By Julieanna Hever, The Plant-Based Dietitian
You are what you eat…but, perhaps more so, you are what your bacteria eat!
One of the pioneering and leading fields of study currently is that of the microbiota (our body’s bacterial profile) and how it plays an enormous role in our health and immune function via many different mechanisms.
“The human microbiota consists of the 10-100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells harbored by each person, primarily bacteria in the gut…” so we literally have more bacterial cells as we do our own human cells!
Your gut microbiome is unique to you based on how you were born, geography, age, diet, etc. and influences your health in many ways. The fantastic part is that you can alter your bacterial profile with your diet and lifestyle, optimizing how your bacteria work for you.
Of course, plant eaters seem to have healthier microbiota, which likely plays a role in the positive health outcomes. Plant-based diets feed the healthy bacteria and are anti-inflammatory. Animal foods are inflammatory.
Prebiotics are fuel for the friendly flora and are highlighted in this infographic via Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in this article on 7 foods to supercharge your gut bacteria…
Feed your good bacteria plenty of fiber (found only in plants) in order to promote a happy, healthy microbiota, which will then reward you with optimal health.
Here are a couple Whole Harvest meals that contain ingredients to help promote healthy gut bacteria:
Blueberries help enhance immune your system and destroy harmful bacteria.
Beans release short-chain fatty acids, boost vitamin absorption, and help with satiety.
—>NutritionFacts.org’s Prebiotics: Tending Our Inner Garden and Microbiome: The Inside Story
—>National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s Defining the Human Microbiome
—>PCRM’s Gut Flora, Diet, and Health
—>6 Ways To Strengthen Immunity