Did you know that there are trillions of bacteria living in your gut? These microorganisms play an essential role in digestion, immunity, metabolism, and even mood.
Your gut health is closely linked to your overall health. If you want to improve your overall health, you should focus on improving your gut health.
In this article, Some foods and tips that will help you achieve optimal gut health.
Things to remember and follow for a healthy gut
The first step towards achieving good gut health is understanding what makes up our digestive tract.
Your digestive system consists of three parts:
1) Mouth – tongue, teeth, gums, lips, cheeks, etc.
3) Stomach & Intestines
Let’s take a look at each part individually…
Our mouth contains many different cells, including taste buds, which detect sweet, sour, salty, bitter tastes. Our mugs also have glands such as salivary glands, which produce saliva. Saliva helps breakdown food into smaller particles so stomach acids can more easily digest it. It also protects against harmful substances like poisons or pathogens.
The esophagus is where we swallow solid food. After swallowing, the food travels through the esophageal sphincter before entering the stomach. When the muscles around the opening contract again after eating, they push out any remaining food back toward the throat. This muscle relaxes when we eat and allows food to pass from one end of the esophagus.
Stomach & Intestine
The stomach is responsible for breaking down food into small pieces called chyme. Chyme then moves through the intestines via peristalsis. Peristalsis is the rhythmic contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle tissue throughout the body.
Peristaltic waves move along the walls of the intestine, pushing waste products away from the intestinal wall. As these waves travel along the length of the intestine, nutrients are absorbed into blood vessels lining the inside of the intestine.
Over 100 trillion microbes are living within the human gastrointestinal tract. They live symbiotically with humans and provide numerous benefits to their host. Some examples include helping digest complex carbohydrates, producing vitamins K and B12, preventing pathogenic infections, and regulating immune function.
How do we get rid of bad gut flora?
We have two options here: antibiotics or probiotics. Antibiotic therapy has been used successfully to treat bacterial infections, but unfortunately, it kills beneficial and detrimental organisms. Probiotics are helpful because they selectively target only those species that cause disease while leaving others alone.
Probiotics come in various forms, including fermented milk drinks, yogurt, kefir , kimchi, sauerkraut, miso soup, tempeh, pickles, olives, and other cultured vegetables. You may nd them sold under brand names like “Live Food,” “BioGaia,” and “BioGaia.”Here are some common questions about probiotics:
Q: What does “pro” mean?
A: Pro means before. In this case, pro-biotics refers to pre-existing Bacteria are found naturally on raw meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and certain fruits and veggies. These bacteria help prevent spoilage during storage and transport. The most commonly consumed type of Lactic Acid Bacterium, lactobacillus acidophilus, was initially isolated from breast milk. Other lactic acid bacterium strains are often added to processed meats, cheeses, yogurts, bread, cereals, juices, and condiments.
Why should I consume LAB?
Lactobacilli are normal inhabitants of the GI tract. Many people carry high levels of LAB without realizing it. However, consuming too much LAB can lead to gas production, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, headaches, fatigue, and skin rashes. If you experience frequent bouts of constipation, consider taking an additional dose of LAB daily.
Where can I buy LAB supplements?
You can purchase LAB supplements online or in your local grocery store. Look for brands containing between 1 billion – 10 billion CFU/g. Check labels carefully; not all companies follow FDA guidelines regarding how to label their product.
Can I use LAB supplements if I am pregnant?
Yes! According to the American Pregnancy Association, no evidence using LAB supplements increases the risk of miscarriage or congenital disabilities.
What are the foods for a healthy gut?
The following list contains foods rich in fiber and probiotics which support a healthy digestive system.
Dietary Fiber is indigestible carbohydrate polymers present in plant cell walls. DF helps maintain regular bowel movements by increasing stool bulk and decreasing transit time through the intestines.
It also promotes peristalsis or muscle contractions that push food down the esophagus toward the stomach.
Benefits of dietary fiber:
• Helps lower cholesterol
• Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
• Improves digestion
• Promotes weight loss
• May reduce cancer risks
Good sources of Dietary Fiber:
Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, bok choy, radishes, cucumbers, celery, carrots, beets, peas, sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, winter squash, pumpkin, and avocado
Nuts and seeds such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, and coconut
Legumes such as black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, lima beans, lentils, soybeans ,mung beans, chickpeas, adzuki beans, white beans, garbanzo beans, fava beans, and green split peas
Whole grains such as brown rice, oats, wheat berries, barley, quinoa, millet, spelled, buckwheat, bulgur, farro, rye, cornmeal, whole grain pasta, oatmeal, couscous, polenta, grits, and wild rice
Proteins such as lean beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, seafood, tofu, egg whites, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, whey protein powder, and legume proteins
Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, salmon, tuna, fatty acids, omega three oils, axseed oil, hempseed oil, nut butter, and peanut butter
How do I get enough fiber?
It’s recommended that adults eat at least 14 grams of fiber each day. This amount will provide approximately 25% of total calories from carbohydrates. Most Americans don’t meet these recommendations because they tend to choose renewed carbs instead of complex ones. Complex carbs include those with more than one sugar molecule attached, while simple sugars have only one.
Examples of complex carbs include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, starchy root vegetables, legumes, and tubers.
Simple sugars include table sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, agave nectar, fructose, dextrose, lactose, maltodextrin, high-fructose corn syrup, cane juice, beet sugar, turbinado sugar, golden syrup, raw sugar, and evaporated cane juice. These types of sugars should make up less than 15% of daily caloric intake.
How much fiber does my body need?
Your needs vary depending on age, gender, activity level, health status, and other factors. The average adult requires about 30–35 gm of fiber every day. Women who are trying to lose weight may require even higher amounts. Children under two years old usually need very little fiber. As people grow older, they generally need fewer grams of fiber. If you’re overweight, it’s essential to increase your consumption of soluble fibers like psyllium husk, guar gum, and beta-glucan.
Soluble fibers help fill you up, so you feel full longer. They also bind water and prevent toxins from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Insoluble fibers like bran, cellulose, lignin, and alginate promote good colon function. They act as an absorbent sponge, trapping waste products before reaching the large intestine where most bacteria live. Some insoluble fibers pass undigested through the small intestine and enter the bloodstream.
Fiber is found in various food sources, including fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and dairy. Foods rich in dietary fiber can be used interchangeably in recipes or added directly to dishes. You’ll nd them listed as “dietary fiber ” or simply “fiber.”
Are there any side effects associated with overeating fiber?
There aren’t any known negative consequences when consuming adequate levels of fiber. However, if you consume excessive quantities of certain types of fiber, then this could lead to gas production and bloating. People with irritable bowel syndrome often report relief after reducing their intake offer fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrate molecules that trigger symptoms in sensitive individuals.
These are some tips to keep your gut in a healthy condition for a long time!