When considering your health, one important factor that is being studied more and more is the gut. Researchers have found that the bacteria which lives in the intestines, plays an important role in our overall health and wellness. What is most interesting is that the health or sickliness of the gut depends on what a person eats. So by making a few dietary changes, you can transform the state of your gut bacteria. Let’s take a closer look at what a microbiome is exactly, why it matters, and which foods support its health.
What is a Microbiome?
The microbiome is made up of the trillions of microorganisms that can be found throughout your digestive tract and other openings to your body. The bacteria live on the lining of your gut and feed off of the food that you consume. The healthier the food that you eat is, the healthier the bacteria.
Why it Matters?
This population of bacteria contributes to a healthy immune system, digestive tract, and brain. Because of this, it is important to feed the bacteria properly. A malnourished microbiome can mean getting sick more easily, having trouble digesting food, and can even lead to mood disorders like depression.
What Foods Make for a Healthy Microbiome?
Luckily, you don’t have to depend on pricey probiotics and cleanses in order to have a healthy microbiome. Here are some foods that can help strengthen your microbiome as soon as you start eating them.
Fresh, Raw Vegetables
Nothing is quite so healing to the gut as fresh, raw, low-carb vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower are especially packed with tasty metabolites, which microbes feast on. When the microbes break these substances down, they are then activated as a sort of anti-inflammatory. Other recommended veggies include asparagus, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, radishes, turmeric, and garlic.
Fruit is also good. Bananas, in particular, help restore the bacterial community and reduce inflammation with their high potassium and magnesium content. Blueberries are another great choice as they are packed with antioxidants and kiwis offer up a serving of vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
Soluble and Insoluble Fiber
Soluble fiber binds to toxins and then carries them out of the body while insoluble fiber serves as a food source to the microbiome. Fruits and vegetables will help you fill your gut with both types of fiber.
Fermented foods and drinks, such as kimchi and sauerkraut, are filled with probiotics that help replenish your gut with a healthy helping of good bacteria. They will also help fight against bad bacteria that can cause damage.
Resistant starch, such as potato, plantain, and rice, help stimulate good bacteria growth and fermentation. This will help your gut strengthen its microbiome more quickly.
By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can help your gut support your overall health and wellness. It has been found that you can greatly impact your gut with just two weeks of eating habits so always remember that what you decide to consume is tipping your internal environment one way or the other.