Intermittent fasting for gut health can be a beneficial way to repair your microbiome and replenish beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Researchers published a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found intermittent fasting can promote a healthy gut microbiome. But, to get these benefits from fasting, you need to stick with it for an extended period of time without skipping too many meals.
Fasting for your gut health is easy when you find a plan that works with both your schedule and lifestyle. There are various protocols available, such as intermittent daily fasting, time-restricted fasting, etc.
To learn more about the impact of fasting on your gut health, continue reading.
What Is Gut Health?
Your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the gateway for nutrients into your body, processing food and absorbing essential vitamins and minerals. It uses nerves, bacteria, and hormones to manage digestion.
A healthy gut has the right balance of good and bad bacteria to aid digestion, eliminate toxins, fight disease, and raise your spirits. Additionally, it prevents symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, loose stools, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Eating a diet rich in whole foods that contain fiber will aid digestion. Additionally, you can use fiber supplements to add an extra step to your nutritious diet. Avoid processed foods and high-sugar, fat-laden items, which could contribute to an unhealthy gut microbiome.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that aid digestion and maintain a balanced microbiome in your gut. You can find them in fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir, fermented vegetables like kimchi, as well as aged cheeses.
Can Intermittent Fasting Help With Gut Health?
Extending fasting has several physical benefits. Studies show that it helps reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol levels and enhance overall well-being. Furthermore, it aids weight loss while improving gut microbiome composition.
The gut is home to hundreds of bacteria and other organisms, many of which are essential for a healthy digestive tract. But when these microbes become out of balance or overcrowded, it can cause your gut to become dysfunctional and lead to various ailments.
That is why many people opt to fast occasionally in order to improve their gut health.
Fasting makes it much easier to achieve a balanced microbiome than on an ordinary western diet, which is why intermittent fasting (IF) has become so popular with those seeking weight loss and improved health.
The great thing about IF is that it doesn’t require you to eliminate any food groups. Instead, you’ll learn how to eat foods that benefit your digestion and immune system while getting guidance on which types of meals work best for you.
That is what sets IF apart as a successful approach to health and wellness. It helps you achieve an optimal gut microbiome, maintaining balance among different organisms that live there.
The Impact of Intermittent Fasting on Your Gut Health
Intermittent fasting is a widely-used dietary strategy with several potential advantages, such as weight loss, improved blood glucose concentrations, and greater insulin sensitivity. Research also suggests that IF may also help to improve your gut health.
This approach can aid your digestive system in healing from bacterial overgrowth and may be especially beneficial for those dealing with autoimmune disorders that are linked to an unhealthy gut microbiome.
Fasting can also promote autophagy (cellular clean-up) and healthy cell turnover within the intestinal epithelium. It plays a significant role in protecting against toxins and other hazardous substances from entering our bloodstream through digestion.
The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms that help break down the food you eat to produce essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Furthermore, these microbes play a significant role in mood and cognition by sending signals between the brain and digestive system.
A 2014 study published in Cell Metabolism revealed that time-restricted feeding, also known as intermittent fasting, improved the diversity and cycling of your gut microbiome while preventing weight gain in mice.
If you are considering fasting for health reasons, consult with your healthcare provider first. This is especially pertinent if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, or diabetes, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or taking medications of any kind.
Fasting successfully for gut health requires a balanced, low-calorie diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and lean proteins. You may want to add in some prebiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables or probiotic supplements for improving gut health when fasting.
What Should You Eat For Gut Health During Intermittent Fasting?
Fasting can be an excellent way to improve your gut health. It helps expand the diversity of your microbiome and encourages weight loss. However, in order to maximize the advantages of fasting, you must be mindful of what you eat during this period. Here are some foods you can eat for a healthy gut during intermittent fasting.
Try Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are an excellent way to promote gut health during intermittent fasting. They contain probiotics and prebiotic fiber, which promote a healthy and diverse microbiome in your gut. The good news is that fermented foods are widely available at most grocery stores. You’ll find yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut, to name a few.
Eat More Plants
By including more vegetables and fruit in your diet, you can prevent a deficiency in fiber. This will help you feel satiated, reduce cravings, and enhance your overall wellbeing. Furthermore, they contain prebiotic fibers, which nourish the beneficial bacteria found in your gut. Eating more plants can help you promote a healthier gut by avoiding foods like gluten.
Eat Fewer Processed Foods
Eating fewer processed foods can help you feel fuller for longer, which is especially beneficial when fasting. It will also improve your gut health. Ultra-processed foods with artificial ingredients have been linked to inflammation and dysbiosis.
Eat For Your Unique Gut Microbiome
Eating the right types of foods can have a major effect on how your microbiome looks and functions. A diet rich in plant-based, whole foods will ensure that your gut bacteria are contented and healthy. Eating foods high in probiotics is important for your overall health.
Intermittent fasting is a widely-accepted way to improve overall health. Research has confirmed its benefits, such as helping lower body fat and decreasing the risk of cardio-metabolic diseases. However, fasting can also be beneficial for your gut health. When you fast, it helps to reset your gut and improve your gut microbiome.
To promote healthy gut bacteria, it’s best to steer clear of inflammatory foods in the first place. This can be achieved through a balanced diet and intermittent fasting. Furthermore, try adding prebiotics and dietary fiber into your diet for improved gut microbiome health.