The Top Prebiotic Foods To Eat
Thankfully, getting enough prebiotics in your diet is not difficult as they are found in many foods you probably already eat. How much prebiotic foods you need to eat every day is going to vary depending on your health case and whether or not you are dealing with an underlying gut problem that could benefit from more prebiotics. These are some of my favorite foods high in prebiotics.
1. Chicory root
Often used as a replacement for coffee due to the fact that it is caffeine-free, this plant tastes similar to coffee and is high in inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber. Inulin is a type of soluble fiber that has been shown to help maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
If your gut is struggling, just add a few more garlic cloves into your next meal! Studies have shown that garlic can help inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria through its ability to significantly boost the growth of good bacteria like Bifidobacteria.
3. Jerusalem artichoke
Not to be confused with your traditional green artichoke, a Jerusalem artichoke – also known as a sunchoke – is actually not an artichoke at all and is instead a tuber that grows from a plant that is part of the sunflower family. It is also high in soluble inulin fiber.
Similar to garlic, onions contain beneficial inulin fiber. However, these onions are also considered a part of the FODMAP family. If you have a FODMAP intolerance, this is going to likely outweigh its prebiotic benefits.
5. Dandelion greens
So What Does Nutritional Psychiatry Mean For You
If you live in the western world today, you have nearly unlimited food choices. And these various foods can either promote good brain health and moods or harm your brain, thereby increasing your risk for mental health disorders and cognitive decline.
While you may not act on messages that bad food can bring about health problems in your distant future, knowing that certain foods can affect your happiness in the short-term may spur you to action.
So start paying attention to how eating different foods makes you feelnot just in the short-term, but the next day. Gradually swap out the foods that injure your brain for fiber-rich and nutrient-dense plant foods. Make food as your first step in treating your mental health, and of course, dont hesitate in seeking professional help as well. Treat yourself to happiness by starting with whats on your plate.
Best Foods For Mental Health
Lets now turn to what you can and should eat to boost your brain health and optimize your mental function.
Plants contain thousands of compounds that reduce inflammation and prevent mood disorders and cognitive decline.
For example, numerous studies have found that diets high in fruits and vegetables lead to a lower risk of developing depression. A 2020 study found that people eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetablesat least five servings per daywere more optimistic, more confident in their own abilities, and less prone to depression and other forms of psychological distress than those who ate less produce.
Increasing evidence shows that the greater your fruit and vegetable consumption, the lower your risk of depression and psychological stress.
Vegetables are particularly protective, largely due to certain compounds found in dark green leafy vegetables.
1. Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that the brain relies on for optimal functioning. For example, broccoli is high in vitamin K, offering more than 100% of the recommended daily intake in a 1-cup serving.
Vitamin K is essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat which, along with cholesterol, compose the major portion of the brain, particularly in the form of myelin.Sphingolipids are essential for the development and maintenance of the functional integrity of the nervous system.
3. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables
4. Nuts and seeds
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Choose The Right Drinks To Ease Digestion
Drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, colas, tea and some fizzy drinks, boost acid in the stomach, leading to heartburn in some people.
Fizzy drinks in general tend to bloat the tummy, which can also lead to heartburn.
To make digestive problems less likely, choose drinks that are not fizzy and do not contain caffeine, such as herbal teas, milk and plain water.
If you cannot do without your coffee or tea, limit your intake to 1 or 2 cups a day.
The Microbes In Your Gut Can Influence Mental Health Heart Risk Weight Gain And Even Sleep Which Is Why You Need To Eat A Wider Variety Of Quality Food
Every time you eat, you are feeding trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that live inside your gut. But are you feeding them the right foods?
Scientists used to know very little about these communities of microbes that collectively make up the gut microbiota, also known as your gut microbiome. But a growing body of research suggests that these vast communities of microbes are the gateway to your health and well-being and that one of the simplest and most powerful ways to shape and nurture them is through your diet.
Studies show that our gut microbes transform the foods we eat into thousands of enzymes, hormones, vitamins and other metabolites that influence everything from your mental health and immune system to your likelihood of gaining weight and developing chronic diseases.
Gut bacteria can even affect your mental state by producing mood-altering neurotransmitters like dopamine, which regulates pleasure, learning and motivation, and serotonin, which plays a role in happiness, appetite and sexual desire. Some recent studies suggest that the composition of your gut microbiome can even play a role in how well you sleep.
But the wrong mix of microbes can churn out chemicals that flood your bloodstream and build plaque in your coronary arteries. The hormones they produce can influence your appetite, blood sugar levels, inflammation and your risk of developing obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
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How Microbiota Benefit The Body
Microbiota stimulate the immune system, break down potentially toxic food compounds, and synthesize certain vitamins and amino acids, including the B vitamins and vitamin K. For example, the key enzymes needed to form vitamin B12 are only found in bacteria, not in plants and animals.
Sugars like table sugar and lactose are quickly absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine, but more complex carbohydrates like starches and fibers are not as easily digested and may travel lower to the large intestine. There, the microbiota help to break down these compounds with their digestive enzymes. The fermentation of indigestible fibers causes the production of short chain fatty acids that can be used by the body as a nutrient source but also play an important role in muscle function and possibly the prevention of chronic diseases, including certain cancers and bowel disorders. Clinical studies have shown that SCFA may be useful in the treatment of ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
The microbiota of a healthy person will also provide protection from pathogenic organisms that enter the body such as through drinking or eating contaminated water or food.
What Causes Gut Bacteria To Become Unbalanced
The diversity of our gut bacteria is established at the very start of our development but can be altered by multiple factors.
Our gut microbiome begins to develop when we are still growing in our mothers womb.
It is very sensitive, and something as small as a baby being delivered vaginally vs being delivered by caesarean can affect which strain of bacteria are dominant in our system.
It then continues to evolve over time to become relatively stable at around 3 years old.1
Fight Inflammation With Fish Oil
Fish oil can benefit not only your heart, but your digestive tract as well because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil tamp down inflammation. To start, you can try to move toward a Mediterranean diet and add fatty fish like salmon, halibut, and mackerel to your diet.
What doctors and researchers know now is that people with irritable bowel syndrome , one of the most common reasons for visiting a gastroenterologist, may not be consuming enough of the omega-3 fatty acids from fish. In a small study published in 2017 the journal Medicine, researchers looked at the level of fatty acids in 30 Asian women with IBS versus 39 Asian women without the disorder. They found that women with IBS not only had higher levels of depression, but they also had higher levels of unhealthy saturated fats in their blood, and lower levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
While a study published in December 2020 in Gut Microbes found that six weeks of taking omega-3 supplements induced small changes in the composition of the gut microbiome, supporting the theory that omega-3 fatty acids could have a prebiotic effect on the gut, but more research is needed to understand its role and mechanism in the gut.
How Eating These 16 Foods Could Help Improve Your Gut Health
The secret to good gut health isnt about following a complicated diet or shopping in specialty stores. It all starts with the foods we put into our bodies. These 16 everyday foods contain a variety of fibres that can help nurture good gut bacteria and keep your digestive system healthy. Lets dig in! This gallery is brought to you by Sanitarium The Health Food Company providing you and your family with nutritious breakfast options since 1898. Eat well. Live well.
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Eat A Diverse Range Of Foods
There are hundreds of species of bacteria in your intestines, each of which plays a specific role in health and requires different nutrients for growth.
Generally speaking, a diverse microbiome is considered a healthy one. This is because the more species of bacteria you have, the more health benefits they may be able to contribute to (
Unfortunately, the traditional Western diet is not very diverse and is rich in fat and sugar. In fact, an estimated 75% of the worlds food is produced from only 12 plant and 5 animal species .
However, diets in certain rural regions are often more diverse and richer in different plant sources.
For this reason, a few studies have shown that gut microbiome diversity is much greater in people from rural regions of Africa and South America than in people from urban areas in Europe or the United States .
Eating a diverse diet rich in whole foods can lead to a diverse microbiome, which is beneficial for your health.
Seaweed: A Sea Algae Thats Good For You And Your Gut
Seaweed is hardly a weed. It would probably more aptly be named sea gem on account of its nutrient- and fiber-rich benefits.
A study of Japanese women showed that high seaweed intake increases good gut bacteria. Another study researched alginate, a substance in brown seaweed, and found that it can strengthen gut mucus, slow down digestion, and make food release its energy more slowly.
If youre wondering how to eat it, here are a few ideas. Try some nori wraps, make seaweed salad, add wakame to soup, or add kombu to your stir fry or pot of beans .
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What Should I Eat For A Healthy Gut
Think bacteria are bad? Think again. Bacteria and other microbes are often thought of as sources of disease, but in fact many play an essential role in keeping you healthy. Your body contains trillions of microbes, most of which are beneficial. The most dense microbe population is in your gut, where they play a critical role in digestion, immune function and weight regulation. What you eat can quickly change your microbes, but are you eating the right foods to help your good gut bacteria?
Signs Your Gut Is Unhealthy And 3 Foods That Can Help
You’ve most likely heard by now that your gut is one of the most powerful parts of your body. Experts often refer to your gut as things like “the second brain” or the “main portal” for taking in nutrients. It is vital to your overall wellbeing and research is continuing to uncover more and more ways that our health is connected to our gut.
But how can we tell if our gut is healthy or not? To learn more, we talked with our medical expert board member, Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, author of The First Time Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility, about signs your gut health may be off, as well as foods that can help us get it back on track.
Read the original article on Eat This, Not That!
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You Are Constantly Bloated
“While there are many reasons why you experience bloat, an imbalance of the gut microbiome may be to blame,” says Manaker. It’s common for people with gut problems to have a higher risk of experiencing IBSor Irritable Bowel Syndrome. One of the most common signs of IBS is excessive bloating or abdominal pain.
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Living In The Now Gut Health & Mental Wellbeing With Jonny Wilkinson
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
25 January 2022
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Why Gut Health Is Important For Your Body And Your Mind
The gut is composed of a whole host of microbes that affect your physiology and keep your body and brain functioning as they should.
As studies tell us, these gut microbes affect the way you store fat, how you balance levels of glucose in your blood, and how you respond to hormones that make you feel hungry or satiated.
The wrong internal mix can set the stage for obesity and other health issues later in life.
Scientists have also found that gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters that regulate your mood including serotonin, dopamine, and GABA.
Researchers have also discovered that a nervous system in your gut communicates with the brain in your head. It also plays a role in certain diseases and in mental health.
In other words, the wellness of both your body and your brain depend on your gut health.
Clusters Of Bad Microbes Thrive On Junk Food
Another important measure of gut health is a persons ratio of beneficial microbes to potentially harmful ones. In a study of 1,1oo people in the United States and Britain published last year in Nature Medicine, Spector and a team of scientists at Harvard, Stanford and other universities identified clusters of good gut microbes that protected people against cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. They also identified clusters of bad microbes that promoted inflammation, heart disease and poor metabolic health.
While its clear that eating lots of fiber is good for your microbiome, research shows that eating the wrong foods can tip the balance in your gut in favor of disease-promoting microbes.
The Nature study found that bad microbes were more common in people who ate a lot of highly processed foods that are low in fiber and high in additives such as sugar, salt and artificial ingredients. This includes soft drinks, white bread and white pasta, processed meats, and packaged snacks like cookies, candy bars and potato chips.
The findings were based on an ongoing project called the Zoe Predict Study, the largest personalized nutrition study in the world. Its led by a health science company that Spector and his colleagues created called Zoe, which allows consumers to have their microbiomes analyzed for a fee.
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Worst Foods For Gut Health
It’s almost assumed that foods that are already considered bad for you can negatively affect your healthy gut bacteria. If you’re eating a lot of foods that are fried, overly processed or contain artificial ingredients, try reducing the amount you consume to help maintain a healthier gut. Ugarte notes several foods found in even the so-called “healthy” section of the store can actually be causing you pain and discomfort.
The Wellness Benefits Of A Healthy Gut
Within the gut exists a thriving community of bacteria. As well as aiding digestion, they provide essential support for immune functioning, your skin, and brain health.
We have approximately 100 trillion live bacteria living inside of us this equates to 2kg of our body weight, says Isabel Tarrant, Holland & Barratt nutritionist. These helpful bacteria thrive by feeding off the food we eat. So, food is essential not only to feed and fuel us, but also to feed and fuel our friendly gut bacteria.
But how does what happens in our gut impact our overall health and wellness?
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If Youre Interested In Eating For Your Overall Health Its Important To Look For Foods That Are Good For Your Gut Health
Your whole bodys health is intricately and importantly connected to your gut function. From housing your immune system and supporting immune function, to daily digestion and even the creation of important chemicals for mood and sleep , your gut is amassively important support system for the whole body organism that is you.
Eating the right foods to keep it happy and healthy will have a positive effect on the rest of your health.