According to recent Penn State research, the favorable effect of a better diet on healthy gut microbiota has been established, which is a sign of general health.
Nutritional experts evaluated the impact of foods on healthy gut microbiota in the American diet in two different experiments and discovered improvements in the gut flora. A better diet has been shown to have a positive impact on a healthy gut flora, which is an indicator of overall health, according to recent research.
The human gut microbiome comprises billions of bacteria that dwell in the intestine. Bacteria in the gut can impact practically all physiological functions, including metabolism and immune system development and maintenance.
“Research has shown that people who have a lot of different microbes have better health, and a better diet, than those who don’t have much bacterial diversity,” said Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Evan Pugh University Professor of Nutritional Sciences, Penn State.
Kris-Etherton and her colleagues examined the effects of snacking on 28 grams (about. 1 ounce) of peanuts per day to higher carbohydrate snack crackers and cheese in the peanut research, which was published in the journal Clinical Nutrition.
Following six weeks, those who consumed the peanut snack had increased levels of Ruminococcaceae, a bacterium linked to ideal liver metabolism and immune system performance.
Scientists examined the influence of adding blends of herbs and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cumin, turmeric, rosemary, oregano, basil, and thyme to controlled diets of people at risk for cardiovascular disease in the herbs and spices research, which was published in The Journal of Nutrition.
Three doses were examined by the researchers: 1/8 teaspoon daily, 3/4 teaspoon daily, and 1 1/2 teaspoon daily. After four weeks, participants’ gut bacteria diversity rose, especially with medium and high doses of herbs and spices, as well as an increase in Ruminococcaceae.
“It’s such a simple thing that people can do,” said Kris-Etherton. “The average American diet is far from ideal, so I think everyone could benefit by adding herbs and spices. It’s also a way of decreasing sodium in your diet but flavoring foods in a way that makes them palatable and, in fact, delicious! Taste is a top criterion for why people choose the foods they do.”
Both studies showed an increase in Ruminococcaceae and bacterial diversity, which is encouraging as researchers learn more about the connection between the gut microbiota and various health indices including blood pressure and weight.
On the other hand, Kris-Etherton quickly notes that more study is necessary to fully understand the implications.