularly brushing your teeth, you can keep prospective harmful microbes in control and thus your gut bacteria remain in balance.
14) Reduce Stress
Stress management is important for several aspects of health comprising gut health. Several stressors have chances to affect gut health in humans. Some of the stressors that affect your gut health badly are sleep deprivation, environmental stress like extreme noise, cold or heat, psychological stress and disturbance of the daily rhythm. Certain stress management techniques that are helpful are progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises, and meditation. Consuming a healthy diet, sleeping well, and exercising regularly helps in reducing stress levels in a great way. It is important to maintain a healthy gut so as to have better overall immune function and health. Certain simple lifestyle changes that you can make are exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. If you are experiencing continuous issues, it is recommended that you consult your physician.