Having a healthy gut microbiome will help improve your health and overall wellness, but if you aren’t aware of what this actually entails, it can be difficult to achieve this goal. The below guide will give you all the information you need to learn how to improve gut microbiome and keep it in tip-top shape for long-term, so that you can stay fit and strong year-round!
To ensure good gut health, it’s important to consider what you eat on a daily basis and take extra care of your gut microbiome. Healthy digestion begins with maintaining the right balance of good bacteria in your intestines, which can be achieved by eating foods high in fiber and prebiotics while avoiding foods that may cause damage to your gut microbiota like high-fat or processed food items.
You can also improve gut microbiome health by consuming probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt and kefir, and by regularly taking prebiotic supplements. Start improving your gut microbiome today by following these recommendations!
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How to improve gut microbiome
Toxins can have a negative impact on your gut microbiota and result in bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Try to eliminate toxins from your diet by avoiding processed foods with artificial colors, flavorings, sweeteners and preservatives.
At home you can make air fresheners with baking soda instead of chemical-laden sprays and replace plastic water bottles with a stainless steel bottle or glass containers. Remember that these measures are also good for your overall health!
Eat Healthy Fats
Studies show that unhealthy fats in our diets can be very harmful to our guts. That’s why it’s so important to ensure you get plenty of healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a healthy balance of gut flora. With that in mind, include sources of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet every day: nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil, fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, and avocado are just a few examples.
Foods rich in monounsaturated fats have also been shown to be beneficial for improving the health of your gastrointestinal tract—in addition to reducing inflammation throughout your body.
Reduce sugar intake
Sugar consumption has been linked to several forms of cancer, according to a 2015 study published in Nature. Researchers found that regularly consuming large amounts of sugar significantly increased levels of N-nitroso compounds (NOCs) — cancer-causing chemicals that are particularly dangerous because they can create DNA mutations and damage human tissue in a wide variety of ways.
So if you want a healthier gut microbiome, reduce your intake of sugar and other refined carbohydrates. Try some lemon or lime water in lieu of sweetened beverages during your morning commute or at breakfast.
You can also add fresh fruit into your yogurt or oatmeal instead of sprinkling them with honey or brown sugar. By making simple substitutions like these, you’ll naturally cut down on added sugars without even thinking about it!
Add prebiotics and probiotics
In addition to a healthy diet, there are plenty of ways you can improve your gut health—the health of your digestive system and internal microbiome. Adding more prebiotics and probiotics can help reduce gastrointestinal problems like bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Here are some easy ways you can add more probiotics into your diet:
Add cultured foods such as kefir, kombucha and kimchi into your diet; Sauerkraut is also an excellent source of lactobacillus—the key ingredient in many probiotic products; Try out other fermented foods including tempeh (fermented soybeans), miso (fermented soybeans) or natto (fermented soybeans).
Increase Fiber Intake
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in grains, vegetables, and fruit. Fiber cannot be digested by humans, so it travels through our body essentially untouched. However, fiber has significant impacts on our gut health and can actually prevent colon cancer.
Although fiber can’t be digested by us, certain bacteria that live in our guts have developed ways to do just that—and they’re able to make nutrients from fiber!
Research has shown that increased fiber intake positively alters your gut microbiome in just one week and can help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as well as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Try increasing your daily fiber intake and see how it affects your health!
Change Microbiome Friendly Habits
There are many foods and activities that can have a positive impact on our gut microbiome—to help improve health and wellness. Microbiome friendly habits include:
- Cutting out processed foods from your diet
- Ensuring you’re not skimping on fiber
- Drinking plenty of water
- Exercising regularly
- Going outside to get some sunshine for Vitamin D
- Sleeping adequately for seven hours or more every night
If you do these things consistently over time; it will improve your gut health naturally over time.
Go Beyond Diet Changes
Increasing your fiber intake is a simple way to improve your gut health, since fiber helps feed good bacteria and keep it healthy. Whole grains, beans, and lentils are great sources of fiber.
Fruits and vegetables also contain insoluble fiber (also called cellulose), which can help keep your digestive system working optimally. Lastly, whole grains are an excellent source of prebiotics—food for those healthy microbes in your body.