16.12.2021

Gut Microbiome

There are about 100 trillion bacteria that live inside your digestive system. Collectively, they’re known as the gut microbiome. These bacteria ferment fibers, communicate with the immune system, produce vitamins and hormones, and affect our mood. To create a healthy environment for our good gut bacteria we need to feed them and maintain them properly. This can include probiotics (food that inoculated our gut with good bacteria) and prebiotics (foods that feed our already existing good bacteria).  Probiotic foods include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, miso, and raw apple cider vinegar. Prebiotics include oatmeal, flax, barley, berries, bananas, legumes, onion, garlic, and honey.

How to choose a good probiotic:

  • The minimum dose should be no less than 5 billion live organisms
  • Containing the strands Genus Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, or Saccharomyces.
  • It should be refrigerated
  • Take with a meal containing fats

 

Did you know if you have a low microbiome diversity you have a reduced ability to produce relaxing hormones, recover from stress, and increase the risk for leaky gut? How do we increase our microbiome diversity? The best way to increase our diversity is to increase the diversity of the plants that we eat which gives different good bacteria food to multiply. Try one new plant-based food each week! Another way to increase diversity is to allow time for the digestion of food, this can look like intermittent fasting for a 12-14 hour window each day. An interesting study showed that people that live in rural areas have a 2.5x increase in diversity compared to people that live in the city. So, getting outside in nature a few times a week is another great way to increase microbiome diversity. Lastly, having a pet that goes outside can strengthen your immune system while also bringing in more good bacteria for your gut!