In recent years, the importance of gut health has come to the fore thanks to an increasing body of scientifically substantiated evidence suggesting the impact that a well-balanced microbiome can have on a person’s longevity and overall well-being. But with so much information we now have at our disposal, decoding the ideal digestive system Really it seems – and how to improve gut health to support it – can be difficult. In its most recent episode The Well + Good Podcast, two intestinal health experts have revealed their golden rules (and top foods to eat) for a healthy gut. The package: Although no approach is unified, achieving a healthier microbiome is something we can all achieve.
Listen to the full episode here:
So, do you want to heal your gut? Will Bulsiewicz, MD, gastroenterologist and New York Times author of bestsellers of books Fueled Fiber and it was recently released The Fiber Fueled Cookbook, and Brigitte Zeitlin, RD, a New York-based registered dietitian, sat down with us to share their research-supported trials on how to improve gut health. Returning to the basics, the duo determined what the gut is made of (trillions, yes * trillions *, of germs), how it plays a role in almost every biological system, and what to feed to keep it happy and healthy. (It turns out that these germs are somewhat selective eaters.)
What does gut health do? Really means, according to a gastroenterologist
In the episode, Dr. Bulsiewicz defines the gut as a community of 38 trillion (!) Microorganisms. “If we raised our hands very high and grabbed all the stars in our galaxy and pulled them in, I would have to place 380 galaxies full of stars in a person’s gut to find the number of germs. that they live inside them at the moment “, says Dr. Bulsiewicz. Each of these microbes, he adds, has its own specialized function that enhances digestion and the ability to convert what we eat into fuel for our bodies.
Take fiber for example. Dr. Bulsiewicz explains that we consume fiber through foods such as plants, fruits and vegetables. However, their nutritional value alone is not as strong without the help of gut-friendly germs. “With fibers, if we were sterile creatures [without any living bacteria in the gut]”Fiber would have zero nutritional value and really honestly, it would not serve much of a purpose; it might help our bowel movements, but so far,” says Dr. Bulsiewicz. “But when the fibers come in contact with the gut microbes that live inside our colon, they actually turn the fibers into what I would describe as the most anti-inflammatory compound: short-chain fatty acids.” When bacteria in your gut break down indigestible fibers and resistant starches through fermentation, short-chain fatty acids are the byproduct of this natural process. These fatty acids are then absorbed by intestinal cells where they are either metabolized or sent to the circulation to provide energy to the liver cells. Low chain fats Acids offer abundant health benefits, from reducing inflammation in your intestines to regulating immune function.
How your gut health plays a role in your daily life
“What we eat affects everything. every system, “says Zeitlin. As for what we eat, it clarifies that food not only nourishes our body but can also have a significant effect on other biological systems, including our mental and hormonal health. “The gut is often referred to as the second brain in our body because it affects everything in the same way that our brain affects everything,” he says.
Dr. Bulsiewicz agrees and says that the more information he learned about nutritional science – and especially about how food affects the gut – during his medical education, the better doctor he became. “I had my own health problems about 10 years ago… at the time I thought I was being insulted [by my own digestive system] “It turned into a blessing in disguise for me, because it really empowered me and motivated me to become a better doctor and study things I had not been taught in my medical education,” he says. According to Dr. Bulsiewicz, this of course led him to ask the question: why not talk more about diet and lifestyle in medicine?which helped to inspire his own Fueled Fiber books.
How to improve gut health
Like most things in life, a healthy gut diet has to do with balance. “I’m definitely not on a perfect diet,” says Dr. Bulsiewicz. “It’s just making simple, sensible choices where you can improve your diet … So you can enjoy your food and at the same time support your gut microbiome and reap its rewards.”
Although there is no true “recipe” or meal plan for a perfectly healthy microbiome, Dr. Bulsiewicz says most clinical studies show that a high-fat plant-based diet can have a positive effect on gut health. Plants contain tons of fiber. resistant starches and polyphenols that feed a healthy gut. However, he notes that in a study by The American Gut Project with more than 11,000 people worldwide, a strong prognostic factor for a healthy gut was the variety of plants you eat. a single plant has its own unique properties and properties, [each] has its own powers. And honestly, it has its own weaknesses. I understand that sounds weird, but [gut microbes] is like us. They are selective eaters. They have their own dietary preferences. “They do not like cabbage”, jokes Dr. Bulsiewicz. The study defines the magic number as 30 different plants a week to reap the most health benefits and cover all the basics with each tough (germ) customer.
In the episode, Dr. Bulsiewicz also points out that the backbone of a plant-based diet is not limited to fresh produce. Instead, it’s extremely important to eat whole grains and legumes as well. “If you go around the world, for example, in the five Blue Belts, you will find [that]—Although they are located in Japan, Greece, Sardinia, Costa Rica and then California — they are all “Eating a variety of whole grains and legumes as the backbone of their diet,” he says.
Zeitlin refers to this plant-based variety approach as “eating the rainbow” and recommends that you aim to eat three to four colorful foods a day. “I think so [it’s a] really easy, tangible goal and tip to stick, and then you can build and build from there, ”he says. If this is not digestible advice, I do not know what it is.
For more details on supporting your gut health, watch the full podcast here.
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