Are You Feeding Your Bacteria Enough?

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

Did you know that when you eat, you are not just feeding yourself? In fact, you’re feeding a crowd of millions of little bacteria living in your stomach that make up your gut microbiome. These bacteria are incredibly vital to having good overall health so feeding them well is important.

So, what should you be feeding your gut microbiome? According to Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, eating a variety of high-fiber and nutrient-dense foods has shown to be the best option for keeping a healthy gut microbiome. Specifically, it’s the soluble fiber in the foods that you consume that these gut bacteria feed on, where they convert it into short-chain fatty acids. These help to fight inflammation and regulate your appetite.

On the flip side, a study done last year found that people who eat a diet mainly comprised of junk foods (think highly processed, high in sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients, and low in fiber) have a greater number of bad and harmful bacteria growing in their guts. This contributes to a greater risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

With that being said, are you now looking to add some more fiber to your diet to keep those gut bacteria thriving and healthy? If so, aim to incorporate a variety of nuts, plants, and fermented foods into your diet. Fruits, vegetables, sauerkraut, kombucha, and trail mix are just a few examples. What makes it all the better is that these foods are all super delicious as well.

Check out these past Fill Your Plate articles about fiber!

Non-Starchy Veggies Offer Healthful Fiber, Nutrients – Fill Your Plate Blog

Need More Fiber? Add Nuts to Your Diet – Fill Your Plate Blog

4 Easy Ways to Get More Fiber – Fill Your Plate Blog

Fiber is your friend – Fill Your Plate Blog

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