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

gut bacteria
Kefir, Sauerkraut, and Pickles are some of the most potent probiotic foods for a healthy gut. Photo: Shutterstock

Gut bacteria diet

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 to incorporate good bacteria foods into your diet.

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

In short, unhealthy people appear to have either too much bad gut bacteria or too little of the good gut bacteria.

Having the right balance of gut bacteria protects us against a wide range of health issues, including obesity, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

How to get rid of bad bacteria in the gut

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.

Now, we know how important a healthy gut is. Here are the most potent gut health foods that will enhance and improve gut flora:

  1. Yogurt: Whether you love Greek, Kefir, or regular, look for the phrase “live active cultures” on the label.
  2. Kimchi, Pickles, and Sauerkraut: These fermented foods has been shown to reduce gut bacteria linked to obesity.
  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 contain good bacteria for your gut include:

  • Live Miso: Fermented soy bean paste. Try as stock or in dressings from health food stores.
  • Polenta
  • Mushroom
  • Carrot