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Friday, March 31, 2023

Nutrition Knowledge – Get back to good bacteria


We continue our series on gut health, specifically the microbiome, and how improving the make-up of our intestinal flora improves our overall health.

To review what we learned the last two months: pre- and probiotic foods as well as high fiber foods and fermented foods all contribute to a diverse range of good bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses in our gut. This is our microbiome. A diverse and healthy microbiome keeps us healthy by ridding our body of the bad bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses that we encounter so that they don’t flourish in our body and cause us to get sick. We want more of the good to counteract and control, even eliminate, the bad.

Cruciferous vegetables are another category of foods that we can consume that have a great many health benefits. They offer a wide range of phytonutrients that nourish us, as well as offering good amounts of fiber to our diet. The medical field has been recommending cruciferous veggies for quite a while because of anti-cancer benefits and the nutrients they offer. But we now know that there is also a benefit to our gut bacteria to add these to our meals.

Recent scientific studies comparing diets with relatively low fiber and low vegetable intake were compared and cross-studied with diets high in cruciferous vegetables. The results were significant in that changes to the bacterial community (gut microbiome) were evident with the diet high in cruciferous veggies … and it was accomplished in a relatively short period of time. This may be the link to the known benefit of cancer prevention: the microbiome enhancement of this group of foods.

Cruciferous veggies include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, watercress, arugula, collard greens, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga and turnips. This is a long list and a wide variety, making it easy to include in our meals many times in a week.

Patty Minta, RD, LDN
Patty Minta, RD, LDNhttps://nourishednestedandblessed.com/
Patty Minta is a Registered & Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist. Visit her website for links, nutrition info and tips at www.nourishednestedandblessed.com.