Are You Feeding Your Gut Bacteria Right?
By Sara Butler
There are about 40 trillion bacteria taking up residence in your gut right now. Most of them are happily leading their lives in your intestines, helping to keep your body healthy as they aid your digestion, keep your mood in check, and even help keep your immune system working well. Your assortment of gut bacteria is as unique to you as your fingerprint, with no two people having the exact same ecosystem. Since they do so much for you, it only makes sense that you want to treat them as well as you can. But how do you know how happy your gut really is? Here are a few ways you know you're treating your microbiome right.
You Eat a Variety of Foods
Variety is the spice of life and it's also the joy of your gut bacteria. All of the different species of bacteria living in your gut thrive when fueled by the right nutrients. You'll encourage more diversity among them, and have a healthier gut overall, if you eat a wide variety of foods.
Diets high in salt, sugar, and fat don't tend to make the gut very happy. Many studies have found that diets that include whole grains, fewer processed foods, and more fresh fruits and vegetables make the gut happier and more diverse.
You Eat Fermented Foods
Love sauerkraut, kimchi, and tempeh? If so, chances are high your gut bacteria love you! Fermented foods such as these contain the same bacteria that thrive in your gut. When the levels of these bacteria are high, then they crowd out other, less friendly bacteria that can cause inflammation and digestive issues. So, keep eating that fermented food!
You Don't Eat Too Much Sugar
Sugar may taste good, but the more sugar that's in your diet, the less friendly your gut bacteria will be. That's because sugar-laden foods tend to overfeed the species of bacteria that aren't good for your gut and if there's more of those bad boys then the good guys will get starved out.
It's important to look at what's in the food you eat to try and control your sugar intake. Sugar is hiding in a lot of places you may not suspect such as salad dressings, processed foods, condiments, baked goods, and juice. Choose more whole grains and create more foods at home from scratch so you know what's going into the things you eat, allowing you to make better choices for your gut health.
Keep your gut healthy and improved overall health won't be far behind!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.