Plant foods containing fiber are the best fuel for your gut bacteria. That is why a plant-based diet that includes a variety of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit is beneficial for your gut health—and, as a result, for your overall health and wellness—since it increases the diversity of your gut microbiota. In other words, the more diverse the gut microbiota, the more resilient it will be.
Plant-based doesn’t mean vegan and vegan doesn’t mean healthy. A primarily whole-food, plant-based diet brings you many more health benefits than just avoiding animal products, explained Hana Kahleova, Director of Clinical Research at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (Washington, USA), at the Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit 2020, held in Madrid (Spain).
When added to a plant-based diet, fermented foods such as some fermented dairy products can actually be an ally for your gut health. Yogurt and kefir, for example, are a source of probiotics, which are live bacteria that confer a health benefit.
Kahleova believes that prebiotics—especially fibers, which can be found in plant foods—provide the natural food for the good live bacteria in your gut. Combined with probiotics, prebiotics provide long-term sustainable nourishment to your gut microbiota.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of a plant-based diet for your gut health, watch this video interview with Hana Kahleova.