Eat more greens for a healthy gut

Eat more greens for a healthy gut

Did you know that we have trillions of bacteria living in our guts? In fact, we have more bacteria in our guts than we have cells in our bodies.

The amount (and type) of bacteria, also known as gut microbiota, can affect everything from your mood to your digestion. 

Probiotic ‘friendly’ bacteria helps keep your gut healthy by preventing the growth of unfriendly bacteria, which have been linked to health problems, including food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease. 

Gut bacteria also play a key role in your digestive health and immune system. In addition, research suggests there may be a link between gut microbiota and body weight, as well as factors that impact long term glucose-related health.(1) 

Help your good gut bacteria thrive 

The balance of bacteria in your gut can be easily disrupted by things like stress, poor diet, illness, and drugs (like antibiotics).

Eating more produce, ranging from fruit to green vegetables (like leeks and asparagus) encourages the growth of good gut bacteria and better health outcomes (2). These vegetables (and other foods like bananas, onions, and artichokes) contain a type of fibre called prebiotic fibre, which helps probiotic bacteria thrive.  

Green vegetables are also a good source of dietary fibre, which keeps the digestive system healthy by preventing constipation. Bacteria in the colon digest fibre by producing short-chain fatty acids (sometimes called postbiotics), which helps keep the cells in the colon healthy and stimulates the growth of good bacteria.

Emerging research suggests postbiotics may also help with control of glucose. (2) So, just one more reason to eat your greens. 

July 19, 2023


  2. Jiang Z, Sun TY, He Y, Gou W, Zuo LS, Fu Y, Miao Z, Shuai M, Xu F, Xiao C, Liang Y, Wang J, Xu Y, Jing LP, Ling W, Zhou H, Chen YM, Zheng JS. Dietary fruit and vegetable intake, gut microbiota, and type 2 diabetes: results from two large human cohort studies. BMC Med. 2020 Dec 3;18(1):371. doi: 10.1186/s12916-020-01842-0. PMID: 33267887; PMCID: PMC7712977. 
  3. Zhang L, et al. Butyrate in Energy Metabolism: There Is Still More to Learn. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Mar;32(3):159-169. 

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