The intestines are the lifeguards of your health. They perform a multitude of functions ranging from nutrient absorption to regulating your behavioral patterns. Intestines harbor millions of microbes that perform a number of vital functions if their health is well maintained. However; an imbalance in this microbial population can also cause a number of health hazards. Let’s understand the importance of gut microbiota and the ways in which we can ensure its optimum health.

Importance of Gut Microbiota:
There are up to 1,000 species of bacteria in the human gut microbiome, and each of them plays a different role in the body. Most of the microbes in the intestines are found in a “pocket” of your large intestine called the cecum, and they are referred to as the gut microbiome. The microbiome dysbiosis can lead to a number of intestinal diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Bifidobacteria, lactobacilli are examples of healthy/good bacteria that help in maintaining gut health. They are found in probiotics like curd and help in maintaining and improving gut health. An altered gut microflora can lead to obesity. Unhealthy bacteria in the gut contribute to heart disease by producing Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) that contributes to blocked arteries, which may lead to heart attacks or stroke. Good bacteria help in diabetes control. The gut microbiome affects brain health by producing brain chemicals and communicating with nerves that connect to the brain.

How to Get Good Gut Microflora:
1.) Eat a diverse range of foods; particularly legumes, beans, vegetables, and fruits that contain a lot of fibre
2.) Eat fermented foods
3.) Limit intake of sweets and artificial sweeteners
4.) Include prebiotics in the diet
5.) Eat a plant-based diet: Vegetarian diets are low in disease-causing bacteria E.coli, it is advised to consume a vegetarian diet to encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria6.) Antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria, it is advised to take antibiotics only when necessary in order to avoid the loss of healthy gut bacteria.

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