There are about 40 billion bacteria in your body, most of which are in your gut.
Together they are known as your intestinal microbiota and are extremely important for your health. Certain types of bacteria in your intestines, however, can also contribute to many diseases.
Interestingly, the food you eat greatly affects the types of bacteria that live inside you. Here are 10 ways to boost your intestinal bacteria.
1. Eat more plants and dietary fiber to boost your good gut bacteria
Almost all bowel experts that I have read say that changing our diet is the best and most direct route we have to transform our intestinal bacteria.
By eating more plants, we achieve and maintain the diversity of microbiota, which will lead us to have a clearer mind and a happier disposition.
Just as sugar is processed too easily and, therefore, it destroys our microbes, dietary fiber gives our Little ones a lot of partying.
The consumption of many dietary fibers a day will not only keep our intestinal lining intact but will also help us maintain a more varied collection of bacteria, which is fundamental to the good Health.
2. Eat a wide range of foods
There are hundreds of kinds of bacteria in your intestines. Each species plays a diverse role in their health and their nutrients for growth differs.
In general terms, a diverse microbiota is considered healthy. This is because of the more types of bacteria they have, the greater the number of health benefits they can contribute to.
A diet consisting of different types of food can lead to a diverse microbiota.
Unfortunately, the Western diet is not very diverse and it is rich in fat and sugar. It is estimated that 75% of the food in the world is produced from only 12 plant species and 5 animals.
Diets in certain rural areas are, however, are more diverse and rich in different plant sources.
A studies have shown that the diversity of intestinal microbiota is much higher in people from rural regions of Africa and South America than in Europe or the USA.
3. Try fermented foods
Fermented food is the best type of probiotic that can feed your gut, since it generally provides a broad combination of bacteria, so you are likely to get useful bacteria.
Fermentation is by no means a new health movement. People were fermenting food more than eight thousand years ago.
In fact, only recently, since the invention of the refrigerator, we have not given priority to the consumption of fermented foods, which may be part of the reason why we have less intestinal insect diversity than before.
One of the easiest and most common fermented products is yogurt (but make sure it is not sweetened). Other examples are kefir, kimchee, sauerkraut, gherkins, Tempeh, and kombucha tea.
Note: Be careful with the alcohol content in some fermented beverages. I did not realize that certain teas from kombucha and kefir may have a higher percentage of alcohol than beer, a problem for a recovering alcoholic.
4. Eat lots of vegetables, legumes, beans, and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are the best sources of nutrients for healthy gut bacteria.
They are high in fiber, which cannot be digested by your body. However, fiber can be digested by some bacteria in the intestine, which stimulates its growth.
Legumes and Beans contain very high amounts of fiber. Some fiber-rich foods that are good for intestinal bacteria include Green peas, Raspberries, Broccoli, Beans (kidney, pinto, and white), Whole grains, Artichokes, Chickpeas, Lentils. The list goes on.
A study found that following a nutritional routine rich in vegetables and fruits prevented the growth of some disease-causing bacteria.
It has been shown that apples, artichokes, cranberries, almonds, and pistachios increase Bifidobacteria in humans.
Bifidobacteria are considered beneficial bacteria, as they can help prevent intestinal inflammation and improve intestinal health.
5. Lower your stress level
High levels of chronic stress are difficult for the whole body, including the gut.
Certain ways to reduce stress include meditation, walking, receiving a massage, spending time with friends or family, spreading essential oils, lowering caffeine intake, laughing, doing yoga or having a pet.
6. Do not eat too many artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are widely used as sugar substitutes. However, some studies have shown that they can negatively affect the intestinal flora.
A study in rats showed that aspartame, an artificial sweetener, reduces weight gain, but also increases blood sugar levels and lowers the insulin response.
Rats given aspartame also had Clostridium and Enterobacteriaceae higher in their gut, both associated with the disease when they are present in very high numbers.
7. Eat Slowly
Good chewing and slower eating can help to promote complete digestion and absorption of nutrients.
This can help to reduce digestive problems and maintain a healthy gut.
8. Eat whole grains
Whole grains encompass a lot of fiber and non-digestible carbohydrates, such as beta-glucan.
These carbohydrates are not absorbed in the small intestine and instead reach the colon.
In the large intestine they are broken down by the microbiota and they promote the growth of certain beneficial bacteria.
Whole grains promotes the growth of Bifidobacteria, Lactobacilli and Bacteroidetes in humans.
In these studies, whole grains also increased feelings of fullness and reduced inflammation and risk factors for heart disease.
9. Stay hydrated
It has been shown that drinking a lot of water has a beneficial effect on the mucous membranes of the intestines, as well as on the balance of good bacteria in the intestine.
Staying hydrated is a simple way to promote a healthy intestine.
10. Take a probiotic supplement
Probiotics are living microorganisms, mostly bacteria, which have a specific health benefit in use.
Probiotics do not permanently colonize the intestine in most cases. They can, however, benefit your health by changing the overall composition of the microbiota and supporting your metabolism.
You can learn more of what probiotics are and how it can benefit you here
A review of seven studies showed that probiotics have little effect on the composition of the intestinal flora in healthy people.
However, there are indications that probiotics can improve the intestinal flora in certain diseases.
An overview of 63 studies found mixed evidence about the efficacy of probiotics in changing the microbiota.
However, the strongest effects seemed to restore the microbiota to a healthy state after it had been affected.
Your gut bacteria are extremely vital for many aspects of health. Many studies have shown that a changed microbiota can cause many chronic diseases.
The best way to preserve a healthy microbiota is to eat a variety of fresh and whole foods, mainly from vegetable sources such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, beans, and whole grains.