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In the first issue of the series on Gut Health, we looked into why Gut Health is important. In this issue, I want to share with you the common reasons why people often have poor gut health. Recent researches have identified several factors that can optimise or weaken our gut health.

For instance our diets have a huge role to play in maintaining our gut health. Today, a large number of our population follow a Western diet, which has high contents of animal fat and protein, low contents of fibre. But the most important component in diet for healthy guts is fibre. Without fibre, we reduce the variety of good bacteria. When we eat fibre, bacteria create molecules that have the properties to be anti inflammatory. If we deprive those bacteria of their favourite food, they disappear.

The quality of our food is also important. Chemical additives used by food manufacturers to alter the food’s texture and increase its shelf-life impact our gut. For ex a study conducted with mice few years ago demonstrated that two particular dietary emulsifiers — carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80 — induced gut microbiota alteration and gut barrier dysfunction in mice, resulting in weight gain, low-grade inflammation, and metabolic disorders. Therefore, it is crucial to assess food additives for their impact on gut health and make an effort to maintain a healthy diet consisting mainly of wholefoods.

Another element that impacts our gut healthy is antibiotics. They save life but they also negatively impact our microbiota. Furthermore, antibiotics given at a very young age can have drastic consequences later in life (risk of obesity, poorer immune system and allergies).

The mode of delivery also affects the microbiota. With perineal delivery, the baby swallows the microorganisms from the mother whereas babies delivered by caesarean present a different microbiota that will impact the rest of his life and which may not be compensated.

Follow our blog that is specifically focused on healthy eating and plant centric foods that can help improve your gut health!

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