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How to take care of your gut microbiome

"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." – Jim Rohn

Daily bowel movements should not be a luxury. Daily elimination is essential to remove toxins from the body - toxin build-up can lead to skin issues, weight gain and chronic inflammation. Ideally, you should have 1-4 well formed bowel movements per day (Type 3-4 on the Bristol scale).

For centuries doctors have known the ill effects constipation can have on the body. A decrease in daily pooping is linked to less movement, a poor diet and stress. But when it comes to gut health, it's about much more than being regular.

By following a low-sugar, high-fiber, real food eating plan, the fiber will help the good bacteria flourish and by eliminating added sugars it will take away what the bad bacteria like to feed on.

So what can you DO to ensure healthy elimination daily?

Drink more water

Don't like drinking water? Do you know what loves drinking water? Your cells! If you're serious about your health, then drink up!

Dehydration is one of the main causes of constipation. The aim is to drink half your body weight in ounces of filtered water per day. If you don't filter your water, then your liver has to filter it for you. Don't buy plastic water bottles, it's not good for you or the environment. Another reason to drink more water is that your body can mistake thirst for hunger. Mild dehydration can lead to overeating when you're really just thirsty. Drink herbal tea or no sugar kombucha if you want something flavorful to drink.

Eat more fiber

Fiber is not only just to have a good bowel movement. It is also necessary to keep the good bugs in your gut happy. Many of these bugs rely on fiber as their primary food source and they will not stick around if they are not being fed. Each gut species has a preferred food source, so plant diversity in the diet is super important. Studies show that diets containing loads of fiber — can produce diverse microbial communities that support good gut health. Taking a probiotic supplement is often very helpful but eating 6 to 9, 1/2 cup servings of vegetables a day is key. The gut microbiome depends on the diversity of your plant foods so aim to eat 3-4 different veggies daily. If you are prone to gas or bloating, then eat your vegetables cooked instead of raw.

Eat more plants!

Good veggies to choose from include:

Green leafy vegetables: kale, bok choy, collard greens, swiss chard, dandelion greens, and arugula.

Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage

Root vegetables: turnips, beets parsnips, carrots, jicama, and sunchokes

Berries are also super high in fiber and can be eaten once a day to help strengthen the microbiome.

You can also try mixing a fiber blend with water to add more fiber to your gut. We like Thorne's FiberMend. It's a soluble prebiotic fiber that helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, promotes regularity, and supports optimal digestive function. (click on the link to purchase). Exercise is also a natural way to increasing your gut health, so get outside and move your body.

We need to support the trillions of bacteria that live in our gut. Fermented foods and beverages are a great source of natural probiotics, including kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented veggies, and kombucha. Real fermented foods are found in only in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Look for raw (unpasteurized) before choosing your product. Enjoy these foods raw as heating them will kill the good bacteria. If eating fermented foods doesn't fit into your daily meal plan then we recommend taking a daily probiotic. Thorne's FloraMend Prime Probiotic. is a great choice, as well as Ortho Molecular and Designs for Health. It is important to rotate your probiotic every six months.

Improve digestion

If fiber rich foods do not help with your constipation or tend to make you more constipated, poor digestion and low stomach acid are likely to blame. Try taking digestive enzymes at the beginning of each meal. I like this one. You also want to pay attention to your meal timing and eat the majority of your food earlier in the day. Try to stick to a routine of eating no food three hours before bedtime.

Stay consistent with Healthy Habits

Exercise, sleep quality, and a healthy mindset all contribute to a flourishing gut environment.

Need help balancing your gut microbiome or other health habits? Book a free 20 minute Discovery call with us to find out how we can help you. We look forward to helping you.



Follaine Health (Gaelic for Wellness) was born out of a desire to help real women with real health issues. 


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