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What to Feed Your Microbiome


by Dr. Nancy Rahnama

Director of Health & Nurition

How to turn your menu into your microbiome’s new best friend.

 

Second in our blog series on the gut microbiome; what it is, how it works, how to support it and the serious consequences of ignoring its health. In my first blog on the gut microbiome – systems of bacteria, fungi, protozoa etc. essential for digestion in the GI tract – we discussed why it’s so important.

 

What are the foods that support a healthy gut microbiome?

All-natural, unprocessed and (generally unpackaged) plant-derived foods with lots of fiber along with fermented foods, like sauerkraut, Greek yogurt or pickles. Basically, everything in my 5-Day RESET program is going to be microbiome-friendly.
 

What if I don’t like those foods?

If you don’t have a taste for fermented foods, no problem, you can take a probiotic supplement. But for weight sustenance and overall systemic health, developing an affinity for fiber-intense fresh produce (excluding potatoes and corn) is essential.
 

Should I take a probiotic for my microbiome?

If you have symptoms that your microbiome may be off (constipation, bloating, malaise, exhaustion, weight gain, sleeping problems), healing it will require both dietary and supplemental support. The same is true if you’re under a great deal of stress or are taking courses of antibiotics.
 
A probiotic will support the good bacteria that are living in your gut; an omega is an anti-inflammatory; glutamine and turmeric both help with healing; berberine is a natural herbal remedy that helps kill off certain bad bacteria.
 

How will I know it’s working?

If you feel better and your symptoms abate, it’s working. Microbiome repair is not an overnight thing and could take weeks or months. To be sure, self-diagnosis of microbiome damage is nearly impossible without medical tests. But even if your microbiome is severely damaged and you’re seeking professional attention, you’ll still need to adhere to microbiome-friendly eating and supplementation from now on.
 
Even if it seems like guesswork, there’s no such thing as overcorrecting for microbiome health when it comes to diet. Eating natural fiber-rich foods from here on in will only benefit you.
 

Why is this up to me?

You are your own best guardian because you are with yourself 24/7.  For example, I usually see my patients anytime from once a week to once a month. But the rest of the time I’m not sitting there in their shopping carts, in their kitchens or at restaurants.
 
It all gets down to your power and your choices about your body. No matter what the condition or situation you wish to change, understanding it gives you the power and control to improve it or treat it.
 
I am here as your guide and messenger to bring you that understanding of the changes you’re making, the why behind what you’re feeling and the signposts along the way to make better choices to solve the problem.\

 

Dr. Nancy Rahnama, MD, ABOM, ABIM, is a medical doctor board certified by both the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Her specialty is Clinical Nutrition, that is, the use of nutrition by a medical doctor to diagnose and treat disease. Dr. Rahnama has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of weight loss, gut health, improved mood and sleep, and managing chronic disease. In addition to her private practice in Beverly Hills, she is also the co-founder and Director of Nutrition for Dr Nancy MD.

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