Believe it or not, there are between 30 trillion and 400 trillion gut bacteria that call your body home.
A lot of them reside in your gastrointestinal tract, specifically your gut. The trillions of these bacteria that co-habitate inside all of us are called microbiota.
In fact, because we have such a vital lifelong relationship with these good “bugs,” all of them together make up an internal ecosystem that scientists call the gut microbiome.
Your microbiome can be helped or harmed by things like aging, where we live, medication and antibiotic use, disease, diet and supplementation.
If your gut bacteria aren’t fed the right protein, fats and micronutrients, then your digestive tract can’t properly do its job of absorbing nutrients correctly.
When you feed your gut right, however, it does all of the good things you depend on it to do: break down foods; make vitamins; produce energy; and aid immunity.
Gut bacteria also play an important part in supporting cardiovascular health and brain health, in addition to making it less likely that we will become obese.
Fortunately, some foods — such as soy protein, plus the bioactive peptides and amino acids that can be unlocked from it — help us live gut-friendly.
Here are 4 ways to a more happy gut!
Grab More Protein and Amino Acids!
Daily digestive wear and tear requires frequent repair. If we pile on inflammation, bowel challenges or other gastrointestinal issues, too, then we need even more protein and other nutrients to help restore gut health.
Consuming extra good protein also helps us digest protein more easily, because extra protein enzymes get released and put to work.
Aside from protein, fats, vitamins and minerals, we also need amino acids to feed the gut and help rejuvenate the gut lining.
Soybeans contain four major components that can improve the composition of our gut bacteria: fiber, oligosaccharides, isoflavones and protein. Soy, as mentioned above, also contains health-promoting bioactive peptides.
Fill Up With Fabulous Fiber
Fiber-rich vegetables are some of the very best microbiome-friendly foods.
Why? Partly because they contain a type of starch, called resistant starch, which acts like soluble fiber. Studies show that resistant starch can have powerful health benefits, including healthy metabolism of glucose.
Good examples of foods that have resistant starch include lentils, chickpeas and beans, firm bananas, rolled oats and cashews, and certain whole-grain products.
Almonds, apples, artichokes, blueberries and pistachios also increase our bodies’ levels of specific good bugs, called Bifidobacteria.
Choosing a diet with a variety of fiber is also a really good way to keep your digestive system happy.
Grab More Fermented Foods
Interestingly, many traditional diets in the world feature fermented foods. In fact, milk from camels, goats, sheep and cattle was naturally fermented as far back as 10,000 BC.
It wasn’t until the 1800s, however, that people really began to understand the science of how yeast can ferment foods.
The fermentation process, itself, involves bacteria or yeasts that convert sugars in food to organic acids or alcohol. Examples of fermented foods include kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and yogurt.
Several of the most popular fermented soy foods include miso, natto, pickled tofu, tamari and tempeh.
Fermented soy is particularly nutritious because the fermentation process is able to unlock the bioactive peptides and other nutrients that are inside soy.
This is great news, because these peptides work to improve our satiety (our ability to feel full) by supporting healthy levels of the hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin.
Aim for Extra Polyphenol-Rich FoodsIn plants, polyphenols are natural colors that protect them against mold, disease, bugs and ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
When people consume foods rich in these natural antioxidants, some of their health enhancing benefits are passed along, as well.
Fact is, most of the benefits of these colorful compounds need to be set free by, you guessed it, our gut bacteria.
Good sources of polyphenol-rich foods include: almonds, broccoli, cocoa, grape (skin), green tea, onions and red wine.
So there it is. Protein-packed, bioactive peptide- and amino-acid-rich Almased can be a core part of your new gut-friendly diet!