Gas, diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive problems affect millions of people worldwide. Interestingly, all these can easily be avoided if only people took better care of their gut.
The condition of your gut affects your overall health. A healthy gut microbiome can boost your immunity and improve your mood, all while ensuring that you get the nutrients you need. saxenda online purchase
Want to improve your digestive health today? Here are six dietary changes and foods that promote healthy gut flora you should try:
1. Switch to Whole Grains
Do you like white rice? Or maybe you prefer white bread and pasta?
Whether you eat rice, bread, or pasta as a staple for your meals, make sure you choose whole grains to help your gut work better. Switch to brown rice and whole wheat as they promote optimal functioning, thanks to the higher amounts of fiber they contain.
When compared to refined carbohydrates like those found in pasta and white bread, whole grains also contain more nutrients. This includes omega-3 fatty acids that add diversity to gut bacteria to boost protection against inflammation and infection.
2. Reduce Your Sugar Consumption
Sugary-sweet foods may be tasty, but that doesn’t mean that they’re good for you. Like everything else in life, too much sugar consumption can be harmful to your health.
Eating foods containing high amounts of artificial sweeteners or sugar can lead to gut dysbiosis — the imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.
According to an animal study published in 2015, the typical Western diet that contains high sugar and fat levels affects the gut flora negatively. This eventually affects a person’s behavior and mental wellbeing.
A second study said that aspartame – a low-calorie artificial sweetener – can increase the number of bacterial strains linked to metabolic diseases. When this happens, you might become more vulnerable to heart disease and diabetes.
Human studies also reveal that the use of artificial sweeteners also has a negative impact on the level of blood glucose because of how they affect the balance of the gut microbiome. This research shows that artificial sweeteners can still increase blood sugar even if they’re not actual sugars.
3. Take Probiotics Every Day
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Not all bacteria are harmful. In fact, people need to maintain a healthy balance of friendly bacteria for a healthier gut.
That said, there are times when the number of good bacteria is lower than ideal. When this happens, you should make sure that you supplement good bacteria by taking probiotics.
Probiotics are live microorganisms considered as beneficial bacteria. Besides maintaining or restoring the natural balance of the gut flora, they offer plenty of advantages to your health.
One of the most discussed benefits of probiotics is diarrhea prevention and treatment.
Antibiotics can cause diarrhea, primarily due to the effects of the medicine on the balance of bacteria in the gut.
As you know, antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infection. However, there are cases when the medicine kills even beneficial bacteria in the gut.
To remedy this, several studies recommend using probiotics as both prevention and treatment for antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD).
In one study, it was revealed that probiotic use can lower the risk of AAD by up to 42 percent. It also reduced the chances of travelers’ diarrhea by 8 percent and other causes by 57 percent and 26 percent in children and adults, respectively.
Take note that the effects of probiotic intake may vary depending on the dosage and type taken. Lactobacillus casei and Saccharomyces boulardii are two of the most used and effective probiotics for diarrhea.
4. Snack on Fermented Foods
Aside from taking probiotic supplements, you can also get more good bacteria by snacking on fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, and yogurt.
Sauerkraut is a German dish that serves as an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and probiotics.
Made from fermented cabbage (finely chopped), there are other versions of this dish in Central and Eastern Europe. But for best results, choose one that wasn’t pickled in vinegar and serve with sausages.
Typically served in Japan, miso is a thick paste made from fermented soya beans mixed with barley or rice. It contains a lot of helpful enzymes and good bacteria.
This savory paste has a variety of culinary uses – from dips and dressings to soup and marinade – and is the perfect alternative to dairy.
Kimchi is a Korean specialty food made from fermented vegetables. It contains high levels of bacteria, as well as fiber and vitamins. It is often used as an appetizer or side dish with salad, meat, or eggs.
If there’s one food known to be a rich source of probiotics, it’s yogurt.
Live yogurt contains high levels of good bacteria. Choose sugar-free and full-fat versions to add to fruit for a healthy snack.
You can also opt for yogurt drink as it is believed to have higher probiotic content, though they may also contain more sugar than you would care to consume.
5. Feed Good Gut Bacteria
Besides adding more good bacteria with probiotic supplements, it is also important that you feed what’s already existing in your gut. These microorganisms feed on prebiotics, which are non-digestible carbohydrates.
Prebiotics encourage good bacteria to multiply. Plus, they also boost probiotics’ tolerance to environmental conditions, such as temperature and pH changes.
Besides whole grains, you can add the following prebiotic-rich foods to your diet to improve your gut health:
- Jerusalem artichoke
6. Eat Your Vegetables
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t pick on your food and leave the veggies on your plate. Boosting gut health is one of them.
Some vegetables contain high levels of fiber, including prebiotics that support the growth of beneficial bacteria. Studies also show that leafy greens contain a type of sugar that promotes the increase in population of good bacteria in the gut. This is on top of being great sources of folate and Vitamins A, C, and K.
Besides leafy greens, you should also consider adding more beans, legumes, and even fruits (preferably low-sugar ones) to your diet.
Some of the most recommended foods for gut health are:
- Brussel sprouts
- Green peas
- Beans (kidney, pinto, and white)
A Diet for a Healthy Gut
Ensuring the health of your gut is equivalent to maintaining your overall health. Make sure your diet is specifically made to improve your gut health by implementing these changes.