Cut Out Sugar And Avoid Processed Foods
Youre sweet enough already! Fast digesting sugars, otherwise known as Monnosaccarides, are digested so quickly that your little microbes dont get a chance to take a bite out of them! If you eat too many simple sugars too regularly, you run the risk of literally starving your microbiome to death. Additionally, hungry microbes will resort to munching away at the lining in your intestine, which can lead to inflammation. Try to alter your diet to include more foods with complex sugars, to ensure a happy and healthy microbiome. Heres a list of some sweet foods that will keep both you and your gut happy!
- Sweet Potatoes
Also make sure you keep out an eye for dreaded hidden sources of monosaccharides. Sugar can sneak into foods you would never expect them to be. Keep an eye on sugar levels in things like smoothies, nut butters, protein bars, salad dressings and even in a gut-favourite yogurt!
Good Gut Bugs And How To Get Them
Positive bacteria are often called healthy gut bugs.
Good gut bugs help your body digest and absorb nutrients, synthesize certain vitamins, and rally against intruders, such as the flu and toxic-forming carcinogens.
In the wise words of David Perlmutter, MD: A healthy microbiome translates into a healthy human.
Asparagus: A Crisp Spring Veggie That Aids Digestion
Rich in prebiotics, these green stalks are as good for you as they are delicious.
Like dandelion greens, asparagus is also rich in inulin. It can help promote regularity and decrease bloating.
Eat your asparagus steamed, sauteed, roasted, or chopped raw in salads. Or enjoy lightly steamed and chopped asparagus over quinoa or rice, or added to a range of dishes.
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Kefir: One Of The Most Probiotic
While this cultured product is traditionally made with dairy, its coconut or water-based counterparts can be even better and keep you free from the controversial health effects of cows milk.
You may be able to find dairy-free kefir in your area. Or you can order kefir starters and make it yourself using coconut water or nut milk. Just be sure that you dont oversweeten it because sugar can be bad for your microbiome.
Fluffy Buckwheat Chia Pancake
Studies show that those who eat a variety of whole grains have more diverse bacteria in their guts, which may lead to better health. Swap out traditional pancakes with these nutty and fluffy buckwheat chia pancakes and enjoy fiber-fueled nutrition with each bite. Word has it that your gut will thank you!
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Eat Your Fruits And Veggies
While all the different foods that make up your;diet can influence the gut microbiome, it is the fiber the carbohydrates in our diet that we cannot break down ourselves but the bacteria in our gut can use readily that drives the formation of a healthy microbiome. Eating a diverse and abundant selection of fruits and veggies is a great way to feed some of the most health-promoting bacteria in our gut.
Eating Right For Your Microbes
What you eat isn’t just nutrition for you, it also feeds the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut.
Every person is different, but if you want to improve your digestion, lose weight or look after your general health, there are some broad principles that apply to all.
Easy tips for gut health
- Eat a wide range of plant-based foods. A healthy gut has a diverse community of microbes, each of which prefers different foods.
- Eat more fibre. Most people eat less than they should. Fruit, vegetables, pulses, nuts and wholegrains feed healthy bacteria.
- Avoid highly processed foods. They often contain ingredients that either suppress ‘good’ bacteria or increase ‘bad’ bacteria.
- Probiotic foods, such as live yoghurt, might encourage more microbes to grow. Eat them if you enjoy them.
- Choose extra-virgin olive oil over other fats when you can. It contains the highest number of microbe-friendly polyphenols.
- Antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad. If you need antibiotics, make sure you eat lots of foods that boost your microbes afterwards.
- If your diet is low in fibre, a sudden increase can cause wind and bloating. This is less likely if you make gradual changes and drink extra water.
Probiotics vs prebiotics
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How To Improve Gut Microbiome
Everyone wants to know how to increase good bacteria in the gut naturally.
However, there is evidence to support the concept that food can improve the gut microbiome and that this, in turn, can promote human health.
Here are scientifically proven strategies to boost your good gut bacteria list.
A diversified microbiome may be achieved by eating a variety of foods. These are superfoods for gut health. People from rural Africa and South America have significantly more diverse gut bacteria than those from Europe or the United States.;The Western diet is uncomplicated and high in fat and sugar.
Fermented foods, plain or natural yogurt, can help the microbiome perform better and reduce the disease-causing bacteria in the intestines. So, fermented foods are the best foods for gut health.
Fiber is abundant in many fruits and vegetables. Fiber encourages the development of good bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacteria. Fruits and vegetables are foods that heal the gut.
Beneficial bacteria, particularly Bifidobacteria, flourish in the presence of prebiotics. It may help in the reduction of metabolic syndrome symptoms in obese persons.
Artificial sweeteners may have a detrimental impact on blood sugar levels because of their effects on the gut flora.
Whole grains include non-digestible carbohydrates that can help the gut microbiome develop healthy bacteria. Metabolic health may benefit from these changes in gut flora.
Gum Arabic: Sap From The Acacia Tree
You may not have heard of this superfood, but its a prebiotic and has a substantial amount of fiber.
A 2008 study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that gum arabic increases good bacterial strains, particularly Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli.
Also known as acacia fiber, you can stir the powder in water and drink it or take it as a supplement.
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Healthy And Unhealthy Foods
More broadly, we discovered correlations between wider food groups and clusters of “good” and “bad” microbes.
We already know that eating a diet rich in a range of plants is known to be good for your microbiome diversity. So itâs no surprise that we found a strong association between eating a diet rich in minimally processed plant-based foods and having more of these “good” gut bugs.
Conversely, people whose diets contained more unhealthy animal products tended to have more “bad” microbes.
However, itâs too simplistic to say that all plant-based foods are âhealthyâ and all animal ones are âunhealthyâ.
Highly processed plant-based foods were associated with “bad” microbes. More healthy animal-based products were linked to “good” bugs.
Why does this matter? This emphasizes the importance of overall food quality and processingânot all foods are created equal after all.
Gut Healthy Probiotic Power Bowls
Nutrient-dense gut healthy prebiotic and probiotic power bowls with roasted beets, cauliflower, dandelion greens, brown rice, sauerkraut, walnuts, and an orange cider vinaigrette. A happy gut meal perfect for making a part of your weekly routine.
What is the state of affairs in your gut lately?
I designed these bowls to be gut healthy for those of us with troubled GI systems and also for anyone who simply loves a nutritious meal.
For those of us with gut issues, it can be a constant battle to maintain a healthy microbiome. I find my gut health is at its best when my stress is under control and Im careful with both my food intake and level of exercise. Ive also found paying attention to my hormones in addition to gut health keeps both systems functioning properly.
There are a ton of tools we can employ to manage gut health and hormone health. Lately, some of my most powerful tools have been taking a magnesium supplement , adding collagen to my morning bulletproof coffee or matcha, taking shots of apple cider vinegar , lowering my sugar consumption , and dry brushing . I also take a probiotic and a multivitamin daily, and as you can imagine, Im very careful with my food intake.
For those of you who havent beaten around The Roasted Root bush a time or two, I eat a fairly strict paleo diet. Because I exercise daily, I have a difficult time going entirely grain-free, so I do incorporate rice into my diet from time to time .
Recipe Adaptations and Meal Prep:
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Eat Lots Of Vegetables Legumes Beans And Fruit
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of nutrients for a healthy microbiome.
They are high in fiber, which your body cant digest. However, certain bacteria in your gut can digest fiber, which stimulates their growth.
Beans and legumes also contain very high amounts of fiber.
Some high fiber foods that are good for your gut bacteria include:
One study found that following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables prevented the growth of some disease-causing bacteria (
Many fruits and vegetables are high in fiber. Fiber promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, including specific types such as Bifidobacteria.
Are Artificial Sweeteners Bad For Your Gut
Artificial sweeteners are a commonly consumed food group that offer an alternative option to natural sugars. While artificial sugars can be enticing to individuals with diabetes or weight issues, research shows they may negatively affect the microbiome.
In one study, mice fed with artificial sweeteners exhibited signs of intestinal dysbiosis, or unbalanced microbiomes. The mice had reduced levels of beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria and an increase in Bacteroides.
Scientists believe that the microbial changes caused by artificial sweeteners can lead to glucose intolerance, or pre-diabetes. However, more human studies are needed to fully understand the effects of artificial sweeteners.
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Ways To Strengthen Your Microbiome
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!
Rye The Poor Mans Wheat
Rye is a hardy grain that has more fibre than wheat. Its most popular in Scandinavian and East European dark breads and crispbreads. It has less gluten, which results in a tighter bread with rich, nutty, and warming flavours.
Rye is packed with the prebiotic fibre called beta-glucan , but also fructan and arabinoxylan. Research shows that fructan increases the gut abundance of Bifidobacteria, a probiotic microbe that supports your gut environment and other beneficial microbes by producing health-promoting substances like SCFAs, antimicrobial defences, and vitamins.
Rather than removing bread completely from your diet, try traditionally-fermented rye sourdough as an alternative to refined white flour wonder bread from the supermarket. Open-face crispbreads can also make an excellent work lunch alternative to your usual sandwich.
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What Is The Role Of Gut Microbiome In Your Health
There are billions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi living in your body. The microbiome is a term used to describe them all as a whole. Its true that certain bacteria are connected with illness; but, other bacteria are vital to your immune system and many other elements of your wellbeing. Lets find out the role of gut microbes in the body.
Probiotic Foods Like Kimchi Kombucha And Kefir
Probiotic foods contain living microorganisms like the health-promoting microbes found in your gut. Eating probiotic foods can help boost your bodys population of beneficial bacteria.
Common bacteria groups found in probiotic foods include;Lactobacillus; and;Bifidobacterium;. Probiotic foods are made by adding microbes to food and/or allowing a process known as fermentation to take place.
Examples of probiotic foods include:
- Fermented soy foods, such as tempeh, miso and natto
- Yogurt, both dairy and non-dairy
When choosing probiotic foods, check labels for live, active cultures, which indicates the bacteria in the foods are still living. For instance, when shopping for probiotic sauerkraut, reach for refrigerated brands with live cultures. Shelf-stable, pasteurized sauerkraut in a can or a jarthe type of sauerkraut your mother may have bought as a hotdog condimentis unlikely to contain living microbes. Living microbes are beneficial because they join the community of living microbes already in your gut.
Probiotics are also available in over-the-counter dietary supplements. However, theres mixed evidence of their benefits, and the American Gastroenterological Association does not recommend the use of probiotic supplements for most digestive conditions. If you do choose to take probiotic supplements, the AGA suggests that you do so with a doctors guidance.
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Go Forth & Heal Your Gut
Modern society has an immunity problem, which stems partly from a multipronged onslaught against our gut microbiome. Many of us live in a world that doesnt expose us to enough pathogens to exercise our immune systems. We kill beneficial bacteria with soaps and sanitizers; we dump repeated doses of antibiotics into our bodies; and we eat diets that starve the good bacteria and feed harmful bacteria.
But there are things you can do to protect and even heal your gut, which can strengthen your immune system. One of the best ways to improve gut health is by improving your diet. Focus on whole foods, especially fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fermented foods. Eliminate processed foods, sugar, and factory-farmed meat .
That way, youll be able to say about your gut bacteria what Max Martin wrote for Katy Perry in the song Part of Me: This is the part of me / That youre never gonna ever take away from me.
Tell us in the comments:
- What foods do you eat to feed your beneficial gut bacteria?
- What lifestyle changes can you make to help your microbiome thrive?
- Which gut health recipe from this article will you try next?
How The Foods You Eat Help Your Gut
When it comes to maintaining your microbiome at its healthiest level, nothing is more important than what you eat and drink.
The internal environment of your gut is dictated by what you put in your mouth so the foods you choose to eat are a crucial component of maintaining gut health.
The good news is, even a lifetime of bad eating is fixable at least as far as your microbes are concerned. Amazingly, your body can create a new microbiota in as little as 24 hours just by changing what you eat.
What you eat determines which bacteria thrive in your gut. And research tells us that the good gut bugs get stronger when fed colorful, plant-based foods.
A 2014 study in the journal The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society found that vegetables, grains, and beans fed a positive gut environment. But meat, , dairy, and eggs fed a negative gut environment.
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The Microbiome Diet 6 Foods To Avoid
A microbiome diet is a healthy style of eating that supports the good bacteria in the microbiome. It removes common foods that feed the bad bacteria and yeast living in the gut. Instead a microbiome diet focuses on real whole foods, rich in fiber including plant foods like leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables and nuts and seeds.
The more balanced your gut flora;is, the healthier your entire body is. Your microbiome is linked to numerous health conditions, symptoms and complaints. It affects your digestion, immunity, mood, weight and energy levels.
Eating a microbiome diet can help to maintain balance and diversity in the microbiome, as well as help to restore it. Dysbiosis, candida overgrowth and leaky gut syndrome can all benefit from a whole food based microbiome diet. Generally if youre starting from a place of imbalance, youll want to eat a stricter diet removing starches for at least 2-3 weeks to help get your gut health back on track. Youll also want to avoid the six foods below that feed the bad bacteria in your gut.
What Can You Eat
The microbiome diet is a three-phase program that begins with an elimination diet, removing common trigger foods such as soy, corn, eggs, and dairy. The diet becomes less restrictive as you move throughout the phases, and by the end of phase three, you should be eating a primarily gut-friendly diet.
Microbiome diet recipes can be found in abundance on the internet, but you can also try anti-inflammatory recipes and Mediterranean recipes, many of which are also good for your gut. The full details of the microbiome diet can be found in Dr. Kellman’s book .
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Kimchi Can Promote Intestinal Health
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made of fermented vegetables, including cabbage, garlic, ginger, and red pepper. Similar to sauerkraut, kimchi combines vegetables and salt to pickle the ingredients and grow healthy bacteria that you can eat. Foods containing edible bacteria are called probiotics, and eating them can improve your microbiome.
Probiotics, or fermentable foods, contain lactic acid bacteria that can enter your microbiome and regulate your intestinal health. They can increase your microbiome diversity and add competition for potentially harmful bacteria. Many studies suggest that consuming probiotics may also produce systemic anti-inflammatory responses.
In one study, the effects of fresh and fermented kimchi consumption were tested on Korean women. They found that only pickled kimchi changed the intestinal flora of the women. This implies that the edible bacteria had the most potent effects on the microbiome.
Other kinds of good bacteriafoods include fermented dairy products, pickles, sauerkraut, and kombucha.