4 ways to support your
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.