How to improve gut health naturally
At any given moment, there are trillions of bacteria living in your gut. Known as a ‘microbiome,’ this culture of microscopic organisms is essential to gut health, playing a role in everything from the digestion of food to the regulation of metabolism. What’s more, research suggests the condition of your microbiome can also impact your mood and your ability to fend of illness.
Although the market is saturated with expensive probiotics that can give your microbiome a boost, it turns out you can actually change your internal ecosystem simply by adapting your lifestyle.
“The gut microbiota is very dynamic, so if you start taking up healthy food habits, it will respond and will modify very quickly – even within 48 hours,” says assistant professor Corinne Maurice. But to improve gut health in the long-term, you need to stick to those healthy habits, because the benefits can disappear just as quickly. Here’s expert advice on how to improve gut health naturally.
Foster gut health by diversifying your diet
Maurice explains that most people who are sick with a gut-related disease – or even other conditions, like diabetes and allergies – have one thing in common: a lack of variety in their microbial populations. It’s clear that a healthy gut is a diversely-populated gut, and one of the best ways to build a diverse bacterial community is to eat a wide range of healthy foods.
Eat yoghurt and kefir for a healthy gut
Consuming cultured dairy products, such as yoghurt and kefir, introduces healthy bacteria into your gut. Those bacteria may not take up permanent residence there, but they can have positive effects even while passing through. A 2011 study found that, when a strain of bacteria that’s common to yoghurt was ingested by mice, it regulated their moods. This has led scientists to believe the bacteria could have the potential to treat depression in humans, too.