With every meal that we eat, we feed the hundred trillion bacteria that live inside us. The countless researches that have been conducted in the past decade have shown that the microbes that live inside us affect our mood, weight and health. The gut or intestinal flora; a community of microorganisms that live inside our digestive tracts; have an impact upon the way our food is processed. It also contributes towards our immune system and adjusts inflammation too.
The bacteria present inside our digestive tracts are not useless. They breakdown the remains of the food and turn them into sources of energy. These bacteria also remove harmful bacteria from our body which might be capable of causing any type of disease. They also produce molecules which improve digestion.
There are about a thousand different types of bacteria in our body. Each and every person has a different gut having different species of microbes in it, comprising of different proportions. Many factors like age, environment, vaginal and cesarean birth are responsible for the structure of our micro biome. Out of all the factors, the most important one is our diet.
How Our Diet Affects The Gut
Researches have shown that there is a difference in the bacterial profile of babies who are breastfed and those who have been feed by formula. Then there is a drastic change in the micro biome when solid food is introduced to kids. By the time they reach 2 to 3 years of age, their gut resembles that of an adult. So basically the type of bacteria in our body changes with the foods that we take.
If you eat the western diet, which is rich in protein and fat, greater proportion of your bacteria will belong to the Bacteroides genus. Diet that is high in carbohydrate and fiber will lead to higher amount of Prevotella bacteria.