It comes as no surprise that the second someone decides to lose weight; their immediate response is the dreaded diet. Diets don’t have to make you miserable, and you don’t have to suffer through cutting out all of your favorite foods. There has to be a point where enough is enough and you lose weight while not losing your sanity along the way! The many organisms in your gut form their own ecosystem known as the microbiome. By understanding this microbiome, you can understand a more efficient way to lose weight. A healthy gut diet will give you the results you so badly want. The best part about this diet is that it is easily doable. Anyone can use the microbiome diet to further their weight loss needs.
Learn the Power of Balance
A balanced microbiome can be the difference between losing a lot of weight, or gaining it. Good bacteria thrive in your microbiome. If you have an imbalanced microbiome it will push you to crave sugary and unhealthy fats. This will eventually slow down your metabolism and cause you to become hungry faster than usual. A balanced microbiome causes you to crave healthy foods and become hungry at meal appropriate times. The key to obtaining a balanced microbiome lies within a clean gut diet. This diet will help eliminate gut inflammation which can lead directly to weight loss. Phase 1 of a microbiome diet focuses on eliminating the foods that are disrupting your intestinal track and slowing the growth of good gut bacteria. Having a healthy gut diet alone can restore your gut flora and significantly increase the number of good bacteria in your microbiome.
The Come and Go
There will be foods you are used to having that will have to be taken out of your diet. There will also be additions to your diet that you will need to make. You will need to avoid processed foods, sugar, eggs, soy, dried fruits, and starchy vegetables. All of these foods feed the bad gut bacteria. It is very important to avoid foods high in starch. Most non-starchy fruits and vegetables are free game. You can still eat all your favorite beef and chicken dishes, as these proteins are not off limits. To ensure the growth of the good bacteria in your stomach it is suggested that you begin taking bacteria promoting supplements like prebiotics and probiotics. If supplements aren’t your thing, you can even choose a probiotic diet plan. The best news is that this clean gut diet allows you to still enjoy your coffee, beer, and wine!
A Diet You Can Snack On
There are numerous foods out there that can have a positive benefit on your good gut bacteria, but there are some that are better than others. Focusing on foods that are high in prebiotics and probiotics will not only restore gut flora, but promote the growth of good bacteria in the stomach. Most diet plans tell you to avoid snacking, but a healthy gut diet promotes it. Snacking on foods such as yogurt, bananas, pickles, or cultured veggies will actually be beneficial to gut bacteria and weight loss. The bacteria within the probiotic foods will significantly increase the speed at which your good gut bacteria grows.
Your gut is lined with different types of bacteria, and some of these are good gut bacteria. The majority of the cells within your digestive tract are bacterial. The bacteria are responsible for digesting your food. These intestinal organisms even control your metabolism and can influence your mood. Gut bacteria and weight loss go hand in hand. The more good gut bacteria you have, the more weight you will lose. A clean gut diet will work wonders in your weight loss endeavors. The bacteria produce essential vitamins and nutrients that allow your body to stay nourished. The good bacteria play a huge role in your overall health. They allow for efficient digestion, absorption of nutrients, overall well-being, and of course weight loss. Probiotic foods are some of the best you can consume, because they are already filled with live bacteria that help promote digestion.
Not Your Traditional Diet
A clean gut diet allows you to step away from the traditional diet ways. You will no longer have to worry about calorie counting or tracking your portion sizes. Talk about freedom! By doing this you are able to rely on your body’s own sense of hunger and intuitive eating. Dieting usually comes along with stress, but stress inhibits weight loss. The good gut diet allows you to eliminate two major stressors; calorie counting and portion control. The microbiome diet gives you the personal freedoms that other diets lack, but also gives you results. Fermented foods are welcomed and actually recommended, which means beer is not off limits!
You Will See Results
Eating superfoods, foods high in polyphenols and low in lectins, will allow you to begin seeing results. Lucky for you, dark chocolate and cocoa powder are polyphenol-rich! The clean gut diet not only gives you weight loss results, but you will end up feeling better in general. You will no longer be held back by fatigue. In fact, you will feel rejuvenated and motivated to do things that you may have resisted before embarking on the clean gut diet. Your sleep patterns will even improve, leaving you feeling great. The good bacteria in your stomach will also help restore gut flora. Not only will you regain balance to your life, but your microbiome will regain balance.
You don’t have to feel trapped with this diet because there are so many foods that aren’t off limits. In fact, eating diverse foods will actually diversify your microbiome. This will allow the good gut bacteria to thrive and continue to multiply. The diverse diet will also help fight against disease. A more diverse microbiome is actually associated with leanness. Not only can you consume lots of different foods, but it will have a beneficial effect on your overall health. Talk about a win-win situation.
A Diet That Ensures Results Without A Treadmill
There is finally a diet that ensures you will lose weight and become healthier, all without extreme exercise. Simply by removing the foods that cause inflammation and disrupt your good gut bacteria, you will restore the balance of the microbiome. The balanced microbiome alone will restore health and balance to your digestive system. This balance helps promote and initiate weight loss. Exercise is always a great way to stay healthy and in shape, but it is not the main focus with a healthy gut diet.
Your Metabolism Will Be Restored
Weight loss is very dependent upon your metabolism and how your body metabolizes foods. Metabolism is the process in which your body converts what you consume into energy. If your gut is lined with good gut bacteria, your body will be able to metabolize your food more efficiently. This results in less stored fat cells. Once you have restored your metabolism, this will automatically lead to healthy weight loss. It is important to follow the clean gut diet in order to restore the balance in your microbiome.
Give Yourself Enough Time For Meals
A huge part of getting your gut back in shape is a good consciousness. Your gut is your second brain, and what affects your mind also effects it. An unbalanced microbiome can cause you to feel anxious, nervous, tired or depressed. It is important that you not only eat foods that align with a clean gut diet, but also get into a state of meditation prior to eating. You can do this by removing stressors like stressful people or conversations. If you are in a stressful environment it is likely that you will eat your food faster. This will cause the good gut bacteria in your stomach to struggle to digest your food, and in turn, throw your microbiome off balance. You need to plan ahead and make sure that you have enough time to patiently eat your meal without rushing through it.
https://howtonight.com/microbiome-diet-guide-and-food-list/The microbiome is a key to weight loss success. If you can follow the few simple steps to restore good bacteria in your stomach, then you will be able to mark down your weight loss as a success. The good news is that gut bacteria respond very quickly to a change in diet, so you will begin to see and feel changes more quickly than other diets. The average lifespan of a bacterium in your microbiome is only 20 minutes. Each time you eat you have the chance to take steps into promoting your gut health. Don’t let a couple minor setbacks hinder you from moving forward. By following a probiotic diet plan, consuming prebiotic foods, or foods high in polyphenols and low in lectins, you will be sure to create an environment that the good gut bacteria will thrive on. A balanced microbiome will give you weight loss results, and make you happier while doing this.
This is the first diet of it’s kind, based upon cutting edge scientific breakthroughs to heal and replenish the microbiome. When the microbiome flourishes so do we, however when it’s out of balance, a state called dysbiosis, our health begins to falter. The Microbiome Diet was created with the specific focus of nourishing friendly, protective bacteria, while pruning species that have overgrown healthy limits. This approach not only improves function through the entire body, it raises the bar on what it means to actually be healthy. Patients frequently report benefits in systems and areas that seem completely disconnected from gut health. All roads lead to the microbiome and all health stems from a vibrant, thriving ecosystem.
1) As much as 90% of the cells in your body are actually bacterial, not human!
2) The vast majority of species are helpful and necessary for both life and health, including those that may become pathogenic when overgrown. In the right balance, most strains contribute to the health of the whole. (So let’s maintain balance!)
3) The microbiome produces Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) which are used as a fuel source by cells of the intestine, promote the growth of healthful strains of bacteria, decrease inflammation, improve the immune system, boost brain function, balance mood, and even alleviate anxiety.
4) Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers transmitting information through the brain and body, influencing the way we think and feel, plus they’re made by bacteria!
5) They produce natural antibiotics and vitamins to protect and nourish us.
6) Microbes regulate metabolism.
7) The immune system and microbiome live together in the intestine and are inextricably intertwined. The health of one depends on the health of the other.
Microbiome Diet Basics
While we’ll go much deeper into the specifics of The Microbiome Diet in part two, here are some of the basic principles of eating for the overall health of your microbiome.
1) Load up on plant foods that heal your gut and support the microbiome.
2) Avoid foods that are inflammatory and trigger imbalances in the gut microbiome.
3) Consume foods loaded with natural probiotics, which replenish the microbiome.
4) Consume foods containing prebiotic fibers to nourish healing bacteria.
Researchers often speak about the microbiota as the full collection of genes and microbes living within a community, in this case the community that inhabits our guts. According to the University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center, “the human microbiome (all of our microbes’ genes) can be considered a counterpart to the human genome (all of our genes). The genes in our microbiome outnumber the genes in our genome by about 100 to 1.” (14)
You might have learned in school when you were younger that all human beings actually have very closely related genetic codes, even though we are all so different-looking as a species. What’s amazing is that each of our gut microbiomes is vastly different. One of the most amazing things about the microbiome is how different it can be from one person to another.
Estimates of the human gene catalog show that we have about 22,000 “genes” (as we normally think of them) but a staggering 3.3 million “non-redundant genes” in the human gut microbiome! The diversity among the microbiome of individuals is phenomenal: Individual humans are about 99.9 percent identical to one another in terms of their host genome but usually 80 percent to 90 percent different from one another in terms of the microbiome.
Today, researchers are rapidly working on better understanding the microbiome in order to help prevent, cure or treat symptoms of all sorts of diseases that might stem back to the community living within each of us. DNA-sequencing tools are helping us uncover various bacterial strains and how they might hinder or help the immune system. This effort is part of the Human Microbiome Project, done by the Data Analysis and Coordination Center for the National Institutes of Health. The goal is to “characterize microbial communities found at multiple human body sites and to look for correlations between changes in the microbiome and human health.” (15)
While some bacteria contribute to diseases, many do not. In fact, there are lots of bacterial strains we could benefit from having more of. At the same time, having certain diseases can negatively impact the microbiome, although we still have a lot to learn about how this happens exactly. The more we can come to understand how bacteria in the microbiome affect our genes and predispose us to diseases, the better we can personalize treatment approaches and prevent and manage diseases before they’re life-threatening.
The Microbiome Key Takeaways
Microbiota are the trillions of bacterial organisms that live inside our bodies. The whole community of these bacteria is called the microbiome.
Our gut is a central location of the microbiome, where the large majority of bacteria live.
Poor gut health is tied to nearly every disease there is in some way, because this is where much of our immune system lives and where inflammation often begins.
By improving your diet, eating plenty of anti-inflammatory foods and probiotics, lowering stress, and exercising regularly, you can support your body’s microbiome.
How Else Can You Establish a Strong Microbiome?
1. Avoid Antibiotics as Much as Possible
Antibiotics have been commonly prescribed for over 80 years now, but the problem is that they eliminate good bacteria in addition to cleaning the body of dangerous “germs,” which means they can lower immune function and raise the risk for infections, allergies and diseases. While antibiotics can save lives when they’re truly needed, they’re often overprescribed and misunderstood.
Over time, dangerous bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, making serious infections harder to fight. (4) Before taking antibiotics or giving them to your children, talk to your doctor about alternative options and the unintended consequences to our microbiomes that can result from taking antibiotics too often and when they aren’t needed.
2. Lower Stress and Exercise More
Stress hinders immune function because your body diverts energy away from fighting off infections and places it on primary concerns that keep your alive — which is one reason why chronic stress can kill your quality of life. When your body thinks it’s facing an immediate danger, you become more susceptible to infections and experience more severe symptoms while also developing higher levels of inflammation.
Stress causes immune compounds known as cytokines to contribute to the inflammatory response that damages healthy cells. Exercise is a natural stress reliever that can help lower inflammation, balance hormones and strengthen the immune system.
3. Add Supplements
Co-enzyme Q10, carotenoids, omega-3 fish oil, selenium and antioxidants (vitamins C, D and E) can help keep free radical damage from disturbing micrbiota gut health.
What Diseases Are Connected to the Microbiome?
The microbiome is a lot like Earth’s ecosystems, meaning as its conditions change, so do the organisms that inhabit it. Microbes interact with one another within the community they live in (our gut), plus they change in concentration depending on their surroundings — which means your diet, lifestyle, use of medications/antibiotics and environment really impact your gut health. At the forefront of how your gut microbiome determines whether or not you’ll deal with various illnesses is inflammation.
Inflammation is the root of most diseases. Studies show that an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is protective over brain neurons, balances hormones, fights the formation of tumors and has mood-enhancing benefits. While you might not think that gut health impacts your mood and energy much, think again. Gut-friendly bacteria can help manage neurotransmitter activity, which makes them natural antidepressants and anti-anxiety organisms. Instead of taking anti-inflammatory medications to manage illnesses like arthritis or heart disease, we’re much better off reducing inflammation in the body.
Poor gut health is tied to dozens of diseases, especially:
Autoimmune diseases (arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Hashimoto’s disease, etc.): Autoimmune disorders develop when the body’s immune system goes awry and attacks its own healthy tissue. Inflammation and autoimmune reactions largely stem from an overactive immune system and poor gut health. Leaky gut syndromecan develop, which results in small openings in the gut lining opening up, releasing particles into the bloodstream and kicking off an autoimmune cascade.
Brain disorders/cognitive decline (Alzheimer’s, dementia, etc.): Inflammation is highly correlated with cognitive decline, while an anti-inflammatory lifestyle has been shown to lead to better memory retention, longevity and brain health. We now know there are multiple neuro-chemical and neuro-metabolic pathways between the central nervous system/brain and microbiome/digestive tract that send signals to one another, affecting our memory, thought patterns and reasoning. (5) Differences in our microbial communities might be one of the most important factors in determining if we deal with cognitive disorders in older age.A 2017 study by the University of Pennsylvania also found a relationship between the gut microbiome and the formation of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs), which can cause stroke and seizures. Researchers observed that in mice, the activation of TLR4, a receptor for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) — a bacterial molecule — on brain endothelial cells by LPS greatly accelerated CCM formation. When mice were then observed in a germ-free environment, CCM formation greatly decreased, illustrating the effects of bad bacteria and the microbiome on cerebral cavernous malformations. (7)
Cancer: Many studies have shown a link between gut health and better protection from free radical damage, which causes brain, breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate and stomach cancers. Microbes influence our genes, which means they can either promote inflammation and tumor growth or raise immune function and act as a natural cancer treatment. An anti-inflammatory lifestyle can also help lower serious side effects of cancer treatments (like chemotherapy). (8)
Fatigue and joint pain: Certain bacteria within our digestive tracts contribute to deterioration of joints and tissue. Research shows that a healthier gut environment helps lower the risk for joint pain, swelling, and trouble moving in people with osteoarthritis and inflamed joints. Some studies have found that patients with psoriatic arthritis (a type of autoimmune joint disease) have significantly lower levels of certain types of intestinal bacteria and that patients with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have other strains present. (9)
Mood disorders (depression, anxiety): Ever hear of the “gut-brain connection”? Well here’s how it works: Your diet affects your microbiome and neurotransmitter activity, and therefore how you feel, your ability to handle stress and your energy levels. (10) Dietary changes over the last century — including industrial farming, the use of pesticides and herbicides, and the degradation of nutrients in foods — are the primary forces behind growing mental health issues like depression. Low nutrient availability, inflammation and oxidative stress affect the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, which control your moods, ease tension and raise alertness. It’s also a two-way street when it comes to your gut and mood: Poor gut health contributes to mood problems, and high amounts of stress also damage your gut and hormonal balance.A 2017 study illustrated the correlation between gut health and depression. Researchers studied 44 adults with irritable bowel syndrome and mild to moderate anxiety or depression. Half of the group took the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001, and the other was given a placebo. Six weeks after taking probiotics daily, 64 percent of the patients taking the probiotic reported decreased depression. Of the patients taking a placebo, only 32 percent reported decreased depression. (6)
Learning disabilities (ADHD, autism): Our bodies are interconnected systems, and everything we put in them, expose them to or do to them affects the whole person, including their growth, development and mental capabilities. ADHD and other learning disabilities have been tied to poor gut health, especially in infants and children. (11) We are continuing to learn how our neurodevelopment, cognition, personality, mood, sleep and eating behaviors are all affected by the bacteria that reside within our guts. There seems to be an association between diet and psychiatric disorders due to metabolites of dietary components and enzymes encoded in our human genome that inhabit our guts. One of the most important factors seems to be establishing a healthy microbiome from birth, including a vaginal delivery ideally and being breastfed, which populates the newborn’s gut with the mother’s healthy bacteria.
Infertility and pregnancy complications: We first start establishing our microbiomes at exactly the points we are born, and our environment continues to manipulate the bacteria within us for the remainder of our lives. As we age and change, so do our microbiota. This is both good and bad news. It means some of us might already be at a disadvantage if we were exposed to high amounts of bad bacteria or antibiotics at a young age, especially if we were also being withheld from good bacteria that we receive through being breastfed. At the same time, a healthy pregnancy, delivery and period of being breastfed can set the stage for a strong immune system. (12)
Allergies, asthma and sensitivities: Certain beneficial bacteria lower inflammation, which lessens the severity of allergic reactions, food allergies, asthma or infections of the respiratory tract. (13) This means stronger defense against seasonal allergies or food allergies and more relief from coughing, colds, the flu or a sore throat. An anti-inflammatory diet helps prevent susceptibility to leaky gut syndrome and helps eliminate phlegm or mucus in the lungs or nasal passages, which makes it easier to breathe.
What Is the Human Microbiome?
Each of us has an internal complex ecosystem of bacteria located within our bodies that we call the microbiome. The microbiome is defined as as “community of microbes.” The vast majority of the bacterial species that make up our microbiome live in our digestive systems.
According to the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, “the human microbiota consists of the 10–100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells harbored by each person, primarily bacteria in the gut. The human ‘microbiome’ consists of the genes these cells harbor.” (1)
Our individual microbiomes are sometimes called our “genetic footprints” since they help determine our unique DNA, hereditary factors, predisposition to diseases, body type or body “set point weight,” and much more. The bacteria that make up our microbiomes can be found everywhere, even outside our own bodies, on nearly every surface we touch and every part of the environment we come into contact with. (2)
The microbiome can be confusing because it’s different than other organs in that it’s not just located in one location and is not very large in size, plus it has very far-reaching roles that are tied to so many different bodily functions. Even the word “microbiome” tells you a lot about how it works and the importance of its roles, since “micro” means small and “biome” means a habitat of living things.
It’s been said by some researchers that up to 90 percent of all diseases can be traced in some way back to the gut and health of the microbiome. Believe it or not, your microbiome is home to trillions of microbes, diverse organisms that help govern nearly every function of the human body in some way. The importance of our gut microbiome cannot be overstated: Poor gut health can contribute to leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases and disorders like arthritis, dementia, heart disease, and cancer, while our health, fertility and longevity are also highly reliant on the balance of critters living within our guts.
Throughout our lives, we help shape our own microbiomes — plus they adapt to changes in our environment. For example, the foods you eat, how you sleep, the amount of bacteria you’re exposed to on a daily basis and the level of stress you live with all help establish the state of your microbiota.
The Microbiome Diet: Eating to Support Immunity and Lower Inflammation
Your diet plays a big part in establishing gut health and supporting your microbiome’s good bacteria. Research over the past several decades has revealed evidence that there’s an inextricable link between a person’s microbiota, digestion, body weight and metabolism. In an analysis of humans and 59 additional mammalian species, microbiome environments were shown to differ dramatically depending on the specie’s diet.
The flip side is also true: Your gut health can impact how your body extracts nutrients from your diet and stores fat. Gut microbiota seem to play an important role in obesity, and changes in bacterial strains in the gut have been shown to lead to significant changes in health and body weight after only a few days. For example, when lean germ-free mice receive a transplant of gut microbiota from conventional/fat mice, they acquire more body fat quickly without even increasing food intake, because their gut bugs influence hormone production (like insulin), nutrient extraction and fat (adipose tissue) storage. (3)
Now that you can see why it’s critical to lower inflammation and support gut health, lets’s take a look at how you can go about this.
Foods that promote inflammation include:
Refined vegetable oils (like canola, corn and soybean oils, which are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids)
Conventional meat, poultry and eggs (high in omega-6s due to feeding the animals corn and cheap ingredients that negatively affect their microbiomes)
Added sugars (found in the majority of packaged snacks, breads, condiments, canned items, cereals, etc.)
Trans fats/hydrogenated fats (used in packaged/processed products and often to fry foods)
On the other hand, many natural foods can lower inflammation and help increase good bacteria in the gut. High-antioxidant foods help reduce gut damage caused by oxidative stress and turn down an overactive immune system while safeguarding healthy cells. Anti-inflammatory foods that should be the base of your diet include:
Fresh vegetables (all kinds): loaded with phytonutrients that are shown to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Aim for variety and a minimum of four to five servings per day. Some of the best include beets; carrots; cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale); dark, leafy greens (collard greens, kale, spinach); onions; peas; salad greens; sea vegetables; and squashes.
Whole pieces of fruit (not juice): Fruit contains various antioxidants like resveratrol and flavonoids, which are tied to cancer prevention and brain health. Three to four servings per day is a good amount for most people, especially apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, nectarines, oranges, pears, pink grapefruit, plums, pomegranates, red grapefruit or strawberries.
Herbs, spices and teas: turmeric, ginger, basil, oregano, thyme, etc., plus green tea and organic coffee in moderation.
Probiotics: Probiotic foods contain “good bacteria” that populate your gut and fight off bad bacterial strains. Try to include probiotic foods like yogurt, kombucha, kvass, kefir or cultured veggies in your diet daily.
Wild-caught fish, cage-free eggs and grass-fed/pasture-raised meat: higher in omega-3 fatty acids than farm-raised foods and great sources of protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients like zinc, selenium and B vitamins.
Ancient grains and legumes/beans: best when sprouted and 100 percent unrefined/whole. Two to three servings per day or less is best, especially Ansazi beans, adzuki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, black rice, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa.
Red wine and dark chocolate/cocoa in moderation: several times per week or a small amount daily.
Synopsis of Diet Plan. This diet involves three phrases, and, throughout all phases, dieters are encouraged to take “microbiome supersupplements” (ingredients such as garlic, berberine, wormwood and grapefruit seed extract), digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics. Kellman also suggests apple cider vinegar supplementation.
Synopsis of Diet Plan
The first phase is devoted to the removal of unhealthy bacteria, replacement of digestive enzymes, reinoculation with pre- and probiotics and repair of the intestinal wall. Dieters follow Phase 1 for three weeks by removing processed or packaged foods, juices, some fruits, gluten, all grains, sugars and sweeteners, dairy products, eggs, soy, processed or deli meats, peanuts, potatoes and most legumes, among other foods. The second phase lasts four weeks, and dairy, eggs, fruits, gluten-free grains, legumes and sweet potatoes are added back in. Dieters are asked to follow the diet with 90-percent compliance. The final phase, which lasts in perpetuity, promotes all foods allowed in Phase 2 with 70-percent compliance.
Nutritional Pros and Cons.
Kellman urges readers to eat foods that feed healthy gut bacteria and avoid foods that nourish harmful gut bacteria, a commendable dietary approach. He also encourages readers to change their relationship with food and describes the perils of stress eating. By Phase 3, the Microbiome Diet calls for a generally healthy diet with 70-percent compliance, allowing for more flexibility and the occasional indulgence.
Kellman believes all health begins in the gut and he thoroughly explains the relationship between gut bacteria and health, as well as the value of mindful eating and creating a healthy relationship with food. Unfortunately, the benefits of healthy gut bacteria are often overlooked – or perhaps poorly understood or publicized – as is the potential risk of harmful gut bacteria on obesity and chronic disease.
The Microbiome Diet centers around the idea that the key to optimal body function—and in turn, high metabolism and weight loss—is a thriving internal ecosystem of bacteria. “Research reveals that when the microbiome goes out of balance, people often gain weight, even when they haven’t changed their diet or exercise,” Kellman writes. “An imbalanced microbiome often dooms just about any diet to failure. When the microbiome is balanced, however, people often lose weight, even when they don’t make any other changes.”
It makes plenty of sense: 90% of our cells are bacterial, and there’s strength in numbers. “These intestinal organisms—bacteria—digest your food, govern your appetite, control your metabolism, orchestrate your immune system, influence your mood, and even help determine how your genes are expressed,” Kellman says. “They have a major impact on whether your heart is healthy, whether your bones develop properly, and whether your brain feels sharp and clear or fuzzy and unfocused. They sustain the gastrointestinal tract so your food is properly digested and you get all the nourishment you need. They produce crucial vitamins and other nutrients. They even manufacture natural antibiotics.”https://www.byrdie.com/microbiome-diet
FOODS TO REMOVE:
Processed foods of all kinds are out of the question, as are sugar, eggs, soy, gluten, dairy, yeast, dried fruits, and fungus. Even gluten-free grains like quinoa and brown rice and starchy vegetables and legumes like potatoes, peanuts, and kidney beans are off-limits, as the sugars in those foods can feed bad bacteria.
FOODS TO ENJOY:
Most non-starchy veggies and fruits are just fine, with a special emphasis on fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut, and kombucha (which contain digestion-friendly bacteria strains). Chickpeas and lentils are the only legumes permitted, and Kellman advises sticking with coconut oil or ghee. For protein, beef, chicken, low-mercury fish, lamb, and shellfish are all fine (though as low-processed as possible).Kellman also suggests a variety of bacteria-promoting supplements to ingest daily, the most important of which being a probiotic and prebiotic. And here’s where things take a turn for the amazing: A couple cups of coffee per day are allowed, as are wine and beer, since they’re fermented.
The Microbiome Diet Phase 1-The 4 R’s
The 4R approach to intestinal health works to rebalance gut flora by:
Removing foods that interfere with a healthy microbiome, disruptive bacteria, pathogens and toxins
Repairing the gut wall
Replacing needed stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes
Reinoculating with large amounts of healing, probiotic bacteria
Diets high in refined carbohydrates, fat, sugar, processed foods, coloring, and fillers are what creates the perfect storm to allow opportunistic strains of bacteria to overgrow, as well as pathogens to dominate the balance of the ecology. By removing them, the intestine can heal and the composition of the microbiome begins to change for the better. Patients are advised to avoid the following for the first 3 weeks:
High-fructose corn syrup
High mercury fish
Dairy (except butter/ghee)
Legumes (except chickpeas/lentils)
The focus should shift to an organic, plant based diet that includes “Microbiome Superfoods”. These are foods that contain prebiotic fibers necessary to feed and nourish the healthy strains of intestinal bacteria, giving them the energy to grow, multiply and thrive. Since these fibers are indigestible by us humans, they make it into the intestine intact, where they are fermented and broken down by our tiny friends. In the process, compounds called Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) are released, which have many positive effects on our health. It’s a win/win for everyone! Asparagus, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, Jicama, onion, leek, and radish are all terrific examples of prebiotic foods.
Probiotic foods are equally as important, as they loaded with huge amounts of healing bacteria. Fermented vegetables, kimchi, sauerkraut, plus sheep, and goat’s milk products like kefir and yogurt, contain exponentially more healing bacteria than supplements do. A true Microbiome Diet includes liberal use of these foods to boost the quantity and types of strains that should be found in great numbers in the ecology.
Fruits such as apples, berries, cherries, coconut, grapefruit, kiwi, nectarine, orange and rhubarb are also included. To round things out, healthy fats from nuts, seeds (natural nut/seed butters), avocado, fish, and oils from flaxseed, sunflower and olive are all great choices. When it comes to animal proteins, make the healthiest choice possible by focusing on organic, free range and cruelty-free versions.
We will explore more on the 4R’s and healing supplements in Part 3.
Phase 2 – The Metabolic Boost
After the first 21 days on the diet, the intestine have begun to heal, inflammation is down, and positive shifts are already taking place in the microbiome. In this next phase, we continue to omit damaging foods, while adding in the following for the next four weeks.
Dairy – goat or sheep’s milk products such as milk, cheese and yogurt, kefir of all types including cow’s milk, and coconut yogurt
Eggs – organic, free range
Fruits – mango, melon, peaches, and pears
Gluten free grains – including mmaranth, buckwheat, millet, oats (certified GF), quinoa, brown rice, basmati rice, and wild rice.
Legumes – green beans and all types of beans, including black, kidney, red and white
Sweet potatoes and yams
Phase 3 – The Lifetime Tune-Up
At this point in the process, the intestine is healing or has fully healed and so has the microbiome! A good rule of thumb is to always try to avoid the damaging foods, listen to your body, and follow your inner guide as to what foods work or don’t work for you. By maintaining The Microbiome Diet principles, the health of the bacterial communities is ensured.