First things first: what exactly is the microbiome? Our bodies harbour a wide array of micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses inside and out. The collective terms for all these micro-organisms is microbiome.
Research continues to show that our gut microbes impact our health in a variety of ways including mental health and hormonal health as well as digestion and appetite. Other key roles our microbes play include programming the immune system, providing nutrients for our cells and preventing colonisation by harmful, pathogenic bacteria and viruses. Pretty important stuff. So how best to support our inner gardens?
Tip 1: Eat a wide variety vegetables. Boring but true. Research indicates that diets rich in colourful, fibre-packed plant foods produce a more diverse microbiome, and diverse microbiomes are linked to better health outcomes. Experts advise aiming for 30 different plants a week. Recipe boxes such as Mindful Chef and Gousto, or veg delivery schemes such as Riverford Organic and Oddbox can be a great way to push yourself out of your cooking comfort zone to get experimenting with new ingredients.
Tip 2: Manage Stress. Not a load of mumbo-jumbo - stress has been shown to effect the amount and type of bacteria present in our guts; decreasing friendly populations and increasingly the less favourable kind. Be sure to get adequate rest and consider looking into mindfulness apps. We love Headspace and Calm.
Tip 3: Add in Fermented Foods. Our favourite piece of advice! Live fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir contain living 'good bacteria' aka probiotics. Once consumed, these bacteria can help colonise the gut, boosting the number and diversity of the microbiome. We're biased of course but you can't beat our live, naturally fermented kimchis and krauts. Click here to shop now.