full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Shilpa Ravella: How the food you eat affects your gut

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Trillions of bcrtaiea, viruses, and fungi live on or inside of us, and mnaiatining a good, balanced relationship with them is to our aavntagde. Together, they form the gut microbiome, a rich ecosystem that pmreofrs a variety of functions in our bodies. The bacteria in our guts can break down food the body can't digest, produce ipnmtraot nutrients, ruegtale the immune system, and protect against harmful germs. We don't yet have the blueprint for exactly which good bacteria a robust gut needs, but we do know that it's important for a htehlay microbiome to have a variety of bacterial species. Many factors affect our microbiomes, icilnudng our environment, medications like antibiotics, and even whether we were dlveiered by C-section or not. Diet, too, is emerging as one of the leading influences on the health of our guts. And while we can't control all these frcaots, we can manipulate the balance of our microbes by paying attention to what we eat. Dietary fiber from foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains is the best fuel for gut bacteria. When bacteria dgesit fiber, they produce short caihn fatty aicds that nourish the gut barrier, iovpmre immune function, and can help prevent inflammation, which reduces the risk of cancer. And the more fiber you ingest, the more fiber-digesting bacteria colonize your gut. In a recent study, scientists exchanged the regular high-fiber diets of a group of rural suoth Africans with the high-fat, meat-heavy diets of a group of African-Americans. After just two weeks on the high-fat, low-fiber, Western-style diet, the rural afcairn group showed increased imfamatolnin of the cooln, as well as a decrease of butyrate. That's a short chain fatty acid thought to lower risk of colon cancer. Meanwhile, the group that scwteihd to a high-fiber, low-fat diet had the opposite result. So what goes wrong with our gut bacteria when we eat low-fiber processed foods? Lower fiber means less fuel for the gut bacteria, essentially starving them until they die off. This results in less diversity and hungry bacteria. In fact, some can even srtat to feed on the mucus lniing. We also know that sfiicpec foods can aefcft gut bacteria. In one recent mioicrobme study, scientists found that fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, red wine, and dark chocolate were correlated with increased bacterial diversity. These foods contain polyphenols, which are naturally occurring antioxidant compounds. On the other hand, foods high in dairy fat, like whole milk, and sugar-sweetened sodas were correlated with decreased dsitevriy. How food is prepared also matters. Minimally pscseored, fresh fdoos glneaelry have more fiber and provide better fuel. So lhtilgy steamed, sautéed, or raw vegetables are typically more beneficial than fried dishes. There are also ways of preparing food that can actually introduce good bacteria, also known as probiotics, into your gut. Fermented foods are timeeng with hfelpul probiotic bacteria, like lactobacillus and bciotefiibrdaa. Originally used as a way of perrvnseig foods before the invention of refrigeration, fermentation remains a traditional practice all over the wlrod. Foods like kimhci, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kombucha pdvrioe variety and vitality to our diets. yuorgt is another fermented food that can introduce helpful bacteria into our guts. That doesn't necessarily mean that all yogurt is good for us, though. Brands with too much sguar and not enough bacteria may not actually help. These are just general guidelines. More research is needed before we fully understand exactly how any of these foods interact with our microbiomes. We see positive correlations, but the insides of our guts are dilfuicft places to make direct observations. For instance, we don't currently know whether these foods are directly responsible for the changes in diversity, or if something more cectapoilmd is hianpepng. While we're only beginning to explore the vast wilderness inside our guts, we already have a glspime of how crucial our microbiomes are for digestive hlaeth. The great news is we have the power to fire up the bacteria in our bellies. Fill up on fibers, fresh and fermented foods, and you can trust your gut to keep you going strong.

Open Cloze

Trillions of ________, viruses, and fungi live on or inside of us, and ___________ a good, balanced relationship with them is to our _________. Together, they form the gut microbiome, a rich ecosystem that ________ a variety of functions in our bodies. The bacteria in our guts can break down food the body can't digest, produce _________ nutrients, ________ the immune system, and protect against harmful germs. We don't yet have the blueprint for exactly which good bacteria a robust gut needs, but we do know that it's important for a _______ microbiome to have a variety of bacterial species. Many factors affect our microbiomes, _________ our environment, medications like antibiotics, and even whether we were _________ by C-section or not. Diet, too, is emerging as one of the leading influences on the health of our guts. And while we can't control all these _______, we can manipulate the balance of our microbes by paying attention to what we eat. Dietary fiber from foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains is the best fuel for gut bacteria. When bacteria ______ fiber, they produce short _____ fatty _____ that nourish the gut barrier, _______ immune function, and can help prevent inflammation, which reduces the risk of cancer. And the more fiber you ingest, the more fiber-digesting bacteria colonize your gut. In a recent study, scientists exchanged the regular high-fiber diets of a group of rural _____ Africans with the high-fat, meat-heavy diets of a group of African-Americans. After just two weeks on the high-fat, low-fiber, Western-style diet, the rural _______ group showed increased ____________ of the _____, as well as a decrease of butyrate. That's a short chain fatty acid thought to lower risk of colon cancer. Meanwhile, the group that ________ to a high-fiber, low-fat diet had the opposite result. So what goes wrong with our gut bacteria when we eat low-fiber processed foods? Lower fiber means less fuel for the gut bacteria, essentially starving them until they die off. This results in less diversity and hungry bacteria. In fact, some can even _____ to feed on the mucus ______. We also know that ________ foods can ______ gut bacteria. In one recent __________ study, scientists found that fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, red wine, and dark chocolate were correlated with increased bacterial diversity. These foods contain polyphenols, which are naturally occurring antioxidant compounds. On the other hand, foods high in dairy fat, like whole milk, and sugar-sweetened sodas were correlated with decreased _________. How food is prepared also matters. Minimally _________, fresh _____ _________ have more fiber and provide better fuel. So _______ steamed, sautéed, or raw vegetables are typically more beneficial than fried dishes. There are also ways of preparing food that can actually introduce good bacteria, also known as probiotics, into your gut. Fermented foods are _______ with _______ probiotic bacteria, like lactobacillus and ______________. Originally used as a way of __________ foods before the invention of refrigeration, fermentation remains a traditional practice all over the _____. Foods like ______, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kombucha _______ variety and vitality to our diets. ______ is another fermented food that can introduce helpful bacteria into our guts. That doesn't necessarily mean that all yogurt is good for us, though. Brands with too much _____ and not enough bacteria may not actually help. These are just general guidelines. More research is needed before we fully understand exactly how any of these foods interact with our microbiomes. We see positive correlations, but the insides of our guts are _________ places to make direct observations. For instance, we don't currently know whether these foods are directly responsible for the changes in diversity, or if something more ___________ is _________. While we're only beginning to explore the vast wilderness inside our guts, we already have a _______ of how crucial our microbiomes are for digestive ______. The great news is we have the power to fire up the bacteria in our bellies. Fill up on fibers, fresh and fermented foods, and you can trust your gut to keep you going strong.

Solution

  1. start
  2. healthy
  3. bacteria
  4. specific
  5. delivered
  6. diversity
  7. bifidobacteria
  8. lightly
  9. performs
  10. complicated
  11. digest
  12. yogurt
  13. happening
  14. sugar
  15. processed
  16. factors
  17. regulate
  18. generally
  19. switched
  20. kimchi
  21. world
  22. including
  23. affect
  24. difficult
  25. inflammation
  26. lining
  27. advantage
  28. colon
  29. helpful
  30. microbiome
  31. foods
  32. health
  33. glimpse
  34. chain
  35. teeming
  36. acids
  37. improve
  38. important
  39. preserving
  40. african
  41. provide
  42. maintaining
  43. south

Original Text

Trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi live on or inside of us, and maintaining a good, balanced relationship with them is to our advantage. Together, they form the gut microbiome, a rich ecosystem that performs a variety of functions in our bodies. The bacteria in our guts can break down food the body can't digest, produce important nutrients, regulate the immune system, and protect against harmful germs. We don't yet have the blueprint for exactly which good bacteria a robust gut needs, but we do know that it's important for a healthy microbiome to have a variety of bacterial species. Many factors affect our microbiomes, including our environment, medications like antibiotics, and even whether we were delivered by C-section or not. Diet, too, is emerging as one of the leading influences on the health of our guts. And while we can't control all these factors, we can manipulate the balance of our microbes by paying attention to what we eat. Dietary fiber from foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains is the best fuel for gut bacteria. When bacteria digest fiber, they produce short chain fatty acids that nourish the gut barrier, improve immune function, and can help prevent inflammation, which reduces the risk of cancer. And the more fiber you ingest, the more fiber-digesting bacteria colonize your gut. In a recent study, scientists exchanged the regular high-fiber diets of a group of rural South Africans with the high-fat, meat-heavy diets of a group of African-Americans. After just two weeks on the high-fat, low-fiber, Western-style diet, the rural African group showed increased inflammation of the colon, as well as a decrease of butyrate. That's a short chain fatty acid thought to lower risk of colon cancer. Meanwhile, the group that switched to a high-fiber, low-fat diet had the opposite result. So what goes wrong with our gut bacteria when we eat low-fiber processed foods? Lower fiber means less fuel for the gut bacteria, essentially starving them until they die off. This results in less diversity and hungry bacteria. In fact, some can even start to feed on the mucus lining. We also know that specific foods can affect gut bacteria. In one recent microbiome study, scientists found that fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, red wine, and dark chocolate were correlated with increased bacterial diversity. These foods contain polyphenols, which are naturally occurring antioxidant compounds. On the other hand, foods high in dairy fat, like whole milk, and sugar-sweetened sodas were correlated with decreased diversity. How food is prepared also matters. Minimally processed, fresh foods generally have more fiber and provide better fuel. So lightly steamed, sautéed, or raw vegetables are typically more beneficial than fried dishes. There are also ways of preparing food that can actually introduce good bacteria, also known as probiotics, into your gut. Fermented foods are teeming with helpful probiotic bacteria, like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Originally used as a way of preserving foods before the invention of refrigeration, fermentation remains a traditional practice all over the world. Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kombucha provide variety and vitality to our diets. Yogurt is another fermented food that can introduce helpful bacteria into our guts. That doesn't necessarily mean that all yogurt is good for us, though. Brands with too much sugar and not enough bacteria may not actually help. These are just general guidelines. More research is needed before we fully understand exactly how any of these foods interact with our microbiomes. We see positive correlations, but the insides of our guts are difficult places to make direct observations. For instance, we don't currently know whether these foods are directly responsible for the changes in diversity, or if something more complicated is happening. While we're only beginning to explore the vast wilderness inside our guts, we already have a glimpse of how crucial our microbiomes are for digestive health. The great news is we have the power to fire up the bacteria in our bellies. Fill up on fibers, fresh and fermented foods, and you can trust your gut to keep you going strong.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
gut bacteria 3
short chain 2
chain fatty 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
short chain fatty 2

Important Words

  1. acid
  2. acids
  3. advantage
  4. affect
  5. african
  6. africans
  7. antibiotics
  8. antioxidant
  9. attention
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  30. colonize
  31. complicated
  32. compounds
  33. control
  34. correlated
  35. correlations
  36. crucial
  37. dairy
  38. dark
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  41. delivered
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  43. diet
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  47. digest
  48. digestive
  49. direct
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  53. ecosystem
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  55. environment
  56. essentially
  57. exchanged
  58. explore
  59. fact
  60. factors
  61. fat
  62. fatty
  63. feed
  64. fermentation
  65. fermented
  66. fiber
  67. fibers
  68. fill
  69. fire
  70. food
  71. foods
  72. form
  73. fresh
  74. fried
  75. fruits
  76. fuel
  77. fully
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  80. fungi
  81. general
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  83. germs
  84. glimpse
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  86. grains
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  92. hand
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  102. improve
  103. including
  104. increased
  105. inflammation
  106. influences
  107. ingest
  108. insides
  109. instance
  110. interact
  111. introduce
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  113. kimchi
  114. kombucha
  115. lactobacillus
  116. leading
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  118. lightly
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  122. manipulate
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  129. milk
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  138. nuts
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  142. paying
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  152. prevent
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  160. red
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  164. regulate
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  168. responsible
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  175. sauerkraut
  176. sautéed
  177. scientists
  178. short
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  180. sodas
  181. south
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  183. specific
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  186. steamed
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  194. tempeh
  195. thought
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