7 ways to care for your microbiome this year
1. Nourish your Skin microbiome
Give your skin microbiome some TLC this year. More research that connects the gut microbiome to disease, physical health, and mental health is published every month; however, it's important not to forget about the skin microbiome. Since skin is the largest organ of the body, proper skin nourishment and a well balanced skin microbiome are extremely important to overall health. Try transitioning to bath products, moisturizers and make up without artificial ingredients and preservatives. Also be on the look out for our first blog of the new year covering tips to nourishing your skin microbiome!
2. Eat fermented vegetables every day
Wild fermented vegetables are a tasty, affordable source of probiotics. When adding probiotics to your diet, the most important thing to look for is probiotic species richness. Probiotic species richness is the number of probiotic species found in foods or supplements; the higher the number the better! When fermentation is complete, there are more than 10-15 different species of Lactobacillus found in our fermented vegetables, and the species change with different vegetables. You want to maintain a rich population of good microbes in your gut, so try eating two different kinds of fermented vegetables per day for the most rich dose of good bacteria!
3. Incorporate fermented vegetable brine into smoothies and mixed drinks
The brine of fermented vegetables is just as rich in probiotics as the vegetables themselves, so don't let it go to waste! Adding just a tablespoon of fermented vegetable brine to smoothies adds billions of probiotic species without altering the flavor or adding calories. Another great way to utilize brine is to add it to the occasional mixed drink, like a Bloody Mary!
4. Pack Your Meals with Prebiotics
Prebiotics are equally as important as probiotics. Prebiotics are natural nutrients that make it to the intestines undigested, providing a nutrition for beneficial gut microorganisms to grow and thrive. Essentially, prebiotics are the food for good microbes and mostly consist of healthy plant fibers and good fats. Just like any other living thing, the good microbes living in your digestive tract need to be fed and taken care of. Prebiotic foods make probiotics healthy and happy, which keeps you healthy and happy! Some of our favorite prebiotics: bone broth, wheatgrass, oats, beets, peppers, and berries.
5. Practice Thirty Minutes of Yoga Everyday
Exercise is important to maintaining proper gut balance. Along with being physically beneficial, exercise provides stress relief, endorphins and can help boost microbiome health. Recent studies have indicated that regular whole-body-stimulating exercises such as yoga can promote a healthier population of microbes in the gut. Maybe go the extra mile and hydrate with some local kombucha while practicing yoga!
6. Plant a Garden and Visit Your Local Farmers Market
Gardening and visiting your local farmers market works wonders on the skin and gut microbiomes! Planting a garden provides a wonderful way to play in the dirt and sunshine while reliving stress. When you plant an herb garden you reap the benefits of fresh herbs for meals as well as broadening your microbiome by exposing yourself to soil microbes. Going to your local farmers market is also a fantastic way to expose yourself to the outdoors and great microbes. The Farmers market is also the most sustainable, eco friendly, and gut friendly place to get plenty of those prebiotics we mentioned earlier!
7. Get Educated
Education is the key. Look to learn all you can about microbes, your microbiome, probiotics, prebiotics, fermented foods and proper procedures in fermenting at home. Be aware of the resources you use to educate yourself on these topics and try to ensure the information comes from educated, reliable sources with backgrounds and experience in the fields of microbiology and fermentation. We have blogs available on these topics and apart from that, published books are the best resources.
Some great book resources to check out: