15 tips to improve your gut microbiome.

You want to be healthier and happier, right? Maybe your gut microbiome can help.

Your gut microbiome is a vast community of trillions of bacteria and fungi mostly in our tummies and according to Professor Tim Spector writing in Science Focus for the BBC they should be considered as a newly discovered organ. They weigh more than our brain and contain more cells by number than the rest of our body combined.

Our gut microbiome has a major influence on our body weight, appetite, mood, immune system, tendency to get sick and our energy levels.

The richer and more diverse our community of gut microbes are the lower the risk of disease and allergies. Microbiome studies have included diabetes, obesity, allergies, colitis and arthritis.

  1. Increase your fibre intake.
  2. Eat as many different types of fruit and vegetables as possible that are in season
  3. Choose high fibre vegetables like peas, broccoli, dried beans, lentils, artichokes, avocado, brown rice, leeks, onions and garlic. Lettuce has little fibre or nutrients so don't count it. Fruit like figs, pears and berries (strawberries aren't actually a berry and have about half the fibre of true berries)
  4. Eat nuts, seeds, olive oil, coffee and tea, especially green tea
  5. Avoid snacking to give your gut microbiome a rest, or, skip a meal or have an extended fast
  6. Eat fermented foods containing live microbes like sauerkraut, raw milk cheeses, yoghurt, kimchi, soy sauce, tempeh and natto
  7. Take small amounts of alcohol
  8. Avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners
  9. Spend more time in the countryside. Gardening and other outside activities are good for your microbiome
  10. Have a dog and give it a good stroke
  11. Avoid antibiotics and non-essential medicines
  12. Don't be hygiene obsessed
  13. Spend time with a lean person as it may be contagious (It doesn't work the other way around)
  14. Avoid food and vitamin supplements
  15. As an example, the Hazda people of Tanzania eat around 600 seasonal species of plants and animals a year. Most westerners have fewer than 50 species in their diet. The Hazda have virtually none of the common western diseases like obesity, allergies, heart disease and cancer.

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