Foods and drugs affect the bacteria in your gut, but not always in predictable ways. Recent studies have revealed a few (pleasant?) surprises.
Remember when we hated germs?
‘Antibacterial’ was so in vogue we all obsessively carried around little containers of sticky blue gel, just to feel okay and safe. Not to mention the whole antibiotics craze – talk about literal overkill. I think I got prescribed antibiotics as a teenager for mild hormonal acne once. Not JK.
Now doctors are writing books that tell parents to regularly feed their kids actual dirt and also to get a dog when they have a baby because the new vogue is: microbiome diversity.
On this trend, we agree. The more the merrier, when it comes to bug diversity in your gut. At Parsley we get it and we’re all about it. Your microbes not only provide you with essential energy sources and vitamins you can’t make yourself, they also speak directly to your immune system, your brain and even your genes. You really can’t live without them.
Last Thursday new research was published in Science, one of the premiere medical journals in the world. Specifically, two recent large studies – the Flemish Gut Flora Project (one of the largest population-wide studies on gut flora) and the LifeLines DEEP project. Both looked for factors that affect the hundreds of microbial species living in the average person’s digestive tract.
Foods that boost your bugs:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Red wine
Habits that hurt:
- A high-calorie diet
- A high-carbohydrate diet
- Sugar-sweetened beverages
- Frequent snacks
- Whole milk
Interestingly, but not surprising to us, medications had the biggest influence of all, more than any food. Antibiotics, metformin (a common diabetes drug) and proton-pump inhibitors (commonly taken for heartburn) were all linked to lower gut microbiome diversity.
What can you do for your microbiome today?
1. Take a proven probitoic
Broad-spectrum is the goal. We searched hard and settled on a multi-strain, shelf-stable, clinically proven probiotic that you can get here.
2. Eat more fermented foods and pre-biotics (what your microbes feast on)
You know the list – kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and pre-biotic fibrous foods like the ones we tell you all about in this super popular blog post.
3. Get smart, personalized 360 support
At Parsley we look at your entire health history since birth and test your gut to get a full picture of what’s up – it’s this thing we’re into called Functional Medicine, we may have mentioned it before 😉 Then we start removing triggers, mending gaps, building biodiversity and adding in nutrients – again and again until your gut, and your life, is all fixed.