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Do you know there are certain foods that will keep your gut bacteria healthy? Yes, you read that right! Gut bacteria live inside your gut, which are about 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria containing nearly 2 million genes. Interesting, right? Reading this article will provide you with information about the foods that are good for gut health.
The bacteria which live inside your gut are paired with other tiny organisms like viruses and fungi, which is known as microbiota or the microbiome. These bacteria live in your entire body, but the ones living in your gut have the biggest impact on your well-being. They stay on the lining of your digestive system and have an effect from your metabolism, your mood to your immune system.
A healthy gut bacteria is essential not only for properly breaking down of foods, but also for nutrient absorption and toxin elimination. So, if your gut flora is out of whack, problems can arise like bloating, inflammation, acne, poor sleep, diabetes, obesity and low levels of happiness.
These are the foods that you can eat for gut health.
The soluble fibre present in oranges is fermented by your gut bacteria and a fatty acid called butyrate. Butyrate is a source of fuel for the cells that line your GI (gastrointestinal) tract and thus help fuel a healthy gut. Make sure that you eat the whole orange to reap this benefit, since the soluble fibre is mostly found in all the segments of the orange.
Butter is a source of natural butyrate in your diet. The food sources of butyrate may also intensify the intestinal barrier function and improve the overall gut health. In addition, butter is anti-inflammatory, good for heart health, full of vitamin A, an energy booster, etc. It is better that you consume butter from grass-fed cows.
Lentils are another food perfect for improving gut health. They contain soluble fibre, which is fermented in your colon. Lentils are a great source of prebiotics that feed on your existing beneficial gut bacteria. Lentils include beneficial nutrients such as protein, minerals, vitamins and fibre. One cup of cooked lentils has about 230 calories, which leaves you feeling full and satiated.
Yogurt is a probiotic food and many evidences have shown that specific bacterial species are used for the fermentation of yogurt and selected from the healthy gut microflora. These have powerful anti-pathogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. The bacteria that is used in yogurt is Lactobacillus acidophilus. Yogurt also helps to promote a healthy digestive tract and boosts the immune system.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar aids in improving digestion by increasing stomach acid. Apple cider vinegar has anti-microbial effects and has been shown to have antiviral, anti-yeast and anti-fungal benefits. These are all helpful in supporting the microbiome and overall immune balance. Apple cider vinegar helps in improving heartburn and indigestion too.
Mangoes, a popular summer fruit, have been shown to help keep the good bacteria in your gut alive. According to a noted study, incorporating mangoes daily in your diet could improve your gut health, while reducing body fat and controlling blood sugar. Mangoes also contain many other important nutrients and bioactive compounds that can provide various health benefits.
7. Whole Grains
Whole grains have been shown to optimize the heart function, improve your mood, help your gut micro-organisms work at their best and improve your body's insulin sensitivity. Whole grains are packed with prebiotics which are indigestible fibres that stimulate the growth of the good bacteria within your digestive tract.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid that consists of antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil also has lauric acid and caprylic acid, which are fatty acids that are extraordinary at killing off harmful yeast and bacteria while restoring your stomach's acidity levels.
9. Wild Salmon
Wild salmon means the fish should be caught in its natural environment and not farmed. Wild salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient. The fish is also good for healing an inflamed gut. Salmon provides 22 to 23 grams of protein per serving, which is almost closer to the amount of protein in a steak.
Chocolate is one of the foods where you can get both prebiotic and probiotic bacteria. Dark chocolate contains certain compounds that are absorbed by the body and lessen the inflammation of the cardiovascular tissues. Eating dark chocolate will help in improving gut health by selectively feeding the beneficial bacteria as opposed to the harmful bacteria.
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