Our gut microbiota contains trillions of microorganisms, including thousands of different species that are distinct to our individual guts and as unique as our fingerprints. Why is it so important to focus on the health of these tiny bacteria? And how can we incorporate everyday foods to help the good bacteria thrive?
Healthy bacteria play a major role in the proper digestion of food, the health of our immune system and assisting with the production of vitamins B and K. The foods we consume every day also feed the trillions of microorganisms in our body, making the phrase “you are what you eat” truer than ever. A balanced and varied diet is critical for creating a thriving environment for good bacteria.
A probiotic supplement can be a great addition to a healthy diet, however, probiotics found in foods are more readily available for absorption and digestion in your body. Probiotics help balance the gut microbiome especially after a course of antibiotics, stress or a poor diet. The foods highest in probiotics include fermented dairy (kefir and yogurt), fermented vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut and pickles), fermented tea (kombucha) and fermented soy products (tempeh). Adding a variety of foods high in probiotics is a surefire way to keep those good bacteria functioning properly to keep you healthy.
Written by: Tori Parsons, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern