Did you know that there are these tiny little microbes that live inside your gut called probiotics? They work very hard to keep you healthy and so to thank them for all that they do and help improve their performance, here are some tips today on what to eat for a healthier gut.
Why A Healthy Gut Matters
The gut (gastrointestinal tract) is a series of organs that are responsible for the breakdown and digestion of food, as well as the absorption of nutrients. The gut flora (aka microbiota) is the vast community of living organisms that reside throughout the gut and aid in these activities.
In addition to facilitating digestion, researchers have also found that gut microbes aid in enhancing our immune system and in producing vitamins.
There is also significant evidence to suggest that the activity that takes place inside the gut influences other aspects of our health, including our hormonal responses and blood sugar control. Simply put, one’s overall health appears to be mostly dependent on one’s gut health and so choosing to eat in a way that optimizes its performance is a wise idea.
Fermented and Cultured Foods
Fermented and cultured foods are excellent sources of probiotics. Some of these foods offer a greater variety of probiotics than others. When it comes to a healthy gut, recruiting a robust microbiotic profile is vital because each probiotic performs a slightly different role. Popular fermented and cultured foods include kimchi, sauerkraut, miso paste, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir and kombucha.
Fibre is an excellent source of prebiotics, which are the non-digestible components in some of the foods that we eat.
Prebiotics act as the fuel that probiotics need to help keep them working at their best.
There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble, and a balance of both is essential for digestion and bowel regularity. Fresh fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fibre, but you can also find it in whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils. In keeping with the present theme, obtaining your fibre from a variety of these foods is best.
A synbiotic meal is a term used to describe a combination of foods that simultaneously provide the body with both pre and probiotics. Upon digestion, pre and probiotics work together to alter the composition of the gut’s ecosystem and enhance its productivity.
A simple example of a synbiotic meal would be a yogurt parfait topped with granola and fresh berries, whereby the yogurt would be your source of probiotics while the granola and berries would provide the prebiotics.
There is still so much to learn when it comes to the gut, but scientists are diligently working to piece it all together. Based on what we do know, however, making an effort to eat foods that help to improve the performance of the little friends living in our gut does appear to present a host of beneficial results on our health.