731. Expert Interview: Your Microbiome: What It Is and Why It's So Vital to Your Health
Dr. Ann Kulze
“So at the bedrock, the hallmark of nurturing your microbiome…the number one thing anyone can do is eat an abundance and broad variety of plant based foods….the good news is 60% of influence we have as individuals over our microbiome, which are running our body, is through diet….”
Dr. Ann Kulze is a best-selling author, physician, and highly sought motivational speaker in the areas of nutrition, healthy living and disease prevention. With formal training in both nutrition and medicine, along with extensive “hands-on” experience as a wife, mother of 4, and trusted family physician, Dr. Ann has distinguished herself as a one-of-a-kind “real world” nutrition and wellness expert. She is the Founder and CEO of the wellness education firm, Just Wellness LLC. She is also the author of six books including her best-selling “Eat Right for Life” series (WELCOA). She has been featured in many national media outlets including the Dr. Oz show, Oprah and Friends Radio, and Time Magazine among many others. Dr. Ann lives her wellness message enjoying swimming, running, kayaking, cooking, gardening, and spending time with her family in her native Charleston, S.C.
Your Microbiome: What It Is, Why It’s So Vital to Your Health
“The huge ecosystem of microorganisms that reside in your gastrointestinal tract—your microbiome—we now know largely define your health and wellness. Think of them, if you will, as your most valuable partner in health and healing. The microbiome is integral to immunity, modulating inflammation, digestive function, mood, metabolism, stress resiliency and much, much more. While we’ve been very aware of this for several decades, there has been an exponential increase in the studies and the science related to this topic in the last few years.”
What Are the Key Lessons Learned Here?
Here are some key strategies for establishing and maintaining a healthy microbiome:
1. Eat an abundance and variety of plant-based foods: whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits. The more “real food fiber” you eat, the more good bacteria you will have in your gut. This is the most powerful and effective of all these strategies.
2. Foods that offer the most of these fibers, also known as prebiotics are: garlic, onions, asparagus, artichokes, lentils, oats, carrots, beans, okra, radishes and tomatoes.
3. Consume foods high in polyphenols regularly: dark chocolate, green and black tea, berries, cherries, currants, artichoke hearts, citrus, filtered coffee, apples, plums and red wine (one glass a day) boost the growth of good bacteria.
4. Limit consumption of processed, industrial foods, especially fast foods, junk foods and those lacking fiber.
5. Include probiotic foods (fermented foods) containing live beneficial bacteria regularly in your diet such as plain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchee and others. Note: I never go a day without them!
6. Do not take antibiotics unless medically required.
7. Avoid conventionally raised beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Most contain traces of antibiotics that studies show kill the good bacteria in your gut.
Choose organic varieties of these animal foods to be safe.
8. Get out in nature and get dirty.The soil contains an entire ecosystem of good bacteria. Gardening is highly recommended.
9. Get regular physical activity. Exercise favorably modulates the microbiome.
10. Avoid consumer products that are labeled as “antibacterial.” There is no evidence they are beneficial and growing evidence indicates that they kill good bacteria and may come with risks.
Books on The Topic
Eat Right for Life Series, Dr. Ann Kulze
Connecting With Dr. Ann Kulze
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