As I’m sure you’ve experienced firsthand, diet and lifestyle play a critical role in maintaining a balanced and healthy gut. The function of your gut microbiome is effected and altered not only by your dietary habits, but by your environmental factors, genetics, stress, sleep quality, alcohol intake and drug/medication use.
Learning how to restore your gut is highly personalised and can be a lengthy and expensive process for some. The first step in restoring your gut to a healthy state is nailing the foundations. These are:
• Eating a diverse plant rich whole foods diet
• Drinking enough water daily suitable for your body weight
• Incorporating movement and exercise into your daily routine • Managing and reducing stress where necessary
• Getting roughly 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night
• Healing or removing any toxic relationships from your life
Yes, each one of these points can directly effect your gut health! If you feel like you’re doing everything right and still don’t have the answers, read on.
Healing your gut microbiome is an intricate, complex and extremely individualised process where your symptoms can really tell you a lot in helping to fit the puzzle pieces back together. But that’s not to say you should only look at your symptoms—pathology testing is also a great tool to efficiently find the root cause of your gut issues.
With testing, we can identify nutritional deficiencies, parasites, viruses, bacterial overgrowths, inflammation, malabsorption, intestinal function, microbial flora, enzymatic function and more! Finding a trusted holistic practitioner who is well traversed in gut health is a great place to start to help facilitate the right testing for you.
Food & Gut Microbiome
As new research emerges, we are beginning to understand just how crucial a role your diet plays in your gut health and overall wellbeing. Researchers from The American Gut Project conducted a study on more than 11,000 participants, the largest study to date on the microbiome. The results showed people eating more than 30 different types of plants per week had a significantly higher diverse microbiome than those eating 10 or less.
That’s great, but what will a diverse microbiome do for me?
To put it simply, eating a diverse plant rich diet will not only feed your gut microbiome, but provide your gut with new bacteria to help protect it from unwanted pathogens. A healthy gut microbiome relies on a large number of diverse bacterial species—the greater microbiome diversity you have in your diet, the more resilient, stable and equipped you are to protect your health as a whole. Think less colds/flus, brain fog, anxiety, hormonal complaints and better digestion, bowel movements, cognitive function, mood and sleep.
Eat the Rainbow
Eating as many different colours in your daily diet is a great place to start! Eating the rainbow will ensure you’re getting a variety of phytonutrients, which will help to not only diversify your gut microbiome, but help fight cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia, type 2 diabetes and plenty more. Aim for 30 different plants in a week to help restore your gut!