Most of you won’t know to make head and tails of gut microbiota. But recent discoveries have gone to show the immense and expansive community that lies within your gut, living in harmony and for a purpose.
Your gut is home to 5 different kinds of microorganisms. These include viruses, parasites, bacteria, yeast and archaea. They are as alive as you are, and there are around 39 trillion of them in you, right this moment! Each has a unique skill set and its own unique dietary preferences. To help you realize the size, your own body is comprised of 30 trillion human cells. So, technically speaking you are more microbe than human!
The human gut strike parallels with planet earth. Your gut microbiome is much like the Amazon rainforest ecosystem. All forms of life are supported from animals, plants, microbes—all of them making a contribution to the harmony and balance of the ecosystem. Biodiversity is what makes the ecosystem strong, and adaptable no matter what is the challenge thrown at it. The same level of diversity is present in your very own colon.
Every single bite of food that you take makes its way to the gut microbes. Your food is their food. But like many of us are picky eater, so are microbes—different microbes eat different foods. A certain dietary choice strengthens certain groups of microbes while it leaves another to languish. The good news here is that you very much have the say in what kinds of microbes thrive in you, and what don’t…
If you were sticking to a plant-based diet, then healthy bacteria will be rewarded by making use of the fibres and polyphenols, converting them into compounds that reduce inflammation and helps in the promotion of health and well-being. Unhealthy foods that are riddled with trans fats, refined sugars and which are processed will end up killing the healthy bacteria. But at the same time, it nourishes the unhealthy bacteria—the parasites.
The parasites punish the body by means of creating compounds that cause inflammation in the body. Whatever your dietary choices are, in the end it will lead to a unique mixture of microbes that is as unique as a fingerprint. This has immense influence over your health and your risk of diseases.
A healthy diverse gut microbiome does so much more than just respond to the foods we eat. It operates as the control center for the 5 arms of human health: hormonal balance, cognition, immune function, metabolism and mood.
The Relation Between Your Gut And The Immune System
The majority of your immune cells are in your gut.
The gut microbes and immune system are closely connected to one another. Microbiota that is thriving helps in fostering the development of immune cells, get immune cells to the target location in the body, pinpoint invaders and boost its infection-fighting arsenal. If you were to disturb the gut microbes, then you are putting the immune system in harm’s way.
A healthy gut microbiota directly correlates to a stronger immune system, optimally designed fighting function and the ability to eradicate the infectious intruders in the process.
Salvaging Gut Health With Fibres
Fiber is one of the preferred foods of human gut microbes. When they are fed with fibers, they thrive and multiply. This helps in the betterment of digestion, immune function, better metabolism, brain function, hormones and reduced weight. If there is one thing that you can give gut bacteria, then fuel them up with fibers!
Plant-based foods are the ones that have a monopoly when it comes to this nutrient. So if there is one way in which you want to treat your gut microbes and get healthier in the process then it is to get it from plants.
Fibers must be had in moderation. You don’t want to be stocking up upwards of 100 grams of fibers a day—you are bound to have initial troubles with gas, bloated stomach or painful passing of stool. Slowly ramp up your fiber intake, especially if you are moving from a low-fiber diet or if you haven’t adopted plant-based eating.
Foods That Are Rich In Fibre
Here are some of the foods that are rich in fiber:
- Have sufficient amounts of fresh, in-season fruits and veggies. These are great for you, as they not only taste fresh and delicious, but it loads you up on fibers.
- Stay clear of processed foods, deep-fried, refined sugars and meats.
- Have whole grains such as wheat, quinoa, barley and bulgur.
- You can add legumes, pulses, lentils and beans to the mix as well.
With these foods making a part of your diet, you are sure to benefit from better gut health. And after all good gut health means healthy you. The saying “You are what you eat” could not have been any more true.