Good microbiome health is important.
You need at least forty different plant foods per week to keep your microbiome healthy.
Fibre is also important for microbiome health, there is no magic number when it comes to dietary fibre – but at least thirty percent of your fibre intake should be plant based – from fruits and vegetables.
A lack of dietary fibre can cause functional constipation and this happens years before problems such as SIBO occur.
Polyphenols are gut loving foods and essential nutrients for our microbiome.
Polyphenols are also prebiotics – they feed our microbiome as well as modulate the microbiome – helping the good bacteria to grow and keeping the bad bacteria at bay.
In my world of gut medicine there is talk of the need for a recommended dietary intake (RDI) for polyphenols similar to other vitamins and minerals.
This is because most of us are deficient and deficiency is a problem that starts in the gut and effects every part of our body.
Increasing your polyphenol intake can be a problem if your gut health is poor, so I’ve put together a list for you (below) that is suitable if you are working on your gut health or planning on working on your gut health.
Remember though – its slow and steady, your gut is like a muscle it takes time to build it up. Introduce a small amount of the polyphenols below at each meal.
- blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries
- coloured and normal carrots, red cabbage, spinach, broccoli and red lettuce such as mignonette
- red rice, black rice, red and black quinoa
- rye sourdough
- flaxseed meal, hazelnuts and pecans
- black olives and olive oil
Start with as little as a few blueberries with breakfast, red lettuce and pecans in your salad at lunch and red cabbage and coloured carrots with your dinner at night. There are many other polyphenols, the list I have provided is more driven around those with poor gut health being able to tolerate the foods.