I’ve already written a post about why you should check the efficiency of your gut and how to do it. Now I want to elaborate on simple and natural solutions to boost healthy gut bacteria.
Everyone thinks it’s easy, just throw in a pill with probiotics every day and your done.
But, there are so much more efficient and tastier ways to strengthen your microbiome! Now, I’d like to present my favourite 5 foods to include in your diet!
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Yes, there are different kinds. If you want to boost your microbiome or take advantage of the benefits of acv, you have to buy acv with “the mother”. This means, an acv with natural fermentation through lactobacillus species.
Acv can help with weight loss, because it promotes digestion and stabilises the ph-balance. It is rich in enzymes and potassium. Additionally it helps relieve muscle pain and contributes in the maintenance of a healthy organism and glowing skin.
What acv does is raise the amount of stomach acid needed for proper digestion without making the body acidic, unlike eating acidic foods like proteins from animals or foods with high fat content or acidic properties like berries.
A good acv is raw, organic, unpasteurised, unfiltered, cold pressed and with the mother.
It can be used in baked goods, dressings, detox water, for pickling, internally and externally. The possibilities are endless.
For detoxing a glass with a tbs acv 30 minutes before a meal up to 3 times a day can do wonders.
2. Apple Pectin
Apple pectin is a natural water-soluble dietary fiber. It gels up when mixed with liquids and can be uses in baking, just like gelatin (from animal bones).
You might already eat it unconsciously e.g in jam. It’s what makes most jams and marmelades vegan.
Just like every dietary fiber, it supports intestinal health, because actually, it’s even more important to substitute prebiotics n comparison to probiotics. Prebiotics are the nutrients that feed healthy gut bacteria. Yes, only healthy gut bacteria, since pathogens feed off sugar, proteins and fats.
The obvious use for apple pectin are all jelly or gelee-like dishes, like jello, jams, fruit cakes. But I personally just mix a teaspoon in my morning oatmeal or porridge or pancakes, basically everything to give the dish a slightly acidic taste.
It doesn’t taste like much, it just fills the dish with a sour apple note which is just superb especially for autumn and winter season sweets.
Some people swear by drinking half a glass of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of apple pectin with their daily probiotic. Since I take mine with breakfast or dinner anyway, I neglect this tip.
Inulin is a soluble dietary fiber sourced from the chicory root. It’s also known as fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) which is a fiber found in many plants.
Inulin dissolves in the stomach and forms a substance that improves intestinal health. It slows down digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness, then stimulating the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
It’s suitable for vegans and coeliacs and because of its low glycemic index, for many people with a restrictive diet.
This powdered supplement looks like powdered sugar and doesn’t change the texture or taste of dishes. In fact, it tastes a little bit like sugar, so it’s perfect for sweet dishes, but savoury dishes as well.
Inulin alone is working very well, too well if you take too much at a time. Introduce inulin very slowly into your diet, otherwise, expect negative side effects like diarrhea or stomach cramps.
Don’t take more than 15 gr a day, split throughout the day!
4. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are the easiest way to include probiotics into your diet. Whether it’s sauerkraut, pickles, carrots, red beet etc. Pretty much any crisper vegetable (or also fruit) can be fermented. But don’t forget the good old cup of yoghurt and kefir or kombucha.
Fermented foods are so good for your digestive system, because they go through a process called lactofermentation. Lactofermentation happens when natural bacteria feed on sugar and starches and create lactic acid.
This process preserves food, creates beneficial enzymes, vitamins, fatty acids and numerous strains of healthy gut bacteria, especially lactobacillus species.
And can I just say, fermented foods just taste amazing! I mean, come on, who wouldn’t love a good kimchi?
Depending on your country of residence, it might me easier or harder for you to find fermented foods readily available. In Germany, I would have to go to a special organic supermarket to get something else than pickles (excluding milk products).
But good news, fermenting can be done at home without a fuss. You just need a sterile glass jar, water, salt and the vegetable you want to ferment to start out. Well, and time 😀
Eat at least one serving of fermented foods a day to promote gut health!
5. Insoluble and Soluble Fiber
You don’t want to buy special supplements, think the process of fermenting is too time consuming or simply find the other 4 options too difficult to handle?
No problem. What if I tell you, I can guarantee you that you could boost your nutritional profile almost instantly by changing the way you cook and eat?
Try to include foods rich in insoluble fiber like whole grains, beans, flax seeds or vegetables like peas and some rich in soluble fiber like psyllium husks, soy products, avocado, starchy vegetables or fruits with skin or pulp.
But go even further than that. Cooking grains like rice or starchy vegetables like potatoes or yams and leaving them on the counter to cool down increases the amount of resistant starches. Resistant starches are also great nutrients for healthy gut bacteria to feed on.
Plus, great to integrate into your day and great for meal-preppers.
Now we’re already at the end of my top 5 foods to boost the microbiome naturally.
Did you already include some of these into your diet? Will you? What are your favourite foods for a healthy gut? Please comment below and share your thoughts 🙂
*This post contains affiliate links. The products were paid by myself though.