A Dietitian’s Guide to Gut Health | You Versus Food | Well+Good


– Get you mind out of the gut’er. We’re talking about bacteria! (upbeat funky music) Hi, I’m Tracy Lockwood Beckerman,
I’m a registered dietitian in New York City, and it’s
my job to help you figure out what to eat and why. Gut health is an
exciting, hot-button topic in the world of health and wellness. More and more research is
pointing us toward the connection between our gut and our overall mental and physical well-being. But why do we need to
think about our gut health, and what is the optimal way to eat to promote good gut health? (upbeat funky music) When we’re talking about your gut, we’re talking about your
gastrointestinal tract from the stomach down, all the parts where digestion happens. The human intestinal tract
consists of a diverse and complex microbial community, all trying to work together
to keep you healthy. Disruption of the gut, like
your last weekend bender, stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise or generally an unbalanced diet has been linked to GI issues, like inflammatory bowel
disease and even obesity. The good news is that
it only takes your gut a couple of days to get
back into its normal groove. If, let’s say, a bachelorette
party in Nashville or a destination wedding to Mexico took over your regular routine, your gut has what’s called a microbiome, which is composed of trillions
and trillions of bacteria, most of them hanging out
in the large intestine. It’s important to have
top-of-the-line bacteria in your gut because healthy gut bacteria helps the body digest certain foods and ensures proper digestive functioning. It also keeps chronic disease at bay and acts as a barrier to
protect our immune system. It plays a role in body weight,
metabolism, mental health, appetite and, of course, digestion. As you can tell, the microbiome
is the ultimate example of how all the systems in
the body are connected. (upbeat funky music) Probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are so good for
you, that if it were up to me, I’d dive into a gut friendly
bacteria bath, if I could. When you eat good bacteria AKA probiotics, like yogurt, kefir,
tempe, or fermented foods, like kimchi or sauerkraut, they get all comfy in your gut and help you digest foods properly and maintain a peace
between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria. Plus, they make nutrients
more bioavailable to absorb. Because probiotics are hard
at work, like all the time, it’s really important to
feed these little guys. Probiotics gotta eat too! So we want to add more
prebiotics to your diet, you know, those
non-digestible carbohydrates, like bananas, berries, asparagus,
garlic, onions, and leeks. They create helpful
short chain fatty acids and work in tandem with probiotics and creating a symbiotic
environment in the gut, so you wanna consume
both pro and prebiotics ideally from food and not just supplements to keep the gut happy and healthy. (upbeat funky music) Eating bread for better gut health? But rye! Well, I’ll tell you. A new study found that both
fermented yeast and lactic acid found in rye bread can
offer a host of benefits. Rye bread can produce
branched chain amino acids and amino acid containing small peptides, which can improve gut health,
balance blood sugar levels, and lower the risk of
cardiovascular disease. Similarly, fermented
microbes in sourdough bread can produce gut-friendly compounds. So, next time you’re building
that sammie of yours, seek out some rye or sourdough bread to take care of your gut. I gut you! (upbeat funky music) An apple a day will let the bacteria play? You heard it right. According to research, one apple a day will enhance the diversity
of your gut microbiome. One apple could contain as many as one hundred million bacteria, but don’t worry, that’s a good thing. The more diverse your gut bacteria is, the less likely it is for one bacteria to become dominant
enough to make you sick. (upbeat funky music) A vegetarian diet may improve gut health. Why am I not surprised? And research of roughly 12,000
people around the world, those that consumed more than 30 different
types of plants a week, had a more diverse microbiome and had a lower resistance to antibiotics, plus there was a significant difference showing the gut microbiome
between a vegetarian diet and those who hate meat. The nutrients in veggies,
like vitamin A, C, K and fiber help refueled a growth
of healthy bacteria. Do I dare say that veggies
are good for gut health? I think so! (upbeat funky music) Fiber from whole grains feed
helpful bacteria in the gut. Be wary of removing those lovely carbs, which is typical on diets,
like Keto and Paleo. Excluding whole grains can
reduce the beneficial bugs and allow harmful bacteria to park in the good bacteria’s spot. If you are on a grain restrictive diet, make a solid effort to add a healthy dose of pre and probiotics into your life. (upbeat funky music) Yes, it’s as easy as that. The more you drink, the
better your gut health. Maintaining a balance and regular GI tract through adequate water
intake plays an integral role in the way food is digested and absorbed. Is anyone else thirsty now? (upbeat funky music) While we know it’s delicious, it’s not what the doctor
ordered for your gut. A growing body of evidence is finding that a high sugar diet
can alter gut bacteria, plus, refined sugar stimulates the growth of harmful bacteria, notice candida that can damage your gut lining. ♪ Ain’t nothing gut a heartache. ♪ (upbeat funky music) I think we can all agree,
that highly processed foods think foods that have a long shelf life and a laundry list of ingredients, are not the key to longevity
or optimal gut health. Research has linked these foods
to a less diverse microbiome which puts a kibosh on
beneficial bacteria growth. (upbeat funky music) Well, you may have seen this one coming, but there is a link
between a meat-based diet, gut bacteria and the
risk of heart disease. People who ate red meat as
their main source of protein instead of white meat or
non-meat sources for one month, had an increase in TMAO,
trimethylamine N-oxide, a by-product associated with heart issues. That ain’t great. Because bacteria changes
swiftly in the gut, which can either be a good or bad thing, a meat heavy diet can lead to
negative shifts in bacteria in as little as two days. (upbeat funky music) Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but according to research,
heavy drinking has the ability to promote intestinal inflammation and negatively impact the gut. Plus, heavy alcohol intake can overstimulate your intestines. Basically, it’s trying to get
rid of that White Claw ASAP, which may prompt you to have diarrhea, another thing that can mess
with your gut microbiome. Hey you, I’ll meet you on the dance flora! (upbeat funky music) Taking care of your gut
is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It affects so many aspects of your health, mentally and physically. Follow my tips for eating
to support that gut health, and I promise, your body will thank you. Now go with your gut! See you next time for another
episode of You Versus Food. After subscribing to Well
and Good’s YouTube channel, I bet you’re gonna feel a
little bit more cultured. (upbeat funky music) (pants) I gut to get us some better jokes.

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