The vegan diet is known to offer various benefits to gut health. Studies have revealed that following a vegan diet can make a positive influence on the gut microbiome.
In this article, we are exploring more on the effects of a vegan diet on the gut microbiome.
What Is The Gut Microbiome?
The gut microbiome refers to the bacteria that live in our digestive tract. When properly balanced, the gut microbiome promotes healthy functioning of the digestive tract, proper bowel movement, and metabolism.
Once the balance of the gut microbiome is affected, it could cause various health issues including irritable bowel syndrome and reduced immune function.
Research About The Vegan Diet And Gut Microbiome
A research that examined the relationship between a vegan diet and gut microbiome found that following a vegan diet for 4 months in a row helps boost the gut microbiome. This could in turn help manage blood sugar and improve body weight.
You get the benefits even if you do not make your diet strictly vegan. You can eat meat and dairy occasionally in moderation.
The research involved 147 participants divided into two groups. The first group followed a low-fat vegan diet while the second group was asked to make no changes to their diet.
After 4 months, researchers found that the body weight, fat mass, and visceral fat levels of people in the vegan group reduced. The changes in the gut microbiome of the people in the group were faster than the initial expectations of the researchers.
The rich fiber content in plant foods boosts the gut microbiome and promotes metabolism.
Should You Go For A Strict Vegan Diet?
Although the study focused on vegan dieters alone, researchers are of the opinion that you may choose a plant-based diet that is not strictly vegan and still get benefits like that offered by a vegan diet.
The diversity of the gut microbiome increases by eating diverse plant foods rich in various macronutrients like carbs, healthy fats, and protein. Following a vegan diet will not be of much use if you are eating more refined grains and processed foods. Always ensure that your plant-based diet includes more whole foods and lesser processed foods.
If you are new to a plant-based diet, you may experience symptoms like gas and bloating which is quite normal. Your body needs some time to adjust to the new diet type you have chosen and do not get demotivated.