Good Gut Bugs And How To Get Them
Positive bacteria are often called healthy gut bugs.
Good gut bugs help your body digest and absorb nutrients, synthesize certain vitamins, and rally against intruders, such as the flu and toxic-forming carcinogens.
In the wise words of David Perlmutter, MD: A healthy microbiome translates into a healthy human.
Flaxseed: A Tiny But Tremendous Seed For Your Gut
Thanks to its wealth of phytonutrient precursors, this powerhouse seed creates the highest content of lignans of all foods used for human consumption. Flaxseed fuels your good gut flora.
These seeds contain soluble fiber and can help improve digestive regularity.
Eat ground flaxseed sprinkled on smoothie bowls or salads. But be sure to choose freshly ground flaxseed or to grind it fresh yourself because whole flax seeds pass through your body without being digested.
Also, know that flaxseed goes rancid quickly. Buying whole seeds and grinding them in small batches yourself as well as storing them in the fridge or freezer is best.
Take A Gut Microbiome Test
Taking a gut microbiome test to learn about your personal gut health is a great way to gain profound insights and personalized recommendations. While there are many gut microbiome tests on the market, Viome is the only test with RNA sequencing technology that can see down to the strain level, and it includes the metabolites being produced by your gut microbes. Viome uses artificial intelligence analysis to develop personalized food recommendations so you can put your individual findings into action.
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You’ll Control Your Appetite
One way in which your microbiome affects your weight and metabolism may be connected to your gut bugs’ ability to regulate appetite. According to researchers at New York University, a stomach bacterium called Helicobacter pylori can actually change the levels of the hunger-stimulating hormone, ghrelin, in your body. With the rise of antibiotics and a diet based on refined foods, the levels of H. pylori have decreased in our belly biomes. And that means less of its inhibiting effect on our appetitesperhaps reason for why many of us are always hungry.
Stop Cleaning So Much
Our hatred of bacteria is big business. Were offered a never-ending supply of antibacterial cleaning substances to drench ourselves and our houses in. While its not sensible to eat your dinner off your dirty kitchen floor, its not necessary to disinfect your hands or your work surface every five minutes either.
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Ways To Improve Your Gut Bacteria Based On Science
There are around 40 trillion bacteria in your body, most of which are found in your gut.
Collectively, they are known as your gut microbiome, and theyre incredibly important for overall health. However, certain types of bacteria in your intestines can also contribute to many diseases.
Many factors, including the foods you eat, can impact the type of bacteria found in your digestive tract.
Here are 9 science-based ways to improve your gut bacteria.
How Long Does It Take To Repopulate The Gut With Good Bacteria
Theres no simple answer to this question because it depends on the state of your microbiome, the quality of your diet, any medication you take, your level of exercise and more. However, the gut microbiome is very adaptable and responds to positive lifestyle choices.
So if you eat a diet with lots of fiber-rich whole foods and add some probiotic foods or supplements, you can speed up your gut biome restoration. Plus, getting regular exercise, especially cardio, is associated with higher diversity in your gut.
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Find Out If You Have Any Infections Or Imbalances And Address Them
There are many types of worms, parasites and single-celled pathogens that can infect our guts. Sometimes they cause no symptoms, but other times they can cause no end of trouble. For instance, a protozoa called Giardia has been found to have a dramatic effect on our gut flora . You can find out more about parasitic infection here.
SIBO is an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine , which can affect the balance of bacteria in your large intestine. If you suspect you have SIBO, you can read more about the symptoms, testing and treatment here.
Feed Your Gut Bacteria With Prebiotics
Just like us, the bacteria in our gut also need food. And the best foods for the job are fiber-rich foods like leafy greens, resistant starchesincluding potatoes, legumes, and raw oatsgrains, bananas, and even dark chocolate contain varying fibers that fuel our gut bugs. In fact, a study in the Journal of Functional Foods found that eating resistant starch actually strengthens your gut biome. It’s because healthy bacteria literally get a workout digesting the stuff, becoming more dominant and leading to a cleaner, better-functioning gut.
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Ditch The Standard Western Diet
The evidence for the devastating effect of a processed, high-sugar, low-fibre modern diet on our health continues to mount up. A recent study described our 21st-century diets as an evolutionarily unique selection ground for microbes that can promote diverse forms of inflammatory disease . This means that the bad bacteria in our guts appear to love our deficient diets, while the all-important good ones arent so keen.
The Role Of Probiotics
If microbiota are so vital to our health, how can we ensure that we have enough or the right types? You may be familiar with probiotics or perhaps already using them. These are either foods that naturally contain microbiota, or supplement pills that contain live active bacteriaadvertised to promote digestive health. Probiotic supplement sales exceeded $35 billion in 2015, with a projected increase to $65 billion by 2024. Whether you believe the health claims or think they are yet another snake oil scam, they make up a multi-billion dollar industry that is evolving in tandem with quickly emerging research.
Because probiotics fall under the category of supplements and not food, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. This means that unless the supplement company voluntarily discloses information on quality, such as carrying the USP seal that provides standards for quality and purity, a probiotic pill may not contain the amounts listed on the label or even guarantee that the bacteria are alive and active at the time of use.
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Eat Foods Rich In Polyphenols
Polyphenols are plant compounds that have many health benefits, including reductions in blood pressure, inflammation, cholesterol levels, and oxidative stress .
Human cells cant always digest polyphenols. Because they arent absorbed efficiently, most polyphenols make their way to the colon, where they are digested by gut bacteria (
Polyphenols from cocoa can increase the amount of Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in humans and reduce the quantity of Clostridia .
Furthermore, these changes in the microbiome are associated with lower levels of triglycerides and C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation .
The polyphenols in red wine have similar effects and have even been shown to increase levels of beneficial bacteria in people with metabolic syndrome .
Polyphenols cant be digested efficiently by human cells, but they are efficiently broken down by the gut microbiota. They may improve several health outcomes related to heart disease and inflammation.
What To Eat Today
Ditch the Western diet
A diet thats high in animal protein, sugar, and fat, and low in fiber like the diets full of processed foods that are popular in the United States have been shown to , especially of beneficial Bifidobacterium and Eubacterium species.
The Western diet has also been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and even certain cancers.
recent review found that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with a lower intake of red meat, processed foods and meats, and dairy increased the amount of total bacteria in the gut and supported beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. So why not try the Mediterranean diet, which follows these recommendations?
Stick to one glass of red wine or dark chocolate
Other types of alcohol
found that when people stopped smoking, they had more microbial diversity in their gut. To be on the safe side, halt vaping activities too.
Go for a 30-minute run or workout
Add gut health to the list of reasons you should hit the gym. While the gut-exercise connection isnt yet clear, many researchers believe that exercise reduces stress hormones, which affect the microbes in your gut.
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Chronic Inflammation In People Living With Gaucher Disease
Understanding inflammation is crucial to managing Gaucher disease. Inflammation is the way your body responds to the stimulus of an unidentified cell or other material.
When your body notices signs of intrusion, such as a virus, bacterium, allergen, or injury, it reacts by swarming the area with immune cells. These cells surround and attack the intruder, causing swelling, redness, and a rise in your temperature.
After a small injury, a healthy immune system calms the inflammation within a few hours or days. Your body clears away the excess cells and you return to your usual condition. Chronic inflammation develops when your body cant effectively eliminate the issue thats causing the inflammation.
Gaucher disease brings with it a higher-than-typical level of inflammation, researchers have found. When your body also reacts to other stimuli because of gut inflammation, it could also exacerbate Gaucher symptoms.
For people with Gaucher disease, the immune system may overreact to just about any stimulus, causing a state of chronic inflammation that can even worsen Gaucher symptoms.
Restore Your Healthy Biome With Probiotics
One of the first steps to healing your gut health is by replenishing levels of beneficial bacteria. You can do this by taking a probiotic supplement, or by incorporating probiotic-rich, fermented foods, like yogurt, kimchi, and even sourdough bread! Contrary to what many think, sourdough is not a flavor, it’s actually the process where wild yeast and friendly bacteria break down the gluten and sugar in the wheat flour, turning it into good-for-you proteins, vitamins, and minerals. The starches and grains from the bread are predigested by the bacteria and yeast, which makes it easier for you to digest and a much healthier option than any over-processed white bread.
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Healthy Gut Happy Human
In most cases, supplements arent needed to support a healthy gut. They can help, but what you eat is by far the most important factor.
New York Times columnist Jane Brody sums up good gut-health advice, saying: People interested in fostering a health-promoting array of gut microorganisms should consider shifting from a diet heavily based on meats, carbohydrates and processed foods to one that emphasizes plants.
If you aim to follow the recommendations in this article, youll be supporting better bathroom habits, a healthier immune response and even a better, brighter mood. Take care of your gut, and it will give you the TLC you need.
Let us know in the comments:
- Do you have any tips for good gut health?
- What do you think are the best foods for gut health?
What Are The Best Foods For Gut Health
To summarize, here are some of the best foods for gut health:
- Fiber. Think whole grains, beans and legumes, and whole fruits and veggies.
- Fermented foods. Sauerkrat, kimchi, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kefir, pickles.
- Greens. Dandelion greens, broccoli, asparagus, seaweed.
- Roughage: Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, flaxseed.
- Fruits. Bananas, apples.
- Also: garlic and gum arabic.
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What Are The Best Ways To Restore Gut Health
Its no secret that gut health is a non-negotiable to achieving overall health. Maintaining levels of good bacteria in the gut microbiome can be done through a number of ways, including diet and the use of probiotics.
It starts with your diet. Good bacteria feast on fibers and nutrients in plant foods these are prebiotics and they turn these substances into nutrients that nourish your gut lining and keep your gut biome balanced.
Alternatively, probiotic supplements contain billions of bacteria from one or several bacteria strains that in specific, studied doses have benefits for your health. Here are some of the most famous and well-researched probiotic bacteria and yeasts that you will find in supplements:
What Atlas Biomed says: the microbiome scientists at Atlas highlight that the benefits of probiotics may be temporary for some people, and only last as long as they are taking supplements.
Double Your Fibre Intake
Fibre isnt really food for us at all: unlike horses, elephants or cows, we cant extract any nutrients from it. But our gut flora thrive on it. The research to back the benefits of a high-fibre diet is overwhelming. One study found that a low-fibre diet can trigger a substantial dip in the diversity of our gut flora, increasing the risk of metabolic syndrome and obesity-related disease, Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis liver, disease, and colorectal cancer .
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The Negative Impacts Of Our Modern World
As industrialisation swept through the world, developing nations began witnessing changes in individuals microbiota. Organisms such as H. pylori, and the ratio between Prevotella and Bacteroides species, have acted as indicators of a healthy gut. Over time, these ratios have changed, corresponding to altered gut function and poor health.
Currently, the mechanisms that maintain perfect balance in our gut remains unknown. As each individuals microbiome is unique, it makes it difficult to track the exact links. However, it is widely known that when the microbiome is pushed beyond its functioning capacity, due to altered microbial population or diversity, the individual enters an alternative statea pre-disease or a disease state. This state is defined by a host vulnerable to disease and health complications.
Returning to a healthy and balanced gut microbiome it requires a holistic approach, with specific steps to help re-build its diversity.
Take Natural Digestive Aids
- Betaine HCL and Apple Cider Vinegar are helpful for folks with insufficient stomach acid to break down food .
- Digestive enzymes are helpful for folks with a sluggish gallbladder or pancreas.
- And ginger is helpful for those with sluggish migrating motor complex , which helps clean out the small intestine between meals. MotilPro is a fairly popular ginger supplement for the gut.
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Focus On Plants And Easily
Right after you have stopped taking your antibiotics and the intestinal issues have started surfacing, you need to give your gut a rest. The best way to accomplish that would be through a light, yet wholesome diet. Focus on plant-based foods like legumes, lentils, vegetables, oatmeal and fruit. Consuming such fiber-rich foods will keep you fuller for longer and improve the functioning of good gut bacteria.
Building A Healthy Gut Microbiome
What is the gut microbiome?
Our gastrointestinal tracts are made up of trillions of microorganisms which comprise our gut microbiome. These microorganisms can be generally classified as healthy or unhealthy. Gut health can be defined by normal composition of the microbiome, adequate digestion and absorption of food, the absence of gut illnesses, and an effective immune status. Emerging research is helping the medical world understand more about the gut microbiome, securing that we can alter our microbiomes by what we eat.
Why is this important?
When the gut microbiome is not balanced, disease risk is higher. A gut that is rich in healthy bacteria may help reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, and colon cancer.
How do I build a healthy gut microbiome?
Foods that help create a healthy gut microbiome are prebiotics/fiber and probiotics/fermented foods. High fiber diets containing prebiotics and probiotics promote a healthy gut microbiome. Whereas diets high in fast food, sugar, processed foods, and excessive alcohol can decrease gut health.
Try to include these in your diet:
Fiber/Prebiotics: These are nondigestible substances that feed healthy gut bacteria.
- fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains such as artichoke, asparagus, bananas, barley, beans, berries, chicory root, flax, garlic, leafy greens, oatmeal, onion, rye, wheat.
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How Can I Improve My Gut Health
Improving your gut health is one of the most effective things you can do to improve your overall health because your gut affects every other part of your body. So how exactly do you improve your gut health? This involves a practical, personalized series of steps including optimizing your diet and lifestyle factors, balancing your gut microbiome, repairing any damage to your gut lining, and more.
Working with an experienced gut health doctor can help you through this process. Our team of medical experts at the Ruscio Institute of Functional Medicine will help you develop a personalized protocol to take your gut health to the next level.
During your initial consultation, youll connect with one of our highly trained intake specialists to review your case and individual circumstances in preparation for your doctor visits. Our team will focus on the key pieces of information that our doctors use to make decisions: your history, symptoms, labs, and response to previous treatments.
Your doctor will then review your entire case and apply our proven and effective Gut Health Model to come up with a personalized care plan. You will go over these recommendations together at the follow-up visit.
Weve spent decades learning from our patients and analyzing scientific research. Let us guide you through the practical steps that help to improve your gut health. Start feeling better today.