Gut bacteria: The key to living a longer and healthier life

gut bacteria, good gut bacteria, gut bacteria diet
Adding high-fiber and nutritious foods, such as berries and nuts to your yogurt is a good way to build up your healthy gut bacteria. Photo: Dreamstime Stock Photos

New research from Lund University in Sweden has shown that gut bacteria can accelerate the development of Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia.

The researchers found that mice suffering from Alzheimer’s have a different composition of gut bacteria compared to mice that are healthy.

The mice that had no bacteria were discovered to have a significantly smaller amount of beta-amyloid plaque in their brain.

This type of plaque is the lumps, which are found to form inside nerve fibers when it comes to cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

This latest study further emphasizes the importance of having a healthy gut.

Modern research indicates that healthy people have many different gut bacteria compared to individuals with certain diseases and other health problems.

In short, unhealthy people appear to have either too much or too little of specific bacteria that either protect against ailments or increase the risk of widespread health issues, ranging from obesity and diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis.

Good gut bacteria

Fortunately, a simple lifestyle change can help good gut bugs flourish and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

Including fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet will promote the development of good gut bacteria.

You should also avoid foods that promote the growth of potentially harmful gut bacteria, including “Western” diets that are high in fat and sugar.

Gut bacteria diet

Now, we know how important a healthy gut is. Here are the most potent foods for promoting good gut bacteria:

1. Yogurt: Whether you love Greek, Kefir, or regular, look for the phrase “live active cultures” on the label.

2. Pickles and Sauerkraut: Again, look for the phrase “live cultures” on the label.

3. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries: These berries help enhance the dominance of “good” stomach and gut bacteria that helps reduce obesity.

4. Whole Grains: Low-glycemic whole grains (like oats, quinoa, teff, brown rice, and buckwheat) when eaten in moderation are not only a healthy part of the human diet, but enhance gut microbiome health and diversity due to their prebiotic effects.

5. Vegetables: Artichoke, asparagus, beetroot, bean sprouts, broccoli, brussels sprouts, fennel, leeks, cauliflower, celery, garlic, green peas, onion, and Jerusalem artichokes.

6. Legumes: Chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, and soybeans.

7. Fermented soybeans: Miso, natto, and tempeh.

8. Nuts: A study found that around two handfuls (56g) of almonds a day, for six weeks, significantly increases the growth of good gut bacteria. Similar results have been found in Walnuts, Pine nuts, pistachios, and cashews.

9. Fruit: Banana, pomegranate, papaya, orange, lemon, watermelon, pears, peaches, rambutan, grapefruit, tamarillo, persimmon, and nectarines. Dried fruit (e.g., dates, figs).

10. Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV is not a probiotic, but it is made with an ingredient that is helpful to probiotics.

The key ingredient is fermented apples, which contains pectin and is effective for removing toxins and promotes healthy gut bacteria.

Other foods that are good for your gut bacteria include:

Live Miso: Fermented soya bean paste. Try as stock or in dressings from health food stores.