Healthy adults who eat a diverse diet, with at least 8-10 grams of soluble fibre such as grains, beans, lentils, nuts and some fruits and vegetables daily, have fewer antibiotic-resistant microbes in their guts, according to a study.
Microbes that have resistance to various commonly-used antibiotics such as tetracycline and aminoglycoside are a significant source of risk for people worldwide, with the widely held expectation that the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - the term that refers to bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are resistant to antibiotics - is likely to worsen throughout the coming decades.
Antimicrobial resistance in people is largely based in their gut microbiome, where the microbes are known to carry genetically encoded strategies to survive contact with antibiotics.
"And the results lead directly to the idea that modifying the diet has the potential to be a new weapon in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. And we're not talking about eating some exotic diet either, but a diverse diet, adequate in fibre," said research molecular biologist Danielle Lemay at the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.
In the study, published in the journal mBio, the researchers found that regularly eating a diet with higher levels of fibre and lower levels of protein, especially from beef and pork, was significantly correlated with lower levels of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARG) among their gut microbes.
Those with the lowest levels of ARG in their gut microbiomes also had a greater abundance of strict anaerobic microbes, which are bacteria that do not thrive when oxygen is present and are a hallmark of a healthy gut with low inflammation. Bacterial species in the family Clostridiaceae were the most numerous anaerobes found.
But the amount of animal protein in the diet was not a top predictor of high levels of ARG. The strongest evidence was for the association of higher amounts of soluble fibre in the diet with lower levels of ARGs.
"Surprisingly, the most important predictor of low levels of ARG, even more than fibre, was the diversity of the diet. This suggests that we may want to eat from diverse sources of foods that tend to be higher in soluble fibre for maximum benefit," Lemay added.
On the other hand, those people who had the highest levels of ARG in their gut microbiomes were found to have significantly less diverse gut microbiomes compared to groups with low and medium levels of ARG.
"Our diets provide food for gut microbes. This all suggests that what we eat might be a solution to reduce antimicrobial resistance by modifying the gut microbiome," Lemay said. (agency)
Read More► 5 Healthy Breakfast Products to Start on A Happy Note
The pandemic is largely responsible for advocating the idea of proper intake of Vitamin C, known as an important immune-support nutrient and vital in helping the body protect itself from severe viral illnesses. But how much is the right amount needed for the body?
Research at New University of Otago, Christchurch in New Zealand has identified, for the first time, exactly how much extra Vitamin C humans need to ingest, relative to their body weight, to maximise their immune health.
Vitamin C is known to be essential for good immune function and works by helping white blood cells fight infection.
The study, published in the international journal Nutrients, found that for every 10 kg of excess weight a person carries, their body needs an extra 10 milligrams of Vitamin C daily, which will help to optimise their immune health.
"Previous studies have already linked higher body weight with lower Vitamin C levels," said lead author Associate Professor Anitra Carr from the University's Department of Pathology and Biomedical Science.
"But this is the first study to estimate how much extra daily Vitamin C is actually needed for people, relative to their body weight, to help maximise their health," she added.
Carr suggested the findings could potentially help heavier people better protect themselves from such illnesses because obesity is a known risk factor for Covid. Obese people can also be at increased risk of severe illness due to the infection.
The results from this study therefore suggest that increasing your Vitamin C intake if overweight might be a sensible response, Carr said.
Another major complication of Covid-19 is pneumonia. Patients with pneumonia are known to be low in Vitamin C.
Several research has shown that "Vitamin C decreases the likelihood of people getting pneumonia and decreases the severity of it, so finding the right levels of Vitamin C to take if you are overweight may help to better support your immune system", Carr said.
The study determined that someone weighing 90 kg would need to take an extra 30 milligrams of Vitamin C to achieve the optimal goal of 140mg/day; while someone weighing 120 kilograms would need at least an extra 40 milligrams of vitamin C daily to achieve the optimal 150mg/day.
The easiest way to increase daily Vitamin C intake is by upping the consumption of Vitamin C-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables or by taking a Vitamin C supplement, Carr said.
Read More► Breakfast Mistakes You Should Avoid
We have always heard "Eat Breakfast like a King" but in today's rushed world everyone's meal timings are scattered, sleep is erratic and they want to look a certain way, cutting calories is affecting their breakfast intake every day!
Breakfast is an important meal because you are literally breaking your fast (8-10 hours minimum) and to get started with the day, your body needs the right fuel.
Eating a balanced breakfast is important as it kick-starts your metabolism, your blood glucose metabolism is much better throughout the day, and it boosts your energy levels and also helps you make better meal choices throughout the day. Breakfast is also given a lot of importance in Ayurveda as that is the time our body's 'pitta' (fire or metabolism) is at its peak.
Sahiba Bhardwaj, a Nutritionist & Nutrition Educator helps us look at some common breakfast mistakes that could hamper our metabolism.
Eating late at night or trying a new diet, cutting calories or maybe you simply don't have the time to eat breakfast. This is the biggest mistake you can make as it will not only dampen your metabolism but also increase your chances of developing health problems like high blood cholesterol, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. But a balanced breakfast can lower those risks and fuel you for the rest of the day.
Eating just a fruit or a small bite-sized breakfast will leave you hungry and affect your mental focus. Not eating sufficient calories during the day may leave you munching on unhealthy energy-dense snacks later in the day and may lead to weight gain. However, eating a good filling breakfast fires up your metabolism and helps you burn calories throughout the day.
Sit and eat. We have always heard that but we tend to ignore it. Always in a rush, we tend to eat fast and take large bites of our food. This as per some studies increases the odds of obesity as it may lead to overeating. Also, as per Ayurveda, when you sit and eat your food, chewing it properly, it improves digestion and absorption of nutrients. So slow down, and savour each bite of your breakfast.
Going low on Protein
A protein-packed breakfast has more benefits than just feeding your muscles. Protein takes longer to break down in the body and hence keeps you full for longer. So make sure your Breakfast has good quality protein that is paired with complex carbohydrates and good fats. Eggs, smoked salmon, nut butter, yoghurt, and paneer are all good protein options. Stay clear of processed meat (sausages, salamis, seeks, bacon etc.)
Saying No to Carbs
Another grave mistake is leaving out carbohydrates completely. You don't have to say no to them, just choose wisely. Include Complex Carbs that are slow energy releasing and don't spike your blood glucose levels and give you energy through the day. Some good ones are steel-cut oats, upma, poha, sandwiches, cheelas with veggies are some options. Avoid loading up on Simple carbs (fruit juices, waffles, pancakes) on a daily basis as they can lead to a sudden dip in energy levels mid-morning
Don't fear fats and include healthy fats in your breakfast in small portions with your proteins and carbs. Adding avocado or a tablespoon of nut butter to your toast, adding nuts & seeds to your cereal or smoothies, and cooking cheelas in desi ghee are good ways of adding healthy fats. Unsaturated fats and the Omega-3 fatty acids from nuts & flax seeds are good for the heart too.
Read More► 5 Healthy Breakfast Products to Start on A Happy Note
A nutritious breakfast in the morning can provide the fuel you need to keep going until your next meal. A healthy bowl of muesli or flakes can serve as a mental pick-me-up as well as a sensory treat. Cereal foods have numerous nutritional benefits and can also aid in weight loss. It is high in vitamins and minerals and can help you feel more energised.
Healthy Crunch Muesli
Contains British oats, golden wheat flakes, Californian almonds, delicious raisins, and natural honey. There are no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives - just the goodness of all-natural ingredients. Bagrry's Healthy Crunch Muesli is high in fibre, low in saturated fat, and contains no trans fat. It contains more than 40 per cent + oats with added bran. An extra crunchy breakfast cereal for a delicious start to your mornings!
True Elements recreates the mouthwatering flavours of Italian cuisine, but with a True twist! True Elements Oatmeal Italiano is a one-of-a-kind savoury oatmeal made of fiber-rich oats with a creamy cheese flavour, the crunch of almonds, and the earthy flavour of oregano. This bowl of savoury oatmeal will be your new favourite breakfast for all cheese lovers! It's creamy, cheesy, and incredibly tasty! A filling and delicious meal that is ideal when you want something savoury and cheesy! There is no added sugar, so it is suitable for diabetics. It is also high in protein and fibre, making it a healthier alternative to pasta.
Grain Free & Vegan Granola - Salted Peanut Butter
Our grain-free granola is loaded with nutritious ingredients like nuts, seeds, amaranth puffs, and quinoa flakes, making it a perfect breakfast or on-the-go snack. This healthy home-styled granola is high in protein, healthy fats, and dietary fibre, making it an excellent source of energy at any time. Combine it with a serving of cold milk, yoghurt, or smoothie while baking, or enjoy it on its own for a tasty, yet healthy snack.
Veggie Masala Oats
A tasty combination of vegetables, seeds, and premium golden rolled oats that makes for a super-healthy meal. Each bite contains beta-glucan, which helps to lower cholesterol. This is extremely beneficial for weight loss and should be taken to heart. It's great for weight loss, and it's naturally delicious, with the added benefit of vegetables.
Corn Flakes Plus - Real Honey
The flavour of Corn Flakes with the added benefit of prebiotic fibre! Bagrry's excels at innovation; using food processing technology, they have infused fibre back into corn flakes. Bagrry's Corn Flakes Plus have twice the fibre of regular flakes. The added fibre slows sugar absorption and thus lowers the Glycemic Index (GI). A bowl of these light and crispy golden flakes with the natural flavour of raw Himalayan honey will keep you going until lunch.
Read More► Fruit to Keep You Hydrated in Summers
Consuming water-rich fruit can help you meet nutrient requirements while also keeping you hydrated. If you don't drink the recommended amount of water per day, fruits and vegetables can provide you with extra fluid, keeping you nourished and healthy. Fruit that is high in water content are popular in juices, smoothies, and snacks.
While summers can be extremely exhausting and force you to spend more time indoors to protect yourself from the sun, the exciting aspect of summer is delicious ice creams and fruit such as watermelons, strawberries, pineapples, and many more. This list of summer fruit is a great addition to your diet.
We know how much you love mangoes and they are undoubtedly our favourite part of the summer season! Mangoes are not only our favourite, but they are also used in a variety of desserts. They are high in antioxidants and, as a result, can boost immunity. They lower cholesterol and improve eye health. Mangoes are one of the best summer fruits because of all of these factors.
Watermelon is a summertime favourite for many people because it is not only delicious, but it is also high in nutrients. With a water content of approximately 90 per cent, this wonder fruit aids in the prevention of heart disease. Watermelon also aids in the production of the amino acid arginine, which aids in the immune system's function.
Strawberries have numerous health benefits due to their high levels of vitamin C, manganese, folate, potassium, B vitamins, and flavonoids. Strawberries are extremely beneficial in preventing heart disease and in lowering bad cholesterol. Strawberries have a high fibre content, so if you have digestive issues, including them in your diet can help.
For its rich flavour and juicy texture, this delicious and juicy fruit is a favourite of many. Pineapples are high in Vitamin C, which is important for fighting cell damage and boosting your immune system. Pineapple's high manganese content benefits bone health. It is also high in fibre and antioxidants.
Apple is a delicious and nutritious fruit that is popular in almost all seasons. Apples are delicious in salads, smoothies, pies and desserts, and as a snack. Apples have been shown to increase metabolic rate, improve heart health, and regulate blood sugar levels.
They are high in vitamins and minerals, which help to maintain healthy bones, teeth, and skin. We all believe in the adage, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," and without a doubt, it does!
Cantaloupes are high in vitamin C and A, both of which help to boost immunity. Cantaloupes' high potassium content aids in blood pressure regulation. Cantaloupe contains beta carotene, which aids in the prevention of cataracts and improves vision.
Because of its sweet flavour and health benefits, this low-calorie fruit is used to make a variety of delectable desserts. Cantaloupe infused in water makes an excellent summer health drink!
This fruit is high in Vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants. Including papaya in your diet can help prevent cholesterol buildup in your arteries, boost immunity, and be an excellent source of vitamins for people with diabetes and those looking to lose weight.
Oranges are a favourite fruit of those who enjoy working out because it hydrates and energises your body, which is essential during workouts. Oranges have numerous health benefits, including lower cholesterol, improved heart function, and improved skin health due to their high Vitamin C content. (Agency)
Read More► Food Additive Used in Baked Goods, Ice Cream Harmful for Human Gut
London: An edible additive used in foods such as baked goods, ice cream and salad dressings has the potential to harm our gut microbiota, finds a study.
Introduced into the modern diet nearly half a century ago, the food additive E415, also known as xanthan gum, is also widely used as a substitute for gluten in gluten-free foods.
When it was first introduced, xanthan gum was thought to not affect us as it was not digested by the human body.
However, the new study, published in the journal Nature Microbiology shows that the additive nevertheless affects the bacteria that live in our intestines. And these bacteria are important for our health and well-being.
"So far xanthan gum is considered a keto-friendly product. This is because it is believed that xanthan is not digested by the body and therefore it doesn't count in the daily calorie or macronutrient intake," said researcher Sabina Leanti La Rosa from Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) in Norway.
However, she explains, the new study shows that gut bacteria break down xanthan gum to its constituent monosaccharides, which are subsequently fermented to produce short-chain fatty acids that can be assimilated by the human body. Short-chain fatty acids are known to supply up to 10 per cent of calories to humans.
This suggests xanthan gum, approved as safe to use in foodstuffs in large parts of the world based on assessments made 50 years ago, could in fact add to a person's calorie intake.
When xanthan gum was first introduced, it was thought that the additive went straight through the body without affecting the person who ate it.
But now the researchers noted that we are starting to see long-term effects of xanthan gum that were not seen earlier.
"We only see these changes in gut bacteria of people eating a 'westernised diet' where processed foods and additives make up a significant part of the food intake. For example, we do not see the same changes in indigenous people from different parts of the globe who eat limited amounts of processed foods," La Rosa explained.
"Based on this study, we cannot conclude if and how xanthan gum affects our health. But we can say that the additive affects the microbiota in the gut of people who consume it through food," she added.
The researchers called for more research to understand the impact of xanthan gum on the human gut.
Read More► Eating More Mushrooms May Be Good For Your Gut Health