When we talk about “gut microbiome”, we’re referring to the millions of microorganisms that inhabit our gut, or our gastrointestinal tract. Interestingly, each microbiome is unique and contributes to different health benefits and that’s why a rich and diverse gut microbiome is incredibly important for overall health. However, there are different factors that can influence the diversity and density of our gut bacteria, including stress, lifestyle and environmental factors, excessive alcohol consumption, food allergies, antibiotic usage and artificial sweeteners.
The health of our gut is deeply connected to our hormone levels, brain health, skin health, metabolism, body weight, immune system and mood. In fact, researchers continue to find remarkable links between a diverse gut microbiome and certain illnesses and diseases, including cancer, heart disease, liver disease, asthma, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and depression.
Although we know that diet is not the only factor that contributes to good gut health, research has shown that it is incredibly important. The more diverse your diet, the more diverse the nutrient supply is to your gut microbiomes.
Happy and well-fed gut microbiomes = a happier and healthier gut!
Here are a few key things you can do every day to optimize your gut microbiome:
👉 Incorporate prebiotics (apples, almonds, chicory root, asparagus, legumes, onions, raw garlic, cabbage).
Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and discourage dysbiotic growth (pathogenic bacteria).
👉 Incorporate probiotics (yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir, tempeh)
👉 Eat the rainbow
Have as many different varieties and colours of fruits and veggies that you love over the course of the day.
👉 Eat foods rich in polyphenols (blueberries, green tea, broccoli, grapes, olive oil)
👉 Drink teas that are good for your gut (e.g. liquorice root tea, fennel tea, green tea)
👉 Avoid GMOs
👉 Plan your meals ahead of time, or stock your freezer with healthy prepared meals. Click here to order.
👉 Avoid endocrine disruptors
Some endocrine disrupters include air pollutants, BPA’s, pesticides, parabens, mercury and phthalates. Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals has been shown to disrupt the gut microbiome, which may result in dysbiosis.
👉 Minimise unnecessary antibiotics
👉 Decrease stress and have good sleep hygiene
Responsible health advice: There is no one size fits all approach to nutrition or the healing properties of food. If you are unwell please seek professional advice.
Gálvez-Ontiveros, Y., Páez, S., Monteagudo, C., & Rivas, A. (2020). Endocrine Disruptors in Food: Impact on Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Diseases. Nutrients, 12(4), 1158. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041158
B.Sc Nutrition with Psychology (Dual Degree)
Consulting Clinical Nutritionist to The Banyans Wellness Retreat
Owner and Managing Director of Wholesomeness