Our gut is referred to as the second brain of the body. A healthy gut means a reduced risk of many diseases. Keeping our gut healthy is always recommended by health and nutrition experts. It is important to include foods in the diet which promotes the growth of good bacterias in our gut.
Our gut contains trillions of bacterias, fungi and viruses. Some are good for our health and some may cause illnesses hence it is very important to maintain a healthy microbial balance.
Have you ever wondered how these micro-organisms keep us healthy and how do they function in our body? In this article, we will talk about their mechanism behind their potential to keep us strong and healthy.
1. Gut micro-organisms play a very important role in weight management. Unhealthy microbes might result in diseases and this imbalance between healthy and unhealthy is also associated with a gain in weight. This imbalance is called gut dysbiosis, which is one of the reasons for weight gain.
2. A healthy microbiome is needed to maintain a healthy gut as well. Poor gut increases the incidence of severe digestive diseases like inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and leaky gut. Unhealthy microbes stick to our intestinal wall and produce a lot of gases which leads to abdominal discomfort, acidity, bloating, flatulence and vomiting. Absorption of nutrients is also decreased and the person tends to develop nutritional deficiencies.
3. Good microbes are heart-friendly as they prevent LDL cholesterol from rising which is considered bad for the heart. They promote HDL or good cholesterol which transports bad fat to the liver for excretion. In addition, unhealthy species of microbes produce a chemical called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and this has a tendency to block our arteries, obstructing the blood flow resulting in a stroke. But this action is inhibited by Lactobacillus probiotic.
4. We also need good bacterias to keep our brain healthy. It has been observed that certain gut-friendly bacterias stimulate the production of neurotransmitters including serotonin. Serotonin has a calming effect on our nerves, keeps stress, anxiety and depression at bay. Researches have also noticed that people with neurological disorders often have poor gut health history.
5. With such faulty eating habits, exposure to pollution, chemicals and a sedentary lifestyle, it is important to keep our immune system strong. This enables us to fight viruses, bacterias and many diseases. Our immune cells are primarily located in the gastrointestinal tract, hence unhealthy microbial balance might affect the production of antibodies adversely and augments the susceptibility of falling ill. Therefore, a healthy gut is critical to keep diseases away.
To conclude, the microbiome is an inevitable part of our body that plays a significant role in keeping us blooming. We need them to protect us from diseases and for the smooth functioning of our organs. Therefore, our diet should be rich in both pro and prebiotics. One should include foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, miso, kimchi and curd. Opt for foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, oats, legumes and beans which are rich in dietary fibre and leads to a proliferation of good microbes in the gut.