Eating a healthy diet promotes gut health and a longer lifeThere are so many reasons why maintaining the balance of your gut bacteria is important for your health, ranging from boosting your body’s natural immunities to sidestepping traveler’s diarrhea.

You may not be very shocked to know that good gut health can change quickly for the good — and bad — based on eating a healthy diet. You may be surprised to learn eating a healthier, calorie-restricted diet can help you live a longer life too, based on findings from Nature.

Where you live makes a difference, too!

First, a study conducted by Irish researchers at University College Cork on more than 170 people over age 78 concluded the health of their gut was determined by two factors: What they ate and where they lived.

Older people who lived independently in their communities were healthier and had a more diverse (and healthier) gut microbiome than those who resided in a nursing home or hospital.

Interestingly, although the diets of the elderly changed quickly when moving from independent living to a nursing home or a hospital, researchers discovered alterations in their collective gut health to a less diverse, weaker state took a year to occur.

Cut calories, live longer!

In a study on mice, a team of Chinese researchers discovered reducing their caloric intake by 30 percent — below what these animals would typically need to maintain the same body weight for a lifetime — promoted a more diverse environment for improved gut health by radically changing its composition.

Scientists discovered the act of calorie restriction promoted the presence of some beneficial bacteria, including Lactobacillus, and decreased the amount of harmful bacteria, including some opportunistic pathogens.

One more benefit from a calorie-restricted diet for possible pain management: Researchers observed a drop in inflammation scores among mice.

There’s at least one caveat about calorie restriction: Cutting calories alone may not work alone in lengthening your life. Based on research on fruit flies, increasing physical activity may provide the jump-start your metabolism needs too.

In addition to getting the right amount of exercise and lowering the amount of calories you consume every day, especially cutting out nutrient-poor foods stuffed with empty calories, taking a probiotic with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria, like EndoMune, is a safe, easy way to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria for good gut health.