Add More Good Food To Your Diet
Next, youll want to add more good foods to your diet, like fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains. Focus your diet to be heavy on plants, especially leafy ones. Fiber is your best friend when it comes to digestive health. Make your plate colorful to get a good balance of nutrients. Shop the edge of the grocery store, where there are usually more whole foods. Consider adding things like sprouted grains, olive oil/coconut oil, wild salmon, garlic, bone broth, and onions, because they can all aid digestive health.
Microbiome Diversity Is Probably Not Achievable By Swallowing A Whole Range Of Supplements
While taking a probiotic may be like planting a seed, taking a prebiotic is like nurturing it by giving it the nourishment it needs. But again, this approach comes up against the same limitations as taking a probiotic alone.
Verdict: “Prebiotics do not increase the diversity of the microbiome,” says Whelan. “They will increase specific bacteria, but they won’t increase the number of different types of bacteria.”
Mixing it up
So microbiome diversity is probably not achievable by swallowing a whole range of supplements. But there are ways to improve diversity by focusing on the foods you eat.
“Have a look at the people around you,” says Whelan. “You’ll find some people will have the same lunch every day. And in the evening, three or four different main dishes, and they will eat that for a whole year bar going out occasionally.”
Even if your habitual diet is balanced, with plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and so on, having a predictable routine is not likely to do much good for a diverse microbiome.
Eating the same few meals all the time may not be the best for beneficial gut microbes – scientists say variety is key
“Dietary diversity is about challenging the concept of constantly eating the same thing,” says Whelan. “For example, if you have fish regularly, make sure it isn’t always salmon. Make sure you have wholegrains regularly, but not just wholegrain bread.”
Whelan agrees that some people may be taking fermentation too far.
No Dodgy Kebabs On The Microbiome Diet Menu
Greasy, processed food goes hand-in-hand with a boozy night out. Put them together and you have a recipe for digestive mayhem.
Weve all been there and eaten something which just didnt agree with our gut. Bacteria is a common cause of food poisoning with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, and incapacitating stomach cramps. In severe cases, it can be deadly. Thats why proper food handling and hygiene in restaurants is critical.
So its worth considering the possibility that your dodgy Saturday night takeaway may be a culprit in temporary digestive discomfort. When pathogens invade, they rapidly multiply and produce toxins. In turn, the gut lining reacts with inflammation. So if you are heading out to paint the town red, line your stomach before you go out and dont eat that dodgy takeaway.
Gut Health And Weight Gain: Food Matters
So, we now know two types of bacteria that prevent obesity, but what about gut bacteria and weight gain? Simply put, what you eat is a huge factor. In fact, changing your diet won’t just change your weight, it’s the fastest way to change your microbes too.
There are links between gut bacteria and weight. The gut microbiota of individuals who are overweight show patterns of dysbiosis compared to healthy individuals.
Research has also shown that following a natural plant-based diet reduces calorie intake, increases weight loss, and lowers metabolic markers. It also nourishes beneficial gut bacteria because plants contain lots of different prebiotic fibers.
In a study involving type II diabetes patients, a vegan diet was shown to be more effective at controlling blood sugar levels than a usual diabetic diet. And, in the plant diet group, calorie intake was lower, which meant weight loss was more rapid. Interestingly, the beneficial bacteria that thrive on plant foods are also associated with better blood sugar control.
Cut Sugar To Reset Your Gut Microbiome
Bottom line sugars feed your bad bacteria, and fibre feeds your good bacteria. When your good bacteria is high, you crave healthy foods. When your bad bacteria is high, you crave sugar and junk foods, as this is their preferred source of food. High GI foods and sugars mainly feed Candida which exaggerates your sugar cravings and is linked to depression and brain fog. Cut the nasty sugar and use stevia or monk fruit sugar instead.
Diet Approach To Modulate Gut Microbiota
A diet-based approach to modulate the microbiota should consider the effect of long-term diets . Recent studies have highlighted important differences in the ability to modulate microbiota composition in long-term and short-term diets. In short-term diets, changes are significant and rapid, but the magnitude of changes is modest and insufficient to relocate individuals from one enterotype to another . In contrast, long-term diets are adequate to relocate enterotypes . If an enterotype is shown to be causative/linked to a disease, long-term dietary interventions could represent a good strategy to help . Among diet interventions, a feeding regime with a low content of fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharaides, and polyols was shown to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with IBS in less than 48 h .
In IBS patients who experienced a low FODMAPs diet, carbohydrates fermentation is reduced, and a decrease in luminal osmolarity and gas generation is observed. Consequently, typical IBS symptoms of gas and bloating are reduced/eliminated . However, more studies should be carried out on the effects of a long-term low FODMAPs diet. It should be borne in mind that FODMAPs, especially oligosaccharides, play an important role in stimulating the growth of beneficial bacterial groups. The long-term assumption of a low FODMAPs diet could have unpredictable effects on the composition of gut microbiota.
How Do Antibiotics Damage Your Gut Health
Antibiotics are prescribed to nearly half the UK population every year for common conditions and in hospitals to treat and prevent serious infections. Here are the most common applications for antibiotics:
|urinary tract, bladder and kidney infections||skin and wound infections|
Unfortunately, antibiotics dont stop at bad bacteria and they dont treat viral infections, which are often nearly impossible to distinguish from bacterial ones. Instead, antibiotics kill good bacteria too, and thats bad because good bacteria are often helping your body fight the infection.
Many people also experience mild-to-severe antibiotic side effects, especially if their immune health is already compromised, like hospital patients. More seriously, antibiotics can leave room for extremely harmful bacteria such as E.coli, C.diff and Salmonella infections that may be so severe that hospitalization is required.
Stick To A Mostly Plant
When it comes to eating habits, the advice is almost always the same, Dr. Rawls says: Move away from the typical high-fat Western diet which was shown to interfere with gut bacterias circadian rhythms and aim for one thats composed of mainly vegetables, fruit and other plants, plus some lean protein, fewer grains, and less animal fat. This is more like the diet humans have been eating for about 200,000 years, minus the last 100 years, and its the diet that best cultivates a healthy microbiome.
Start With An Intermittent Fast
Just like you, your gut needs a period of rest and rejuvenation to function optimally. Giving it a break can reduce inflammation, shed water weight, and reduce bloating. Studies are coming out all the time supporting the benefits of intermittent fasting, which gives the body a break for a set number of hours each day so that your gut can repair, reset, and rest. The night before you start your cleanse, plan to fast for 12 to 16 hours. This is easier than it soundsa 12-hour fast simply means stop eating at 7 in the evening and don’t eat again until breakfast the next day until 7 a.m.
Can You Change Your Microbiome
Boosting beneficial microbes sounds simple enough, but the benefits for healthy people are hard to pin down.
I cant believe ithes a chatterbox! Samantha Jones* shrieked with delight.
Her autistic son was typically quiet, nearly non-verbal most of his life, but a microbiome-augmenting treatment had drastically improved the childs behaviorlike the flip of a light switch. Joness child was part of a study that examined the role that microscopic critters living inside us, collectively known as the microbiome, can play in gastrointestinal issues and autism. While the study was small, it suggests that altering our microbes can have wide-reaching consequencessometimes for the better.
The Role Of The Microbiome
The digestive tract isnt just where food is digested and passed through the body. In addition to this role, the digestive system actually plays a vital role in mental health, immunity, and metabolism. The way that our gut can have such an impact on so many areas of our health comes down to the gut microbiome.
The gut is filled with a diverse community of different types of bacteria that some say outnumbers the cells in your body by a 10-to-1 ratio! When it comes to taking control of your microbiome for better health, the key is diversity and proper balance. The tips outlined in this article are geared toward improving these aspects of the gut microbiome based on what we currently know scientifically.
Increase Fermented Foods& Probiotics
I advise my clients to eat a fermented food each day such as organic kefir, coconut water kefir, sauerkraut or spicy kimchi. The number of good bacteria these foods provide are extensive and tend to have a significant impact on improving your microbiome. Probiotics are also very convenient in supplement form, but I always combine the pre-and probiotics as the prebiotic are not only the preferred food source of your good bacteria.
If you are having many intestinal issues and severe bloating and IBS symptoms, you may have histamine intolerance and overreaction to fermented foods. Therefore it is best to start with just probiotic and anti-bacterial herbs such as oregano and rosemary until your body can tolerate the fibre and fermented foods.
Clear Parasites To Reset Your Microbiome
Your natural defence against pathogens, bacteria, parasites & viruses is compromised if your good bacteria is too low. Such nasties release mycotoxins as a secondary metabolite not only reducing your physical health but playing havoc on your mental health also. Many years ago, I was working with my mentors to help get one of my clients to wean off anti-depressants.
Depression from parasites
Depression was a common problem in the clients family, and one could resign to the fact that it is a somewhat genetic weakness. Instead of accepting such a fate, we went on a massive mission to ascertain the root causes of the problem. After various tests, we found three generations of 19 varieties of parasites in the gut .
Once we reset the gut, cleared out the parasites and reinoculated with pre-and probiotics, the client was able to be weaned off the medications. This is not always the case, but over my 20+ years career, Ive seen a considerable correlation between gut health and mood. You can order the Rejuv Gut-Brain Reset Pack that includes a full protocol in our shop.
Attacking the Parasites
Remove Items That Weaken Your Gut Microbiome
Antibiotics, artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sugar and non-GMOs all weaken your gut microbiome. Unfortunately, antibiotics destroy your good and harmful bacteria in the gut, which can lead to many gut issues including IBS, bacteria overgrowth and infections.
Think of your gut microbiome as a beautiful rainforest and antibiotics are like a wildfire that revenges the ecosystem. Artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda and Nutra-sweet, tend to encourage an overgrowth of unwanted bacteria that can lead to sugar/carb cravings, brain fog, increased risk of obesity, eating disorders, diabetes and various other diseases.
Processed foods, non-organic and GMO foods are dangerous due to the high levels of the pesticide glyphosate. Glyphosate can encourage an overgrowth of harmful bacteria & damage gut lining . Chemicals in tap water such as fluoride, chlorine and aluminium can also reduce the microbiomes delicate balance.
Does A Gut Reset Work
Oftentimes, 3-day gut resets involve adopting habits that are generally beneficial for human health. Eating a healthful, balanced diet and eliminating potentially harmful foods may help people feel better in a variety of ways.
However, scientists have not investigated whether a 3-day gut reset can permanently change a persons microbiome or create lasting health improvements.
Research has shown that short-term dietary changes do alter a persons gut flora. In a 2013 study , researchers found that bacteria responded rapidly to a sudden change to a plant-based diet.
This suggests that a 3-day gut reset may positively influence the microbiome during the diet. For lasting benefits, however, it may be necessary to implement longer-term changes to diet and lifestyle.
According to a , the Mediterranean diet can increase the amount and diversity of beneficial bacteria in the gut, whereas other types of diet may decrease it. The latter include:
- the Western diet, or Standard American Diet
- gluten-free diets
The Mediterranean diet includes many of the features of a gut reset, focusing on healthy fats, vegetables, and other sources of fiber. A 3-day gut reset may help a person transition to a diet that includes more of these foods.
If a person wants to try a 3-day gut reset, it is a good idea to plan ahead. Gut resets often require sudden and significant changes to the diet, so it can help if a person prepares by:
Gut Bacteria And Immune Health
Most importantly, a takeover of bad bacteria can dramatically affect immunity and leave room for infection, disease and chronic illnesses to develop. The gut is the first line of communication between the external environment and the immune system. The two work together to mutually regulate our bodys reaction to harmful pathogens.
But when the immune system and gut are working together, things are working smoothly. This encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria, which improves immunity and gut function. It creates stronger responses to pathogens while makes the body more tolerant to your natural gut bacteria.
Dont Give Up Cheese In The Name Of Gut Health
Could cheese be good for gut health? It seems increasingly likely. A study conducted by the American Chemical Society found that people who ate cheese had higher levels of a certain byproduct of gut bacteria thats been associated with a reduction in cholesterol. Theres a caveat, however: Maurice says its mostly unpasteurized cheeses that have those good-for-you microbes.
Find out 14 more .
How To Improve Gut Health Naturally
At any given moment, there are trillions of bacteria living in your gut. Known as a microbiome, this culture of microscopic organisms is essential to gut health, playing a role in everything from the digestion of food to the regulation of metabolism. Whats more, research suggests the condition of your microbiome can also impact your mood and your ability to fend of illness.
Although the market is saturated with expensive probiotics that can give your microbiome a boost, it turns out you can actually change your internal ecosystem simply by adapting your lifestyle.
The gut microbiota is very dynamic, so if you start taking up healthy food habits, it will respond and will modify very quicklyeven within 48 hours, says Corinne Maurice, an assistant professor at McGill University, who is also the Canada Research Chair in Gut Microbial Physiology and a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar for Humans and the Microbiome. But to improve gut health in the long-term, you need to stick to those healthy habits, because the benefits can disappear just as quickly. Heres expert advice on how to improve gut health naturally.
Strengthen Your Mucosal Barrier
A strong mucosal barrier is essential to keep the gut microbiome healthy. Most of your gut bacteria live in your mucosal barrier, so making sure it is in good condition is critical. The mucosal barrier is the barrier in the stomach made up of thick mucus secreted together with an alkaline fluid. Not only does this barrier house your good bacteria, but it also protects you from toxins, pathogens and excess stomach acids. Vindigni et al. confirms the importance of the mucosal barrier for a healthy microbiome and to support your immune system
The best way to keep your mucosal barrier healthy is to use fresh aloe vera juice or bone broth as they help heal leaky gut and keep this barrier intact. The Rejuv L-Glutamine is also vital.
In Short Heres How To Have A Healthy Gut
Never to underestimate the importance of gut health when it comes to your body and wellbeing. Its home to trillions of bacteria, not to mention actual human cells, that work hard to keep you fit and well. Your lifestyle can have a serious impact on this balance.
Making simple positive changes like more fiber in your diet, more exercise, and less unnecessary medication is how to get a healthy gut and wholesome gut microbiome. Just remember, you really do have the power to change, one step at a time.
Improve Your Gut Microbiome Today For The 4rs
There are a number of factors that contribute to the health of your gut microbiome, including your environment, the amount of exercise and sleep you get, and of course, stress. But the number one factor that determines what microbes live in your gut is your diet.
In Functional Medicine, there is a very successful protocol called the 4Rs, which stands for Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, and Repair. There are many resources for learning more about the 4 Rs. I like Raphael Kellman, M.D.s book, .
The beautiful thing about the 4Rs protocol is that it doesnt have to be followed in order. Once you remove the processed foods and toxins from your diet, you can start doing all of the remaining 3 steps together. Unless you suffer from a serious digestive disorder or other condition, you can follow the 4Rs on your own. Or, find a practitioner who can tailor the protocol to your specific needs.
Here are my suggestions for following the 4Rs and improving your gut microbiome starting today:
What Is The Gut Microbiome
Your gut microbiome lives in your large intestine, and its home to the most diverse bacteria in your entire body. Thats because, unlike any other part of the body, your digestive tract is an open ecosystem, which is more exposed to its external environment than any other part of the body.
What does this mean? Well, the gut microbiome can be shaped by things like gender, age, geographic and socio-economic conditions, diet, and health conditions. It also means that every persons gut microbiome will be different, and affected by different factors.
How Long Does It Take To Improve Gut Health
So if you begin on what many refer to as a gut healing journey, how soon can you expect results? Some studies, mostly on animals but also a few on humans, show that you can see differences within a couple of days. However, if the new healthy habits are ceased, then the microbiome reverts back to its original composition.
Another thing to consider here is that microbes can be opportunistic whereby they can stay dormant and when the right environment is presented , they thrive. A good example to explain this is re-bound weight gain.
So imagine me as the body size I am now , I have a particular composition of gut bacteria that is reflective of that size. Then picture me if I had an extra 20kg on my body, I would have a different composition of gut bacteria that was reflective of me at that larger size. Now if the overweight me, did an 8 week challenge and lost a heap of weight, my bacteria composition would start to shift to be more reflective of a lean body shape. However, the bacteria doesnt just die off that quickly, so in the meantime it can sit there dormant. Now that dormant bacteria likely thrived off refined and junk food that was the culprit of the extra body weight in the first place, so if after my 8 week challenge I go back to eating those foods, the bacteria are still there just waiting patiently until they can thrive on it again and hence the weight can be put back on, and very likely even more weight, which is what we refer to as re-bound weight gain.
Think Diversity Not Good Or Bad Bacteria
The first thing to realise is that you need to eat as wide a range of plant-based foods as possible, Dr Rossi advises.
In clinic, I tell people to aim for 30 different plant-based foods a week that includes different types of nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and fruit and vegetables. Research suggests if youre having fewer than 10 of these plant-based foods a week your microbial diversity isnt very strong. Vary the foods you eat from week to week, and always be open to trying new things.
Ways To Strengthen Your Microbiome
Tags: , , Pre & Probiotics
The microbiome consists of TRILLIONS of living microbes inside your gut. These little mood elevators work around the clock producing happy-chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Making sure that you have a diverse and thriving microbiome can help not only with your mental health, but can prevent things like the urge to over-eat, and can help regulate your digestive system.
Below, we have compiled a list of ways you can ensure that you have a happy and healthy microbiome!
What We Know So Far About Gut Bacteria
Researchers have identified between 10001500 species of bacteria in our gut microbiota, the name for the mixture of bacteria, yeasts and fungi found in the digestive tract.
Research to date suggests that the state of our gut microbiota may affect a multitude of other health issues. These range from general immunity to Irritable Bowel Syndrome , bloating and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohns disease. Our gut health also affects the stiffness of arteries in heart disease, as well as skin conditions, kidney disease and even mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
We now believe the gut microbiota can affect just about every organ in the body and is very important in the bodys immune system, says Australian-born dietitian Megan Rossi from Kings College London.
Its only early days, in that weve yet to determine whether intervening on the gut microbes can improve the health of our other organs, with diets targeting gut microbes, but that is where science is heading. Its looking promising in many areas, including our mental health, Dr Rossi says.
The intestine is 9 metres long, and 70 per cent of our immune system lies within it, so its clearly essential to our immunity. We also know the microbiota produces molecules that get into our blood and can talk to our brains and other organs.
Rossi offers basic principles and practical tips for achieving a healthy gut microbiota based on the very latest science.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much may negatively affect your microbiome, too. Repeated alcohol use is linked to gastritis, an irritation of the gut in which it becomes inflamed. Such inflammation can lead to heartburn, chronic discomfort, ulcers and bacterial infections.
Drinking too much is also associated with intestinal inflammation, which is a sign of an unhealthy gut. Research suggests that this kind of inflammation alters the microbiotaincluding how well it worksand can throw it off balance.