More and more research points to the importance of a healthy gut microbiome for overall health. Good bacteria serve in countless roles to help the body, such as in the production of nutrients and vitamins. Prebiotics and probiotics are all part of the movement to help the good gut bacteria thrive.
But what about the ways that we unintentionally hurt our gut microbiome? Various habits and diets are bad for the gut, and it’s important to recognize how that works and why it matters. Fast food is one major enemy of good bacteria.
One doctor from King’s College in London examined how the the gut microbiome of his son changed when eating primarily fast food, and the findings were scary. Using stool samples, the doctor was able to see how the microbiome changed over the course of the fast food diet.
Most importantly, the son soon began to lose species diversity in his gut. A clear sign of an unhealthy gut is lack of bacteria diversity. There should be thousands of species performing different tasks in our gut. The son had lost nearly 1,400 species within just a few days, the stool samples showed.
Beyond the gut, the son began feeling more lethargic, and generally unwell. Even when the son changed his diet back to a healthier one, the microbes took a long time to recover.
How to Help Your Gut Microbes
This devastation of our gut bacteria matters. Bacteria help produce essential nutrients and vitamins that keep us healthy. A healthy diet helps keep those bacteria performing their essential function. Plants and fruits are among the most important things to eat for good flora.
If expanding waistlines and poor nutrition aren’t reason enough, gut flora is yet another reason to eat fast food sparingly. If you don’t stop eating fast food permanently, just remember to eat root veggies, nuts, olives, yogurt and high-fiber foods to help preserve your gut bacteria. You will feel better and your body will function better.