Essentially, Microbiome is a collection of bacteria and fungi that lives in your gastrointestinal tract; the microbiome can affect your immune system, mood, body weight and metabolism so should definitely be on your radar if one of your new year’s resolutions is to drop a couple of kilos.
Given many of us still know so little about stomach microbiomes, you might be surprised to find out that without these microbiomes, we would struggle to survive. Each microbiome is different and the more different each microbiome is, the lower the risk is of developing allergies and diseases including diabetes and arthritis.
So how do we boost these microbiomes? There are plenty of things we can do and consume to give our stomach biomes a healthy boost and to increase the good bacteria in our tummies. For example, there are very particular foods that we should be trying to include in our diet in specific amounts.
Eat food containing probiotics
Often, fermented foods contain the healthy bacteria required to promote the production of strong stomach microbiomes; this is what we call probiotics. Probiotics are found in naturally fermented goods such as the Korean pickled vegetable kimchi, sauerkraut and sometimes pickles. Surprisingly, not all fermented products necessarily contain probiotics, so if you are on the hunt for a fermented product specifically for its probiotic value, make sure you look for items which are naturally fermented.
Aside from kimchi and sauerkraut, you will also find live microbes in products such as unsweetened yoghurt and kefir (which is five times higher in microbe content than yoghurt), soybean-based products such as tempeh and soy sauce as well as raw milk cheeses. So, what exactly are probiotics?
Probiotics are comprised of live yeast or bacteria which naturally reside in your body. Your body is constantly hosting a medley of good and bad bacteria, When you get sick, often this can throw the balance of good and bad bacteria completely out of whack. To bring your bacteria back to a healthy balance of good and bad, probiotics can help to add good bacteria to your body by wiping out excess bad bacteria.
Drink a little – but not too much!
Apparently, having a cheeky drink at night is shown to increase your stomach diversity, however, this does not apply if you are drinking in excess. One beverage specifically helps to promote better gut health – beer. Yep, a good ol frothy contains a particular type of acid that helps release gastric acid, this helps the body to digest food. Beer also helps to control bad bacteria growth in the stomach as a result of the prebiotics present in the fermented beverage.
Consume drinks high in probiotic content
There is a fairly decent list of drinks for you to choose from which are rich in probiotics. One of the most popular beverages which seems to be flying off the shelves is kombucha which you will find in multiple delicious flavours. Kombucha is a concoction of sugar, yeast, tea and bacteria mixed together and fermented to create a delicious fizzy beverage jam-packed full of probiotics.
Eat plenty of garlic
Garlic is equally as delicious as it is good for you! Rich in prebiotics, garlic supplies food for the good bacteria in your stomach which promotes healthy microbiomes. Just as important as probiotics, prebiotics are a plant fibre which feed the friendly bacteria in your stomach. So, chuck some extra cloves of garlic into that spaghetti bolognaise and reap the delicious benefits!
Eat high-fibre foods
Fibre-rich food will help to feed the good bacteria in our stomachs so prioritising these vegetables on our plate is hugely beneficial to our stomach microbiomes. Just some high-fibre snacks include wholegrain cereal, pasta and bread, berries, melons, avocados and pears, broccoli, beans, leeks, onions and carrots, salmon, seeds, lentils and nuts and potatoes with the skin still on.
It’s easy to include a lot of this stuff in your diet if you’re making it yourself, but what about pre-made meals? We have gone ahead and suggested three of our favourite meal providers which feature mouth-watering meals with microbiome boosting ingredients.
Macros provide a plethora of different meals, plenty of which include helpful ingredients for our gut health. For example, try their garlic seafood spaghetti (403 cal), japanese miso salmon (503 cal), coconut chicken & lentil stew (334 cal) and champion chickpea curry (388 cal). Miso is a terrific source of probiotics as a result of the lengthy fermentation process and the presence of healthy bacteria.
My Muscle Chef also have a wide array of options for you to pick from their menu including asian chicken stir fry with hokkien noodles packed full of soy and garlic (604 cal), cantonese duck with broccoli and green beans (454 cal), crumbed chicken with roasted potatoes containing goodies such as potatoes yoghurt and soy (554 cal) and falafel & chickpeas with couscous & tahini sauce (472 cal).
Give one of Dineamic’s tasty meals a go. Again, their menu is very diverse and caters to all sorts of tastes and preferences but just some of our favourites containing all of the goodies you stomach needs include soy & ginger salmon with hokkien noodles & steamed vegetables (458 cal), cypriot salad full of delicious nuts, seeds and herbs (574 cal), mexican chickpea salad (339 cal) and lamb kofta with chickpea smash & pickled vegetables (404 cal).