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What Are the Best Foods For Gut Health?

 8 of the Best Foods for Gut Health (Plus 4 more to avoid), according to experts. Are you suffering from a stomach upset? It may be time to shift your diet to healthier eating. But, is it really all that easy? Here is what you need to know about how you can eat better and get your digestion in balance again.

The reason your digestion is out of whack is caused by the growth of bad bacteria, referred to as anaerobic bacteria. They are in the gut as a natural byproduct of digestion, but, there is usually enough good bacteria in the system to control these organisms. When something happens to upset this balance (such as indigestion, gas, bloating, or chronic diarrhea), the bad bacteria win the battle and take over the healthy bacteria. That's why most cases of stomach upset involve bacteria, not just bad guests.

Probiotics are one of the foods for gut health, you may have been eating. These bacteria are also called "friendly" because they assist the immune system by fighting off infection. There are certain types of probiotics that also have added benefits for digestion. Examples include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria, and Lactobacillus salivarius. The one you get from your diet or from supplements will depend on your diet and your personality type.

Some of the other best foods for gut health, and especially to keep your intestinal flora in balance, are fresh fruits and vegetables, and fiber-rich (and low calorie) snacks. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which serve as a defense for the entire digestive system. And fiber-rich snacks serve to provide the bulk, smooth texture, and energy needed to fight off infection and boost the good bacteria. For example, eat a raw apple instead of a candy bar or snack on whole-wheat bread instead of a sandwich. Add some balsamic vinegar to a salad or chop up a tomato into a nice little cube.

Another one of those "healthy" but beneficial foods for gut health is fermented dairy products such as yogurt and buttermilk. Both yogurt and buttermilk contain Lactobacillus acidophilus, the bacterium that helps build up the protective lining in the intestinal tract. The advantage of yogurt over buttermilk is that it contains live cultures. Live cultures are beneficial bacteria that have a "friendly" response to dietary challenges-this means the bacteria are more likely to help build up the protective lining of the intestine. So, instead of competing with other naturally occurring bacteria, yogurt and buttermilk help to strengthen the friendly bacteria so it can do the job of digestion in the digestive system better.

Anthocyanins are another of those nutrients that may not be familiar. Anthocyanins are a light-colored pigment found in grape skins, green tea, and black pepper among other plants. Research indicates that they may be beneficial in improving immune function, cardiovascular health, and protection against certain cancers. In addition, they appear to be effective in enhancing weight control, according to research.

The role of the gastrointestinal (GI) bacteria in our GI tract has not been well understood. Research indicates that good microbes play a part in regulating the inflammatory response by stimulating the synthesis of interferon, a pro-inflammatory protein. The role of the GI bacteria in regards to promoting health has not been well understood. However, the study concluded that there is a relationship between gut bacteria and inflammation. Therefore, eating foods with sufficient amounts of probiotics and the like may promote greater levels of inflammation-one of the causes of health problems.

It is important to note that when it comes to inflammatory diseases, it is good to eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and limit the intake of meat, dairy products, and refined sugars. This is because inflammatory diseases often precede or accompany other problems such as cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, heart conditions, and autoimmune diseases. It is also important to note that the relationship between inflammation and gut bacteria is not fully understood. While the good bacteria may reduce inflammation, they may also increase the growth of bad bacteria. Therefore, it appears that there is a delicate balance between the two