I’ve written before on how the composition of the microbes in our bellies affects our health. However, did you know that what we eat can affect our gut microbiome and change its composition? This means our diet can assist in favorably or unfavorably modulating our wellness directly through our gut bugs (6).
Specifically, we can help keep our beneficial bacteria strong with diets consisting of whole, organic, foods which contain fiber, flavonoids, polyphenols, and other helpful plant constituents (7-8). These components in foods “fuel” our microflora with the ingredients they need to modulate our immune function (9), digestive health, hormonal balance, detoxification, vitamin production, and more. However, diets high in processed foods, refined grains, sugar, and soda can starve off our helpful buggy friends and cause an overgrowth of pathogenic microbes. According to researchers at the USCF:
“Bacteria within the gut are manipulative,” said Carlo Maley, PhD, director of the UCSF Center for Evolution and Cancer and corresponding author on the paper.” “There is a diversity of interests represented in the microbiome, some aligned with our own dietary goals, and others not.”…. (10)
This means that the microbes in our gut may be affecting our eating choices. In other words, you could literally be suffering from “an invasion of the body snackers” via an unhealthy gut microbioime, when you grab that snickers bar! Researchers believe this partly due to their signaling patterns to the vagus nerve, which connects 100 million nerve cells from the digestive tract to the base of the brain. (10-11)
According to the same article:
“Microbes have the capacity to manipulate behavior and mood through altering the neural signals in the vagus nerve, changing taste receptors, producing toxins to make us feel bad, and releasing chemical rewards to make us feel good,” said Aktipis, who is currently in the Arizona State University Department of Psychology. (10)
So, are you addicted to sugar, or are your gut bugs? Hmmm…
Click here to find my sources and learn more about the power our gut bugs have over us including:
1. How Mice Get Lean with Microbiome Manipulation
2. What Microbe Species Make for a Healthy Gut
3. How the Microbiome Can Modulate Immune Function
4. Functional Tests of Microbiome Health and Diversity
5. A Six-Minute Video Summary on Tips for Feeding Good Bacteria
‘Till next week….keep breaking free from disease mentality and be empowered to remain vital and healthy.