In our series on the gut microbiome, we explain what constitutes the gut microbiome, signs of compromise, and what harms the beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome. In this article we discuss how to support and replenish beneficial bacteria.
Consider These Items to Support Beneficial Gut Bacteria:
Purified/filtered water, free of chlorine and flouride
Clean foods free of agricultural chemicals. See Clean 30, Dirty Dozen lists. Properly cooked and prepared foods for optimal nutritional and enzyme availability. See: Digestive Enzymes, Indigestion & Inflammation
Absolutely essential: Short chain fatty acids See: What Are Short-Chain Fatty Acids And Why Should You Care?
Various fermented foods, including cheese, butter, alcoholic beverages, pickles, sauerkraut, soy sauce, and yoghurt, are high in short chain fatty acids:
– vinegar and alcoholic beverages contain acetate,
– cheese contains propionate and butyrate, and
– butter contains butyrate
Fiber: 30+ grams per day (both soluble and insoluble fiber). See: How Short-Chain Fatty Acids Affect Health and Weight
High-fiber foods, such as fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains, encourage the production of short-chain fatty acids.
Omega 3 fats to reduce inflammation and more. See: 12 Foods That Are Very High in Omega-3 and No Fat Diets May Cause Cancer
Polyphenols packed with antioxidants. See: What Are Polyphenols? Types, Benefits, and Food Sources
Consider These Items to Replenish Beneficial Gut Bacteria:
(the following three articles will be published in Aug/Sep 2021)
Microbiotics: Probiotics; Prebiotics, and Sporebiotics.
Fermented foods with live cultures may provide both pre- and pro-biotics, i.e. sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt. Be careful as the potencies can vary dramatically – and many of them have up to 35g of sugar!
Resistant starches act as whole-food sources of prebiotics, fiber and carbs for beneficial gut bacteria.
Consider These Items to Support the Healing of a Damaged Gut Microbiome:
Digestive enzymes (ginger helps break down protein)
… and more **
To Learn More
Subscribe to Dr. Axe to see: The Human Microbiome: How It Works + a Diet for Gut Health
** To learn if and when you need supplementation and/or support, consider functional testing with Functional Medical Doctors, Naturopathic Doctors, Functional Nutritionists, etc. These health professionals can help identify the unique food sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies, product recommendations, and supplementation dosages for your body.