Dr. Cherine Bazzane, 10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Gut Health

 

The microbes in your gut can help you lose weight, be happier and live longer. Here’s how you can make sure you boost them well.

Your gut microbiome is formed of a trillion-strong bacterial community that lives in your gastrointestinal tract and has an effect on your metabolism, body weight, illness risk, immune system, appetite, and mood. We should think of these microbes as a newly discovered organ, slightly larger than our brains and nearly as important.
According to research, the more substantial and more diverse your community of gut microbes is, the lower your risk to develop diseases and allergies. So, how can you restore healthy gut flora, raise good bacteria in your body, and improve the health of your microbiome?

These are essential tips to have a great gut:

Increase your fiber intake:

Aim for more than 30g per day. Choose green smoothies and whole wheat bread. In addition to that, increase your vegetable consumption (cooked and raw).

Eat seasonally:

Diversify your fruits and veggies as much as you can:
The variety may be as important as the quantity. The more colorful and ‎diversified the foods, the more microbial species will be supported. ‎

Pick high-fiber vegetables:

Artichokes, leeks, onions, and garlic, for example, all have significant levels of inulin (a prebiotic fiber). Some plants, such as lettuce, are low in fiber and nutrients.

Choose foods and drinks with high levels of polyphenols:
Polyphenols are antioxidants that can serve as a source of energy for bacteria. They can be found mainly in nuts, seeds, berries, olive oil, the brassica family (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and turnips), as well as in coffee, and tea—especially green tea.

Avoid snacking:
Also, try increasing the time between meals to give your microbes a break. Occasionally opt for an extended fast, like intermittent fasting; this seems to reduce weight gain.

Consume a lot of fermented foods with live microbes (probiotics):
Unsweetened yogurt, kefir (a sour milk drink with five times the microorganisms of yogurt), sauerkraut, and kombucha tea are also good options.

Stay away from artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharine:
many studies show that artificial sweeteners reduce gut diversity. Animal studies show that artificial sweeteners have led to obesity and diabetes. Also, it’s important to avoid processed foods, because they alter your gut microbiome’s diversity.

Spend more time in nature:
People living in cities have less microbe diversity than those who live in rural areas. Activities like hiking, gardening, and other outdoor activities are beneficial for your microbiome.

Avoid antibiotics and non-essential medicine like anti-inflammatories:
Antibiotics destroy good and bad microbes, and it takes weeks to recover, so don’t take them unless you need them. Studies show that their use is associated with obesity and allergies. Even the most basic medications like paracetamol can interfere with microbes.

Don’t be hygiene obsessed:
Fastidious washing and overuse of antibacterial sprays may not be beneficial for your gut.

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