How to maintain a diverse microbiome

Maintaining a diverse microbiome may be important for overall health. Here our some of our top diet and lifestyle tips to help maintain your gut microbiome diversity.

increase fibre intake

Increase your fibre intake!

Fibre is found in plant-based carbohydrates and unlike other types of carbohydrates (sugar and starch) it leaves the small intestines undigested and is digested by the bacteria in our the large intestine and colon. A diet rich in fibre can help increase the number of good bacteria in your gut. Some types of bacteria also produce short chain fatty acids from digesting this fibre, which has many beneficial properties, way beyond the gut.

Tips for increasing your fibre intake

Aim to eat 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day Keep the skin on your fruit and vegetable when possible. Swap to wholegrain versions of pasta and rice and swap your white bread for wholemeal versions or rye bread. Try replacing a meat dish with beans or pulses once a week.

 

Diversity is good!

Your gut loves diversity so make sure you are eating a range of different foods. Try and buy something you wouldn’t normally buy when you’re next at the supermarket or shop seasonally so you are constantly mixing up your fruit and vegetables. 

 

Reduce stress

Whilst everyone will feel stressed at some point in their life, it is important to learn how to control and reduce stress as it can negatively impact your gut bacteria.

Try meditating, breathing techniques, reach out to friends and family and relaxation music.  

Don’t forget to exercise!

Exercising can increase the number of good bacteria in your gut and help reduce stress. Try and aim for 20 minutes of exercise per day, even if this is just getting outside for a brisk walk!

Try fermented foods! 

Fermented foods are foods and beverages that have undergone controlled microbial growth and fermentation. Examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, live yogurt, kefir, sourdough bread, kombucha, kimchi, tempeh and miso.

Fermented foods can contain live bacteria as well as vitamins and bioactive molecules produced by the microbes during fermentation. 

Therefore, they can have positive effects on our gut health. 

Whilst their taste might not be for everyone, if you enjoy fermented foods they can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. 

Include a live bacteria supplement

Live bacteria supplements contain friendly bacteria that can help maintain gut microbial diversity but delivering good bacteria to your gut! Look out for a friendly bacteria supplement with added natural fibre to help encourage the growth of your friendly bacteria.



References

  1. T. Sen. Diet-driven microbiota dysbiosis is associated with vagal remodelling and obesity. Physiol Behav. 2017 May 1; 173: 305–317. 
  2. Jill A. Parnell Prebiotic fibre modulation of the gut microbiota improves risk factors for obesity and the metabolic syndrome. 
  3. Dinan TG, Cryan JF. The Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis in Health and Disease. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2017 Mar;46(1):77-89. 
  4. Oxford Journal, 2000, 'The stress response and the hypothalamical adrenal axis: from molecule to melancholia' QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 93(6):323-333 
  5. Ianiro.G, Antibiotics as deep modulators of gut microbiota: between good and evil. Gut. 2016 Nov;65(11):1906-1915 
  6. Helander, H. F, Fandriks, L. (2014) Surface area of the digestive tract - revisited. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Vol 49: 6 
  7. Nishitsuii K. Effect of coffee or coffee components on gut microbiome and short-chain fatty acids in a mouse model of metabolic syndrome. Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 1;8(1):16173