Here’s How To Love Your Microbiome

by team nuut

A healthy gut supports your immune system and helps prevent illness. Nurture yours with healthy foods and plant-based protein powder that feed and maintain it for optimal health from the inside out.

Fun fact: Your gut microbiome, which comprises your stomach, intestines and colon, weighs about 2kg, which is larger than your brain. It is a system of microorganisms in your gastrointestinal system that includes many bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other organisms. It absorbs nutrients from food, removes waste, supports energy harvesting, and immune defence.

The variety of bacteria in your gut is a barometer for your microbiome's health. Soluble fibre feeds the “good bacteria” that live in the large intestine, making us feel full and happy after a meal. It makes B vitamins and vitamin K, helps break down food and turn it into nutrients, and fights disease-causing bacteria. Many factors, including a poor diet lacking in fibre, can impact the type of bacteria in your digestive tract. Excessive medications, antibiotics or common over-the-counter remedies can also throw off the all-important balance of your bacteria, which presents in symptoms like bloating, gas, constipation, food sensitivities, skin problems, allergies and autoimmune disorders.

10 Ways To Love Your Guts

Everyone has a unique microbiome impacted by genes, environment, diet and lifestyle. A happy gut needs a healthy microbiome to extract nutrition from what we eat and protect us from the bugs and toxins we are exposed to daily. To keep your gut health humming, here are some ways to love your microbiome:

Ditch Sugary, Starchy, and Processed Foods

Our daily diet affects the flora that grows in our gut, impacting our health. The microbiome doesn't crave sweet, starchy or processed food because they are broken down in the small intestine, where they feed harmful bacteria, which leads to SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Processed foods also contain trans fats, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, artificial ingredients, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and industrial seed oils, which seriously impact the microbiome. Instead, eat the rainbow and consume colourful fruits and vegetables. Try to eat 30 different plants, nuts and seeds weekly. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Add a handful of spinach, cauliflower, avocado, bananas, almonds and berries daily to your nuut plant-based protein powder, and you’re ticking boxes!

Skip Gluten

Gluten is the protein that, like glue, helps foods to maintain their shape. It's found in some grains, like rye, barley, wheat and wheat-based or derived products, including spelt, durum and semolina. Gluten has had bad press over the past decade, yet most people eat it daily without suffering from ill side effects. For others, however, it can trigger digestive symptoms such as bloating and diarrhoea. For those with autoimmune conditions, where the body's immune system attacks its own tissues when gluten is ingested, it causes damage to the lining of the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed. Avoid gluten and keep your microbiome beautifully balanced if gluten is an issue.

Make Good Lifestyle Changes

Restorative sleep and stress relief positively impact the microbiome's health, and studies show that exercise promotes an increase in the diversity of healthy bacteria in the gut. Shake a nuut plant-based protein powder with water and pimp with microbiome-loving ingredients like oats, avocado, nuts and greens. Check out some of our favourite nuut shakes recipes here.

Cut Conventionally Farmed Meat, Poultry, Dairy Products, and Eggs

Conventional animal products are almost always fed large amounts of antibiotics to prevent them from getting sick and to fatten them up before slaughter. So when you eat meat, you are also consuming these products. Plus, they are fed hormones and GMO corn or soy, which contribute to an unhealthy microbiome. Ditch or cut back on meat, poultry, dairy and eggs and increase your plant food quota. Your microbiome will just love you for it!

Take Antibiotics Sparingly

Antibiotics are effective when we need to fight infection, but for the gut, they are the enemy as they remove the good bacteria along with the bad. Try herbal alternatives like anti-microbial herbs that fight toxins but are also kind to the good bacteria.

Fill Up on Fibre

A fibre-rich diet of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans and nuts creates a more diverse variety of gut microflora, which affects how our gut digests and absorbs nutrients, the rate at which they move through our bodies, and the quality of our stools. Most of us eat only half the recommended 30g of fibre a day, so increase your intake slowly and allow your gut to adjust.

A nuut vegan protein powder is 100% plant-based nourishment and a whopping one-third of your daily dietary requirements, including 4.4g fibre. Increase it even more, by adding avocado, flaxseeds, spinach and almonds.

Plate Up Plenty of Prebiotics

Plant fibre is good for the microbiome, so pile up your plate with garlic, onions, radishes, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes and tomatoes and always eat the chewy part of the vegetable, like the stalks of broccoli or the bottoms of asparagus that contain most of the nutrients! The bugs who live lower down in the colon need plant fibre to produce the compounds that protect the gut wall. Without them, leaky gut can occur. This is where bits of bacteria and partially digested food, toxins, and bugs penetrate the microscopic holes in the gut wall tissues and enter the bloodstream, triggering system-wide inflammation.

Take a Daily Dose of Probiotics

Probiotics help keep your community of microorganisms in tip-top shape. While it's always best to get your probiotics from food, fermented foods are a fantastic way to get your daily dose, especially if you are taking an antibiotic. It will help balance it out and keep your gut health on an even keel. Add a spoonful of sauerkraut or kimchee (Korean fermented cabbage) to your plate sip or kefir (fermented milk) loaded with good bacteria.

Want to restore beneficial gut flora quickly, efficiently and deliciously? nuut is known as one of the best protein powders in Australia for its formulation, which includes essential probiotics L. acidophilus, B. bifidum, B. longum, B. lactis.

Filter Your Water

Chlorinated water kills harmful bugs and prevents many water-borne diseases. However, it can also do a number on the good bacteria in your microbiome. Invest in a good water filter that removes and limits impurities from drinking water and protect your microbiome from chlorine damage. Research shows that drinking water is essential in shaping the gut microbiome and that integrating a drinking water source and intake as covariates in future microbiome analyses is warranted. It is recommended we aim to drink 6 to 8 cups or glasses of fluid a day. Water, vegan plant protein shakes, lower-fat milk, sugar-free drinks, and tea and coffee all count. You may need to drink more fluids if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

Avoid Glyphosate Sprayed Crops

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the highly toxic pesticide used on GMO and food crops, including corn, peas, soybeans, flax, rye, lentils, triticale, buckwheat, canola, millet, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans and other edible legumes. It's also a registered antibiotic, so it's extremely bad for gut health. Avoid it entirely by only shopping for pesticide-free organic and/or farmer's produce.