- Maintaining healthy microbes in your stomach and gut is important to overall health
- Some foods are better at producing good bacteria than others
- Food rich in e.g. polyphenols help stimulate microbial growth
A juicy beef hamburger on a fluffy white bun with pickles might sound like just the best meal in the world, but those three ingredients are not the best fuel for the "good" bacteria that live in your digestive tract.
A healthy gut doesn’t just benefit your stomach, and research has shown that gut bacteria have a big influence on our whole body, our mind and even our moods.
READ | How bacteria in your gut interact with the mind and body
It is important to ensure diversity in your diet. This encourages the growth of a greater variety of bacteria in the digestive tract, leading to better general health. If your diet consists mostly of meat and dairy with little in the way of fruits and vegetables, you might be "starving" these important microbes.
Sugar, too much alcohol and even artificial sweeteners do not help these good bacteria to thrive.
Foods that are good for your gut are rich in polyphenols found in plant-based foods; prebiotic foods like complex carbohydrates that stimulate microbe growth; and fermented foods which introduce new microbes into your system.
In order to sustain a healthy digestion, some foods are better than others, so here are a few easy ways to swap "standard" foods for more gut-friendly foods.
Those little guys in your gut will thank you.
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