Keeping the gut healthy

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    Teddy S. Manansala

    Microbiota is the community of microorganisms that thrive in the gut and influence one’s health. By fermenting non digestible food components, they contribute to the production of nutrients and energy and give us innate immunity.

    However, this healthy biome is sensitive to food intake and its balance must be maintained to keep the digestion and nutrient absorption at its best. Negative impact may be caused by antibiotics, other medications, emulsifiers and high-intensity sweeteners.

    Fibers and Prebiotics – Fruits

    Fortunately, there are several food groups that help keep the gut healthy. Dietician and faculty of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Manila Teddy Manansala shared several food and drinks that have properties that help maintain a healthy intestinal biome.

    Fermented and aged dairy products such as cheese like Swiss, gouda, cheddar and parmesan deliver intact probiotics because of their ideal pH level that facilitates survival and growth. Yogurt likewise contains Lactobacillus bulgaricus, while kefir is high in lactic acid bacteria, which aid digestion.

    Dairy Products – Cheese

    Other fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and pickles may boost intestinal immunity and relieve diarrhea, abdominal pain and constipation.

    Dietary fiber also helps keep the gut’s microorganisms in balance. These are composed of complex sugars which include inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides and other oligosaccharides.

    Fruits, leafy vegetables, cereals and whole grains are good sources for these, as they aid in growth and diversity of these helpful microorganisms.

    Dietary polyphenols are natural compounds present in coffee, tea and wine, plus berries, cereals, dark chocolates and cocoa powder. They may likewise be found in vegetables such as artichokes, olives and asparagus. These ward off unwanted elements inside the body.

    With proper food intake, nutrient absorption is maximized and gastrointestinal issues can be avoided.