My homepage blog this week reviews the connection between a healthy microbiota (gut bug) composition and health. In it, I explored the relationship between the critters that line our insides with:
1. Liver Health
3. Brain Health
4. Stress Response
5. Gut Health
6. Immune Health and Cancer
Research is showing that we have the power to modulate our microbiome diversity and therefore our wellness outcomes.
So, what makes for a healthy microbiome?
Diet, exercise, nutrients, and lifestyle of course! Below are excerpts from an article in Medscape that you can use as a reference to alter your gut bugs for the better!
There is good evidence for the role of individual nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, in both physical and mental health; it is therefore useful to consume these nutrients as part of an overall healthful diet.
Diet: A healthful diet composed of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has also been linked to higher levels of Bacteroidetes. These types of bacteria are particularly good at producing short-chain fatty acids, which help regulate gut inflammation.
Three main food components are proposed to benefit gut health: living microorganisms known as “probiotics” (found in such foods as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi); nondigestible carbohydrates (eg, dietary fiber found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains); and secondary plant metabolites, such as flavonoids (found in brightly colored fruits, vegetables, and red wine).
Evidence suggests that exercise may increase the diversity of bacteria living in the gut. One study showed increased gut bacterial diversity and fewer markers of inflammation in athletes compared with controls.
SR. The Microbiome and Brain Health: What’s the Connection? Medscape Psychiatry. March 24, 2015.
Scientific Amercian. February 17, 2015. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/among-trillions-of-microbes-in-the-gut-a-few-are-special/
Conlon MA, Bird AR. The Impact of Diet and Lifestyle on Gut Microbiota and Human Health. Nutrients. 2015;7(1):17-44. doi:10.3390/nu7010017.
Your Microbes at Work: Fiber Fermenters Keep Us Healthy. Nature. February26, 2015. doi:10.1038/518S9a