Surprisingly, there are millions of bacteria living within the body. This is scientifically known as gut microbiota and is essential to overall gut health. However, there are certain types of bacteria in the intestines that can make people ill. This is the reason why people should maintain a balance between bad and good gut bacteria. People are advised to eat a well-balanced diet filled with natural foods as everything that you take in affects the type of bacteria that will thrive inside you.
The following are scientific base ways on how you can increase good bacteria and improve digestive health.
1. Eat Well Balanced Diet
Intestines require diverse gut microbiome as each species can contribute to a healthier body. Health professionals encouraged a well-balanced diet. It is good to know that the world is blessed with rich agricultural resources and animal species. There are several studies found out that people living in rural areas in Africa and the Southern part of America have a greater gut microbiome compared to those living in the United States and Europe.
2. Increase Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables
Fiber and plant compounds from fruits and vegetables promote a healthy gut environment. These foods are a rich source of fiber that is not digested by the body, but there are specific types of bacteria within the gut that can digest fiber. This is the reason why increase fiber intake can promote the production of more of these good gut bacteria. Some of the best foods with a high amount of fiber are artichokes, broccoli, lentils, green peas, kidney beans, and whole grains.
There is a study in fruits and vegetables found out that a diet rich in fiber reduces the growth of diseases caused by a certain type of bacteria.
Some fruits like apples, and blueberries and nuts like almonds and pistachios are proven to promote the growth of bacteria called Bifidobacteria for overall gut health. Bifidobacteria is one of the many beneficial bacteria that can aid in the prevention of inflammation in the intestine.
3. Consume Fermented Foods
The fermentation process involves the use of yeast and bacteria to convert sugars in food to form organic acid. Some of the widely known fermented foods that you can include in the diet are yogurt, kefir, kimchi, tempeh, sauerkraut, and kombucha. The types of bacteria that can be found in these fermented foods are lactobacilli. A person who consumed more yogurts in the diet has more of these gut bacteria. It can lead to a decrease in Enterobacteriaceae which is a known bacterium that is related to chronic inflammation.
Also, consuming yogurt in the diet can eliminate bad bacteria that can cause an irritable bowel movement. Two important types of research showed improved gut microbiome for people who like to eat yogurt. However, one must choose yogurt that is low in sugar level. Always look at the nutrition facts and ingredients to find out the sugar content. Fermented soybean milk is also linked to the increasing growth of lactobacilli and Asian countries with high consumption of Kimchi can take advantage of its benefit in gut health.
4. Consume Foods High in Prebiotics
Prebiotics are vital in the accumulation of beneficial bacteria inside the gut. Foods that can promote gut health are fibrous food sources and complex carbohydrates. Another is the resistant starch that is hardly absorbed within the small intestine and passes through the large intestine where it is metabolized by bacteria known as Bifidobacteria. Several studies showed the effectiveness of prebiotics in reducing the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases.
5. Breastfeeding for Babies
At birth, the gut microbiome of babies starts to develop. However, there are the latest studies suggest that babies may already be exposed to a certain type of bacteria even before birth. Sugar found in breast milk is rich in Bifidobacteria that can promote gut health for babies. Some studies also proved that formula-fed infants have experienced an altered microbiota resulting in decrease growth of Bifidobacteria compared to those who are breastfed.
6. Consume more Polyphenols Rich Foods
Polyphenols are important plant compounds that are not digested by the body. These compounds make their way to the colon where gut bacteria can digest them and absorbed by the body.