Diet Quality and Gut Microbiome
The Microbiome of your gut is a very essential part of your health and can be responsible for your health or disease. With the numerous researches the fact has strongly come forward that your gut microbiome is a very crucial part of your health and you must take care of it. It helps the body in regulating metabolism, immune responses, prevent the invasion of pathogens and maintains the integrity of mucus membranes. This relation of gut and microbiome is very delicate and can be influenced by many things, one of which is diet. Your quality of diet highly influence the healthy bacteria that reside in your gut and help in various body functions. Gut microbes break down the nutrient in the food eaten by you which eventually helps in carrying out the body functions at cellular levels.
Now the fact is well established that the good quality of food helps in developing better gut microbiome that maintains a healthy body and its functioning. On the other hand it can be seen that low quality or bad quality of the diet increases the number of bad bacteria which causes various diseases. So improving gut health through modified good quality of diet can be a good step towards the well-formed strategy. It can also reduce the risk of chronic and debilitating diseases. Diet is the major factor that can influence the colonization of either good or bad bacteria. Microbiome present in our gut affects various processes which are going in our body like, vitamin synthesis, uptake of nutrients, metabolism of carcinogen, chronic inflammation, immune responses of the body and different risks factor for various diseases. One of the examples of a bad diet has come forward and that is the link of highly processed food with increased risk of cancer. On the other hand, wholesome diet like broccoli and whole grains can help in preventing the disease. The exact mechanism or reactions behind these factors is still unknown but the results can be observed.
Now the question arises, what is a good quality diet? As per the studies and researches that have been conducted, you should have a diet full of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. The things that should be decreased from the diet are sugar, solid fats, etc.
Taking a poor diet can increase the risk of certain deadly diseases like cancer. Colonization of Fuso bacterium (bacteria that increases the risk of colorectal cancer) is seen to be increased on taking low nutritious diet. There are some other factors as well which contributes in increasing the risk of diseases like age, genes, and specific medicines. But these factors cannot be modified, however the diet can be.
Diet is something that can be modified and can be used to flourish good bacteria in the gut.
Following a healthy diet as per the gut micro biota cannot only prevent chronic diseases but also helps in accelerating the metabolism and weight loss.
The diet that is of good quality and increases the growth of good bacteria in the gut is known as the micro biome diet. It helps in restoring the health of your gut just by following the specific diet. A good diet can be instrumental to the overall health of an individual. Our gut is full of bacteria, whether they are good or bad. These trillions of bacteria should be in balance to maintain the healthy functioning of the body and carry out processes smoothly like the reduction of inflammation, good digestion, relieves anxiety, and healthy functioning of the brain.There are three steps to follow this diet:
- Four R's- Remove, repair, replace and reinoculate are the four R's of this procedure.
- First of all, remove all the things from your diet that can cause an imbalance of the gut microbiome and result in inflammation. Things to be removed are antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and specific medicines.
- Secondly, repair your gut by increasing the intake of vegetarian food that helps in healing the affected gut and support proliferation of the healthy bacteria.
- Third, replace things the acid of the stomach and certain enzymes by including more of spices, herbs and supplements.
- Fourth, you can improve the quantity of healthy bacteria in your gut by taking more of probiotics.
This phase includes avoidance of dairy products, eggs, grains, starchy fruits and legumes.
- In this phase, you can eat fruits, vegetables like peaches, mangoes, pears, yams and sweet potatoes. You can also add dairy products, legumes and grains that are gluten-free in your diet. This phase is more flexible than the first phase.
- It is also known as the maintenance phase in which your gut microbiome is almost cultured and function properly. In this your avoidance and including list of foods remain the same but strictness is not much. You can include other foods as well.
Except for this 3 step procedure you have to also keep in mind some food items that you must try to avoid or include in your diet. You might not follow the three step diet but you should try to follow the below given list.
Foods To Be Avoided
- Fried and processed food
- Added sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Hydrogenated and trans fats
- Yeast and the foods containing yeast
- Fish containing a high amount of mercury
Foods To Be Included
- Seeds, nuts and their butter
- Olive oil and sunflower oil
- Lentils and chickpeas
- Spices and herbs
- Fruits like oranges, kiwi, coconut, rhubarb, apple, cheery, avocado, and grapefruit
- Vegetables like carrots, garlic, onions, asparagus and radish
Hippocrates rightly quoted it, "All the diseases begin in the gut." Gut is your genetics and diet can be the triggering factor, so take a healthy diet and live a healthy life.
Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan
MD (ALT. MEDICINE) View Profile