Did you know that your body contains more bacteria than cells? You are home to around 40 trillion bacteria! As many as 1,000 species exist in the gut alone: good bacteria, which are important for health, and bad bacteria, which are detrimental to health. And like DNA, or a fingerprint, the precise species and composition of bacteria is unique to every single person! These bacteria are fighting to survive, and thrive, so your good bacteria need all the help they can get to stay in control and keep your gut microbiome in balance!
Signs your microbiome may be out of balance
If your gut microbiome becomes out of balance, it means that there are more bad bacteria than good bacteria. Signs of imbalance can include long-term digestive issues, a weak immune system, inflammatory skin conditions, weight problems, a depressed mood, and more.
How to rebalance your gut microbiome
There are three key things you can do to tip the scale and get your microbiome back in balance! The first is to directly add good bacteria to your gut, the second is to make sure your good bacteria get the food they need to thrive, and the third is to starve your bad bacteria of the food that they love!
Add good bacteria to your gut
The best way to add good bacteria to your gut is by eating a diverse range of foods, including fresh plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables and legumes, yoghurt with live active cultures, and fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, miso and kombucha. You can also take a probiotic supplement – but take care as there are a myriad of probiotic products on the market, and not all probiotics are equal! Be sure to choose one like L. Plantarum 299v, which is one of the most researched strains of probiotic, with over 20 years of research behind it – and proven benefits for the gut.
Feed your good bacteria
The good bacteria in your gut love dietary fibre – specifically prebiotic fibre – so fill up on foods like whole grains, beans, bananas, asparagus, artichokes and chicory. If you feel like you’re not getting enough fibre, try adding extra fibre to your meals or drinks with a fibre supplement. As well as feeding your good bacteria, dietary fibre gives your gut a great workout and helps to bulk your stool for smooth and regular bathroom visits!
Starve your bad bacteria
The bad boys in your gut microbiome love all the things you might expect! Hyperpalatable foods, saturated fats, red meat, sugar and alcohol! Don’t give them too much of what they want! If you can keep your consumption of these to a minimum you’ll help to keep those bad boys in check. Try to be mindful of what you’re eating and choose healthier options whenever you can. The odd slice of pizza is fine – moderation in everything!