1.What can I do to support my microbiome health?
a.Avoid antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary b. Eat lots of fibrous plants, organic, if possible c. Plant a garden and grow some of your own food d. Skip the hand santizer e. Filter your water with a good quality filter f. Avoid over the counter drugs to treat minor symptoms of colds
2.What should I be eating for a healthy microbiome?
There is no perfect solution given the choices in the Western diet. The best advance for the healthy microbiome is to eat a more fresh, whole foods based diet. Michael Pollen’s advise is to “Eat real food, mostly plants”. Avoid processed and prepackaged foods and cook at home as much as possible. Fermented foods can be helpful in restoring your gut flora but always pay attention to what your body is telling you after you eat. Your body will let you know.
3.How do lifestyle choices impact our microbiome?
In addition to the food, the products we use to clean our homes, brush out teeth, wash our bodies along with the water we drink and bath with have the potential to disrupt our microbiomes.
4.Should I take a probiotic to restore my microbiome after a course of antibiotics?
Before taking a probiotic after a course of antibiotics, it is best to allow your system to rest a bit. Most probiotic formulas on the market today are not designed specifically for post-antibiotic restoration and they will typically decrease the pH of the GI tract making it more acidic. This can actually make it more difficult for the system to initially rebalance. Focus, first on foods that can heal the gut and balance the pH, then consider adding a probiotic later. The Microbiome Diet has some great suggestions for microbiome restoring foods.
5. What’s the biggest threat to our microbiome?
The overuse of antibiotics and our processed, nutrient-poor diet. We’re killing off our microbes with unnecessary antibiotics, and then starving the ones that remain by not feeding them the right stuff.