By Dana Shultz and Mary Hartley, RD
Belly up. It’s time for a discussion on two important health topics that just so happen to be incredibly unsexy: Gut bacteria and fermented foods. Yep, here we go.
These two terms often conjure up images of grotesque stomachs and intestines and the most detestable foods you can imagine. But if you can get past the questionable terminology, fermented foods and healthy gut bacteria are extremely important to our health.
According to a recent article from NPR, a new study has found that diet can promote beneficial bacteria in the stomachs of older people, and as a result, promote healthy aging.
Scientists looked at the diets of 178 elderly people, some of whom lived on their own and the rest lived in assisted living centers or nursing homes.
Researchers found that those living on their own had more varied gut bacteria and scored better on tests measuring frailty and cognitive function because they had more diverse diets rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables grains and poultry. Conversely, those living in assisted living centers subsisted on more of a “mashed potato and porridge” style diet that offered less variety and nutritional value.
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