8 best ways to increase your good gut bacteria and weight loss naturally!
There are around 40 trillion bacteria in your body, most of which are in your intestines.
Collectively, they are known as your gut microbiota, and they are hugely important for your health. However, certain types of bacteria in your intestines can also contribute to many diseases.
Interestingly, the food that you eat greatly affects the types of bacteria that live inside you. Here are 10 science-based ways to improve your gut bacteria.
-1. Eat a Diverse Range of FoodsThere are hundreds of species of bacteria in your intestines. Each species plays a different role in your health and requires different nutrients for growth.
Generally speaking, a diverse microbiota is considere to be a healthy one. This is because the more species of bacteria you have, the greater number of health benefits they may be able to contribute to
A diet consisting of different food types can lead to a diverse microbiota
Unfortunately, the Western diet is not very diverse and is rich in fat and sugar. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of the world’s food is produced from only 12 plant and 5 animal species.
However, diets in certain rural regions are more diverse and rich in different plant sources.
A few studies have shown that gut microbiota diversity is much greater in people from rural regions of Africa and South America than those from Europe or the US.
-2. Eat Lots of Vegetables, Legumes, Beans and Fruit
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of nutrients for a healthy microbiota.
They are high in fiber, which can’t be digeste by your body. However, fiber can be digeste by certain bacteria in your gut, which stimulates their growth.
Beans and legumes also contain very high amounts of fiber.
Some high-fiber foods that are good for your gut bacteria incluide:
- Green peas
- Beans (kidney, pinto and white)
- Whole grains
One study found that following a diet high in fruits and vegetables prevented the growth of some disease-causing bacteria
Apples, artichokes, blueberries, almonds and pistachios have all been shown to increaseBifidobacteria in humans
Bifidobacteria are considere beneficial bacteria, as they can help prevent intestinal inflammation and enhance gut health.
-3. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermanted foods are foods altere by microbes.
The process of fermenting usually involves bacteria or yeasts converting the sugars in food to organic acids or alcohol. Examples of fermented foods include:
Many of these foods are rich in lactobacilli, a type of bacteria that can benefit your health.
People who eat a lot of yogurt appear to have more lactobacilli in their intestines. These people also have fewer Enterobacteriaceae, a bacteria associated with inflammation and a number of chronic diseases
Similarly, a number of studies have shown that yogurt consumption can beneficially modify intestinal bacteria and improve symptoms of lactose intolerance in both infants and adults
Certain yogurt products may also reduce the abundance of certain disease-causing bacteria in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
Two studies showed that yogurt also enhanced the function and composition of the microbiota
However, it is important to note that many yogurts, especially flavored yogurts, contain high levels of sugar.
Therefore, the best yogurt to consume is plain, natural yogurt. This kind of yogurt is made only of milk and bacteria mixtures, which are sometimes referre to as “starter cultures.”
Furthermore, fermented soybean milk may promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, such asBifidobacteria and lactobacilli, while decreasing quantities of some other disease-causing bacteria. Kimchi may also benefit the gut flora.
-4. Don’t Eat Too Many Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are widely u as replacements for sugar. However, some studies have shown that they can negatively affect the gut microbiota.
One study in rats showed that aspartame, an artifical swetener, reduce weight gain, but it also increased blood sugar and impaired insulin response
The rats fed aspartame also had higher Clostridium and Enterobacteriaceae in their intestines, both of which are associate with disease when present in very high numbers.
Another study found similar results in mice and humans. It showed changes in the microbiota made artificial sweeteners have negative effects on blood sugar levels.
-5. Eat Prebiotic Foods
Prebiotics are foods that promote the growth of beneficial microbes in the gut.
They are mainly fiber or complex carbs that can’t be digeste by human cells. Instead, certain species of bacteria break them down and use them for fuel.
Many fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain prebiotics, but they can also be found on their own.
Resistant starch can also be prebiotic. This type of starch is not absorbe in the small intestine. Rather, it passes into the large intestine where it is broken down by the microbiota.
Many studies have shown that prebiotics can promote the growth of many healthy bacteria, including Bifidobacteria.
Many of these studies were conducte in healthy people, but some studies have shown that prebiotics can be beneficial for those with certain diseases.
For example, certain prebiotics can reduce insulin, triglycerides and cholesterol levels in people who are obese
These results suggest that prebiotics may reduce the risk factors for many diseases associated with obesity, including heart disease and diabetes.
-6. Breastfeed for at Least Six Months
A baby’s microbiota begins to properly develop at birth. However, some recent studies suggest that babies may be expose to some bacteria before birth
During the first two years of life, an infant’s microbiota is continuously developing and rich in beneficial Bifidobacteria, which can digest the sugars in breast milk
Many studies have shown that infants who are formula fed have an altere microbiota that has fewer Bifidobacteria than infants who are breastfe
Breastfeeding is also associate with lower rates of allergies, obesity and other diseases that may be due to differences in the gut microbiota.
-7. Eat Whole Grains
Whole grains contain lots of fiber and non-digestible carbs, such as beta-glucan.
These carbs are not absorbe in the small intestine and instea make their way to the large intestine.
In the large intestine, they are broken down by the microbiota and promote the growth of certain beneficial bacteria.
Whole grains can promote the growth of Bifidobacteria, lactobacilli and Bacteroidetes in humans
In these studies, whole grains also increase feelings of fullness and reduced inflammation and heart disease risk factors.
-8. Eat a Plant-Based Diet
Diets containing animal-based foods promote the growth of different types of intestinal bacteria than plant-based diets do
A number of studies have shown that vegetarian diets may benefit the gut microbiota. This may be due to their higher fiber contents.
One small study found that a vegetarian diet led to reduced levels of disease-causing bacteria in obese people, as well as reduced weight, inflammation and cholesterol levels
Another study found that a vegetarian diet significantly decreased disease-causing bacteria, such as E. coli .
However, it is unclear if the benefits of a vegetarian diet on the gut microbiota are simply due to a lack of meat intake. Also, vegetarians tend to lead healthier lifestyles than omnivores