For the longest time, the word bacteria have been synonymous with organisms to avoid. As it turns out, our bodies already contain over 40 trillion bacteria – had to picture isn’t it? These bacteria help us digest food and play a vital role in our well-being.
What is Gut Bacteria?
Residing in our gut is over 500 different types of bacteria that contain at least 2 million genes. These bacteria pair with other microorganisms like fungi and viruses to form what is known as the microbiome or microbiota. Each person’s microbiota is unique, kind of like a fingerprint. Your mix of bacteria is entirely different from everyone else’s. Your microbiome is formed partly by your mother’s microbiome, the type of atmosphere you’re exposed to at birth, and your lifestyle and diet choice.
While bacteria may live all through your body, the ones residing in your gut seem to have the biggest influence on your health. The gut bacteria line your entire gastrointestinal tract. They affect all; from your mood to your immune system to your metabolism.
Several studies have linked gut bacteria to our physical and mental health which suggests that the gut bacteria in healthy people differ from those with certain ailments. It may be because they have too little or too much of a particular type of bacteria.
The gut bacteria appear to consist of two kinds; the helpful and the harmful bacteria. It is this helpful bacteria that help with digestion and acts as a shield against certain ailments. When you fall sick, it is because your gut bacteria are unbalanced and you need to work on that.
How to Improve Gut Bacteria
Since gut bacteria is so closely linked to our health, it stands to reason that we’ll want to do everything in our power to make sure that our microbiome is always in a balanced state. Here are ways you can improve your gut bacteria.
- Eat a diet with a diverse range of foods
When it comes to microbiota, diversity is synonymous with a healthy microbiota. This is because the more bacteria species in your gut, the greater the health benefits you’ll receive. A diet made up of different food types can lead to a very diverse microbiota.
- Make Fruits, Vegetables, and Legumes a Staple in Your Diet
One of the best sources of nutrients for a healthy microbiome is fruits and vegetable. They are high in fiber which when digested by certain bacteria, stimulates their growth. Legumes and beans also contain massive amounts of fiber.
- Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are foods that have been altered by microbes. The fermentation process unusually involves yeasts or bacteria converting simple sugars into organic acids or alcohol. Yogurt, Sauerkraut, and Kimchi are examples of fermented foods. Fermented foods tend to be rich in lactobacilli, a type of bacteria that is beneficial to your health.
- Eat Prebiotic Foods
These are foods that promote the growth of helpful microbes in your gut. They are mostly fiber foods or complex carbs that can’t be digested by human cells. Certain bacteria species in your gut can, however, break them down to use as fuel for their propagation. Fruit, vegetables and whole grains contain prebiotics.
- Take a Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics are bacteria microorganisms that give a particular health benefit when consumed. They can be used to treat several digestive disorders and are essential to our overall well-being.
Recent research has shown evidence to suggest that probiotics improve the gut microbiota in certain ailments. As the gut microbiota develops, the diseases effects and symptoms start wearing off.
A good probiotic supplement that can improve your gut bacteria and help with digestive problems is Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotics 180 Ct
Check out the detailed review of Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics