The Link Between Your Teeth And Your Gut
Brush and floss your teeth regularly. Having regular dental cleanings and check-ups may not seem to be important to a healthy microbiome, but studies at Cornell University and in Sweden have found that bacteria from your mouth can get into your stomach and cause problems.
Avoid the bad guys taking over the good guys in your tummy by taking care of your teeth.
Limit sugary foods, said Susan Mintz, RN, BSN, CDE, of Brunswick County Health Department in Bolivia, North Carolina. In addition to being inflammatory to the system, sugar can cause yeast to grow and it can throw off delicate gut balances. In addition, avoid prepackaged foods and stay away from processed foods.
In addition to being inflammatory to the system, sugar can cause yeast to grow and it can throw off delicate gut balances.
Challenges With Fermented Foods
Many people that I work with, however, have some pretty serious issues going on in their body that causes histamine intolerance and reactions to fermented foods. If you find you do not react well then it is probably best to avoid them momentarily.
In these;cases I typically recommend a broad-spectrum probiotic like SBO Probiotics Ultimate.;have found that this probiotic works extremely well for people who are having a lot of intestinal issues. If you are considering introducing probiotics into your system, I would recommend starting with this one to lay a solid foundation of bacteria for your gut microbiome.
Diversify The Foods You Eat
Having diverse gut bacteria has been associated with leanness, as well as protection from many diseases.;
You can add diversity to your diet by choosing a wide variety of foods, especially those high in plant-based prebiotic fiber. The American Gut Project found those who ate more than 30 different plant types per week had more diverse microbiomes than those who ate 10 or fewer types of plants per week.;
Eating a variety of foods in various states of raw and cooked can provide your body with a balanced gut microbiome. You dont necessarily have to strictly follow a microbiome diet to achieve a healthy gastrointestinal tract, Patty says. The challenge comes when someone eats a diet high in convenience foods that have processed because they no longer contain the nutrients the gut microbes need in order to thrive.;
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Stock Up On Dietary Sources Of Prebiotics
Prebiotics are food for your microbiome! Its important to feed these little guys to give them the energy they need to complete their very important task of managing your enteric nervous system. Here is a list of dietary prebiotics that should be staples in your home kitchen:
- Whole Grains
- Green Tea Extracts
Microbiome Diversity Is Probably Not Achievable By Swallowing A Whole Range Of Supplements
While taking a probiotic may be like planting a seed, taking a prebiotic is like nurturing it by giving it the nourishment it needs. But again, this approach comes up against the same limitations as taking a probiotic alone.
Verdict: “Prebiotics do not increase the diversity of the microbiome,” says Whelan. “They will increase specific bacteria, but they won’t increase the number of different types of bacteria.”
Mixing it up
So microbiome diversity is probably not achievable by swallowing a whole range of supplements. But there are ways to improve diversity by focusing on the foods you eat.
“Have a look at the people around you,” says Whelan. “You’ll find some people will have the same lunch every day. And in the evening, three or four different main dishes, and they will eat that for a whole year bar going out occasionally.”
Even if your habitual diet is balanced, with plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and so on, having a predictable routine is not likely to do much good for a diverse microbiome.
Eating the same few meals all the time may not be the best for beneficial gut microbes – scientists say variety is key
“Dietary diversity is about challenging the concept of constantly eating the same thing,” says Whelan. “For example, if you have fish regularly, make sure it isn’t always salmon. Make sure you have wholegrains regularly, but not just wholegrain bread.”
Whelan agrees that some people may be taking fermentation too far.
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How Microbiota Benefit The Body
Microbiota stimulate the immune system, break down potentially toxic food compounds, and synthesize certain vitamins and amino acids, including the B vitamins and vitamin K. For example, the key enzymes needed to form vitamin B12 are only found in bacteria, not in plants and animals.
Sugars like table sugar and lactose are quickly absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine, but more complex carbohydrates like starches and fibers are not as easily digested and may travel lower to the large intestine. There, the microbiota help to break down these compounds with their digestive enzymes. The fermentation of indigestible fibers causes the production of short chain fatty acids that can be used by the body as a nutrient source but also play an important role in muscle function and possibly the prevention of chronic diseases, including certain cancers and bowel disorders. Clinical studies have shown that SCFA may be useful in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
The microbiota of a healthy person will also provide protection from pathogenic organisms that enter the body such as through drinking or eating contaminated water or food.
Easy On The Painkillers For Your Gut Flora
Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory are painkillers that can alter the gut microbiome and lead to an upset stomach.
Better known as NSAIDs, these medications are among the most commonly prescribed. They are used to treat pain by targeting inflammation, and are especially popular because they help relieve menstrual pain.
However, even though they can produce short-term relief, chronic use can damage your gut lining and make your gut microbes sad. They irritate your intestinal lining, causing inflammation and even bleeding too both of which are detrimental to this organ and your microbiome.
TIPSome of these painkillers, like ibuprofen, can be bought at your shop, others prescribed by your doctor.
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How Can I Maintain My Gut Health
You dont have to know exactly whats going on in your gut at all times. And as long as youre following doctors orders for overall health, youre likely benefiting your microbiome. We tell people to follow a balanced diet, stay hydrated, exercise regularly and get a good nights sleep, says Menon, because we think staying healthy overall will help you maintain a healthy gut.
Similarly, the same habits that are bad for your heart, lungs and brainlike cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol intakecan also hurt the microbiome. Avoid taking unnecessary medications, says Hecht, and talk to your doctor about how your current drug regimen might affect your gut health.
Limiting dairy, red and processed meats, and refined sugars can also improve gut health. So can getting the recommended amount of fiber20 to 40 g a day, depending on your age and gender. Most Americans dont meet these guidelines, but you can increase your amount by adding fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds to your diet.
Menon recommends keeping a food diary to track fiber intake, as well as GI symptoms related to food. A sudden switch to high-fiber foods can cause bloating, so introduce them gradually and keep track of how your body reacts to anything new. Sometimes you can identify specific trigger foods that make you feel bad every time you eat them, says Menon, and you can find alternatives that work better for you.
Eat More Whole Grains Nuts Load Up On Veggies Beans And Fresh Fruits
Here is yet another reason to eat fresh, whole foods. Barley, oats, quinoa, bulger, and other whole grains have fiber that we need to bulk up our intestines and help things to move through.
Whole grains then become a type of feed for the bacteria inhabiting the microbiome. It may sound strange that we have all these minute bacteria floating around in there, but they keep things running smoothly.
Eating more whole grains has been shown to increase the types and numbers of bacteria in our gut. The same is true of nuts, so pick up a variety of walnuts, pecans, pistachios or almonds, remembering that a serving is what fits into the palm of your hand.
Whole, fresh vegetables, beans and legumes, and a variety of fresh fruits serve as nutrition for the bacteria in our gut. Shop your local farmers market for fresh, whole foods in season and prepare your microbiome for your locale.
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Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much may negatively affect your microbiome, too. Repeated alcohol use is linked to gastritis, an irritation of the gut in which it becomes inflamed. Such inflammation can lead to heartburn, chronic discomfort, ulcers and bacterial infections.
Drinking too much is also associated with intestinal inflammation, which is a sign of an unhealthy gut. Research suggests that this kind of inflammation alters the microbiotaincluding how well it worksand can throw it off balance.
Influencers Dont Necessarily Know Science
Social media made people famous by promoting an aspirational lifestyle who often receive payment for advertising products and services.
Ask yourself, how many accredited health experts and researchers do you follow? Social media influencers are often highly paid by companies to promote products and/or services. They also made it to the top by sharing opinions, but not necessarily scientific facts.
Its important to do your own research, or else you may find yourself doing some very unscientific stuff and buying all sorts of gut health supplements that some rando with a hundred thousand followers told you to. Dont be afraid to question what youre being told.
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How To Increase Your Guts Microbiome Diversity
Fermented food may seem like any other hyped food thats in trend, but research suggests that it can help in forging a relatively healthier balance with the bacteria in our bodys gut.
In a trial consisting of 36 people, it was found that the ones who were randomly asked to eat fermented food, such as yogurt, kombucha and kimchi, showed a rise in the microbiome diversity in their gut.
The microbiome is a large collection of bacteria and other microbes that naturally occur in the gut. Research in the past few years has revealed how important those micro-organisms are for the body to function normally. This includes metabolism and the synthesis of nutrients.
The Checklist: How To Improve Your Microbiome
Through food and supplementation, we can improve the variety of bacterial species in the microbiome, which can have far-reaching health benefits. Consuming a diet of whole, unprocessed food while providing pro- and prebiotic support can help build, repair and/or maintain the gut microbiome.
;;;;;Include whole grains, celery, fruit with edible seeds, and root vegetables, along with other insoluble fiber sources17;;;;;Include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and/or yogurt in your diet, along with other fermented foods;;;;;Include plenty of vegetables in your diet theyre often fiber sources, and polyphenols are found in them;;;;;Include fruits, cereal grains, tea, coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa powder and/or wine, to consume polyphenols;;;;;Supplement with probiotic or prebiotic supplements when needed, such as with a prebiotic supplement containing 2-FL;;;;;Exercise regularly with physical activityAvoid smoking or drinking excess amounts of alcohol;;;;;Avoid over-using antibiotics only use antibiotics according to a healthcare practitioners prescription to treat bacterial infections
;;;;;Include beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds in your diet, along with other soluble fiber sources16
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Foster Gut Health By Diversifying Your Diet
Maurice explains that most people who are sick with a gut-related diseaseor even other conditions, like diabetes and allergieshave one thing in common: a lack of variety in their microbial populations. Its clear that a healthy gut is a diversely-populated gut, and one of the best ways to build a diverse bacterial community is to eat a wide range of healthy foods.
Try To Cut Back On The Red Meat
Aside from the fact that these days, many meat brands are known for raising their livestock with antibiotics, which is detrimental to your gut, there have been several studies that show healthier microbiomes in vegetarians. A vegetarians gut for example, will have a significantly smaller number of disease-causing bacteria that an omnivores gut. However, it is still unclear if this is due to the lack of meat being consumed, or the fact that vegetarians and plant-based individuals tend to consume a great deal more fibre than the average person.
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Foods That Promote Good Gut Bacteria
You may not realize it, but within your gut theres an entire ecosystem of bacteria that works together to help your body digest food and keep your gut happy and healthy. Your microbiome is made up of beneficial bacteria that do everything from aiding in digestion to boosting your immune system and influencing your mental health.
Researchers are still discovering all of the ways our microbiota affects the bodys processes. While theres still a lot to discover, theres one thing we know for sure: your microbiome is very important!
One of the best things you can do to help promote the diversity and health of your microbiome is make sure your diet is rich with probiotic and prebiotic foods. Prebiotic foods are foods that contain ingredients microbiota feed off of. Probiotic foods contain good bacteria that add more troops to your microbiome.
Fun fact: You can cultivate a new microbiota in just 24 hours by changing what you eat.
Here are 6 foods to add to your diet that will help promote good gut bacteria.
Dietary Program To Optimise Gut Bacteria
The Gut Makeover , is a dietary program that was designed to improve the health and diversity of the microbiome, leading to weight loss and subsidiary health benefits . The groups were a convenience sample of people seeking the services of a nutritional therapist. The majority of participants primary goal was therefore weight-loss, with several additionally aiming to improve digestive symptoms , plus energy, and pain issues. None of the participants took part in the nutritional therapy with the explicit aim of improving emotional or cognitive well-being.
Participants either attended an in-person or online workshop at the start of the program, where they were briefed by a nutritional therapist, trained in the procedure, on the dietary protocol for the four-weeks. They were also given handouts detailing the plan. Further in-person or online conference call group briefings with the nutritional therapist were conducted at the half-way point of the diet and at the end . A private Facebook group was also offered to both groups during the program where they could share experiences and ask the nutritional therapist questions.
The Gut Makeover protocol was developed based on research into the microbiome and gut permeability. Details of the protocol are described fully in the published guidelines and summarised below.
Throughout the four weeks, participants
In the second half of the plan participants also
Excluded from the diet throughout the four weeks
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Restoring Gut Flora After Antibiotics
Antibiotics deplete many bacteria, not just the ones making you sick. Thats why they should only be used under the supervision of a doctor when you really need them.
Antibiotics are an essential means to target bacterial infections. The problem is, weve used them too much and antibiotic resistance is becoming a major problem. Your gut flora isnt keen on them either, and for good reason.
Studies show that antibiotics alter the composition of your gut biome in the long and short term. Thats why some doctors also prescribe a probiotic at the same time. If you do need them, make sure to top up your prebiotic fibre intake to nourish your good bugs, and get a microbiome test to see how you can help them recover.
Artificial Sweeteners Are Not On The Healthy Gut Diet Plan
Sugar-free alternatives have been branded as a better option than sugar, but when it comes to your intestinal health, this isnt strictly true.
Artificial sweeteners may be a convenient replacement for those with a sweet tooth, but they may not be as beneficial as originally thought. Some studies have shown that they can actually increase blood sugar and increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Its easy to reach for a non-sugar sweetener, but if youre trying to lower your sugar intake, its worth considering reaching for a piece of fruit, some dark chocolate, or simply forgoing the syrup in your latte.
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Increase Your Intake Of Probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms, usually bacteria, that provide a specific health benefit when consumed.
Probiotics dont permanently colonize the intestines in most cases. However, they may benefit your health by changing the overall composition of the microbiome and supporting your metabolism .
A review of seven studies found that probiotics have little effect on the gut microbiome composition of healthy people. However, there is some evidence that probiotics may improve the gut microbiome in those with certain diseases .
One review of 63 studies found mixed evidence of the effectiveness of probiotics in altering the microbiome. But the researchers noted that the probiotics strongest effects seemed to be in restoring the microbiome to a healthy state after it had been compromised .
Nevertheless, some studies have shown that probiotics can improve the functioning of certain gut bacteria, as well as the specific types of chemicals they produce .
You can increase your intake of probiotics by consuming more probiotic-rich foods, including fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and yogurt.
Alternatively, you can consider using a probiotic supplement. However, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting supplementation, especially if you are taking other medications or have any underlying health conditions.