When you hear the phrase “gut health,” basic digestion may be the first thing that comes to mind: breaking down food and eliminating waste.
In recent years, we have learned more and more about how the gut affects our overall health – with emerging research trying to determine if there is an association between a healthy gut microbiome and Weight managementAnd the Emotional well-beingAnd the Skin health, And the Immune function.
In other words, our gut may play a much larger role in aspects of our health than we thought. Maintaining gut health is the key.
According to Darren Olin, a Shakeology author and star of the Netflix documentary series, “Down to Earth with Zac Efron,” occasional digestive issues are often the first sign that your gut may be out of control.
“It’s all about balance in your microbial world,” says Olin. “When you have bacteria invading processed foods and stress, it creates dysplasia, bloating, and irregularity.”
Read on and watch his interview to learn how the right foods can support a healthy gut – so your gut can support You are.
The beneficial bacteria in your gut
exist Trillions of microbial cells That can live in the digestive system, including up to 300 to 500 types of bacteria.
This ecosystem is known as the gut microbiome.
Every microbiome is As unique as their fingerprintsBut overall, a healthy microbiome will contain a variety of beneficial bacteria.
These good bacteria help the body digest food and absorb nutrients.
Some gut bacteria Manufacture of vitamins Such as vitamin K, thiamine, and folic acid.
“The good bacteria actually break down food. When you don’t have enough of the good bacteria, you don’t get all the nutrients and phytonutrients that you just ate.
The good bacteria can also help control the “bad” bacteria in your gut, which may help you avoid some digestive problems.
When your microbiome is in equilibrium, it can help Maintaining general health.
But sometimes, when your gut gets out of control, you may begin to notice unpleasant effects.
As expected, this may include abdominal problems such as GasAnd the BloatingOr discomfort.
How probiotics support a healthy microbiome
What you eat has a profound effect on your microbiome. (No surprises there!)
You can help support a healthy balance of gut bacteria by including probiotics in your diet every day.
Probiotics are live bacteria found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi Kombucha.
When you eat foods containing probiotics, you add to the good bacteria in your gut to help maintain a healthy balance.
about thousands of yearsCivilizations have relied on fermentation as a way to preserve food throughout the year. But as we discovered more advanced ways to preserve food, we began to eat fewer fermented foods.
Consuming probiotics – either through your diet or via supplementation – can help return these good bacteria into your gut.
But probiotics only tell half the story.
To help those good bacteria grow and thrive, you also need to pay attention to prebiotics.
The role of prebiotics in gut health
Prebiotics It is a plant fiber found in many fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Prebiotics act as food for good bacteria – think of them as fertilizers for a healthy microbiome.
On his travels, Olin found two particularly good sources: Yacon root, from deep in the rugged Andes Mountains, is an abundant source of vital staple fibers.
Dandelion root, traditionally used by the ancient Egyptians, provides prebiotic fibers Inulin.
In addition to fiber, some plants also provide flavonoids, which are a plant compound with antioxidant properties.
Some of the richest sources of flavonoids identified by Olin include matcha from Japan, cocoa from West Africa, and camu camu from the Amazon River region.
Like prebiotics and probiotics, flavonoids can help support a healthy gut.
Watch the video above to learn more about how your gut affects your overall health and the best ingredients from around the world to help support your microbiome.