When it comes to healthy living, your biggest asset might be your stomach! We’ve all learned that a healthy diet is a key part of healthy living and wellness, but it turns out that those benefits go much deeper than first thought.
Our digestive system contains a complex relationship of 300 to 500 different species of bacteria. This is called the “gut microbiome” refers specifically to the microorganisms living in your intestines. And while we tend to think that microorganisms can be harmful to our body, many provide benefits, and are even essential, for good health.
In fact, it’s recently been discovered that the body’s immune system has a symbiotic relationship with how your gut operates. Studies within the past few years have discovered how the gut biome plays an essential role in immune cell recruitment and differentiation and has an impact on how the body reacts to overall immunity and immunologic diseases.1
So you want to have a healthy gut biome – but how can you help it? Well, there are several helpful tips for maintaining good gut health – some of which are exactly like some of our previous advice for good, proactive health:
- Get the recommended amount of sleep
- Keep your body hydrated with water
- Find ways to manage your stress
Unsurprisingly, your regular diet plays a HUGE role in setting the condition of your biome. Gut microbes get most of their nutrients from our diet and help us digest much of the food we ingest. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that diet has a huge impact on what fuels our biome.
Modern diets that prioritize high levels of animal protein, saturated fats, simple sugars and salt, can have detrimental effects on your biome. So what should you prioritize? Try to make sure you’re getting some of the following:
- High fiber foods (beans, oats, green vegetables)
- Fermented foods (kimchi, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut)
- Collagen boosting foods (mushrooms, salmon, bone broth)
Here’s a tip for a tasty treat that your gut biome will enjoy almost as much as you will. This drinkable snack is high in fiber AND yogurt – so it packs a healthy punch!
Strawberry Oats Smoothie
- 1/2 cup uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 1 cup plain yogurt (regular or Greek, any fat percentage)
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 1/2 medium banana, fresh or frozen, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1-2 teaspoons honey (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a blender
- Add additional sweetener to your taste
- Cover and blend until smooth