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.

Ultra-processed foods

Too many refined grains

Sugars and artificial sweeteners

Too many antibiotic drugs


Refined oils and fats

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