Eating for Your Microbiome

Jan 19, 2023
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Your microbiome is basically a collection of microorganisms and their genetic material that live in your intestinal tract. These microorganisms are critical to your health and wellbeing. How can you be sure that you are eating for your microbiome?

What does your microbiome do?

Gut bacteria were thought only to regulate bowel movements however more research has shown that the gut bacteria affect your entire body... including your brain!

The beneficial bacteria in your gut can help with digestion,  reduce anxiety, protect against infection and some forms of cancer, balance mood and synthesize some vitamins.

Good bacteria in the gut have been associated with lower rates of medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases.

If you have too many bad bacteria and too few good bacteria serious health problems can arise.  Your good bacteria can be killed by illness, trauma, stress, surgery or unhealthy eating habits.  The antibiotics we take for infections kill the bad bacteria but also may kill off your good bacteria.

You can keep your microbiome healthy by eating the correct foods that feed the good bacteria  and avoiding those foods that encourage bad bacteria. 

Feed your Microbiome...The foods we eat influence our microbiome.  Different microbes thrive on different foods.  You can stimulate the growth of good bacteria by taking probiotics and eating specific foods that bacteria are known to thrive on such as prebiotics. 

Tips to maintain your healthy microbiome:

1. Hydrate- it is important to drink approximately half your body weight in ounces and other noncaffeinated beverages free of sugars.

2. Include prebiotic and probiotic foods in your diet.

3.  Eat high-fiber vegetables which maintain  a healthy digestive system.

4.  Limit or avoid processed foods and other foods that are high in sugar and artificial sweeteners and transfats.

5.  Limit or avoid foods which you are sensitive, intolerant or allergic.  Some common examples can be corn, dairy, eggs, fish, gluten, soy, peanut and tree nuts.

6.  Take antibiotics only when necessary. During and  after completing a course of antibiotics eat probiotic foods and take a probiotic supplement as this can help rebuild the population of healthy gut bacteria.