How to Boost the Health of your Microbiome
We’re sure by now you all know how much we love the Microbiome at Bite Club. Medical research is increasingly proving the importance of the microbiome and overall gut health, as eating a balanced diet (to keep your gut happy) may be a way to fend off illness and disease.
It has lots of functions in the body, such as training our entire immune system, regulating our weight and takes the parts of foods that we can’t digest and turns them into a range of chemicals and hormones. Microbes have a lifespan of roughly 20 minutes, meaning that eating healthy foods can allow friendly bacteria to proliferate. The richer and more diverse the community of microbes is in your gut, the lower your risk of disease and allergies.
What damages the microbiome?
Overusing antibiotics and following a diet that consists of processed foods with high levels of salt and sugar can damage your microbiome.
During the process of eliminating the disease from your body, antibiotics also destroy a lot of the good microbes in your body. Although there are a lot of times where antibiotics have to be taken, beware of overusing antibiotics as they can contribute to more problems such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. If a child is over prescribed antibiotics in their early years, they are more likely to be obese and to develop type 2 diabetes in later life. If you have to take antibiotics it is recommended to support this with fermented and probiotic-rich foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir. Consuming large amounts of processed foods has a negative on the health of your microbiome. It ruins the diversity of good microbes due to the sugar, fat & emulsifiers in processed foods. Overusing antibacterial and antimicrobial products such as hand sanitizers, deodorant and mouthwash can remove a lot of beneficial bacteria, try to use more natural products that are more supportive of your microbiome.
How do I get a more diverse microbiome?
Fear not- we’re here to help you boost the diversity of your microbiome.
- One of the best ways is to load up on prebiotic and probiotic-rich foods that help to boost the different types of good bacteria in the gut. Prebiotic foods are those that feed the good bacteria that already live in your guts. Sources of prebiotics are onion, garlic, leeks, and Jerusalem artichokes. These are a source of prebiotic fibre called inulin Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts, often known as ‘good bacteria’ that are especially good for your digestive system. Some of the main sources are fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, apple cider vinegar and kimchi.
- Aim to consume food and drink with high levels of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that fuel your microbes. Examples are green tea, nuts, seeds, coffee and berries.
- Make sure to include a wide range of fruit and vegetables, as the higher variety of plant-based foods you eat, the more likely you are to have diversity in your microbiome.
- Although our diet plays a part in the overall health of our microbiome, there are lots of other factors which have an impact. For example, high-stress levels can affect your microbiome as well as your overall health and wellbeing. Try and take part in activities that reduce your stress levels such as yoga, meditation or spending time with family and friends.
- Lack of sleep can contribute to short-term and long-term damage to your microbiome. Studies have also shown that those who have under 6 hours of sleep each night have an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, early death and obesity. Try and set aside a relaxation period before you go to bed, and maintain a regular bedtime routine.