Wine, Coffee and Tea: Are They Good for Your Health?
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Wine, coffee and tea represent three of the most beloved beverages in the world. For many years now, numerous studies have present these are not entirely healthy, making us feel guilty about including them in our daily lives. However, according to one recent study undertaken by researchers at the University of Groningen in Holland, wine, coffee and tea might contribute to a higher diversity of beneficial gut bacteria.
Wine, coffee and tea – three beverages that boost gut bacteria diversity
The study confirmed that beverages such as wine, coffee and tea can boost the diversity of gut bacteria, contributing to an improvement in the overall health. Based on the results of the study, it is safe to assume that we are indeed what we eat and drink. Everything that we include in our daily menus will eventually influence the gut bacteria, either in a positive or negative manner.
For example, when we eat a lot of carbs, unhealthy snacks or drink sugary drinks, we are stimulating the development of bad bacteria and promote inflammation. Many of the common health problems, such as the irritable bowel syndrome, are caused by the excessive presence of harmful bacteria in the gut. On the other hand, good bacteria can actually combat these inflammatory processes and ensure a healthy gut microbiome.
According to the results of the study, there are over 60 dietary factors that can actually influence the diversity at the level of the gut microbiome. As Alexandra Zhernakova, a researcher at the University of Groningen and co-author of the study, pointed out, the more diverse the gut microbiome is, the better a person’s state of health is going to be.
The study analyzed the gut bacteria diversity of more than one thousand participants, identifying not only dietary factors that were responsible for changes in the microbial community. Apart from the diet, it seems that medical problems, medication and smoking can modify the gut bacteria and affect its overall diversity. It seems that the microbial makeup is actually a determinant of various conditions, including the irritable bowel syndrome, obesity and mental problems, primarily those that involve mood swings.
The gut microbial diversity can be improved by including more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Moreover, it seems that the beverages mentioned above have a beneficial effect, contributing to a wider diversity of gut bacteria. Other products that are recommended for gut health and diversity include probiotics, such as yoghurt, sauerkraut and other fermented foods. On the other hand, it is recommended to avoid any foods that have a high-fat, high-sugar or high-salt content. The main idea is to increase your fiber intake, while cutting back on carbs, sugar drinks and unhealthy snacks (as all of these foods have been associated with a lower level of microbiome diversity).
The study also revealed that women present a wider microbial diversity than men. In time, this information might be useful in finding solutions for women who have reached menopause. Today, there are many natural supplements for menopause but, in the future, perhaps these supplements could help women maintain the microbial diversity at the same beneficial levels. It was also discovered that older people present a more developed microbial diversity, in comparison to the younger general.
Healthy microbiome, healthy body
When your microbiome is healthy and diverse, the rest of the body will stay healthy and free of disease as well. Unfortunately, it has been demonstrated that medication can also influence the microbiome diversity, especially when it comes to drugs such as antacids, antibiotics or diabetes medication. The study highlighted the fact that the gut microbiome diversity could be improved by changing your diet and also reducing the medication intake (or replacing it with less harmful alternatives).
The research also intended to shed more light on the gut microbiome and the way it can influence general health. It is hoped that, in the future, this information might be used for the development of new obesity treatments. At the moment, it is known that the diet can definitely be used to improve gut diversity and combat obesity. A diet that is balanced can support a diverse and healthy microbiome, improving the overall health.
The gut microbiome can boost the health of the immune system, keep the blood pressure in check and reduce the risk of mental health problems. By consuming fresh fruits and veggies, probiotics and beverages such as wine, coffee and tea, you are stimulating the diversity of the gut microbiome and promote a good general state of health. At the same time, it is your responsibility to steer away from foods that might decrease this diversity and affect your overall health. You will have to reduce your carb intake, as well as avoid sugary drinks, unhealthy snacks and junk food in general.
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