Our gut microbiome is the variety of microorganisms (such as bacteria) that play essential roles in our body. Most of the microorganisms in our body are found in our large intensities. Research has shown that our gut microbiome plays crucial roles in our health such as aiding digestion, increasing our immunity, and maintaining a healthy weight. In addition, our gut microbiome may also influence our brain health. Our gut contains millions of neurons that directly connect to our brain through different nerves. In addition, our gut plays a role in producing serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is associated with feelings of anxiety. In short, improving your gut health can have a positive impact on your mental health. Here are some ways to improve your gut microbiome health:
Add more prebiotic foods to your diet
Prebiotic foods help to support and feed your gut bacteria. Prebiotic foods are fibrous and help strengthen your gut microbiome. Examples of prebiotic food include garlic, asparagus, flax/hemp/chia seeds, bananas, berries, beans, and peas.
Add more probiotic food to your diet
Probiotic foods are foods that have living microorganisms that may survive the journey to your large intestine. They act as good bacteria in your gut and promote the growth of healthy bacteria. Probiotic foods include yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, miso, kefir, and sauerkraut.
Adjusting your lifestyle
The mind-body connection is especially relevant to your gut health. Regular exercise, quality sleep, and reduced stress levels can all improve your gut health. Regular exercise can improve the diversity of the gut microbiome. Quality sleep can help your body balance its natural functioning. Reduced stress allows your body to enter the rest-and-digest mode (parasympathetic state).
Faces of Health App and Masterclass series
Dr. Blied’s 5-session masterclass series will give you in-depth knowledge and training on stress management skills. The “Faces of Health” app is a tool to use every day to practice those skills.