Our gut contains around 100 trillion microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and viruses. Many of them are beneficial for our gut health, hence our health and even some of them are essential for us. On the other hand, a good number of them, under certain circumstances, can do harm to us. Collectively they are called "gut microbiome " or "gut flora". "Gut health” simply refers to the balance between the useful and harmful microorganisms in our digestive tract.
Here are some ways of improving the microbiome in our gut and enhance our overall health.
Taking direct probiotic supplementation is one of the top methods to boost the useful/essential bacteria in the digestive tract. These probiotics, found as a natural source in the fermented foods, help in preventing gut inflammation and a few other gut problems. The probiotics can be found as a capsule or sachets in the drug stores.
Asparagus, bananas, garlic, onions, whole grains, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke etc foods are familiar as prebiotic-rich foods. Prebiotics are nothing but certain kind nondigestible carbohydrates; probiotics feed on them. In that way, if we supply more food for the probiotics in the form of prebiotics fibres, they become more strong and more tolerant of the adverse gut environment ( if/ when developed). Considering this fact, it is believed that a vegetarian has advantages over a meat-eater.
Make a habit of avoiding artificial sweeteners and sugary foods because these create an imbalance in the gut microbiome. Also, the popular western food, which is rich in readily available carbohydrates (hence sugar) and fat, affect negatively to the gut microorganisms. As a result, disease creating microbes take the upper hand.
Leading a stressful life not only affect us psychologically and physically, but it also has effects on the gut microbiome. And the effect is not a desirable one. Psychological stress, sleep deprivation, 24-hours circadian rhythm disturbances and even some environmental stress (e.g extreme cold or heat) play a role in disrupting the normal microbiome balance in the gut. Hence, a stress-free and comfortable life is good for our gut health as well.
Do not take unnecessary antibiotics or broad-spectrum antibiotics. Besides the bad microbes, they kill good and beneficial gut flora too. It is seen that following a course of antibiotics, it takes a long time for the beneficial bacteria to regrow to their previous state. In this window period, opportunistic and pathogenic microbes may start other disease processes.
Doing regular exercise, having an optimum sound sleep and avoiding smoking, all are proven beneficial for gut health. These habits have positive effects on the gut microbiome.
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