Gut bacteria…. does a plant-based diet help ?


We are covered in trillions of bacteria, inside and outside of our bodies, while some of the bacteria cause disease others benefit your health.  These bacteria’s are part of the human microbiota together with fungi, viruses and archaea. They cover the body’s surface area including the scalp, the inside of the mouth, the lining of the oesophagus. Your body holds about the same number of bacteria as cells, about 30 to 50 trillion with the gut microbiota  holding the greatest amount.


The good bacteria in the gut microbiota have numerous roles including:

Metabolizing nutrients and medications

Supporting the immune system to prevent pathogen invasion

Maintaining the structure and function of the gastrointestinal tract

The gut microbiota also has less helpful bacteria as well.

Bad gut bacteria can be the cause for :


Antibiotic-associated diarrhea


Autoimmune diseases


Dental cavities

Depression and anxiety



Gastric ulcers

Hardening of the arteries

Inflammatory bowel diseases



Does your genetics & lifestyle affect gut bacteria ?

Age, genetics, diet, environment and lifestyle all influence the varieties of the bacteria that make up the microbiota. Your diet and lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking, exercise, and diet, give an advantage to either one side or the other over a period of time. Consuming plants and whole grains support the good bacteria to flourish by supplying complex carbohydrates that the human body are unable to digest so they convert it into food for the bacteria. Diets with active cultures include yoghurt, kimchi and kombucha, can also add helpful bacteria to your system.

Consume no less than five servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, fruits and vegetables are not only very nutritious they also contain complex carbohydrates that support good bacteria. Fats and sugar sustain bad bacteria, consuming fats and sugars increases the occurrence of the bacteria that causes disease. To encourage healthy gut microbiota limit or remove as much processed foods from your diet as you can. Processed foods are usually high in sugar and fat, replace the animal sources of protein with a plant-based protein such as legumes, nuts, tofu. The gut microbes affect the way you store fat and  how you stabilise the levels of glucose in your blood system, also the way you respond to hormones that make you feel hungry or full. Getting the wrong internal combination will increase the likelihood of obesity and other health issues later in life. Scientists have also found gut bacteria produces neurotransmitters which adjust your moods, including serotonin, dopamine, and GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid). Scientists have also revealed that the nervous system in your gut communicates with the brain.

High-fibre foods that you eat are important because they provide the healthy bacteria that improves immune function, reduces inflammation and chronic disease. Prebiotic-Rich Foods feed our healthy bacteria, good sources of prebiotic are Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, raw dandelion greens, leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, whole wheat, spinach, beans, bananas, oats, and soybean. probiotic are living bacteria or yeasts found in fermented foods that we consume, which reside in our gut and improve health. Try including sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, kimchi, and water kefir. Animal Products research advise that diets high in animal protein are linked to unfavourable bacteria makeup. Red meat, high-fat dairy products, and fried foods all diminish the growth of healthy bacteria and increase the growth of “bad” bacteria. Try to remove fried foods from your diet, sauté with cooking spray or vegetable broth instead of oil, steam, grill or use the oven instead.


Avoid Unnecessary Antibiotics

Antibiotics work by blocking vital processes in bacteria, which can destroy the bacteria or stop them from reproducing. They do not distinguish between the “bad” bacteria that could be causing a bacterial infection and the “good” bacteria that belongs in your gut. When antibiotics destroy the bacteria that belong in your gut it disturbs the gentle ecosystem causing a bacterial imbalance. When the number of good bacteria in your gut reduces it leaves you vulnerable to the overgrowth of other organisms, such as yeast, commonly referred to as Candida. Yeast will grow and multiply, particularly when given its favorite food source “sugar”. Once yeast starts to reproduce it damages the lining of the intestinal walls, leading to leaky gut syndrome. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approximates that 80 percent of antibiotics are in fact used in animal agriculture.



The smaller size of the human gut can be attributed to our evolutionary history of cooking our food, which decreases the digestive effort. We evolved together with our gut microbiota, which are just as much a part of our digestive system as our own cells. They feed on dietary components that are not absorbed in the small intestine, like dietary fibre and resistant starches. The microbiome provides us with energy and nutrients that would have been lost if we don’t have them. The large bowel is basically a fermentation vat inside our bodies.

Animal protein foods lead to an unfavourable gut microbiome and their elements can harm the gut lining, saturated fats and endotoxin have a direct inflammatory effect, methionine and carnitine produce inflammatory bacterial products. The loss of the bulking effect of dietary fibre contributes to the effects. Once the gut lining, that is only one cell thick( the mucosa layer), is damaged by this combination of “bad” gut microbiome and animal protein foods, then in turn it loses it reliability and starts to leak. Allergens and proteins that could lead to autoimmune diseases are then able to move through into the blood stream. Leaky gut syndrome is believed by some people to be responsible for various diseases including auto-immune diseases.

A collection of carbohydrates known as FODMAPs which can ferment too rapidly in the body produce large quantities of gas creating abdominal pain and swelling, A low FODMAP diet can diminish these symptoms. An inflamed gut lining, a “bad” combination of gut bugs and insufficient dietary fibre can be behind various FODMAP intolerance as well as whole wheat. Removing wheat and other whole grains, along with starches, will decrease gas production and dismiss symptoms for some people but it will not remedy the unhealthy gut condition.








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