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You are more bacteria than you are human.
There are far more bacteria cells in your body than human cells and so, taking care of the bacteria in your body can only be beneficial to your existence. A large amount of this bacteria can be found in your gut.
Why is gut health important?
The way that organisms in your gut interact with each other and with the rest of your body is complex. Researchers marvel at how the activities in your gut affect your health and the research are ongoing as scientist discover more and more.
So far, research suggests that gut health may play a role in:
- Mental health, including depression and anxiety
- Obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome
- Liver health
There are up to 1,000 species of bacteria in the human gut. Ensuring that the bacteria in your gut is healthy will reduce the risk of many health problems.
Look out for the following things that damage your gut bacteria.
1. Not eating a variety of whole foods
Today’s western diet has a severely limited variety of foods to choose from. Only 12 plants and five animal species are used for 75% of the world’s food supply. We need more variety because lots of dietary diversity help a variety of beneficial gut bacteria grow.
Eating whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains will spawn gut flora growth. If you add more whole foods to your diet, you can change your gut flora profile within a few days.
2. A shortage of prebiotics
Prebiotics is a type of fibre that helps friendly gut bacteria, like Bifidobacterium, grow. This fibre is found in lots of fruits, vegetables and wholegrains.
Some food that’s especially rich in prebiotics include:
- Lentils, chickpeas and beans
- Jerusalem artichokes
To increase your prebiotic intake, you can also take a supplement to get the fibre you need for good gut bacteria to grow.
3. Drinking an immoderate amount of alcohol
Generally speaking, drinking too many alcoholic drinks damages your gut health. There is a direct link between alcohol consumption and gut problems like dysbiosis.
One study compared the gut flora of 41 alcoholics and 10 individuals who rarely drank alcohol. Dysbiosis was present in 27% of the alcoholic participants while the 10 healthy individuals had no signs of dysbiosis.
The good news is that red wine seems to be an exception as the polyphenol content in the wine stimulates the growth of healthy bacteria and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria like Clostridium. Drinking red wine in moderation can help your gut flora profile, reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol.
4. The use of antibiotics
The use of antibiotics doesn’t just kill bad bacteria, it kills helpful bacteria too. Usually, antibiotics cause a short-term decline in beneficial gut bacteria but they can also have long-term effects as bacteria do not always grow back to the same amounts after antibiotic treatment.
One study found that a single dose of antibiotics reduced the diversity of Bacteroides, one of the most dominant bacterial groups, and increased the number of resistant strains. These effects remained for up to two years.
5. A sedentary lifestyle
Whether you are running, gardening or playing table tennis, physical activity has numerous health benefits.
Being physically active, (i.e., moving your body so that it burns energy) also aids gut health. Active people have more butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that’s important for overall health, and butyrate-producing bacteria.
6. Inadequate sleep
Studies suggest that your gut follows a circadian-like rhythm and disruptions to this rhythm can harm your gut microbiome. Research done on men who were sleep deprived for two days showed small changes to the gut flora and increased the abundance of bacteria associated with weight gain, obesity, type-2 diabetes and fat metabolism.
Research is still relatively new and no substantial conclusions can be drawn yet. Still, getting enough sleep is good for your overall health.
7. Exposure to stress
Too much stress results in changes in the brain-gut interactions which leads to the development of gastrointestinal disorders.
One study looked at how stress alters the makeup of gut bacteria in 23 college students. The gut bacteria were analysed at the beginning of the semester and again during final exams. During the stressful examination period, students had a reduction in friendly bacteria.
It’s important to take care of the bacteria in your gut and reduce the risk of many health problems. There are many things you can do to promote the growth of good bacteria. You can exercise, eat whole foods and foods with prebiotics. Limiting your alcohol consumption and managing stress can help as well.
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How does it work for digestive problems?
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What are the benefits of Manna GUT Support?
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- The different ingredients work in a holistic manner to balance the microorganisms in the digestive tract.
- Digestive Enzymes assist in the breakdown of food
- Probiotics provide ‘friendly’ intestinal flora that protects the intestines against harmful bacteria, and
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