4 ways to sup­port your

mi­cro­biome

Canadian Living - - HEALTH & FITNESS | BODY TALK -

1 Feed your mi­cro­biome

One of the best—and eas­i­est—ways to pos­i­tively im­pact the gut is through diet. Start by in­creas­ing your fi­bre in­take, found in grains, fruit and veg­eta­bles. Aim for 25 grams of fi­bre a day. Avoid high-fat and high-sugar di­ets, as they pro­mote an un­healthy en­vi­ron­ment. In­stead, eat foods that are full of va­ri­ety, and in­clude an abun­dance of fresh produce.

2 Fuel it with fer­mented foods

Pop­u­late the gut with good bac­te­ria by fill­ing up on foods with live and ac­tive cul­tures, such as ke­fir and some yo­gurts, and raw, un­pas­teur­ized fer­mented foods, such as kim­chi, pick­led veg­eta­bles and sauerkraut. Sup­port di­ges­tive health and nour­ish the gut lin­ing to more ef­fi­ciently ab­sorb nu­tri­ents by adding a scoop of a fer­mented yo­gurt pro­tein pow­der to your morn­ing smoothie. WE REC­OM­MEND: GEN­UINE HEALTH Fer­mented Greek Yo­gurt Pro­teins+, $57, gen­uine­health.com.

3 Pop a pro­bi­otic

“Although our bod­ies have bac­te­ria, en­vi­ron­men­tal chem­i­cals, poor nutri­tion, stress and med­i­ca­tion eas­ily af­fect their di­ver­sity. Choose a pro­bi­otic with 50 to 100 bil­lion ac­tive bac­te­ria,” says Toronto-based natur­o­pathic doc­tor Sara Ce­lik. We like a pro­bi­otic that’s jam­packed with 50 bil­lion ac­tive cul­tures from 10 strains of bac­te­ria, which is ideal for strength­en­ing the im­mune sys­tem. WE REC­OM­MEND: RE­NEW LIFE Ul­ti­mate Flora Crit­i­cal Care, $38, re­newlife.ca.

4 Mon­i­tor an­tibi­otic use

Avoid the overuse of an­tibi­otics, which can re­duce the num­ber of bac­te­ria in your gut and break down its abil­ity to re­sist in­fec­tion from bad bac­te­ria. “They’re drugs that don’t dis­crim­i­nate and kill all forms of bac­te­ria—both good and bad—and can ad­versely al­ter the com­po­si­tion of your en­tire gut flora, which, we be­lieve, is con­tribut­ing to a host of chronic dis­eases,” warns Kathy Mccoy, di­rec­tor of the Western Cana­dian Mi­cro­biome Cen­tre.

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