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I’ve spoken before about how what we eat influences our microbiota however, I haven’t gone into great detail about the importance of its composition for our health and how we can avoid many diseases by changing our diet.
The latest research on intestinal microbiota also known as gut flora establishes a link between many of today’s common illnesses in society with the composition of our gut flora. These studies and others like it are important for our health which is why this topic has become increasingly popular although, there are still many questions.
Today I would like to explain what microbiota (gut flora) is and the important role it plays in having a proper daily diet.
What is Microbiota?
For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, microbiota is a set of microorganisms found in different parts of the body. Today we are going to focus on intestinal microbiota (gut flora).
Intestinal microbiota, also known as gut flora influences the number of calories we retain, produces serotonin for optimal digestion, and helps the body to distinguish between beneficial external agents and harmful ones.
Its composition varies along the digestive tract, in fact, there is no one “normal” composition, every person has their own unique makeup. Many factors determine its composition, age, diet, type of labor at birth (Vaginal or cesarean) bottle-fed or breastfeed, antibiotics, and weather.
Recently, intestinal microbiota has been shown to play a very important role in the appearance of many diseases. A relationship between an imbalance in the composition of the intestinal microbiota, known as intestinal dysbiosis, has been shown with illnesses like obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and celiac disease, among others.
How Can We Take Care Of Our Intestinal Microbiota?
On the face of it, it doesn’t seem easy but today I’d like to give you some tips on how you can take care of yours.
Needless to say, diet plays a key role. Therefore it’s very important to have a balanced and varied diet since when we eat, those microorganisms are also inhabiting our intestines at the same time in order to carry out their functions.
It’s been shown that when we have a diet high in refined carbohydrates, low in fiber and fermented foods, and when we over-consume sweeteners and other additives that this has a direct impact on the quantity and variety of the species of microorganisms in our intestinal microbiota.
Which is why it’s fundamental to include probiotics aka fermented foods into our diet. They provide us with live microorganisms that when taken in adequate amounts give us multiple benefits for the health of our microbiota. You can find probiotic bacteria in many different kinds of foods such as yogurt, Kefir, Jocoque ( a typical Mexican dish), sauerkraut, kimchi (typical Korean food), pickles, kombucha, and tempeh.
To Sum Up
We should keep A diet rich in fiber, natural, and eat as many varieties of vegetables and fermented foods as we can so that our microbiota and its functions are in no way affected.
Don’t forget the importance of taking measures to alleviate anxiety and avoid stressful situations as much as possible as stress greatly influences the state of our intestinal microbiota and can put you at a higher risk of infections. I suggest reading my post about mindfulness eating: the perfect recipe to combat stress
Last but definitely not least, I want to highlight the importance of physical activity which promotes mobility and better digestion. Avoid constipation through exercise and without the need for laxatives. It’s very important to flush out toxins (in this case fecal matter) which affects our bodies.