Seven Food and Drinks to Balance Your Gut Microbiome

gut microbiome

There are trillions of bacteria living in your digestive tract, which make up what is known as your gut microbiome. These bacteria are an integral part of maintaining the health of your gut and your body. In fact, a balanced and diverse population of gut microbiome has been linked to the prevention of a variety of health issues, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Additionally, it helps protect against inflammation that plays a part in autoimmune disease.

Food influences microbes

It is important to understand that 90 percent of your cells are actually microbial cells and what you eat influences those microbes. Additionally, not all the bacteria in your gut is healthy for your body. Because of this, it is important to maintain a balance between the healthy and unhealthy bacteria. Said differently, when the unhealthy bacteria multiply beyond a healthy balance, health issues can arise. In fact, an imbalance in your gut microbiome is said to be linked to variety of health issues, including such things as obesity and cancer as well as decreased brain function, depression, and anxiety.

The importance of maintaining a healthy balance of your gut microbiome cannot be understated. Because it is said to be vital for your immunity as well as your physical and mental health, it is important to understand the steps you can take to bring your gut microbiome into balance. One of the best and easiest ways to achieve this is through the foods you choose to eat.

1. Sauerkraut

Everyone knows how great a hot dog topped with sauerkraut is, but not everyone knows the health benefits. Sauerkraut is a fermented food made from just two ingredients: salt and cabbage. This fermented food provides you vital probiotics as well as fiber, which is also vital to the health of your digestive tract.

While you can make your own, if you prefer to purchase your sauerkraut, you should choose only sauerkraut one located in the refrigerated section. Refrigerated sauerkraut contains more probiotics compared to the jarred or canned types found on the shelf of your grocery store.

2. Tempeh

Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh is similar to tofu but has a nutty taste and has firmer texture. This fermented food is an excellent source of probiotics. It also contains all the essential amino acids making it a complete vegetarian protein, which is another added health benefit if you are eating a vegan diet.

3. Yogurt

By now, most everyone is aware that many yogurts contain live, active cultures. In fact, you may incorporate yogurt with live cultures into your diet to help maintain a healthy intestinal tract. However, you may not be aware that yogurt is made from fermented milk. As such, it contains probiotics. Additionally, the probiotics in yogurt help in the digestion of lactose, making some lactose-intolerant individuals actually able to tolerate yogurt.

4. Kefir

This drink is made from fermented milk and incorporates live kefir grains. Kefir is comparable to a thin yogurt in terms of consistency. If you prefer not to include milk within your diet, a kefir drink comprised of coconut milk may be a good alternative. Adding on, you should look for companies that specialize in producing kefir, such as Live Kefir Company, to ensure you enjoy the highest quality kefir possible.

Prebiotics, non-digestible carbohydrates, are another important component of intestinal health. Probiotics feed on prebiotics, a process which supports the production of healthy gut bacteria. Therefore, it is equally important to also consume items that contain prebiotics.

5. Kombucha

Made from fermented tea, kombucha is a delicious cold tea enjoyed in China for thousands of years. This drink contains a high level of the plant chemical called polyphenol, which is a prebiotic. However, the health benefits of kombucha do not stop at prebiotics. In fact, this drink is classified as a symbiotic because it also contains probiotic bacteria, making it a powerhouse drink for the health of your gut.

6. Apples

The pectin in apples is commonly known for providing 50 percent of the fruit’s fiber content. What you may not know though is the pectin also contains prebiotics due to the high concentration of polyphenol. In addition, prebiotic polyphenol and pectin have been linked to improvement in digestive health, a decrease in LDL cholesterol levels, and in potentially lower risk levels for certain types of cancer.

7. Asparagus

This vegetable is a fantastic source of prebiotics. It has been shown to promote the production of healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract. However, the health benefits do not stop there. Furthermore, asparagus has also been linked to the prevention of some cancers, and the antioxidants and fiber it contains have have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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