Hello friends. Welcome back to day 22 of Fitness Challenge.
We have already discussed a lot about food and dietary changes. But today we will discuss a topic that affects our overall health and well-being.
It’s about the gut bacteria who prove to be more than just bacteria. The true potential of these bacteria aren’t known, but the latest studies are proving that they do more than we expect.
In a true sense, they are our health and happiness partner.
There are many types of bacteria that support digestive and heart health. Major of immune function are influenced by these gut bacteria.
It has been found that over 90% of serotonin is produced by these gut bacteria. Serotonin is known as happiness hormone and has a wide range of function.
Gut bacteria impact overall well-being and happiness. It will be tough to guess what our health condition would have been without them.
An interesting fact!
DNA will take centuries to adapt to benefit us, but small changes can change our microbiome. These microbiome will benefit us with the least time and effort.
Our body is made of trillions of cells while we are home to 10 times more bacteria than cells. The health of gut bacteria changes from our birth and keeps changing throughout our lifetime.
Before we start with what affects their health and the way to get them back, we will focus on their positive impact on health.
1. Weight Loss and Weight Management
Weight loss and weight management are today’s need. A healthy weight is said to influence health. To solidify the fact that gut bacteria are responsible for weight gain or weight loss, we don’t have solid proof.
However, many studies have weak links. And when it comes to weight management and healthy eating, we can’t ignore it.
Even though there is no strong evidence but we will assume it can help.
There is 2 reason Why I am considering it.
The first reason is the study.
In a study, it was found that people with a lower diversity of gut bacteria had a higher weight.
The second reason is eating.
The food that helps to balance gut bacteria are the foods that help in weight loss, especially fiber-rich foods.
Stick to these two reasons until solid proofs are found, and keep enjoying the benefits of diverse bacteria.
2. Gut Health
Nothing feels right when there is an issue with intestinal health.
These gut bacteria are important as they prevent intestinal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Bloating, cramps and abdominal pain are because unhealthy microbes produce a lot of gas and other chemicals.
Healthy bacteria found in yogurt and probiotics can improve gut health. These healthy bacteria prevent disease-causing bacteria from sticking to the intestinal wall.
There are lots to say but stick to fact — healthy bacteria population will weaken the disease-causing bacteria, making them harmless. While, if there is damage to healthy bacteria, those inactive and harmless bacteria get out of control and lead to intestinal and other health problems.
So nurture your microbiome health.
3. Heart Health
Microbiome health also keeps heart healthy.
A study on 1500 people found that the gut microbiome played an important role in promoting “good” HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Lactobacilli may also help to lower cholesterol levels.
While unhealthy bacteria do the opposite.
4. Brain Health
Certain species of bacteria can help produce chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. For example, serotonin is an antidepressant neurotransmitter. It is mostly made in the gut. (copied)
A small number of studies have also shown that certain probiotics can improve symptoms of depression and other mental health disorders.
5. Lower Risk of Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is a real concern as they affect children. It’s very little we can do as it depends on genes.
It may be controversial to say anything what I’m not sure.
However, some studies have found that a healthy microbiome can delay the onset of type 1 diabetes in children. If it’s possible, then why not make prebiotic as part of their diet? But I’m talking about the food as the main source.
In a study on 33 infants who were at high risk of developing type 1 diabetes, an interesting fact was discovered.
Before the start of Type 1 diabetes, there were changes in microbiome health. There was fall in population of healthy bacteria while the species of unhealthy bacteria increased.
In other study, it was also found that blood sugar could vary even after eating the same food. The reason behind the difference are the types of bacteria.
The evidence may not be strong, but changes in diet can surely benefit the children. With slight changes, we can delay such health problems.
Then, why not try it? While if you feel that someone in the family has type 1 diabetes, it’s best to consult a physician and dietician to know what better changes you can adopt.
Things Damaging Your Gut Microbiome
There are many things that impact microbiome health, but there are two leading factors. Antibiotics and preservatives. They are the major reason, so we will give them more priority. While the rest will be handled without effort.
Antibiotics are the greatest invention in medical science, but they aren’t always good for our health. These antibiotics can mess up with our microbiome. Antibiotics fight bad bacteria, but they can also destroy healthy bacteria.
It’s best to consult before taking antibiotics. And don’t depend on them.
Processed food are said to be a reason behind obesity crises that the modern world is facing. However, these processed food damage isn’t limited to weight gain. The role of preservatives is to kill bad bacteria in food so that the food can last longer. But these preservatives don’t recognise bad bacteria or good bacteria, thus impacting whole microbiome.
Claims Your Microbiome and Your Health
There may be many steps to improve microbiome health, but focus on these three.
1. Eat Prebiotic Rich Foods
Eat prebiotic rich food. Prebiotic are a type of fiber that stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria. You will get prebiotics from legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods nourish good bacteria.
2. Eat Fermented Food
From thousands of years, people have been eating fermented food. They ate for taste but it nourished their health. You can try foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, coconut kefir or umeboshi.
3. Limit Preservative and Antibiotics
As mentioned earlier, these two are reasons behind damage of the microbiome. If you’re planning to improve microbiome health, the first step is to prevent their damage. When there will be minimum damage — recovery will begin.
First, with antibiotics — take them only when required.
Secondly, with preservative — if you’re obsessed with processed food which are claimed to last long, you will surely intake preservative.
You might think you’re eating a healthiest man-made food, but you’re destroying what controls major of our health and well-being. If you want to make better changes, — limit food that has preservatives.
That’s all for today. Tomorrow you will learn about stress management.