Can gut bacteria impact your heart? Tips to maintain healthy gut for optimum heart health | Health

Our gut microbiome plays an important role in our overall health, affecting every organ of our body, researchers have previously found out in studies. New studies are now emerging about balanced gut flora positivity impacting cholesterol levels, blood pressure and inflammation, the crucial factors that are important for cardiovascular health. A researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said that certain chemicals that the gut bacteria produce can alter blood pressure. Eating food rich in probiotics or consumable live bacteria has been associated to healthier blood pressure in previous studies. (Also read: Top heart health mistakes to avoid in summers; tips for cardiovascular wellness)

Gut bacteria and heart health: Research shows that a balanced gut flora can positively impact cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and inflammation, all key factors in maintaining a healthy heart(Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay )

As per previous research, a microbe-made enzyme called IsmA helps break down cholesterol. It was found that people who had more of this enzyme had less cholesterol than people who did not.

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Adding to your gut microbiome diversity can benefit you by fuelling beneficial gut bacteria. Eating fibre-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, legumes, probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt and kimchi, and limiting processed foods can help boost good bacteria in your gut and thereby improve your heart health.

“Did you know your gut microbiome plays a crucial role in heart health? Research shows that a balanced gut flora can positively impact cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and inflammation, all key factors in maintaining a healthy heart,” says Nutritionist Bhakti Arora Kapoor in her recent Instagram post.

How gut bacteria impacts heart

1. Reduces inflammatory damage

Gut microbiome influences systemic inflammation. Certain bacteria produce anti-inflammatory compounds like SCFAs, reducing inflammatory damage.

2. Improves cholesterol metabolism

Gut bacteria plays a role in metabolising bile acids, affecting cholesterol absorption. Dysregulated cholesterol levels due to gut dysbiosis can increase cardiovascular risk. Healthy gut microbiome improves cholesterol metabolism.

3. Reduces blood pressure

Gut microbiome may influence blood pressure regulation. Bacterial metabolites can affect blood vessel function and blood pressure levels, reducing blood pressure.

How to nourish your gut microbiome

Kapoor shares some tips to nourish the microbiome for a healthier heart:

1. Eat a diverse range of fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. These provide prebiotics, the fuel for beneficial gut bacteria.

2. Include probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut to introduce beneficial bacteria into your gut.

3. Limit processed foods, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, as they can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria.

4. Manage stress through techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, as stress can negatively impact the microbiome.

5. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water to support digestion and maintain a healthy gut environment.

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