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What is the Microbiome?

Living inside every person are trillions of microorganisms — bacteria, viruses, fungi, all collectively known as the ‘microbiome’. Some of these can be potentially dangerous if the population of a particular kind overgrows. The biggest population of these microorganisms live in the gut.

The microbiome live with humans from birth with every individual having a unique mix of species. This relationship is vital to normal health. The microbiome is important for nutrition, immunity, and effects on the brain and behaviour. A number of diseases are associated with the disturbance in the normal balance of these microbes.

So how can you protect the gut microbiome so the right balance is maintained?

  1. Eat a diverse range of foods.

  2. Eat lots of vegetables, legumes, beans, and fruit.

  3. Eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, achaar, kimchi (every culture has it’s own version of fermented foods).

  4. Eat prebiotic foods which are foods rich in fibre (think of this as food for the ‘good’ bugs).

  5. Eat whole grains – cut out the white pasta, white bread, white rice.

  6. Eat a plant-rich diet.

  7. Eat foods rich in polyphenols – previously referred to as foods rich in anti oxidants such as berries, dark chocolate, beans.

  8. Cut out the sugar (think of this as food for the ‘bad’ bugs).

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