Our gut plays a pivotal role to our overall wellbeing. We can only achieve this by having amazingly pumped-up digestive system supported by the right diet, a gut-friendly diet.
The gastrointestinal facts
Our digestive tract contains enormous amount of bacteria, over 100 trillion cells and these strongly contribute to our overall well-being.
More specifically, their huge diversity is essential to our life. Considering we are more bacteria than humans, roughly 90%, we all should really focus on keeping that 90% of our body happy and balanced.
But how can we do this?
Diet, diet, diet…
Dietary diversity is the key
Our gastrointestinal microbiome strongly depends on our dietary diversity and we really are talking about the broader the better (much better)! The larger the richness of microbiome species living in our GI tract, the more we can consider ourselves as healthy individuals.
It simply works just like any other ecosystem. Our microbiome’s effectiveness crucially depends on what we put in it.
It is always flooded with energy in the form of undigested and partially digested foods, and in many cases medicines, dietary supplements, alcohol, unprocessed foods and other chemicals.
The microbiome species convert this into new molecules, which then send messages to physiological systems in our body.
If the molecules produced are beneficial for our health, we are healthy and glow with positive energy.
If the molecules produced are potentially harmful we end up being sick and our mental health is compromised.
Therefore, our dietary choices determine what kind of molecules are produced.
We all know a healthy, balanced diet, high in fibre and diverse consumption of fruit and vegetables benefit our microbiota species to thrive, hence keeping us healthy.
New routine, new diet
To adapt a healthy gut-friendly diet in our everyday lives can sometimes be challenging, but it certainly isn’t impossible.
Conversely, diet high in processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, gluten, GMO and red meat lead to microbial imbalance (dysbiosis) that eventually leads to many potential health problems.
Having a gut that is out of balance has been associated with many diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut, colitis, obesity, bacterial vaginosis, and even cancer in some cases.
In summary, the more diverse our diet, the more diverse the microbiome which adequately makes us more adaptable to any physical or psychological health issues.
How can I increase the good bacteria in my gut?
There are many ways to do this, but the most effective ones are:
1. Eat a diverse range of foods. The larger the diversity is on our plate, the more diverse is our gut microbiota.
2. Eat lots of vegetables, legumes, beans and fruit (fibre, fibre, fibre)
3. Eat fermented foods
4. Avoid food additives and artificial sweeteners
5. Consume prebiotic foods
6. Eat less meat
7. Take a probiotic supplement