What Is Your Gut Microbiome?
Your body contains an ecosystem that is full of beneficial bacteria.* These bacteria may play important roles in supporting your immune system, your skin, your moods, and more. Your entire body is linked with your gut microbiome*, where billions of good bacteria live and work to support your body.
The tips in this post may be a great way to support your gut microbiome. Keep reading to learn about how to naturally support your gut by making simple, practical changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Support Your Gut Microbiome With Probiotic Foods
Probiotics are live cultures, beneficial bacteria that may support a healthy gut microbiome. Some foods and drinks contain probiotics, and many of these dietary sources of probiotics are compatible with a plant-based diet.
Below are a few of the most popular plant-based sources of probiotics.
Kimchi: A fermented form of cabbage that is traditionally prepared in Korea, kimchi has probiotics.* It’s also tangy and slightly spicy, making it a food that many people love and many others don’t. Give kimchi a try to decide if it’s the right source of probiotics for you.
Pickles: Briny, fermented cucumbers have probiotics.* The key word here is fermented — many store-bought pickles are made using vinegar instead of traditional fermentation. Make sure to opt for pickles that contain live cultures instead of those that have been prepared with vinegar. Both types of pickles taste great, but only one contains probiotics!
Sauerkraut: Like kimchi, sauerkraut is made by fermenting cabbage. However, sauerkraut is a dish native to Europe rather than Asia. Some Westerners prefer the taste of sauerkraut over kimchi, since one may be more familiar than the other. However, both sauerkraut and kimchi have probiotics.
Kombucha: A popular fermented drink, kombucha is made by introducing live cultures into tea. This combination tastes fizzy, tangy, and absolutely delicious. Kombucha has probiotics, but not all kombucha is made the same. Many brands use excessive amounts of added sugar, which can reduce the benefits of the drink for your gut. If you choose to get probiotics from kombucha, consider making your own, or opt for a brand that uses minimal added sugar.
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Prebiotic Foods Can Support Gut Health Too
While probiotic foods and drinks are the only dietary sources of beneficial, gut-healthy bacteria, other foods can contribute to a thriving gut microbiome. Prebiotic foods may help to support gut health by providing your gut microbiome with important nutrients, especially fiber, vitamins, minerals, and certain types of starch.
Below are some great plant-based sources of prebiotics to include in your diet.
- Bananas, especially unripe ones: These fruits contain resistant starch when they are on the green side. Resistant starch has prebiotic effects on your gut microbiome, making unripe bananas a great addition to a gut-healthy diet.* Ripe bananas are also great for your gut – they contain fiber and nutrients like potassium and vitamin C.
- Oats contain fiber, which is essential for gut health.* To make a gut-healthy breakfast, combine a sliced banana with a bowl of oatmeal and a few nuts and seeds. The plant-based protein from nuts or seeds, alongside the resistant starch from the banana and the fiber from the oats, make this a delicious meal to start your day.
- Legumes: Beans, peas, and lentils are all sources of fiber and plant-based protein. They’re also prebiotic foods that can help to support a healthy gut microbiome.* Legumes are a staple for many plant-based eaters, who love to make them the centerpieces of meals for a boost of much-needed fiber and protein.
- Berries have antioxidants and fiber, and they’re also low in sugar. These attributes make berries a great choice for your gut. The high fiber content in fruits like berries offsets their sugar content, and lower-sugar, higher-fiber fruits like berries are great additions to a gut-healthy diet.*
- Leafy Greens: Long praised as a source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, leafy greens like spinach and kale are another source of prebiotics. Your gut microbiome needs plenty of vitamins and minerals to thrive, and leafy greens may be just what your gut needs!. They contain vitamins and beneficial minerals that can help keep your gut happy and healthy.*
Broccoli: Like leafy greens, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are beneficial in supporting your gut health. These veggies contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and their calories counts are extremely low. A cup of cooked broccoli clocks in at just around 30 calories, but gives you a dose of your vitamin C and fiber requirements for the day.
Apples are another tasty source of fiber that are great for your gut.* These crisp, crunchy fruits also contain vitamin C and other nutrients.
Probiotic Supplements Can Also Help You Maintain A Healthy Gut Microbiome
Taking a probiotic supplement may help support your gut microbiome.
Probiotics can come in multiple forms – MaryRuth’s offers capsule and liquid probiotic supplements. Liquid probiotics are a great choice for anyone who has trouble swallowing pills or capsules. Our liquid probiotics are organic, vegan, raw, and sourced directly from Mother Nature: extracted with water from a proprietary blend of three organic grasses.
Reduce Stress & Sleep Well To Support Gut Health
Taking good care of your body and mind can have a major impact on your gut. Getting quality sleep each night is essential in supporting your gut microbiome, as is keeping stress to a minimum. Follow the tips below to support better sleep, de-stress more effectively, and support gut health.
Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night is great for your gut, and vice versa. Do whatever you need to do to get your nightly rest – cancel plans, finish work earlier, power down your screens – whatever it takes to get the sleep you need is a sacrifice worth making!
Avoid overdoing the caffeine. Too much caffeine may lead to the release of excess cortisol, a hormone that your body produces when stressed. Thus, the effects of too much caffeine on your body may mimic the effects of chronic stress*, which is no good for gut health.
To learn more about taking good care of your gut, visit our blog. There, you’ll find tips on supplements, wellness, and more that you can apply to live a happier, healthier life.
*References Available Upon Request.