Before you shop for foods that improve your gut microbiome, it is important to know why they are beneficial.
The gut microbiome is the community of bacteria living in the gastrointestinal system.
The community consists of good bacteria (probiotics), bad bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms.
When the gut microbiome is in balance, it means that the ratio of good bacteria to bad will be higher. This keeps the digestive system intact and working properly
Hello and welcome to Fearlessly Holistic.
My name is Irma and I want to share my journey to improved health by eating whole foods, moving my body and eliminating stress as much as possible.
It is my hope to inspire you to make daily changes. Why? Because eating fresh, seasonal food, getting some sunshine, and purging unhelpful thinking is the best way to increase longevity. But you do not want just a long life.
You want a quality long life.
Ready to start fixing your gut health? Grab my BEST AND WORST FOODS FOR YOUR GUT guide and start improving your immune system today.
My blog posts are my opinion and the results of things that I have tried that either worked for me or didn’t. My opinions are for informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. As well, there may be affiliate links in this post. Read more here.
The gut microbiome is important to the overall mental and physical health of the human body. It is where 70% of the immune system is and is the line of defense against pathogens.
The stronger your gut microbiome is, the quicker you can recover from illness. Many people with a strong microbiome rarely get sick.
The bacteria in the gut even produce vitamins like vitamin K which is important for blood clotting and vitamin B which is used for energy.
How do you know if your gut microbiome is healthy or out of balance?
The easiest way to tell is by the symptoms and they are obvious enough that no one needs to worry about misunderstanding them.
Here are a few signs that your microbiome is out of balance:
- Gas or bloating
- Indigestion or heartburn after meals
- Irregular bowel movements (diarrhea or constipation)
- Food allergies or sensitivities
- Frequent colds
- Joint pain
- Respiratory infections
What can cause your microbiome to go out of whack?
Some people with gut pain have specific health issues, like Leaky Gut.
Health experts, like Mark Hyman, MD believe that the biggest single cause of leaky gut (intestinal permeability) is using over the counter pain relief medications.
I am 100% sure that is how my gut issues started…taking strong painkillers for my ankle injury.
Leaky gut is a health issue where the lining of your intestines gets thin and holes occur.
The holes let toxins or food particles travel to places they should not be and/or leak into the bloodstream. This can cause all the symptoms mentioned above.
When I switched to a clean Keto diet, I fixed many of my gut issues right away. The rest I am fixing with probiotic supplements.
Things that can hurt your microbiome:
- Lack of prebiotics in the diet – prebiotics are a type of fiber that does not get digested, but that also feeds good bacteria
- Not enough variety of natural foods in the diet – I advocate for clean Keto for this reason
- Overuse of antibiotics – Antibiotics are useful in a few situations, but overuse destroys good bacteria
- Insufficient physical activity – Add a walk outdoors to your afternoon routine following a good, healthy lunch.
- Inadequate amount of sleep – For sleeping better, look to regular exercise and movement of the body.
- Too much: Alcohol, cigarettes, junk food and stress – Of course you knew that stress would be on the list; consider adding yoga meditation to your morning routine before you begin exercising.
You can fix your gut microbiome through diet, reducing stress, and sleeping better.
As for your diet, you can begin with removing processed foods and adding healthy foods as well as include fermented foods to restore balance to your gut microbiome.
You can use probiotic supplements to help kickstart healing while you are try adding in some new fermented foods.
Beneficial Bacteria You Want To Eat
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Lactobacillus gasseri
- Saccharomyces boulardii
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Enterococcus faecium
- Bifidobacterium longum
Top 10 Whole Food Probiotics
Many of these are simple to make at home, such as Kimchi and Sauerkraut. These are the 10 best probiotic foods because there is something for everyone.
Be sure to read the label. Look for “active bacterial cultures” using the list of beneficial bacteria.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is similar to to yogurt and is a bit tangy to taste.
Sauerkraut is essentially a pickled cabbage. Homemade sauerkraut is vastly different in taste to the stuff in jars from the store. It is simple to make at home and you only need a spoonful daily to help your gut
Kimchi is a spicy Korean pickled cabbage dish. It is made in layers with spring onions and other veggies and is left to ferment like sauerkraut.
Kombucha is made by brewing tea, adding a bit of sugar and topping it with a SCOBY, which is a disk shaped item that starts the fermentation process. When finished fermenting, it is bubbly and tasty.
6. Aged cheeses, especially from unpasteurized milk or Raw Milk cheese
Like parmesan, Asiago and specialty cheeses that you might find at a farmers market locally.
7. Soft fermented cheese
Like Gouda or Feta if made with raw milk or if it says on the package that it contains active probiotics.
8. Naturally fermented Pickles
These would be sour pickles, like dills.
Jarred pickles from the store have been heated to a high temperature during processing, and do not contain any beneficial bacteria. Ditto for jarred olives. Look for brined options.
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. Be sure to read the ingredient list if buying from the store, because most of their products are not true Tempeh and are not fermented, which is the part you want.
Miso is a fermented paste made from barley, soybeans or rice. Be sure to get an authentic product and not a fake that is not fermented.
You’ll see that all of these are full of either probiotics (yogurt) or feed the probiotics in your gut (the rest).
Whenever possible, make your own fermented foods.
Homemade sauerkraut is easy to make and tastes far better than the stuff you get in jars at the store.
Here is a recipe from Grass Fed Girl; check it out to see how easy it is to make.
I have made it several times. You can throw together a batch in 30 minutes, and then you let it sit for few days to get the fermentation going.
You only need a small amount, like a spoonful daily, to give your gut some tasty help.
So have I convinced you to add more fermented foods to your diet? Having a good functioning microbiome is key to maintaining good health, which is why so many cultures have their own versions of fermented foods.
And do not forget about my Keto Diet Kit: get recipes, a shopping list, tips, and a planner to set goals, track progress, and success tips.
Eat the best food that you can afford to give your body the building blocks it needs for optimal health, longevity, and looking good for as long as possible 😉
Holistic approaches never just address symptoms of specific health problems, but instead aim to return or keep the patient in a state of balanced health between mind, body, and spirit. Grab your GUIDE TO FIXING GUT HEALTH by signing up below.
Holism targets overall wellness, and when we are well, we only get better with age.
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Until next time, here’s to our health!