Food can only be broken down effectively into a form that can enter the bloodstream if the digestive system works effectively. A healthy gut features immune cells and bacteria that fight off viruses, bacteria, and fungi. It is also able to communicate with the brain effectively through hormones and nerves, which ensures general well-being is maintained.
To ensure excellent gut health, the right balance of the gut microbiome must be maintained. There are tons of resources like the Eurofins genomics blog that provides useful information on how to train your microbiome for better gut health. Here are tips for improving the gut microbiome for better digestion, reduced risk of disease, and decreased gut inflammation.
1. Consume fermented foods
Fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, tempeh, and yogurt are rich in lactobacilli, which is a healthy bacteria. Fermented undergo fermentation, where their sugars are broken down by bacteria or yeast. People who consume this class of foods have more healthy bacteria like lactobacilli in their intestines. More so, they have fewer bacteria associated with chronic conditions and inflammation. To ensure the products have health benefits, make sure that they have live active cultures. You can find this information on the labels.
2. Consume foods rich in polyphenols
Dietary polyphenols are great for maintaining gut health. Polyphenols are plant compounds with a wide range of health benefits from reducing inflammation, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and oxidative stress.
Usually, human cells can’t digest polyphenols due to their inefficient absorption. However, most polyphenols do make their way to the colon. Here they are digested by bacteria. Polyphenols from food products like cocoa can increase the levels of lactobacilli in the gut.
Polyphenols also reduce Clostridia quantities in the gut. The changes created by the plant compound reduce the levels of C-reactive protein and triglycerides, which trigger inflammation. Foods rich in polyphenols such as grape skins, red wine, onions, and almonds can increase the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Not only do they modulate the balance of microbes in the gut, but they also inhibit the growth of disease-causing pathogens.
3. Manage your stress levels
Stress can have a negative impact on your gut health. The gut features millions of neurons constantly in communication with the brain. Stress can get in the way of communication and cause bloating, pain, and cause a wide range of other stomach discomforts.
Stress is linked to the change in bacteria in the gut, affecting its functioning and mood. Stress can affect or change the normal functioning of the nervous system, increasing the risk of dysfunction of the gut and gut diseases. This means that stress can affect the absorption of nutrients and digestion. More so, when stress levels are high, there is a lot of gas production during the absorption of nutrients.
Your gut health will only be as good as the care you accord it. Making efforts to maintain a healthy gut goes a long way in enhancing your immune function and overall health. Choose the right food to increase beneficial gut bacteria levels, get enough sleep and manage your stress levels.