You’ve probably heard the old adage, “eat the rainbow” which is great advice on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables by making sure you have many colors represented. But creating a diverse gut microbiome means not only eating a rainbow of vegetables but making sure that the fruits and vegetables vary day by day.
What is the gut microbiome?
The gut microbiome is the population of microbes(bacteria) that live in the intestines and are unique to each individual. Most of us are aware that the bacteria in our gut play an important role in digestion. Bacteria can help to break down the foods we eat after the stomach and small intestine do their part. This ensures that we get the nutrients we need from our food. Sometimes, due to poor diet, bacteria become out of balance and we start to suffer from a variety of issues including bloating, poor digestion and weight gain.
What does the gut microbiome do?
The gut microbiome is responsible for making micronutrients such as biotin, vitamin K, B vitamins and folic acid. It aids in detoxification and can help activate plant compounds and botanicals (especially when taking supplements) and plays a major role in immune function.
Just 3 days after changing your diet for the better you can reap benefits!
A new study, published in Nature, found that changes in the gut microbiome can happen within three or four days after a big shift in what you eat. “We found that the bacteria that lives in peoples’ guts is surprisingly responsive to change in diet,” Lawrence David, assistant professor at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and one of the study’s authors, says. “Within days we saw not just a variation in the abundance of different kinds of bacteria, but in the kinds of genes they were expressing.”
The the weight loss info.
It is not surprising that one of the most studied areas in microbiome research is how gut microbiota affects an individual’s risk of obesity and other metabolic conditions. Medical News Today, 2014 Nov, reported on a study claiming our genetic makeup shapes what type of bacteria reside in our gut, which may affect our weight. Many other studies from Science, Nature, and other research review papers are also reporting findings of fighting obesity with bacteria. Studies have also shown that a diverse microbiome is helpful in burning more calories and increasing metabolism.
The more diverse your plant diet is, the more diverse the bacteria in the gut, which in turn produces short chain fatty acids (SCFA’s) which are Butyrate, Propionate and Acetate. SCFAs act as fuel to produce more diverse bacteria and also act as signaling agents that bind to specific receptors that have an effect on metabolism. These receptors play a role in controlling appetite. If you don’t have a diverse gut microbiome you are always hungry. SCFAs allow your metabolic system to be more efficient in fat burning efficiency as it effects those pathways as well.
Things you can do to increase your gut microbiome, increase your SCFAs and kickstart your metabolism:
- Vary the vegetables that you eat by putting them on a rotation of at least 3-4 days (look for our FREE printable food rotation chart coming soon!)
- Increase your fiber intake-this will assist your body in making SFCAs- examples include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Nuts and Seeds
- Brussels sprouts, broccoli etc
- Leafy greens
- Fermented Foods including grain-free tempeh, pickled veggies, kimchi etc.
- Legumes (only if soaked and pressure cooked to reduce lectin content)
- Supplement with digestive enzymes to help break down the starches, protein and fibers etc.
- Limit alcohol and sugar
The great news is you can change your gut and begin a healthier you in only 3 days! Look for our recipes that include the suggestions above and start to feel better by Monday!