In a world of a near future of self-driving cars & Artificial intelligence, we are also learning more and more things about our bodies.
Here comes in your Microbiota.
Your Microbiota which consists of Bacteria and Microbes makes up about 3 pounds of your body weight (that is about the same as what your brain weighs). Microbes are bacteria and other tiny critters not visible to the naked eye but numbering in the trillions – and are busy in your body. Most of these microbes benefit you while others have the potential to cause harm.
With the newest discoveries in research of our bodies, we now realize that the Microbiota performs functions that could impact the functioning of our bodies, many which we don’t even know of yet.
One that we do know is that a disruption of the normal human gut microbiota is associated with many different health conditions, such as asthma, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer, among others. Scientists are still trying to figure out what role the microbiota plays in these conditions, but what is clear is that is it wise to do your best to support a healthy microbiota.
So first, starting with your gut Microbiota, eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt with “good bacteria” may be the first way that comes to mind or shaping the makeup of your gut microbiota. The only problem is that probiotics are not a one-size-fits-all. Certain benefits associated with probiotics, such as supporting immunity or easing constipation which are specific to certain strains of bacteria.
Another great way to “Influence” your gut microbiota is by changing what you “feed” the bacteria and research has shown the diversity of the gut microbiota matters. For example, the diet consumed by most in the U.S. consuming a typical Western diet, is usually low in fiber and high in processed foods is generally less diverse than in people in other areas of the country who have more fiber intake.
Studies are now showing that the more fiber you consume, especially if from a wide range of plant foods, the more diverse your gut microbiota will be, and as noted previously, the healthier your gut microbiota the less likely you will suffer from health conditions such as allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and others.
Researchers suggest trying to eat more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. When it comes to vegetables it is best to eat the rainbow – getting a variety of colorful plant foods.
Other tip is to focus on eating whole plant foods rather than purchasing supplements or other special food products.
Here are a few really great fruits and vegetables specifically with prebiotics:
So how can you insure your Microbiota is functioning at its Best?
Make Healthy eating a habit
What you eat day in and day out is what impacts your microbiota most.
Eat a wide variety of plant foods
Challenge yourself to try fruits and vegetables you’ve never tried before. Check what is in season for best flavor and availability and pick up something different every time you shop.
Choose whole grains instead of refined grains
The higher fiber content of whole grains supports the gut microbiota, among other digestive benefits.
Meet your Fiber quota
On average, women should strive for at least 25 grams of dietary fiber a day; men, 38 grams. Increase intake gradually by eating more whole plant foods (vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes), and drink plenty of water.
I particularly want to focus on trying those vegetables I have never tried before. I challenge you to pick up a new vegetable your next trip to the supermarket. If you have an internet connection you should be able to easily find some kind of recipe to make with whatever vegetable you decide to try.
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