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8 Diet and Lifestyle Choices That Greatly Impact Your Gut Flora
By Daisy Coyle
The human gut is home to more than 100 trillion bacteria, known as the "gut flora."
Having a healthy gut flora is incredibly important for your overall health.
Interestingly, many diet, lifestyle and other environmental factors can negatively affect your gut bacteria.
What are Gut Bacteria and Why are They Important?
Hundreds of species of bacteria reside in your gut. Some of them are friendly, while others are not.
Each group plays a role in your health and requires different nutrients for growth (3).
Therefore, it's important to keep your gut bacteria as friendly and abundant as possible.
Without further ado, here are eight surprising things that can cause harm to your gut bacteria.
2. Lack of Prebiotics in the Diet
Prebiotics are a type of fiber that passes through the body undigested and promotes the growth and activity of friendly gut bacteria (19).
Many foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains, naturally contain prebiotic fiber.
A lack of them in the diet may be harmful to your overall digestive health (20).
Foods high in prebiotics include:
- Lentils, chickpeas and beans
- Jerusalem artichokes
One study in 30 obese women found that taking a daily prebiotic supplement for three months promoted the growth of the healthy bacteria Bifidobacterium and Faecalibacterium (21).
These fatty acids are the main nutrient source for the cells in your colon. They can be absorbed into your blood, where they promote metabolic and digestive health, reduce inflammation and can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (23, 24).
Summary: Prebiotics are a type of fiber commonly found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They are important for increasing healthy gut bacteria like Bifidobacterium.
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Talk is cheap, says the acting executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who begged governments around the world to make sure that 2020 is not another year of conferences and empty promises, but instead is the year to take decisive action to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and the destruction of habitat-sustaining ecosystems, as The Guardian reported.