According to science. Our gut holds 10 times the bacteria than the number of human cells in our body. Bet you don’t know that, huh? Most of the bacteria in our gut are beneficial and help in the well-being of our bodies. However, balance must be kept between the compositions of these stomach bacteria in our guts. Also known as gut flora. And an unhealthy gut has major adverse effects in the health of our whole body.
Studies have shown that gut health is connected to a large number of chronic health conditions. And studies are showing that gut health is linked to the state of a person’s immune system. Their mood and the ability to lose weight. A person’s microbiome. The complex composition of stomach bacteria. Also plays a big role in digestion and the amount of nutrients assimilated in the body.
There’s a huge difference between the microbiomes of a healthy person and that of an obese person. And there was even a study to prove this. A study was conducted on a pair of twins – one healthy and one obese – and transferred their microbiomes into two different mice. The result showed that the mouse with the healthy gut flora remained to be healthy. While the mouse with the gut flora from the obese twin quickly started gaining weight. This study showed that the state of your gut health influences how many calories are absorbed. As well as the amount of fat being stored in our bodies. Obviously, gut health and stomach bacteria plays a major role in obesity and weight loss.
Factors That Affect The Health Of Your Gut Microbiome And Stomach Bacteria Balance
Diet and lifestyle. These are the two foremost factors that affect the health of a person’s gut flora. A diet that is composed mainly of processed food and omnivorous, without balancing it with vegetables and fruits, negatively affects our gut microbiome. Junk food and those foods which are full of sugar adds to this imbalance, too.
People who smoke, those with an inactive lifestyle, always under stress and sleep less hours are also prone to imbalanced stomach bacteria. Excessive and improper antibiotics administration also greatly affects the health of your gut by killing off large amount of stomach bacteria. (both good and bad stomach bacteria). You see antibiotics do not select which stomach bacteria to kill. It just destroys bacteria. Environmental pollution is also being eyed as a contributing factor to this imbalance.
Ways To Improve Gut Health
As mentioned, diet and lifestyle are the greatest contributors to the health of a person’s gut microbiome. The following tips can help you maintain your gut flora in a healthy state.
Add More Prebiotics In Your Diet
Prebiotics pertain to ingredients in food that stimulates the growth of microorganisms in our gut microbiome. These ingredients are not affected by high heat. They reach the intestinal tract in an unaltered form, known as prebiotic effect. This effect increases growth and allows the microorganisms in your gut to stay healthy and multiply. This increases their resistance to invading organisms. These foods also increase metabolic activity, thereby contributing to fat loss and health benefits. Here are some examples of prebiotics. Asparagus. Onions. Garlic. Cabbage. Leeks. Root vegetables.
Increase Probiotics In Your Diet
Probiotics are beneficial stomach bacteria that support gut flora. Fermented food like yogurt, pickled vegetables and sauerkraut are filled with live bacteria, known as prebiotics. They can also be found on some dairy products, pills and probiotic supplements. However, although probiotics contribute in managing gut flora, they are very delicate and sometimes ineffective. This is why it is important to keep eating foods such as those above to help maintain your stomach bacteria.
Consuming them is good for maintaining a higher ratio of good stomach bacteria versus bad bacteria in your gut’s microbiome. This can promote better digestion, offer higher resistance to infection and boost our body’s immune system. Daily servings of probiotics are essential for some beneficial bacteria to remain in the gut. These cultures disappear if they are not supported by probiotics.
Reduce / Remove Refined Sugar and Processed Foods In Your Diet
As in any healthy diet, avoiding processed food and refined sugar can tremendously help your gut flora stay active and healthy. It can stimulate the growth of beneficial stomach bacteria while reducing the amount of bacteria that’s responsible for caloric metabolism and storage of body fat. On the other hand. You should add more leafy vegetables and healthy fats, such as Omega-3 fatty acids, to help boost the growth of good stomach bacteria that boosts fat loss.
Brain health is directly related to gut health. Our gut has more neurotransmitters than our brain, and whatever ails your gut can affect the state of your mood and mental health. Stress always plays a role in gut problems. Whether it’s undergrowth or overgrowth of certain bacteria, increase of bad bacteria or lack of diversity in your gut’s microbiome.
An unhealthy gut may cause mood swings and depression. Two states of mind associated with emotional eating and food cravings. It is important therefore to find time and do some relaxing activities. Yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or simply listening to calming music can accelerate the gut healing process.
Get Enough Sleep
Aside from the obvious health benefits, getting the quantity and quality of sleep is important in maintaining healthy stomach bacteria. It has been found that if your body experiences deep sleep at night, it can help restore proper bacteria composition in your gut. Depriving yourself of sleep, especially if you are indulging in bad eating habits, can really wreak havoc in your gut flora. However, good quality sleep won’t happen on its own. You always have to remind yourself and make it happen. Go to sleep at similar times each day and wake up at similar times each day.
Do you think your gut health hinders your weight loss program? You can share your story by posting your comments below. You can also post other tips that helped you in keeping your good stomach bacteria levels high, so others can benefit from them.