Nurturing Your Gut: Practical Tips for a Healthy Microbiome

Nurturing Your Gut: Practical Tips for a Healthy Microbiome

Published on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 by Lindsey Lemus

Putting Gut-Friendly Eating to Practice

Gut-healthy eating may take some practice, but by making informed decisions about your food and consistently including gut-friendly foods in your diet, your body can maintain a healthy balance in the gut microbiome, or gut eubiosis.

Increase Fiber Intake: 

Did you know that most Americans are not meeting the daily recommendations for fiber? In fact, according to the American Society for Nutrition, some studies show that less than 1 in 10 Americans are meeting the daily fiber recommendation per the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines, which encourage men to eat about 38 grams of fiber per day, and women about 25 grams per day. This is completely doable if you are choosing the right foods to meet your fiber goals! 

High-fiber foods such as whole-grain products, beans, lentils, oats, and berries are fantastic additions to your plate and can help you increase your fiber intake. Add canned beans to your salads, lentils to your soups, and oats and berries to your breakfast parfaits to sneak fiber into each of your meals. Remember, you can always check the nutrition labels on your food products to see how many grams of fiber per serving your food products or snacks may have. Aiming for about 5 grams of fiber for snacks and about 10 grams of fiber for meals can help improve your fiber intake. 

Opting for high-fiber snacks and meals not only benefits you by making you feel full and satisfied at mealtimes but the bacteria in your gut microbiome will surely thank you! Gut bacteria are able to digest fiber, allowing them to grow and produce short chain fatty acids that benefit the body in numerous ways.

Consider Whole Grains over Refined Grains: 

There is a very good reason the USDA recommends at least half of the grains on your plate consist of whole grains! Whole grains provide many nutrients including more fiber than refined grains. Whole grains, or grains that contain every part of the grain kernel, differ from refined grains in several ways. 

On average, whole grains provide more fiber, B vitamins, iron magnesium, and antioxidants than refined grains. Whole grains have been shown to aid in digestion, reduce blood sugar spikes, and may reduce the risk of certain diseases. Look for whole grain breads, bagels, pasta, or even products like oats or whole-grain cereal.

Feast on Fermented Foods! 

Fermented foods are an incredible source of probiotics, or living organisms just like the ones in your gut microbiome that can help the beneficial bacteria in your gut grow. Adding fermented foods to your meals can be a great way to include gut-friendly foods in your diet. 

Examples of fermented foods include yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso paste, apple cider vinegar, and even sourdough bread. Adding kimchi to a rice bowl, sauerkraut to your deli sandwich, yogurt or cottage cheese to overnight oats, substituting a glass of milk for kefir, or switching out your white bread for sourdough are all great ways to add gut-friendly foods to your diet.

Remember to have Mindful Mealtimes: 

In a society where eating on-the-go and hardly paying attention to the food on your plate is normalized, it can be difficult to make your mealtimes less stressful than the rest of your day. Studies have shown that practicing mindful eating can help reduce gastrointestinal discomfort and aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients. 

Mindful eating can mean many things to many people, whether it be enjoying a meal with loved ones or having a meal outside in the sunshine, but some other helpful starters include sitting down to eat your meals, eating without distractions such as TV or phone stimulation, and eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly.


Eating for gut health can seem intimidating, but taking the first steps by making simple swaps or adding gut-friendly food to your favorite meals can help you embark on your gut health journey. Nourishing your gut lays a strong foundation for overall health and well being, so remembering to incorporate these practices into your routine will surely help your gut (and your life) thrive! 

  1. Cherpak C. E. (2019). Mindful Eating: A Review Of How The Stress-Digestion-Mindfulness Triad May Modulate And Improve Gastrointestinal And Digestive Function. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 18(4), 48–53.
  2. Grains. USDA MyPlate Grains Group – One of the Five Food Groups. (n.d.).  
  3. Most Americans are not getting enough fiber in our diets. American Society for Nutrition.  
  4. Şanlier, N., Gökcen, B. B., & Sezgin, A. C. (2019). Health benefits of fermented foods. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 59(3), 506–527. 

Explained perfectly ! best believe i will do so much better with my fiber intake / other food choices towards a healthier gut !

Very well written and extremely informative. Gut health is so important
Thanks for the insight

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