Diet and How It Can Impact the Microbiota
Diet is a powerful key influencer of gut microbiota. It’s a key variable that determines the composition of the gut, which in turn, affects a range of hormonal, metabolic, and cognitive functions.
The gut microbiota and why is it important
Your gut and the trillions of bacteria are all quietly living in you. Most of these live in your large intestine. Your gut plays a role in several conditions, including:
- Obesity and overweight
- Immune system conditions like eczema, allergy, and asthma
- Intestinal conditions such as diarrhea, constipation, IBS, and IBD
- Mental health conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression
Your gut’s microbiome helps:
- Your immune system function well
- Ensure proper digestive function
- Produce nutrient like short-chain fatty acid
- Make essential vitamins like vitamin B12, vitamin K, and folate
- Protect you from pathogens
- Maintain the gut barrier to prevent pathogens from seeping into the intestinal wall
Your gut’s microbiome undergoes many changes throughout your life, and these changes may influence your health. Fortunately, there are habits, behavior, lifestyle decision you can influence to ensure that your gut bacteria are healthy and functioning well. One factor that you can have control over is your diet. Diet is key to determining what lives and thrives in your gut. Everyone eats, so controlling what is in the gut is crucial.
How quickly can your gut change?
The gut microbiota can change quickly and dramatically, especially when there is a change in diet and during antibiotics therapy. Changes can happen within three to four days. Sometimes it can change as quickly as within 24 hours.
Diet can quickly shift the probiotics in your gut. Different diet creates different gut flora. The foods that you eat can have a significant impact on the activity and composition of your gut bacteria. Eating a diet rich in fiber like fruits and vegetables, prebiotic and probiotic foods can promote the health and diversity of the gut. It also enhances your digestive system and boosting your immune function.
What can you do to promote a healthy gut?
Here are some things you can do to improve the gut microbiome.
- Feed your gut with probiotics and prebiotics. Consume foods and drinks rich in probiotics and prebiotics. Besides, you are what you eat. And your gut’s microbiome loves these foods. Eat a variety of plant-based foods as they are rich in fiber.
Consider adding fermented foods and dairy products too into your diet for the probiotic content in them. Yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, and miso are some examples of probiotic-rich foods. The beneficial bacteria in them can help support your gut’s health.
- Take probiotic supplements. Try adding probiotic supplements to help replenish and restore the balance of your gut’s microbiome.
- Do not overuse antibiotics. Antibiotics are helpful as they get rid of harmful bacteria. However, while doing this they also get rid of the beneficial bacteria. Use them only when medically required.
- Be active. Physical activity has several well-known benefits. Additionally, it may also improve the diversity of bacteria in your gut.
- Manage your stress. Stress can affect your gut’s health. Long-term stress can trigger GI issues like indigestion, diarrhea, and constipation. Stress can also alter your gut’s microbiota.