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Can your gut bacteria improve your health?
Wednesday, 26 August · 2 min read

Your gut contains trillions of bacteria that form what’s known as your gut microbiota. Most of these bacteria help you digest your food, but did you know they can also improve your overall wellbeing?

Research suggests they can benefit your immune system as well as a range of organs, including your bowel, heart, skin and brain, as well as your joints.

Gut bacteria are also thought to affect your mental wellbeing and even your risk of becoming obese.

The key is to have the right range of beneficial bacteria in your gut, and the best way to improve this is by eating a healthy and varied diet. Studies show a change in diet can make a difference within weeks.

You should try to:

  • include plenty of plant-based foods in your diet
  • eat more fibre — fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and nuts
  • eat probiotic foods — these are foods that contain some of the ‘good’ bacteria found in your gut. Examples include live yoghurt and aged cheeses, as well as fermented foods like pickled onions or kimchi

Probiotics are also available as supplements in many countries, but the evidence of their benefits is limited. It’s also recommended you speak to a doctor before taking them.

Quote of the day

The road to health is paved with good intestines.

Sherry A. Rogers, physician

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