What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about microflora and restoring gut bacteria? Probiotic supplements, isn't it? You could take high amounts of probiotic supplements but still it wouldn't do much good if your lifestyle continues to include habits that damage the healthy gut bacteria, like intake of antibiotics and highly chlorinated water. So, how do you restore healthy gut flora? Let's find out here.
The beneficial microflora inside your body needs a stable environment to grow and flourish. Did you know the ideal pH balance in the colon should be between 6.7 and 6.9? Anything lower than 7 is alkaline and the colon needs to be slightly acidic which stops the growth of bad bacteria, such as Salmonella, Shigella and E.coli.
You will also be surprised to know that around 40 trillion bacteria in your body reside in your intestines. They are known as your gut microbiota and they are important for your health.
Here's how to restore healthy gut flora
1. Eat A Diverse Range Of Foods
There are trillions of bacteria living in your intestines and each species of bacteria plays a different role in your health and needs different nutrients for growth. A diverse microbiota is considered to be a healthy one and the more healthy gut bacteria you have, the greater number of health benefits. Having a diet rich in whole foods can lead to a diverse microbiota, which is essential for your health.
2. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are foods which are altered by microbes. The process of fermenting usually involves bacteria converting the sugar in food to organic acids. Some of the fermented foods are yogurt, kimchi, kefir, tempeh, kombucha, etc. These foods contain lactobacilli bacteria that benefit your health in many ways.
3. Eat Pulses, Fruit And Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are considered the perfect sources for a healthy microbiota. Being rich in fibre, they can be easily digested by certain bacteria in your gut. Beans and legumes and certain high-fibre foods are good for your gut bacteria which include raspberries, artichokes, broccoli, green peas, chickpeas, beans, lentils, and whole grains.
4. Avoid Having Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are used as a replacement for highly refined sugar. However, some noted studies have shown that they can have a negative effect on the gut microbiota. It showed changes in the microbiota made by artificial sweeteners. Well, avoid consuming artificial sweeteners and enhance your healthy gut bacteria.
5. Eat A Plant-Based Diet
A number of noted studies have shown that a vegetarian diet may benefit the gut microbiota and this is due to their high fibre contents. A vegetarian diet can significantly decrease disease-causing bacteria, such as E.coli. Though it is unclear if meat-based diets have such benefits too.
6. Eat Prebiotic Foods
Prebiotics are foods that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Prebiotics are mainly fibre or complex carbohydrates that the good bacteria breaks down and uses them for fuel. Fruit, vegetables, and whole grain products contain prebiotics and these prebiotics may reduce the risk factors for many diseases associated with obesity, including diabetes and heart disease.
7. Consume Foods Rich In Polyphenols
Polyphenols are plant compounds that provide numerous health benefits like reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Some of the foods that are good sources of polyphenols are dark chocolate, red wine, green tea, grape skins, almonds, blueberries, broccoli, and onions.
8. Probiotic Supplements
How can you restore healthy gut flora? If you are a person who finds it difficult to consume fermented foods on a daily basis or maybe does not like the taste of it, the best alternative is popping the beneficial probiotic supplements. These supplements are a convenient way to deliver additional beneficial bacteria to the gut because they don't require any cooking.
9. Increase Immunity
Do you know that 80 percent of your body's immune system is present in your gut? That's the reason maintaining a healthy gut flora has a deep impact on your overall immunity. If your gut bacteria are well balanced, the body will have a stronger immunity. Good bacteria are killed easily and which is why bad bacteria takes on your immune system so fast. So, start eating immune-boosting foods.
10. Control Your Blood Sugar
A healthy and balanced bacteria can contribute to stable blood sugar control in diabetics. A noted study showed that the composition of gut bacteria can affect a person's risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes leading to gut flora imbalance. So, in order to maintain a healthy gut bacteria control your blood sugar levels.
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