Gut Bacteria Is Your Friend
- Posted on: Jun 15 2017
Don’t let the off-putting name confuse you, gut bacteria is a good thing! Gut bacteria play an important role in our health, and more benefits are being identified all the time.
Benefits of Gut Bacteria
Gut bacteria help make energy out of food not absorbed by the body by converting some of the sugars to fatty acids, which can be used as fuel. Gut bacteria also aids in digestion and can catch some of the nutrients that aren’t digested by the body’s cells and that would otherwise become waste. Both of these processes combine to improve the metabolic process of the human body and lessen the likelihood of obesity.
But that’s not the only role of this diverse microbiome. Gut bacteria also improves the immune system and are thought to help prevent against diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and high blood pressure. Gut bacteria does this by helping stimulate the production of triglycerides, balancing energy, and reducing inflammation. There are several new studies that also link a healthy gut to decreased depression and anxiety.
How to Improve Gut Bacteria
Food greatly affects the kind of bacteria living inside the body, so it stands to reason that if you want to improve your gut bacteria, you should eat foods high in this good bacteria and avoid those foods that can impact your gut negatively.
Foods high in fiber should be a staple in your diet. Fiber in foods are digested by bacteria which helps them grow. Whole grains and foods rich in polyphenols like onions, blueberries, almonds, and broccoli also contribute to improved levels of gut bacteria. One of the most common ways to get some of the good bacteria in your diet is through fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha. Always be aware of the sugar content in your foods. Sugar depletes your gut flora, so sweetened yogurts won’t provide the same level of good bacteria as unsweetened ones. Also, avoid artificial sweeteners as they can actually diminish the effectiveness of gut bacteria.
Some people may benefit from taking a probiotic supplement. The doctors at Concorde Gastro can help assess whether this is right for you as well as answer any other questions you may have regarding a healthy gut!
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