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Gut Flora

 

What is Gut Bacteria?

Gut Bacteria is a critical part of your overall health and wellbeing.

Your intestines are lined with healthy bacteria that, amongst other things, help you to digest your food.  During the digestion process, they send signals to your immune system to support its functioning, as well as make small molecules that can help support brain function.

Joseph Petrosino, PhD is the director of Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research at Baylor College of Medicine.  He explains that if you have a wide variety of good bacteria that can break down an array of food sources, produce lots of different molecules to support your immune and brain function, then that would potentially be more beneficial to your health than a gut consisting of less diverse gut bacteria.

Researchers have also discovered a link between intestinal bacteria and certain diseases as well as depression. They have found that this might be due to the gut bacteria producing little molecules (called metabolites) that can reach the brain and impact how it works.

Gut Bacteria Diet:

Foods play a major role in the diversity of your gut bacteria.  The following are some gut bacteria foods that could get you started on the road to a healthy gut:

  • Fermented Foods:  These foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented beet.  They directly inoculate your gut with healthy bacteria;
  • Jerusalem artichokes:  These amazing foods are high in inulin (an insoluble fibre that ferments into healthy micro flora in the large intestine) as well as having strong prebiotic potential;
  • Bananas:  Bananas are very important for restoring the health of the bacterial community;
  • Polenta.:  The base of polenta is corn and earns its credit for fostering a healthy gut.  Polenta’s insoluble fibre travels to the large intestine where it will ferment into multiple strands of gut flora;
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli:  These contain sulfur containing metabolites which are known as glucosinolates.   These are broken down by bacteria to release substances that will improve health and reduce the risk of some cancers;
  • Yoghurt:  Yoghurt contains live bacteria.  However, be sure to check the sugar content.  Plain yoghurt will not have added sugar which will be more beneficial to your health than its sugar containing counterpart.
 
 
 

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