Your microbiome are the genome of trillions of bugs that live on your body; the majority of them reside in your gut. They require proper care and feeding, just like the plants in your garden, so that they can help you obtain maximal health!
Your gut bugs help you digest food, manufacture vitamins, absorb nutrients, and improve your immune system. When your microbiome is well-cared for, you feel great, your skin glows, you have epic poops, and your stomach is nice and flat.
So how can you nourish your microbiome? Here are a few tips:
1. Focus on a plant based diet
This means at least ½ of your plate should be fruits and vegetables. The plant fiber provides your good microbes with food (prebiotics) to help you be healthy and happy. Try to get 30 different varieties of fruits/veggies per month (ideally per week).
Vegetables should make up at least 2/3 of the portion of your plate. Fruits should make up about 1/6 of the portion of your plate.
Learn more about HEALTHY PLATE
2. Choose WHOLE GRAINS
Whole grains contain all 3 parts: bran (the hard fiber shell), endosperm (mostly carbs), and germ (inner layer with vitamins, minerals, and protein). Consider corn, oats, brown rice, quinoa.
3. Eat animal protein sparingly
Our society is extremely obsessed with protein, but we really do not need as much protein as we are consuming. Studies actually show it may be detrimental for our health (especially animal protein).
The recommended daily intake is 0.36 grams per pound.
This amounts to:
56 grams per day for the average sedentary man.
46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman
Animal protein is packed with saturated fat and cholesterol. If you must eat animal protein, consider the Protein Flip, using meat only as a condiment rather than the main course.
You can get protein through many plant sources like nuts, seeds, and beans. Your body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. Though all 20 of these are important for your health, only nine amino acids are classified as essential (meaning you need the consume them). There are 11 can be made by your body.
Here are some options for plant-based proteins: 7 Alternatives to Animal Proteins
4. Limit sugar intake
Too much sugar not only makes us fat, it makes it sick. Limit sugar intake to 25 grams/day for women, 37 grams/day for men
5. Consider Healthy Fats
Fats can trigger release of hormones that promote satiety and help absorb certain vitamins. Nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados are naturally occurring, healthy fats.
6. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics. Try to get 1 serving of probiotic rich foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, or kefir, etc. per day (vary up the types you eat daily).
7. Limit medications and toxin exposure
Limit intake of antibiotics (when not necessary), proton-pump inhibitors (omeprazole, pantoprazole), and toxic chemicals (BPA, pesticides, preservatives)
8. Adopt healthy lifestyle habits
Adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Get 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise 3 days per week and regular sleep.