Change is good for the microbiome. A microbiome that changes as we get older is linked to longer life and improved health outcomes. Adapting diet and behavior as we grow may increase longevity.
It's not enough to take probiotics to maintain a healthy gut. Prebiotics are food for the microbiome. Grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, alliums, and root vegetables are all high sources of dietary prebiotics.
Fermented foods are ubiquitous in ancient cultures because they're the best way to preserve the harvest, they're delicious, and they keep our microbiota happy so it can keep us alive.
Keep it Diverse
A more diverse microbiome is associated with decreased risk of obesity, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Caring for our diverse microbiota includes eating a wide range of foods and moderating activities that stress microbes, like drinking too much alcohol.
Skip the Process
Eating a diet high in processed foods, added sugars, salt, and highly modified ingredients kills microbiome diversity. Fresh, nutrient-dense, lightly processed foods promote the growth of good bacteria.
Maintaining good sleep hygiene helps support a flourishing microbiome and vice versa. Going to bed at the same time each night gives the body the rest it needs so the second self can get to work.
- Wilmanski, T. et al. "Gut microbiome pattern reflects healthy ageing and predicts survival in humans." Nature metabolism. 2021
- Smith, R. et al. "Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans." PLOS One. 2019
- Wastyk, H. et al. "Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune status." Cell. 2021