healthy microbiome

Ten Steps to A Healthy Microbiome

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last ten years you’ve heard of the importance of having a healthy microbiome. Made up of healthy bacteria, your microbiome affects everything from immunity to the width of your waistline. Here are ten steps to make sure you’re doing everything you can to promote the livelihood of a healthy microbiome for the most rewarding life.

#1: Eat Fermented Foods Regularly

Fermented foods like sauerkraut and cultured dairy products naturally contain healthy bacteria. Regularly eating these foods improves gut health and conveys benefits such as fat loss, better mood, and less inflammation.

#2: Supplement With Probiotics

If you eat a traditional western diet, you are unlikely to be able to get enough active live cultures from food alone. Even if you eat a healthy diet, everyday realities like antibiotic use, industrial farming, tap water, and alcohol consumption will compromise your healthy bacteria. Supplementation with a probiotic is the easy solution for a healthy microbiome.

#3: Ensure Quality When Choosing A Probiotic

There’s a huge variation in probiotic quality. Many brands choosing to include probiotic strains that are the easiest to manufacture and package, not because they are good at establishing themselves in the gut. Pick a brand that includes at least 1 billion count of live bacteria. Many people need to start with a higher dose in the 25 to 50 billion count range. You can use a lower dose once the gut bacteria begin to shift.

#4: Check Good Manufacturing Practices

A key factor when choosing a probiotic is that the supplement you buy contains live microflora bacteria. Many products are only guaranteed at the time of manufacture. The majority of bacteria may have died off by the time you get around to taking them. Instead, only buy probiotics guaranteed through the date of expiration.

#5: Get Prebiotics Too

A prebiotic differs from a probiotic in that it is a form of fiber that the healthy bacteria in your GI tract can feed on. Plenty of prebiotics allow the good bacteria to proliferate, which is key for an overall healthy microbiome. Prebiotics come from high-fiber foods such as bananas, potato starch, and oats. This is especially important for people who don’t eat grains or have a low-carb intake.

#6: Take Resistant Starch

Resistant starch is a type of fiber that feeds the healthy gut bacteria. When gut bacteria feed on resistant starch, they produce a short chain fatty acid called butyrate that promotes a healthy intestinal cell layer in the gut. Starchy foods contain resistance starch. You can also get it by supplementing with 20 to 30 grams of unmodified potato starch.

#7: Eat Plenty of Vegetables & Fruit

Plant foods contain phytonutrients that interact with the gut bacteria and have an anti-inflammatory effect. They also contain resistant starch and natural prebiotics.

#8: Exercise

Exercise is enormously beneficial for health. So it's not surprise that people who train regularly have a more diverse microflora, which is associated with better health. Beyond burning calories, exercise encourages the growth of bacteria that is linked to leanness. It also suppresses other bacteria that are associated with obesity.

#9: Avoid NSAIDS

NSAIDs restrict blood flow to the kidneys and damage the protective intestinal barrier, which has a negative effect on healthy bacteria. Two natural supplements that promote gut health and have an anti-inflammatory, pain killing effect are curcumin and boswellia.

#10: Chew Your Food

In our culture it’s normal to scarf our food. This habit has a harmful effect on your “good” gut bacteria. When large food particles hit your intestines, harmful gut bacteria feed on them, which leads to inflammation and deprives you of the nutrition. Try chewing each bite at least 15 times: You’ll benefit from a greater release of hunger reducing hormones and a healthier microbiome.


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