What is Gut Microbiome?
Your gut is full of bacteria, protozoa, and yeast, and the concentrations of these good microbes can be manipulated by your diet, lifestyle, and probiotic supplements. Microorganisms found within the gut create a complex web of interactions that undoubtedly contribute to not only digestion but the absorption of nutrients. Probiotics are live microorganisms found in food or supplements that support gut microbes to improve health and digestive benefits. Henceforth, probiotics are a large component in how you can improve your gut microbiome.
Consuming probiotics regularly can promote digestive and immune health significantly. One way to consume these beneficial probiotics is by including certain foods in your diet that can help achieve and maintain an active and well-functioning gut microbiome. These live microorganisms can be found in foods such as yogurt, sourdough bread, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup, cottage cheese, tempeh, fermented pickles, and many other fermented foods. Unfortunately, even if you do consume these types of foods containing live organisms, not all fermented foods contain every live and active cultures. For example, some probiotics do not contain the minimum 1 billion Colony Forming Units (CFU) to promote a health benefit seen in clinical trials.
In contrast, you might be missing out on beneficial probiotic strains that are not commonly found in fermented foods at all. For example, many yogurts contain the species Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus but could be missing the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Altogether, these three species can exhibit different therapeutic health effects and are beneficial to your health. Despite eating fermented foods which can make up a “right diet”, probiotic supplements are highly beneficial to make sure you are getting live cultures in correct dosages to exhibit specific therapeutic health effects.
How Diet Can Help
If you are not targeting a specific health condition, consuming probiotics regularly is a solution to prevent pathogens from passing through our protective gut lining barrier to create disease. An unbalanced gut filled with an overabundance of bad bacteria can be the byproduct of a diet not only poor in nutrients but also low in fiber. In addition, your diet exerts a huge effect on what kinds of microbes your gut is made up of, starting from when you were born. Fortunately, probiotics can help restore the balance of bacteria in your gut. However, the effect of probiotics will not nearly be as great if your diet continues to be poor than if you curate the right diet along with probiotic supplementation. Consulting a Registered Dietitian is a useful way to combine a balanced diet with proper probiotic supplementation.
In summary, a great way to improve your gut microbiome is by incorporating probiotic supplements to your daily routine as well as eating the right diet. Your gut microbiota will be better balanced and therefore will help to prevent disease and other adverse health conditions. Nevertheless, a Registered Dietitian can help create your “right diet” that is realistic and sustainable as well as to find the right probiotic supplement for you.
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