A new study has found that specific foods are better for the gut, providing protection and and aiding in anti-inflammatory bacteria. The research comes from the Netherlands and found that some foods from a plant-based diet are associated with high levels of good gut bacteria.

Consumption of foods including legumes, nuts and wine are associated with higher levels of good gut bacteria that produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and biosynthesize nutrients. SCFAs are the main energy source for cells that line the colon.

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The study supports the idea that a healthy diet plays a key role in gut health and could help manage intestinal diseases, because those foods support healthy gut bacteria. Intestinal diseases like Crohn’s, IBS, and ulcerative colitis could all be aided with a healthy gut-focused diet.

The focus group for the study included individuals with the above intestinal diseases. Additional findings included that a higher intake of meat, fast foods and sugar was associated with reduced beneficial bacteria. Plant-based diets were associated with high levels of SCFAs and plant proteins helped biosynthesize vitamins and amino acids, and also broke down sugar alcohols and ammonium excretion.

Lead researcher Laura Bolte said of the study, “Connecting the diet to the gut microbiome gives us more insight into the relation between diet and intestinal disease. The results indicate that diet is likely to become a significant and serious line of treatment or disease management for diseases of the gut – by modulating the gut microbiome.” She added,

Read more about the health benefits of a plant-based diet  and how it can support your gut health below:

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