Your gastrointestinal tract is home to trillions of bacteria that make up your gut microbiome. Having a diversity of different microbial species is crucial for overall health and proper digestive function. When gut flora balance is disrupted, it can lead to inflammation, infections, autoimmunity, and disease. Supporting a robust, varied microbiome through diet, lifestyle, and strategic supplementation can improve your well-being.
Here are some easy ways to increase the diversity of your gut bacteria:
Eat a Wide Variety of Plant Foods
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices contain thousands of different phytonutrients that feed different families of commensal bacteria. The broader your produce choices, the more microbial niches you support. Emphasize color – eat the rainbow!
Just like exercise, you need to change up probiotics to continually challenge your gut. Don’t rely on just one supplemental strain long-term. Alternate different brands with unique microbial blends, or try ecosystem products with soil-based organisms that resemble your ancestral microbiome patterns.
Try New Fermented Foods
Move beyond just yogurt and kimchi. Expand your palate to include kefir, pickles, sauerkraut, tempeh, natto, beet kvass, sourdough bread, miso, kombucha, and other traditionally fermented foods from around the globe. This exposes your gut to novel microbial strains.
Eat Prebiotic Foods Daily
Prebiotics provide the non-digestible fibers that good bacteria feed on. They act as fertilizers to help probiotics flourish. Try to eat prebiotic foods daily like onions, garlic, bananas, apples, greens, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Go Organic and Non-GMO
Organic produce and meats have a more diverse microbiome makeup and contain higher levels of antioxidants. Avoiding GMO foods means you aren’t consuming glyphosate residues which negatively impact gut bacteria.
Regular exercise improves the diversity of your gut microbiome species. Aim for a mix of cardio, strength training, core work, yoga, pilates, stretching, and leisurely movement daily.
Chronic stress alters gut flora balance through changes in stomach acidity, motility, and nervous system. Relaxation practices like meditation, deep breathing, journaling, nature time, and social connection ease stress hormone responses.
Antibiotics are like a nuclear bomb in your gut – they kill off both good and bad bacteria indiscriminately. Only take them when truly necessary. Always follow with probiotics and fermented foods after to repopulate your microbiome.
Drink Bone Broth
Sipping on this mineral-rich gut healing soup provides the building blocks like collagen, proline, and glutamine that intestinal cells need to regenerate.
The more exposure you give your gut flora to diverse species, the more they can shift and adapt to flourish. Make gut health a daily focus through nutrition choices, stress management, and microbiome-nourishing behaviors. Avoid antibiotics and drugs that disrupt delicate balance. With consistency, you can cultivate robust microbial diversity for optimal well-being.
If you need help tailoring a gut healing plan to your unique needs, I offer one-on-one nutrition and digestive health coaching programs focused on restoring microbiome balance. Let’s book a FREE 30-minute discovery call to get you started. I look forward to helping you achieve greater diversity and gut wellness!
Click Here to book your free discovery call
To your health and wellness,
Board Certified Functional Health Coach