7 Science-Backed Ways To Improve Your Gut Health
By: Josh Whooly
Not scientifically reviewed by Dr. Eeks
While roughly 40 trillion different bacteria live in your body, most are found in your gut. These bacteria collectively create your gut microbiome, which is exceptionally important to your overall well-being. A healthy gut supports digestive health, a strong immune system, and optimal brain functions. Even so, some bacteria found in the intestine are a reason for concern.
So it’s essential to find ways to improve and maintain your gut health. And the best way to do this is with a balanced diet.
These seven dietary changes will improve your gut health, according to science.
Consume A Diverse Range Of Foods
There are tons of different species of bacteria in your intestines, and each plays a specific role in upholding your well-being.
A diverse diet is important because each species of bacteria needs different nutrients to thrive. Consuming a diverse range of foods ensures a diverse microbiome.
Increase Probiotics Intake
Probiotics are living microorganisms that have tons of benefits to offer. These microorganisms improve health by altering the composition of the microbiome and supporting metabolism.
Probiotics are primarily found in fermented foods like yogurt. Alternatively, you can find a quality probiotic supplement. When choosing a probiotic supplement, it’s wise to read product reviews. Floraspring Probiotic review sheds light on all aspects of this particular product, which will help you make an informed decision for your well-being.
Include Vegetables And Fresh Fruits
Fruits and vegetables are vital for a healthy microbiome. Not only are vegetables and fruits a great source of nutrients, but they’re also high in fiber, which some bacteria in your gut digest to stimulate growth.
Adding beans, legumes, broccoli, lentils, apples, bananas, whole grains, raspberries, and other fresh fruits and vegetables will boost your gut health.
With this, some studies indicate that including fiber-rich foods in your diet is an effective way of preventing the growth of harmful gut bacteria, effectively reducing the risk of developing some diseases.
Try Fermented Foods
While you’re switching up your diet in favor of your gut health, it’s worthwhile to try out some fermented foods. During the fermentation process, sugars are broken down by bacteria and yeast.
Foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi are rich in lactobacilli, which is a kind of good bacteria that promotes optimal well-being.
Studies show that higher levels of lactobacilli bacteria in the intestines can reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance and improve overall intestinal health.
Add Prebiotic Foods To Your Diet
Prebiotic foods encourage the growth of good gut bacteria. These foods are typically complex carbs and fiber that we can’t digest, so good bacteria in the gut break them down for fuel instead.
Foods like whole grains, resistant starch, and some fruits and vegetables contain high levels of prebiotics. However, you can also find prebiotic supplements.
Prebiotics can also reduce insulin, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in those with obesity. Therefore, prebiotics may lower the risk of developing severe conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Eat Foods That Are Rich In Polyphenols
Polyphenols are plant compounds that can promote health by reducing blood pressure, decreasing inflammation, lowering cholesterol levels, and minimizing oxidative stress. These compounds increase lactobacilli and bifidobacteria to support optimal gut health.
Foods that are rich in polyphenols include red wine, broccoli, onions, dark chocolate, almonds, green tea, and blueberries.
Eat More Whole Grains
Whole grains are essential for optimal gut health. These foods are high in fiber and non-digestible carbs like beta-glucan. Whole grains also promote bifidobacteria, Bacteroides, and lactobacilli bacteria.
Foods like rice, corn, oats, wheat, barley, and rye are whole grains. There’s a good chance your diet already includes a few whole grains. But if you’re minimizing your intake of whole grains, it’s wise to consider your gut health. Whole grains also contain other beneficial nutrients, like vitamin E, magnesium, and B vitamins. Additionally, these grains are also a rich source of minerals and antioxidants.
Studies also show that whole grains offer benefits like reduced inflammation and decreased risk of heart disease. And because whole grains help you feel full, they’re an essential component in any diet.
Gut bacteria are imperative to many aspects of overall well-being. Several studies confirm that disrupted gut microbiomes can increase the likeliness of developing chronic conditions.
Fortunately, improving your gut health is really as simple as following a balanced diet that’s rich in a diverse variety of foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. A balanced diet is also the first step to a healthier lifestyle.
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