gut health

Get a Healthy Gut: 7 Ways to Improve Gut Microbiome

Home to various kinds of good bacteria, the human gut plays a key role in maintaining the overall health of the body. Good bacteria are considered vital in performing biological functions inside the gut that ensure better well-being. 

Maintaining a balanced microbiome, healthy gut bacteria protects the body from inflammation, diseases and promotes mental health. But, certain types of intestinal bacteria can contribute to diseases and make it difficult to build a better gut.

One of the major factors responsible for impacting our gut health is what we consume. It is not without a reason that healthy eating is promoted all around us. There are ample options available in food items that can help us to restore the gut microbiome. Along with food, lifestyle changes contribute well-enough in outnumbering bad gut health outcomes. 

Here are some of the tips that one can easily incorporate in his/her lifestyle for sustaining a healthy gut flora:

  1. Probiotics for gut health

Probiotics prove effective in supporting a healthy gut. Studies have shown that probiotics can restore gut bacteria to healthy levels. Probiotics benefit gut health in numerous ways. One can incorporate live fermented food items in their daily diet as these serve as great sources of natural probiotics. Below are options that may increase the probiotics intake in the body traditionally:

  • Cheese
  • Yoghurt
  • Lacto-fermented pickles 
  1. Healthy food choices

Gut bacterial cells happen to love edible plants. Most likely, we fail to add leafy food options to our diet due to our taste preferences. They often fail to please our taste buds. It is likely to result in chronic inflammation, weight gain and metabolic problems. But, here are some of the foods for healthy gut bacteria that can promise improved gut health:

  • Barley
  • Wholegrains
  • Legumes
  1. Regular exercise

Exercising regularly offers many benefits to our body. It is a way of pampering the body and making it aware that its fitness matters. 

When it comes to making ways for improved gut health, certain exercises are not only easy to do but are quite effective. While the following exercises do not require a gymnasium they can help achieve a healthy gut human body:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Dancing 
  1. No to stress

One of the mood and health-killing culprits is stress. It impacts physical, mental and emotional health in all negative ways. The gut microbiome gets affected by stress and this, in turn, affects the functioning of other body organs like the brain. Hence, it becomes essential to remain calm and stress-free. 

No wonder that gut microbes end up influencing our mood hormones and stress levels. Here are some of the techniques that can help in handling stress:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Counselling
  1. Less sugar intake

Sugar rules the kitchen of most Indian households. But, refined sugar does no good to our gut health. It upsets the balance needed by the gut and affects metabolism too. Its high intake can even result in an increased risk of diabetes, heart diseases and obesity. It is a must to avoid the following options when it comes to choosing food items for healthy gut bacteria:

  • Soft drinks
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Processed food items 

However, one must not confuse sugars with complex carbs that are needed for gut bacteria to survive and thrive. 

  1. Avoid snacking

To munch on something delicious is what we all crave. But, snacking for the sake of it would not promote your gut health. Undoubtedly, eating triggers a healthy immune response. However, eating all the time offers no good. Healthy eating is what we all should aim for to lead a happy and fit life. 

Some options can keep us full for longer and help us to avoid binge-snacking:

  • Proteins 
  • Fibres
  • Healthy fats
  1. Sound sleep

Certainly, everyone has a biological clock to follow for healthy living. It is interesting to note that gut bacteria in the body have a schedule to follow too. Sleep deprivation ends up disturbing the gut bacteria, which further affects digestion and the body’s gut microbiomes. Here is something that can be done to ensure sound sleep every day:

  • Set a bedtime routine
  • Avoid screens while sleeping
  • Keep a check on what you eat before going to bed

The bottom line

Avoiding vitamin supplements along with the unnecessary use of painkillers and antibiotics is another way to keep gut health in check. Also, one must steer clear of excessive alcohol consumption and sweeteners as these result in reduced gut diversity. 

One of the key aspects of working on better gut microbiomes is to know the science behind it. Self-research can be useful in multiple ways to understand how important is our gut health to attain the balance that our body seeks. 

Before it turns too late, know whether your gut is upset or happy.

7 Best Foods To Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria

Our digestive system is one of the most essential parts of our body. Not only does it ensure the smooth digestion of food, but gut health is also responsible for the proper functioning of the immune system. Maintaining our digestive system by eating gut health foods is especially important around this time of the year as a lot of people come down with problems such as the common cold or the flu. 

One of the more common misconceptions about our body is misinformation that is often spread about bacteria. A lot of people fail to realise that while some bacteria are the root cause of a lot of diseases, other bacteria such as gut bacteria are responsible for aiding our health.

Benefits Of Gut Bacteria

Our body acts as a host to billions of bacteria cells which are responsible for taking care of gut health and boosting our immunity. These bacteria cells are so large that they actually exceed the number of blood cells in our body. One of the more common forms of bacteria are the essential healthy micro gut bacteria, which has the following benefits:

  • Gut bacteria helps with boosting the functioning of the immune system
  • Maintaining proper gut health is useful in secreting antimicrobial substances that are responsible for limiting the growth of bad bacteria. 
  • Gut bacteria is important for aiding the smooth digestion of food and preventing complications such as constipation.
  • Gut bacteria are responsible for aiding the synthesis and production of essential water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin K and Vitamin B12 within our body.

Given below are seven essential gut health foods that you can include as a part of your daily diet:

#1. Pineapple

Next up on the list of gut health foods is pineapple. This fruit is rich in an enzyme called bromelain which is rich in digestive properties that are aimed at the proper breakdown of food into smaller molecules known as peptides. This helps in reducing the secretion of cytokines which can be detrimental to improving gut health. Additionally, pineapples are also a rich source of dietary fiber, which is useful for cleaning the gut and preventing constipation.

#2. Onion

Onion is one of the most potent good digestive foods as it contains quercetin, a strong form of oxidant that are useful for eliminating the presence of free radicals within the body. It also contains active compounds such as chromium which is responsible for boosting the production of insulin. Additionally, onion also contains vitamin c which helps in increasing the good bacteria in stomach and improving the immune system response. Additionally, vitamin c also helps with improving the function of our kidneys and promoting the elimination of toxic substances within the body which is essential for improving gut health. 

#3. Garlic

Next up on the list of good digestive foods is raw garlic. Not only is it useful for boosting the growth of good bacteria in stomach, it also contains a rich reserve of prebiotics, which is useful for boosting insulin levels and regulating our energy throughout the day. Garlic is also rich in other essential nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, manganese, and other active components such as allicin which are responsible for cleaning the gut and improving gut health. 

#4. Bone Broth

One of the most important good digestive foods is bone broth. It is a mixture of several essential types of meat and vegetables which are rich in nutrients and compounds such as collagen, amino acids, glutamine, and arginine which is important for cleaning the gut, enhancing the function of the immune system, reducing permeability, and improving the body’s response to inflammatory agents. Since it is rich in so many nutrients, gut health is actually a viable replacement for meals such as lunch and can be sipped throughout the day as well.


#5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Next up one the list of gut healing foods is apple cider vinegar. This ingredient is responsible for stimulating the production of stomach acid and increasing the amount of digestive juices in the stomach. It also has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which help in stopping the spread of bad bacteria in our gut. Apart from boosting the growth of gut bacteria, apple cider vinegar also plays a huge role in improving the immune response of the body as well. 

#6. Ginger

Ginger is a rich source of essential nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and Vitamin C which are responsible for carrying out functions such as enhancing the immune system and cleaning the gut. Additionally, consuming ginger is also useful for preventing bloating and ensuring the smooth passage of food through the digestive tract, making it one of the most useful gut healing foods.

#7. Asparagus

Prebiotics are one of the major components of maintaining gut health. Asparagus is one of the richest gut health foods as it contains indigestible fiber insulin, as well as good bacteria in the stomach such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli. Additionally, gut health foods such as asparagus are also rich in essential nutrients such as the B class of vitamins and antioxidant properties which are useful for eliminating the growth of free radicals within the body. 

Probiotic Supplements

One of the most essential nutrients required to maintain the proper functioning of gut health and ensure smooth digestion is probiotics. You can try adding probiotic supplements that are infused with multivitamins to your daily diet as a way of improving gut health. 

However, you must also make sure to consult with a medical health practitioner before supplementing your diet with any kind of nutritional supplement. 


Conclusion:

While consuming these foods is essential to improving the number of gut bacteria present in our body, we must also make sure that we are rounding off our nutrition properly by involving other food groups such as healthy fats, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. A good rule of thumb to follow would be to consume these gut health foods as a part of a healthy eating plate. You can also meet the recommended daily allowance of several essential vitamins by consuming nutritional supplements such as multivitamins.