How to Maintain a Healthy Microbiome
The gut is home to around 40 trillion bacteria, fungi and microbes, collectively known as the microbiome. Consisting of both harmful and beneficial microbes, this ecosystem helps control digestion, metabolism and benefits your immune system. It also helps regulate inflammation and can even impact your mental health. And experts agree that a diverse microbiome is important for overall health, the precise mix is important as it can directly influence yourself. As with most things, diet can play a big role in helping the good bacteria in your microbiome to thrive. Here’s what to choose and what to avoid.
What to feed your microbiome
Actively eating a diet rich in gut-friendly foods will help ensure your microbiome is well balanced and healthy.
Wholefoods that are high in fibre like fruit and vegetables
Fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut
Live yoghurt which contains plenty of good bacteria
Probiotic foods such as almonds or a good probiotic supplement
Prebiotics like garlic, onions and leeks
Fatty acids and polyphenols found in olive oil
What not to feed your microbiome
Highly processed foods are a problem for a number of reasons, not least because they convert to sugar in the gut, which feeds the bad bacteria and causes them to multiply. Here’s what else to avoid.
Too many refined grains
Sugars and artificial sweeteners
Too many antibiotic drugs
Refined oils and fats