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What Is a Healthy Gut?

by Marianne Navada

A 411 on what it means to have a healthy gut and the foods to add to your diet. This article is based on a study presented at the (UEG) United European Gastroenterology Week 2019.

What Is a Healthy Gut?

A healthy gut nurtures good bacteria. These types of bacteria:

  • have anti-inflammatory properties
  • provide energy to cells lining the colon
  • produce vitamins and amino acids
  • break down sugar alcohol (low calorie-sweeteners) and ammonia

What Are the Advantages of a Healthy Gut? 

  • healthy immune system
  • weight management
  • improves mood such as depression and anxiety
  • less likely to have anti-inflammatory diseases such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), atopic eczema, diabetes, psoriatic arthritis
  • regular bowel movement

What Type of Food Provides Good Gut Bacteria? 

  • legumes and beans
  • fruits and vegetables
  • nuts
  • bread and cereals
  • wine
  • fish

These types of food are usually found in a plant-based or Mediterranean diet.

Laura Bolte | University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands | Study was presented at the UEG Week 2019 (United European Gastroenterology)


The More You Know

Sugar Alcohol

Sugar alcohols are sweeteners that have fewer calories than regular sugar. Although they occur naturally in fruits and veggies, they can also be manufactured. When you find a sweet treat labeled as sugar free, it’s possible that it has sugar alcohol.

Your small intestine doesn’t absorb sugar alcohols well, so fewer calories get into your body. But because sugar alcohols aren’t completely absorbed, if you eat too many you might get gas, bloating, and diarrhea.


Ammonia In Our Body?

When your body breaks down protein, bacteria and cells excrete ammonia. Ammonia is a waste product and it leaves the body when you urinate.

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