Vegan Gut Health
Our bodies are full of bacteria, and that’s a good thing…providing you look after your gut health and encourage the right types of bacteria to thrive. Having good gut health can affect the whole of your body, after all, the bacteria we carry around with us is thought to be equal in number to the amount of cells we have.
Not so long ago, scientists believed that bacteria actually outnumbered our cells by a ratio of 10:1, but that has recently been debunked and revised downwards to 1:1 by researchers in Canada and Israel. Nevertheless, when it comes to our overall health, what happens in the gut is important, and the bacteria found within it are still major players.
Keeping these microbes happy on a plant-based diet is relatively simple, as long as that plant-based diet consists largely of whole foods, anyway. Studies are limited on the differences between omnivores and herbivores when it comes to gut health, but the initial findings are positive for the vegan camp. We even perform better than our vegetarian friends who eat minimal amounts of animal products.
Studies have found that vegans tend to harbor greater numbers of the more beneficial species of bacteria when compared to meat eaters and vegetarians, and they state they overall health is generally better for plant-based practitioners, too. In fact, vegans stand out because the research showed that vegetarians have more in common with those who eat meat than they do with vegans, which is interesting to say the least.
Obviously, research is still in its infancy and we’re learning more about gut health all the time, but the initial findings are overwhelmingly positive for those following a strict vegan diet. That said, we can all use a little extra help, and some will still encounter problems along the way – especially when first transitioning away from animal products.
In this section of our site, we look at some of these problems and give a few solutions, too. If there’s anything you’d like to see us cover in relation to gut health and veganism, contact us. We’d love to hear from you and find out exactly what you’d like us to cover next.