The best diet for a disease-free body

When it comes to health, you might focus on specific areas of your body like your heart or brain. After all, they’re pretty major organs responsible for major functions.

But while there’s no doubt they’re important, we tend to ignore an organ that is every bit as vital — one that may actually play a role in maintaining the health of every other part of the body…

Your gut.

If you, like all too many of us, have been ignoring the health of your intestinal tract, you could be in for big health problems.

That’s because whether or not your gut microbiome is in optimal condition could determine whether or not the rest of you is too…

Your gut: Control central for your overall health

You see, the gut microbiome is simply a term that means the population of bacteria living in your intestines.

And, scientific studies have shown that it plays an important role in your health, from keeping your immune system in shape to ward off infection to revving up your metabolism and manufacturing the serotonin that supports your mood.

Your gut microbiome even regulates the level of inflammation in your body by altering the differentiation of certain types of inflammatory cells.

So, it’s no wonder that the results of years of research have linked an unhealthy microbiome to many inflammatory diseases including:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Atopic eczema
  • Coeliac disease
  • Arterial stiffness

And when you consider the fact that scientists and experts in the medical community now believe that the majority of human disease can be traced back to inflammation, the list of dangers associated with poor gut microbiome health could be endless.

In fact, they even have a name for the concept — the Inflammation Theory of Disease.

Nothing directly impacts your gut microbiome like what you put in it

This led researchers from the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands to set out on a new path — a study of how you can use diet to restore the health of your gut microbiome and in the end protect yourself from all of those issues.

They were specifically looking for foods that would help bacteria in your gut with anti-inflammatory properties to thrive.

The team observed four study groups:

  • The general population
  • Patients with Crohn’s disease
  • Patients with ulcerative colitis
  • Patients with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS

The researchers analyzed a stool sample provided by each participant to reconstruct their microbiota and compared this with the results of a food frequency survey to determine which types of food produce the healthiest microbiome.

And here’s what they found…

Mediterranean diet and plant-based foods for the win

An eating pattern that closely mirrors the Mediterranean diet along with plenty of plant-based options is hands-down the winner when it comes to producing optimal microbiome conditions.

In fact, the team determined that certain foods including legumes, bread, fish, nuts and wine are associated with high levels of friendly gut bacteria with anti-inflammatory functions. And that if you eat a plant-based diet, you will have higher levels of short-chain fatty acid production which revs up the energy for cells lining your colon.

So, they say that combining these two gives your gut exactly what it needs to be healthy.

With that said, if you want to address your health from its starting point — your gut — it’s time to embrace a Mediterranean diet, being sure to get plenty of vegetables on a daily basis.

Just be sure to avoid high levels of red meat, sugar, and fast food which the study showed actually increased inflammatory markers.

Remember, if the Inflammation Theory of Disease is correct (and experts believe it is), inflammation is the gateway to just about every disease you can think of. And an unhealthy gut is where it all begins.

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  1. Plant-based foods and Mediterranean diet associated with healthy gut microbiome — EurekAlert!
  2. That gut feeling — Monitor on Psychology
  3. A Proinflammatory Gut Microbiota Increases Systemic Inflammation and Accelerates Atherosclerosis — Circulation Research
  4. Inflammation: A unifying theory of disease — Harvard Health
Virginia Tims-Lawson

By Virginia Tims-Lawson

Virginia Tims-Lawson has dedicated her life to researching and studying natural health after her mother had a stroke that left her blind in one eye at the age of 47, and her grandmother and two great uncles died from heart attacks. Spurred by her family history, Virginia’s passion to improve her and her family’s health through alternative practices, nutrients and supplements has become a mission she shares through her writing. She is founder of the nutritional supplement company Peak Pure & Natural®.