Taking Care of Your Microbiome

How to Properly Take Care of Your Gut Microbiome

Your microbiome is what we call the diverse “ecosystem” that exists within your body… 

Trillions upon trillions of microorganisms, all coexisting, and having a huge effect on your overall health and well-being…

This invisible system plays an incredibly important role in everything from your immunity and digestion… to your thoughts, feelings and emotions.

It fights carcinogens and generates vitamins, nutrients and neurotransmitters

And while most of the microbes living in our body work together for our good, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have found…

How we take care of our body may trigger some microbes to become pathogenic – or dangerous and disease-causing. 

That said, here are some practical, everyday tips for you on how to take good care of your microbiome so it can take care of you:

1. Avoid Processed Food

According to researchers, processed foods that are high in fat and sodium lead to a reduced microbiome. 

Not only do they lack the nutrients for microbiomes to thrive… eating high calorie  processed food also leads to unwanted weight gain.

2. Increase Your Fiber Intake to Achieve Microbiome Balance in the Gut

Research says that a high-fiber diet is the key to maintaining a good balance in your gut microbiome. They recommend a fiber intake of 30 grams per day…

More than improving your gut health, a high-fiber microbiome diet helps you lose weight. High-fiber foods make you feel fuller because they take longer to digest.

The fuller you feel, the less food you’ll want to eat. Fiber also helps stimulate digestion.

3. Eat Foods Rich in Probiotics to Keep Microbiomes Robust

Probiotics contain live culture bacteria and reinvigorate the microbiomes in your body.

These probiotics can typically be found in fermented food…

However, not all fermented foods contain live cultures. Beer, wine, and soy sauce are too processed for good bacteria to live in them.

4. Eat Prebiotic-Rich Foods to Help Achieve Good Microbiome Balance

More than probiotics, prebiotics are also beneficial in maintaining good microbiome balance in your body.

Prebiotics Definition: Prebiotics are substances that serve as nutrients for the microbiome within the human body. 

According to research, prebiotics help microorganisms in the body metabolize nutrients to promote the human body’s well-being.

More than improving gut health, prebiotics also help in lowering cholesterol and preventing diabetes. 

Numerous studies also pointed out that prebiotics contribute to maintaining metabolic health, skin health, and maintaining immune function.

Prebiotics are commonly found in certain soluble fermentable fibers and dietary fibers. Here are a few examples:

  • Chicory Root (65% of fiber by weight)
  • Jerusalem Artichoke, or earth apple (31.5%)
  • Garlic (17.5%)
  • Onions (8.6%)
  • Leek (11.7%)
  • ​Asparagus (5.0%)
  • Wheat Bran (5.0%)​
  • Wheat Flour (4.8%)​

5. Add Polyphenol-Rich Superfoods into Your Diet to Better Absorb Prebiotics

A number of studies have claimed that polyphenols balance the gut microbiomes to contribute to overall gut health. 

Polyphenols contribute to microbiomes by allowing them to absorb prebiotics better.

Polyphenols Definition: Polyphenols are compounds commonly found in medicinal herbs and dietary plants. 

Foods containing high polyphenol content are highly sought after because of their antioxidant effects.

More than contributing to gut health, polyphenols are also proposed to be a natural aid to treating inflammation according to some studies.

6. Consider Taking Supplements for Better Health

If you aren’t into Kimchi and Kombucha, you may find it difficult to incorporate probiotics into your diet… 

Taking probiotic supplements may be a better option, and there are other supplements that work alongside them to support your microbiome:

  • Take probiotic supplements to feed your body with good bacteria.
  • Add magnesium supplements to activate your digestive system.
  • Drink fish oil supplements to keep gut microbiomes healthy.

7. Give Intermittent Fasting a Try to Preserve Gut Health

A few studies have concluded that intermittent fasting positively impacts gut microbiomes. 

There’s a reason why this diet has become one of the trendiest fitness regimes.

Fasting increases microbiome diversity in the colon. 

As a result, fasting leads to a more robust body by preserving gut health.

Other than maintaining microbiome balance, intermittent fasting also helps with weight loss, enhanced immunity, increased longevity, and overall improved health. 

The basic concept behind intermittent fasting is to split your schedule into times for eating and times for fasting.

There are many ways to do intermittent fasting:

  • 16/8 Method: This method requires focusing your eating period to only 8 hours within the day and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. For example, you can start eating at 9:00 AM and start fasting by 5:00 PM. If you’re not a breakfast person, you can also opt to start eating at 12:00 PM and stop food intake by 8:00 PM.
  • 5:2 Diet: This way of intermittent fasting means that you’ll fast for two days and eat normally for the other five days. Fasting for two days means consuming only 25% of your daily calorie needs. So if you consume 1,600 calories normally for five days, then you should only consume 400 calories per day for the other two days.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat Method: The basics of this method is fasting 20 to 24 hours once or twice a week. For example, you can eat normally for the next six days until 8:00 PM on the sixth day. Then, stop eating after 8:00 PM. You will then resume eating by 8:00 PM the next day.

As we take care of the microorganisms in our body, we take care of ourselves. My hope is that you can now take action to achieve microbiome balance in your body to improve your overall health.