How to Feed Your Healthy Bacteria
The large intestine or colon may be home to one of the most important functions in your body.
Recent research is looking more deeply as we are learning just how crucial these organs and this system is to our health.
This organ houses the majority of your gut bacteria which make up your microbiome, and a healthy microbiome in the gut is one that is rich with a diverse universe of healthy bacteria. They are crucial to many actions that happen in your body, and they serve as a gateway for things we want to enter and all that we want to keep out.
When Imbalance Strikes
An imbalanced microbiome can reflect or contribute to things like insulin resistance, weight gain and inflammation. So what can you do to help support a healthy microbiome?
Feeding these little bugs is so important, as well as keeping things out that break them down. The first thing we know about these little guys is their favorite food is soluble fiber.
All fruits and vegetables are great sources of fiber. Our microbes love the soluble fiber in vegetables and fruits, so consider how you can get more of these in. Certain vegetables and fruits are high in soluble fiber and they include: raw leeks, raw garlic, asparagus, raw onions, chicory root, bananas and kiwi.
Grains Can Help
Whole grains are another food group to include that help with gut health. Grains are tricky these days, as much dietary fiber is lost in the process of the grain. Here’s what we know: the finer the powder, the easier it is to digest. This means that it never gets a chance to reach the microbiome in the colon, so the more whole grain you can get, the better. Quinoa, millet and buckwheat are all great examples of whole grains. Be brave and try some nutty, chewy, delicious whole grains.
Fermented Foods, Fat and Fiber
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi and kefir are foods that are bacteria filled. Millions of various kinds of bacteria can be found in these foods and is a great way to increase your bacteria in your gut.
Check out the health food sections in your grocery stores and again be brave and try something you may never have thought of including in your diet.
The right combination of healthy fats along with healthy carbs is your best medicine for healthy, happy bugs. Fiber is even more potent when combined with healthy fats. Fats such as olive oil, avocados, ghee and coconut oil are all great sources of healthy fats to include daily in your diet.
Adding in a good quality probiotic can also be a start to building up your microbiome. A probiotic is a supplement that is full of live bacteria. Probiotics can be a help to a healthy microbiome by helping build the abundance and variety of bacteria in our gut that our modern world has reduced.
The hard part to this is deciding which brand is right for you. Our physicians at Integrative Medicine are very helpful in assisting you as you determine which one will be the right fit. Microbiome research is still in its early stages, but is may serve as a powerful tool for our health very soon in the future.