Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is related to many risk factors including diet, lifestyle, overweight/obesity and high blood pressure. But now, recent studies have identified an additional contributor to the risk of CVD, your gut microbiota. The gut microbiota refers to all the bacteria, both good and bad, in the human digestive tract.
Researchers have found that certain gut microbiota profiles are associated with certain metabolic syndromes, such as diabetes, obesity and fatty liver disease. Experimental studies show that the transfer of an obese animal’s gut microbiota can actually induce metabolic disease in germ free animals. This could mean that the transfer of healthy gut microbiota into an individual with metabolic syndrome could improve their symptoms within weeks.
Regardless of personal health conditions, everyone can benefit from taking care of their gut. Our gut and brains are highly connected, so taking care of one benefits the other. A diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains is rich in fermentable fibers, prebiotics and polyphenols that will nourish your gut. Investing in a good probiotic supplement or increasing your food sources of probiotics, such as kefir, kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut can greatly improve your gut health. Follow these simple steps to improve your gut health to reduce your risk of chronic diseases. Small changes can make huge differences, so what step can you start today?
Written by: Tori Parsons, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern. Learn more about Wellness Workdays and our wellness program offerings by downloading our brochure.
Proceedings of The Nutrition Society