five basic ideas
(see also previous post featuring Dr. Burkitt):
1) more fiber (good quality bread, celery, apples, hot oatmeal, all leafy vegetables, berries)
2) less fat in particular less (or zero) animal fat
3) less (or zero) sugar
4) less salt
5) no processed foods
It’s not just about weight or looking good in jeans. It’s about the whole enchillada from macro (planetary health) to micro (the bugs that co-exist with you your whole life in your tube). Check out this brief excerpt from an upcoming book about the human biome and how drastically it has changed (due to poor diet) in the past 100 years:
Forthcoming book by the folks at Human Food Project. Click Here if you would like to receive a notice when this book becomes available.
So what should you eat to improve the diversity and possible resilience of your gut microbiome to reduce the risk to invading pathogens, unnecessary inflammation, leaky gut and so forth? Nobody really knows for sure and the answer is likely different for different age groups and populations. But at a minimum, you want that ecosystem service of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) to keep churning along at high levels – so eat as many plants a week as you can (30-50 is a good number to shoot for – keep track and see how you do) – that is, keep the fiber (non-starch polysacchrides, resistant starch etc) flowing to your colon. And maybe cut back a bit on the easy to digest and hyper-cooked and processed foods – letting your stomach do a little extra-somatic work every now and then. Maybe even open a window every now and then, and for god’s sake, get your hands and food a little dirty. But if we ever hope to get a better handle on what a ‘normal’ or ‘healthy’ gut (or skin, oral etc for that matter) microbiome looks like, we will need to look at less westernized populations who are still undergoing the epidemiological transitions most of us have already undergone.