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5 Ways To Improve Gut Health

gut health

Not all bacteria are harmful. In fact, the human body is host to trillions of bacteria and other microbes, good and bad. You can find the majority of these microbes in your digestive tract. In recent decades, in-depth studies have shown gut bacteria to have powerful effects on the rest of the human body, inducing numerous functions among the immune system and overall metabolism. “The bacterial balance can be disrupted by medical conditions, emotional and physical stress, and, most notably, use of antibiotics, which destroy the good bacteria along with the bad.”

Here are 5 way you can protect and improve your gut bacteria to improve overall health and wellness:

1. Increase high-fiber whole foods in your diet. These foods provide the microbiome with prebiotics, which feed good bacteria and induce proliferation. Here are a few examples:
  • Legumes: lentils, beans, peas
  • Tomatoes, artichokes, bananas, asparagus, berries, garlic, onions, chicory, steel cut (or rolled) oats, linseed, barley, and wheat
  • Green vegetables: arugula, cilantro, zucchini, asparagus, kale, spinach, collard greens
2. Eat fermented foods. While fermented foods will not cure an unhealthy microbiome, they can enhance a healthy one. Here are a few examples:
  • Yogurt (unsweetened)
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
3. Limit red meat, alcohol, and caffeine

4. Avoid fried foods

5. Take a probiotic supplement. A few great brands are Culturelle, Garden of Life RAW Probiotics, Renew Life, Klaire Labs

Sources: https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k2179, https://www.verywellfit.com/best-probiotics-4163636, https://www.health.clevelandclinic.org/

Written by: Kelly Fiallos, PN1

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