As you probably know, your intestines host a diverse population of trillions of helpful bacteria. Their life purpose it is to feed on our partially digested food. As a side effect, they help the human body extract the nutrients it needs. The gut bacteria, also known as the gut microbiome, needs to be nurtured. Unfortunately, the modern food industry isn’t designed for your gut health. Artificial sweeteners, for example, mess with the bacteria, and may lead to glucose intolerance as a result. Maintaining a healthy gut means feeding existing bacteria populations with prebiotics, and adding new bacteria by consuming foods rich in probiotics. Here is a short list of things you can do to keep your belly bacteria happy and healthy:
- Eat a wide variety of whole foods, including fruits and vegetables of all colors. Each contains a slightly different mix of nutrients for your body, and for the different bacteria populations in your gut.
- Eat a variety of fermented foods. They are rich in probiotics. Examples include yogurt and kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi, tempeh and miso, and kombucha.
- Eat a variety of fiber-rich foods. The fiber serves as a prebiotic – food for gut bacteria. it’s important to eat a wide range of foods in order to allow multiple bacteria types to flourish. Fiber rich foods include produce, whole grains, lentils and beans