Healthy Gut, Healthy You
Polyphenols and Gut Health
Have you ever heard of the phrase “Healthy Gut, Healthy You”? In this article, we talk about how the foods that are good for your guts
For many years when the subject of gut health is being discussed, the two topics that have been receiving huge attention are probiotics and prebiotics. As of late, polyphenols have been scientifically studied for its purported health role in improving gut health. Many are not aware of the amazing health benefits that polyphenols found in food can bring about. With that, let us delve into what these amazing compounds can do to our body!
Let’s start with the gut, aka Gastrointestinal (GI) tract
The gut aka GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long and twisting tube that starts from the mouth, which is linked to the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and ends in the anus.
So, what can we find along the GI tract?
To put it simply, the human GI tract harbours a dynamic population of microorganism that makes up the gut microbiota. It is known that there are approximately 1014 gut microbiotacolonising the human GI tract. The composition of the gut microbiota in the human body are influenced by several factors such as the use of antibiotics, diet, age and genetic.
What is the connection between gut microbiota, gut health and diseases?
It has been reported by many experts and researchers that a healthy gut is associated with a decreased risk of diseases. The role of gut microbiota are closely linked to immune health, brain health, regulation of metabolism and protection from pathogens*. It is crucial to maintain a good balance of gut microbiota to ensure an overall healthy gut. Any changes in the composition of gut microbiota may be detrimental to the human GI tract by promoting the onset of inflammatory diseases such as obesity and Type II Diabetes Mellitus.
How can diet help in maintaining a healthy gut?
Diet may have an influence over the composition of gut microbiota residing in the GI tract. Several foods such as sugary foods, saturated fats and processed foods may disrupt the balance of gut microbiota which subsequently will contribute to the likelihood of the involvement of the gut microbiota that promotes inflammatory diseases.
On the other hand, for many years probiotics and prebiotics are well-known for maintaining a good balance of gut microbiota by…. Recently, polyphenols found in food has piqued interest in many researchers on its purported role and their interaction with the gut microbiota.
Polyphenols are bioactive compounds that can be found abundantly in wide varieties of food such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, coffee, tea, cocoa and wine. Polyphenols have become an area of intense research, particularly in relation to cancer prevention. However, many recent studies have noted its beneficial health effects on the gut.
What foods are rich in polyphenols?
Foods Rich in Polyphenols
*homeostasis – the tendency to maintain a relatively and stable internal environment in the human body
*pathogens – harmful bacteria
*metabolites – a substance formed that is necessary for metabolism