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3 Tips to Improve Your Gut Health & Boost Your Friendly Bacteria

by Natalie Sampson (Wellness Consultant)

1. Eat “Real” Foods

In this generation of fast easy convenience we tend to eat too many processed, packaged and pre-made foods. Choose real food. Choose whole unprocessed foods. Eating processed foods literally starve the friendly bacteria in your gut. Whole unprocessed foods provide us with phytonutrients which fight off inflammation.(1) They also provide food for your probiotics to thrive on and slow down premature aging at a cellular level. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables in various colours (the colours give us different antioxidants and phytonutrients providing a broader variety of health benefits). Eating whole unprocessed grains provides for higher fibre to nourish and support your bacterial colonies. Finally try to eat organic whenever possible to avoid those pesky chemicals (pesticides, chemical fertilizers, waxes etc.). Those chemicals have a negative impact on your microbiome (the home of your friendly bacteria) and can trigger inflammation in your digestive tract and elsewhere in your body.(2)

2. Fermented Foods are your Friends

Since the dawn of time and especially before refrigeration came on to the scene humans have been preserving their foods through fermentation. As modern humans we have neglected this important food category. When we ferment our foods we produce an awesome combination of both probiotics and prebiotics. The probiotics in these foods positively impact the resident bacteria in our microbiome stimulating an increase in the population.(3) The prebiotics provided by fermented foods feed our good bacteria and support a healthier gut environment for the microbiome to flourish.(4) Some examples of fermented foods:

· Kombucha

· Sauerkraut

· Tempeh

· Aged Cheese

· Fermented vegetables

3. Try a Probiotic Supplement

Periodically add in a probiotic supplement to bolster your resident bacteria. No matter what we do our friendly bacteria colonies will rise and fall. Our microbiome is impacted by stress, poor sleep, prescription medications such as antibiotics, antidepressants, heartburn meds etc. and so much more. Taking human strain probiotic supplements (available in capsules, powders and even liquids) help to encourage your friendly bacteria colonies to recover and improve in population size.(5) I generally recommend taking a broad strain (multiple varying families of bacteria) with a moderate dose (10 to 15 billion bacteria per capsule) for approximately 3 months. Why so long? Well the absorptive surface area of your gut is about 4500 square metres! (6) That’s a lot of space to work with so we need to give the probiotics sufficient time to work their magic. Don’t forget to provide a happy home for them by including your fermented foods (prebiotics).


1.Dietary Phytochemicals: Natural Swords Combating Inflammation and Oxidation-Mediated Degenerative Diseases Md. Asiful Islam, 1 , * Fahmida Alam, 1 Md. Solayman, 2 Md. Ibrahim Khalil, 1 , 2 Mohammad Amjad Kamal, 3 , 4 , 5 and Siew Hua Gan 1 , *Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016; 2016: 5137431. Published online 2016 Sep 19. doi: 10.1155/2016/5137431PMCID: PMC5046019 PMID: 27721914

2. Gut homeostasis and microbiota under attack: impact of the different types of food contaminants on gut health Moamen M. Elmassry, Ahmed Zayed& Mohamed A. Farag Pages 738-763 | Published online: 16 Oct 2020

3. Effects of probiotics on gut microbiota: mechanisms of intestinal immunomodulation and neuromodulation Peera Hemarajata and James Versalovic Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2013 Jan; 6(1): 39–51. doi: 10.1177/1756283X12459294 PMCID: PMC3539293 PMID: 23320049

4. Prebiotics as Gut Microflora Management Tools Gibson, Glenn R. PhD Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: July 2008 - Volume 42 - Issue - p S75-S79 doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e31815ed097

5. Recent Advancements in the Development of Modern Probiotics for Restoring Human Gut Microbiome Dysbiosis Roshan Kumar, Utkarsh Sood, Vipin Gupta,Mona Singh, Joy Scaria, and Rup Lall Indian J Microbiol. 2020 Mar; 60(1): 12–25. Published online 2019 May 25. doi: 10.1007/s12088-019-00808-y PMCID: PMC7000592 PMID: 32089570


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