A Simple Guide to Gut Health: The Gut Microbiome

This is part 1 of the 2 part series, Simple Guide to Gut Health.

I want to start by saying it is NEVER to early to talk to your doctor about gut health.  Don’t be embarrassed about bodily functions we all have them!

Don’t miss the {free} printable recipe at the bottom!

So here’s the deal, the world is going crazy over the latest research relating to gut health and the microbiome and holy cow! The world is right! The more I read, the more fascinated I become about just how much the gut is doing.

The term “microbiome” refers to the trillions of bacteria and microorganisms that live inside and outside the human body.1 The majority of the hype surrounding the microbiome has related specifically to the gut and rightfully so because these little guys do so much.

This is why you should care! The gut microbiome does all of this:1

  1. Breaks down and digests food
  2. Produces nutrients (The bacteria Bifidobacterium aids in the production of vitamins K, B12, Biotin, Folate, Thiamine.4 )
  3. Prevents infection
  4. Regulates immune response

I don’t know about you, but all of the factors above sound pretty important to me. Let’s look at how you can keep those little guys in your gut responsive and performing their duties to keep you healthy!

Factors that impact the Microbiome factorsgut microbiome ———>

FUN FACT: Long-term diet has been found to have the most significant impact on the microbiome.3

 

Want to hear some great news?

A majority of these factors are things that can be changed or improved, and I am going to give you some tips on how you can do this. It is great to know in a world where we can’t change so many things, that we can affect factors that are not just impacting our gut health, but our health as a whole! A study was performed on children in Italy who consumed a western diet (processed foods and animal products) and children in Africa who consumed more complex carbs (ex. whole grains) and plant products (fruits and vegetables). When researchers switched the children diets to either solely animal based or solely plant based a change in the gut bacteria was observed in only 5 days.3   The results of this studied illustrated that the gut can adapt to our diets in a short amount of time, and that diet can dictate which types of bacteria are living in our gut, both good and bad.3  All of that to say making small changes can help you out quickly.

Screenshot 2018-01-19 19.23.10

Bottom line: All of us have a different microbiome and while there are factors that impact it that we can’t change, there are a lot of factors that we can change!

CLICK BELOW for Creamy Veggies & Quinoa Salad for your Microbes

Creamy Veggies & Quinoa salad for your MICROBES!

Part 2 of Simple Guide to Gut Health: Probiotic Rich Food coming next week.  Stay tuned!!!

 

 

 

 

Citations

  1. Markowiak P, Śliżewska K. Effects of Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics on Human Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(9):1021. doi:10.3390/nu9091021.
  2. Harvie, R., Chanyi, R. M., Burton, J. P., & Schultz, M. (2017). Using the Human Gastrointestinal Microbiome to Personalize Nutrition Advice: Are Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Ready for the Opportunities and Challenges? Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 117(12), 1865-1869. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2016.10.020
  3. Conlon MA, Bird AR. The Impact of Diet and Lifestyle on Gut Microbiota and Human Health. Nutrients. 2015;7(1):17-44. doi:10.3390/nu7010017.
  4. Clarke SF, Murphy EF, O’Sullivan O, et al Exercise and associated dietary extremes impact on gut microbial diversity Gut Published Online First: 09 June 2014. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2013-306541
  5. Tamang JP, Shin D-H, Jung S-J, Chae S-W. Functional Properties of Microorganisms in Fermented Foods. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2016;7:578. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.00578.

 

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