menu iconknow your dna logosearch icon
7 Best At-Home Microbiome Tests: How to Test Your Gut At Home
Updated on December 2, 2022
Back to top
back to top icon
hello world!
Microbiome
7 Best At-Home Microbiome Tests: How to Test Your Gut At Home

Do you often feel tired? Are you always hungry or craving for certain foods? Maybe you've been gaining weight or you feel more stressed than usual.

If you want to know what's going on with your body, your gut is a great place to start.

Why? Because poor gut health doesn't just cause digestive issues, like diarrhea, bloating, or gas. It also triggers a range of physical and mental symptoms.

Research shows that when your gut is imbalanced, it can lead to:

  • Poor quality sleep1
  • Anxiety and depression2
  • Increased stress levels3
  • Mental and physical fatigue4
  • Weight gain and obesity5
  • Clostridium difficile infection5
  • Increased appetite6
  • Unhealthy food cravings6
  • Type 2 diabetes7
  • Asthma and allergies8
  • Autoimmune diseases8
  • Malnutrition9

A gut test can look into your unique microbiome and check for imbalanced gut bacteria. It can tell you which specific imbalances are affecting your health.

You get to understand what's causing your symptoms and what you can do about them. To help you get started, we picked out the best gut microbiome tests you can choose from.

Everything We Recommend

What Can A Gut Health Test Tell You?

Too much bad bacteria and too little good bacteria may be harmful to your body.

Microbiome testing can help you find out if you have an imbalanced gut flora. It can tell you which microbes you lack and which ones you need to keep under control.

You will learn more about your:

  • Microbiome composition or the species of bacteria in your gut
  • Bacteria levels or the amount of bacteria in your digestive tract
  • Microbiome diversity or how much there is of different species

Testing companies will score your gut health based on your results. A high score means you have a healthy gut microbiome. Lower scores suggest you have an unhealthy gut.

7 Best At-Home Microbiome Tests: How to Test Your Gut At Home 8

Most testing kits measure your gut bacteria. But there are also tests that check for pathogens that may infect your gut, like fungi, yeasts, parasites, and viruses.

Some gut tests go beyond microbiome testing and assess for:

  • Common digestive problems such as food intolerances
  • Chronic gut diseases like colorectal cancer

Ultimately, what you get with your report depends on the test you're taking.

Why Gut Microbiome Testing Is Good For You

A gut health test can provide practical information on your gut bacteria. You can learn more about their potential benefits and negative side effects on your health.

Your gut report may also include actionable insights, such as:

  • Healthy recipes
  • Food recommendations
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Personalized probiotics
  • Gut health supplements

You can follow these suggestions to improve your gut health. They promote gut diversity by increasing the beneficial bacteria and decreasing bad ones.

These steps may also reduce signs of poor gut health. If you stick to these healthy habits, eventually you'll start to feel better and healthier overall.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Harshi Dhingra has an M.D. in Pathology.

She is a registered pathologist with over a decade of experience in diagnostic, clinical, research, and teaching work. She manages all aspects of pathology laboratory, including histopathology, cytology, hematology, and clinical pathology.

Currently, Dr. Dhingra works as faculty in a medical school and research center.

How to Take A Gut Microbiome Test

You can test your gut microbiome from home with these five easy steps

  1. Order your gut test

    Pick a test that gives you what you want and need. You can order the gut tests we mention in this article online. They should arrive at your door in five days.

  2. Collect your sample

    Make sure to follow the instructions on your test kit. Most kits will ask you to submit a stool sample. Tests like Ixcela Internal Fitness require a blood sample.

  3. Submit your sample

    Your kit includes a prepaid shipping box that will allow you to send your sample back for testing. It can take a few days or weeks before your sample is analyzed.

  4. Wait for your results

    The availability of your test results may vary depending on the company and testing methods used. Usually, you have to wait 2 to 4 weeks.

  5. Get your report

    You can view your gut report on the company's website or through a dedicated app that you can download on your phone.

7 Best At-Home Microbiome Tests: How to Test Your Gut At Home 9

Microbiome testing kits differ from each other in terms of price, use, coverage, and other factors. In this list, we give you the top 7 gut health tests and their key features.

How We Chose The Best

Choosing the best gut health test wasn't easy for us. Our team of testers had to try all of them. From there, we had to decide which ones we liked the most.

We narrowed down our choices using five criteria which we thought mattered most:

  • Ease of sample collection
  • Easy to interpret results
  • Detailed gut report
  • Actionable insights
  • Personalized probiotics

With this criteria, we were able to rank our favorite gut testing kits. Here are our top picks:

ProductEase of Sample CollectionEasy to Interpret ResultsDetailed Gut ReportActionable InsightPersonalized Probiotics
Viome★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Ombre★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Biohm★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Verisana★★★★★★★★★★★
Wellnicity★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Top 7 Gut Microbiome Test Kits (Picked By a Doctor)

1

Viome Gut Intelligence Test

know your dna recommends

7 Best At-Home Microbiome Tests: How to Test Your Gut At Home 10

Viome's Gut Intelligence Test analyzes your gut microbiome to assess your digestive health. Your report will include 7 important details on your digestion, including:

  • Metabolic fitness
  • Digestive efficiency
  • Inflammatory activity
  • Gas production
  • Gut lining health
  • Protein fermentation
  • Microbial diversity

Viome tells you how your diet and lifestyle affect your digestion. It provides steps to improve your digestion, food absorption, gut diversity, and more.

You'll get a 90-day nutrition plan and personalized supplement recommendations with your report. You can follow these steps for a healthier digestion.

Here's a tip: If you want to understand how your microbiome affects your overall health, you can upgrade to the Viome Health Intelligence Test.

Viome Gut Intelligence Quick Facts
Price$249
Collection TypeFecal scoop
DNA Testing Method16S RNA Sequencing

Viome Gut Test Pros

  • Viome's most basic test with over 20+ health scores
  • Tests your gut for certain strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and yeasts
  • Explore your gut diversity and how they influence your digestive health
  • Receive a personalized diet plan based on your results
  • Suggests preformulated supplements that can correct your imbalance
  • Gives you the option to order custom-made supplements after you receive your results
  • Supplements contain probiotics, prebiotics, and multivitamins
  • Access your test results from anywhere using the Viome app for iOS and Android

Chris (our tester) took the Viome test and compared it with Ombre and Biohm.

He says that out of all three tests, Viome was the only one that could test for a wider range of microbes. Here is his full review on Viome.

Viome Gut Test Cons

  • Test results use scientific jargon that aren't easy to understand (e.g., mitochondrial)

2

Viome Full Body Intelligence Test

upgrade pick

7 Best At-Home Microbiome Tests: How to Test Your Gut At Home 11

Holiday Deal: Use code KYDNA for $20 off. 

Viome's Full Body Intelligence analyzes your gut bacteria and digestion, so you can better understand your health. Your report will provide insights on your:

  • Biological age
  • Gut health
  • Immune system health
  • Brain & cognitive health
  • Heart & metabolic health
  • Cellular & energy efficiency
  • Inflammation response

You'll receive over 400 food recommendations and suggestions on supplements and probiotics based on your microbiome's health.

Viome Health Intelligence Quick Facts
Price$299
Collection TypeFecal scoop + Blood + Saliva
DNA Testing Method16S RNA Sequencing

Viome Full Body Test Pros

  • Viome's most comprehensive test with over 50+ health scores
  • Tests for bacteria, viruses, parasites, and yeasts inside your gut
  • Find out how your gut microbial diversity influences your overall health
  • Receive personalized food recommendations based on your report
  • Offers preformulated supplements that can correct your gut imbalance
  • Lets you order customized supplements after receiving your results
  • Has complete supplements with probiotics, prebiotics, and multivitamins
  • Viome app allows you to access your report from anywhere

Viome Full Body Test Cons

  • Test results use scientific jargon that aren't easy to understand (e.g., mitochondrial)
  • Sample collection method is mildly invasive and requires a blood sample

Holiday Deal: Use code KYDNA for $20 off. 

3

Ombre Gut Health Test (formerly Thryve)

budget option

7 Best At-Home Microbiome Tests: How to Test Your Gut At Home 12

Extended Cyber Monday: $20 off

The Ombre Gut Test checks your stool sample for gut bacteria that affect your:

  • Mood
  • Focus
  • Weight
  • Energy levels
  • Immunity
  • Mental health

It also scores your gut health so you'll know how it's doing. You'll learn which species of bacteria you need to work on and keep under control.

Ombre Quick Facts
Price$84.99 to $119.99
Collection TypeFecal swab
DNA Testing Method16S RNA sequencing

Ombre Gut Health Pros

“Ombre provides food recommendations and probiotic supplements. Both play an important role in your gut microbiome and overall health." Harshi Dhingra, M.D.

  • Proprietary stool sample collection method that's 28% more accurate than competitors
  • Uses 16S RNA sequencing (the same test used in laboratories)
  • Identifies up to 10,000 species of gut bacteria
  • Learn about your unique microbiome and how they affect your health
  • Get custom food recommendations and healthy recipes to promote gut health
  • Offers personalized probiotics based on your test results
  • Probiotic supplements target specific health concerns (e.g., low energy)
  • Provides information backed by over 36,000 studies on microbiome research
  • Currently the most affordable gut test on the market
  • New: Ombre's Gut Health Program includes gut test and 1 month supply of Rise Prebiotic

Our tester (Joel) took the Ombre test and was told he had great gut health diversity. His report mentions he would benefit from eating artichokes and apricots.

"I received many health recommendations with my results. They're all very helpful and easy to follow," he adds. You can read more about it here.

Ombre Gut Health Cons

  • Ombre doesn't check for fungi and parasites that inhabit the gut
  • Lacks a dedicated mobile app for Android and iOS users

Extended Cyber Monday: $20 off

4

Biohm Health Gut Test

7 Best At-Home Microbiome Tests: How to Test Your Gut At Home 13

The Biohm Gut Test focuses on your gut and digestive health. It tells you which bacteria and fungi thrive in your gut, and finds major imbalances.

Your report will include these actionable steps to help correct your imbalance:

  • Dietary recommendations
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Personalized supplements

If you want an affordable gut test that improves your digestion, Biohm is a good choice.

Biohm Quick Facts
Price$129.99
Collection TypeFecal swab
DNA Testing Method16S RNA Sequencing

Biohm Health Pros

  • Get an overall gut score for your microbiome diversity
  • Compares your gut microbiome to the average healthy person
  • Personalized suggestions that cover diet, lifestyle, and supplements
  • Discover foods that you should eat and avoid for a healthy gut
  • Learn how your gut health compares to the average person
  • Has the widest range of gut health supplements, including kid-friendly options
  • For an added fee, you can get a 30-minute phone consultation for your gut report
  • Offers a 3-month wellness program with the guidance of a Biohm nutritionist
  • Less expensive than most competitors

Our tester (Chris) tried Biohm's gut testing. He says it isn't as complete as Ombre or Viome.

But if you wanted a simple test or more gut supplements to choose from, he thinks that Biohm is still worth its price. You can find more information here.

Biohm Health Cons

  • Unless you're on a wellness program, your gut report may include generic advice
  • Phone consultations and Biohm Wellness Programs can get pricey

5

Verisana Laboratories Leaky Gut Test

picture of verisana leaky gut test kit

USE CODE "knowyourdna" FOR 5% OFF

The Verisana Leaky Gut Test can help you find out if you have a leaky gut.

If you show signs like headaches, chronic diarrhea, and difficulty concentrating, you may want to take this leaky gut test at home.

Verisana Laboratories also test for candida, mold, and gut microbiome imbalance. While waiting for your test, you can try eating foods that reduce leaky gut symptoms.

Verisana Lab Quick Facts
Price$249.95
Collection TypeFecal scoop
DNA Testing MethodUnknown

Verisana Lab Pros

“Verisana is a good option for people with special gut health needs,” says Dr. Dhingra.

  • Measures Zonulin and IgA antibodies to check your gut lining health
  • Results show if you have high, low, or healthy levels of gut bacteria, yeasts, pH, and more
  • Tests for candida (yeast), mold (fungi), and other potentially harmful pathogens
  • Can help determine if you have have a leaky gut syndrome
  • You can discuss your results with a gastrointestinal (GI) doctor

Verisana Lab Cons

  • Does not provide actionable insights that promote gut microbiome health
  • More expensive than most at-home gut tests

6

Wellnicity Gut Health Test Kit

Test kit of wellnicity my gut health.

Wellnicity's At-Home Gut Health tests for various gut-related conditions, including:

  • Amebiasis
  • Colon cancer
  • Food poisoning
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Giardiasis
  • Gluten intolerance
  • Gut inflammation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Parasitic infection
  • Polyps
  • Rectal cancer
  • Stomach ulcer

If you have digestive issues like diarrhea, flatulence (gas), stomach pain, and leaky gut — Wellnicity can narrow down their possible causes.

It's a bit more expensive than other at-home health tests for the gut. But because it offers unique insights on your microbiome health, it's well worth the price.

Wellnicity Quick Facts
PriceAbout $299 to $350 (estimated)
Collection TypeFecal scoop
DNA Testing MethodUnknown

Wellnicity Gut Test Pros

“If you have persistent digestive problems, I'd recommend the Wellnicity Test. You can use it to find out whether or not you need further testing,” says Dr. Dhingra.

  • Uses testing methods that are backed by science
  • Combines stool sampling and saliva testing for better accuracy
  • Top-of-the-line equipment that can identify more than 4,000 microorganisms
  • Tests for harmful microbes, such as bacteria, yeasts, and parasites
  • Can also check for antibodies, enzymes, and toxins in the digestive tract
  • Requires two stool samples to find more parasites and ova than other leading tests
  • Provides free access to a clinical nutritionist
  • Get nutritional advice that's tailored to your specific needs
  • Offers personalized vitamins and supplement suggestions
  • Learn lifestyle changes that can support your gut microbiome health
  • More than 12 years of proven results
  • May help your doctor diagnose your condition

Wellnicity Gut Test Cons

  • Doesn't test for other food sensitivities besides gluten
  • More expensive than other microbiome tests
  • Runs out of stock

7

Ixcela Gut Testing Kit

Picture of Microbiome Test Kit

Ixcela Internal Fitness checks for metabolites that affect your:

  • Gastrointestinal health
  • Immune fitness
  • Emotional balance
  • Cognitive function
  • Energy efficiency

But instead of testing microbial DNA, the company analyzes blood samples using a proprietary method and a modified CoulArray® equipment.

The at-home wellness test also provides actionable insights that improve your gut bacteria and overall health. Unlike other gut health companies, Ixcela offers a custom workout plan.

Ixcela Quick Facts
Price$269
Collection TypePinprick
DNA Testing MethodNone

Ixcela Wellness Test Pros

  • No need to submit a stool sample — the test analyzes your blood
  • Easy-to-read results and health scores
  • Discuss your test results with a registered dietitian
  • Offers detailed suggestions on foods, supplements, and other lifestyle changes
  • Access a 90-day macronutrient diet and workout plan personalized to your health needs
  • Gives you the option to work directly with a dietitian for 90 days
  • Receive a free 30-day trial of Ixcela's gut-healthy recipes

Ixcela Wellness Test Cons

  • Wellness programs can get expensive
  • Mildly invasive sample collection (pinprick test)
  • Does not test for DNA
  • May not be as accurate as other at-home microbiome tests

How to Pick the Best At Home Microbiome Test

If you're struggling to pick the best gut test, pay attention to what your body tells you. Gut health tests reveal different things about your microbiome, digestion, and overall health.

You should choose a microbiome test that fits your needs:

  • Ombre and Ixcela can reveal connections between your gut and health
  • Biohm can test for imbalances in your gut microbiome
  • Verisana Lab can help you find out if you have a leaky gut
  • Viome and Wellnicity can uncover the reasons behind your digestive symptoms

What to Look For in a Microbiome Testing Kit

Here are other things to consider when choosing the best microbiome test:

  • The initial cost of the gut test
  • What you get with your microbiome test results
  • Additional costs (e.g., custom supplements and diet plans)
  • Customer reviews and feedback
  • How it can enhance your gut flora and health

When you think about the cost, you have to factor in your budget and what the test has to offer for its price. Pick one that meets your needs and gives you value for your money.

If you have chronic fatigue, you may find tests like Ombre more reasonably priced since they can help you understand why you feel tired.

But if you have digestive issues and want to know what's causing them, a Viome or Wellnicity test would be more cost-effective despite their higher price.

Are At-Home Gut Tests Accurate?

It depends. Some microbiome testing kits are more accurate than others.

Gut companies with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) approved laboratories provide better accuracy.10 It ensures they follow federal standards for testing.

You may want to look for tests that use 16S RNA sequencing. Research shows this method is "sufficiently accurate" for identifying different strains and species of gut bacteria.11

Tests that support their results with microbiome research are also more reliable.

For better accuracy, some doctors recommend taking several tests. You can compare your results to get a more complete picture of your gut health.

What is the Gut and What Does It Do?

The gut is made up of your entire gastrointestinal tract, which covers your stomach and intestines. It begins at the mouth and ends at your anus or rectum.

Its main role is to process food. This includes breaking down food into simple compounds.

Digestion makes it easy to absorb nutrients from food. The trillions of bacteria in your gut help with the process. Collectively, they are known as your gut flora or gut microbiome.

Your gut and the bacteria that live inside it work together to provide your body with the energy, water, vitamins, and minerals it needs to function.

Anything else that isn't digested is excreted as waste material called stool or feces.

What Makes a Healthy Gut?

Your microbiome includes every living microorganism in your gut's environment. It may include bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses, and protozoa (parasites).

A healthy gut flora requires a balance of good and bad bacteria. You also need a diverse microbiome with different species of gut bacteria.

Ideally, you should have more beneficial bacteria and less harmful ones. Too much harmful bacteria or too little good bacteria can lead to dysbiosis or gut imbalance.

Several factors can affect the balance of your gut bacteria, such as:

  • Nutrition — certain foods influence your gut microflora, for better or for worse
  • Medications — some drugs and antibiotics can kill healthy gut bacteria
  • Genetics — studies show that genes can influence your microbiome
  • Lifestyle — sleep and exercise can increase or decrease gut bacteria
  • Tobacco and alcohol — consumption has been shown to alter the microbiota
  • Stress — high stress levels can negatively impact your microbial composition
  • Age — gut diversity naturally decreases as a person grows older

Exposure to pathogens may also cause gut dysbiosis. This can happen when you eat or drink contaminated food and water.

How Gut Microbiome Affects Your Health

Certain species of gut bacteria are associated with specific health benefits. For example, Lactobacilli acidophilus and L. bulgaricus can help you digest lactose.12

Potentially harmful bacteria may also provide benefits. Bacteroides melaninogenicus and B. fragilis are good examples. They are among the few known strains that produce vitamin K.13

Good and bad gut microbiome both play a role in:

  • The absorption of nutrients and minerals
  • Synthesis of enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids
  • Production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)

Good bacteria also keep bad bacteria in check and prevent them from doing harm to your body. Unfortunately, pathogens may take over and dominate your gut.

When your gut loses balance, its function is affected. This can negatively impact your physical, mental, and emotional health.

How Do You Know There’s A Problem With Your Gut?

The easiest way to know is to take a gut test. A microbiome test can show you if there is imbalance. It can tell you which gut bacteria you have too little or too much of.

You can also watch for signs of an unhealthy gut, which may suggest gut imbalance.

Signs & Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut

Here are signs that you may have a gut problem:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal pain
  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Food cravings
  • Sudden weight changes
  • Obesity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Skin issues
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Frequent headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Food intolerances

Can Poor Gut Health Cause Health Problems?

Many people think that not having digestive symptoms is a sign of good gut health. However, gut bacteria imbalance doesn't always show obvious signs.

Various diseases have been linked to poor gut health, including:

  • Mental health issues like depression and anxiety2
  • Autoimmune disorders such as lupus and thyroid disease8
  • Conditions such type 2 diabetes and heart disease7,14

Keep in mind: There may be other factors causing your symptoms and health problems. Gut testing simply helps you find out if your microbiome has something to do with them.

For instance, people who are obese tend to have higher levels of Firmicutes.15 If your gut test shows an increase in Firmicutes, this might explain your weight gain.

What If I Find A Problem With My Gut's Microbiome?

How you deal with a gut problem should depend on your symptoms. If you have minor digestive issues, dietary and lifestyle changes are usually enough to correct them.

Some people take probiotics and other gut health supplements. Both are considered safe for to consume. However, they might cause side effects on your first few days.

Consider testing your microbiome after making these changes. That way, you can monitor your gut bacteria for changes in diversity and composition.

Sometimes, simple adjustments may not improve your gut microbiome. If you have severe or worsening symptoms, you should see a doctor who can assess your condition.

Taking Care of Your Gut

Your gut environment is dynamic. The amount and types of bacteria that live inside it can change depending on your exposure.

Sometimes, it only takes days for entire populations to shift. At other times, it can take weeks or months before your microbiome changes.

Because of this, keeping your gut healthy requires constant work. Here’s what you can do:

How to Balance Your Gut Microbiome

“Your diet is the first step toward achieving optimal gut balance.”

Harshi Dhingra, M.D.

Dr. Dhingra recommends eating a healthy and well-balanced diet.

“Stay away from foods that are processed and high in sugar. Instead, you should be eating more whole and unrefined foods rich in fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats,” she adds.

She also says you need to maintain a health lifestyle. This includes having enough sleep, getting regular exercise, and reducing your stress.

1. Switch to a high-fiber diet

Foods that contain fibers and indigestible carbohydrates act as natural prebiotics. Prebiotic foods are good for you because they feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

As your gut bacteria digests them, they produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA). SCFAs lower your gut's pH and prevent the overgrowth of harmful microbes like C. difficile.16

Some excellent sources of prebiotics are:

  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Dandelion greens
  • Garlic
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Seaweed

However, eating more fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grain foods such as wheats, oats, and barely is generally a good idea.

2. Eat probiotic foods

Probiotic foods contain beneficial microbes. Eating them can be good for your microbiome.

You can get probiotics from fermented foods like:

  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Yogurt

Low-fat fermented dairy products would also make a great addition to your diet. Some examples are buttermilk and yogurt.

According to studies, these foods increase anti-inflammatory bacteria such as Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Enterococcus.17

They can help prevent and reduce gut inflammation.

3. Stay away from high-sugar foods

Eating too much sugar increases your blood glucose (hyperglycemia) and the intestinal permeability of your gut. Studies show it can lead to dysbiosis.17

This decreases your gut lining immunity and increases your risk for infections.18

Some high-sugar foods you need to keep away from are pastries, desserts, and sweetened beverages (like soda).

4. Limit your intake of artificial sweeteners

Replacing sugars with artificial sweeteners has a few potential benefits.19 Unfortunately, some of them can alter your gut environment and cause harmful bacteria to take over.20

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose promote the growth of two pathogens — Enterobacter faecalis and E. coli.21

Instead of relying completely on artificial sweeteners for their health benefits, you can try healthier alternatives to achieve your goals.

For example, if you're trying to control your blood sugar, you can change to a low glycemic index (GI) diet. But if you want to lose weight, you can portion your meals and exercise.

Many foods contain artificial sweeteners, so make sure to read their nutrition labels.

5. Don't eat too much fat

Diets high in saturated fats can reduce your gut diversity. Monounsaturated fats (which are considered healthy) can also decrease your total gut bacteria if you eat too much.22

In general, you want to avoid eating processed and high-fat meats, fried foods, fast food, and foods derived from animals.

You also need to be mindful of your monounsaturated fats, including foods cooked in canola, peanut, or olive oil. Other sources of these fats include:

  • Avocadoes
  • Nuts (e.g., almonds and pecans)
  • Seeds (e.g., pumpkin seeds)

6. Eat oily fish

A diet rich in oily fish has been associated with a higher ratio of Faecalibacterium.

This bacteria produces SCFAs, which help control gut inflammation and maintain the health of your gut lining.17 Some examples of fatty fish are:

  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Tuna

Oily fish are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects.

7. Add exercise to your routine

Scientists believe that exercise may be a great way to maintain your gut microflora and rebalance an imbalanced gut. Studies show it provides many gut-related benefits.23

For starters, it can improve your Bacteroides to Firmicutes ratio. This can help reduce your weight and risk for gastrointestinal disorders.

It encourages the growth of bacteria that enhance gut immunity and improve gut barrier. This lowers your risk for obesity and metabolic diseases.

Exercise also stimulates bacteria that can protect you against colon cancer and other digestive conditions.

8. Get more sleep

Not getting enough sleep can have a negative impact on your microbiome. The lack of sleep also increases your risk for other health conditions, including:24

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

People who sleep well tend to have healthier gut microbiomes.24

9. Keep your stress under control

High stress levels can directly impact your gut and reduce your microbial diversity.

It also has negative effects on your colon activity and eating habits, which can have consequences on your gut bacteria.25

Stress reduction techniques like meditation and deep breathing exercises may lower your stress and promote a healthy microbiome.

10. Limit alcohol consumption

Excessive alcohol intake can change the composition of your microbiome for the worse. Studies reveal it can lead to gut dysbiosis, gut inflammation, and intestinal permeability.26

You can avoid this by limiting your consumption to 2 drinks per day (if you're a man) and 1 drink per day (if you're a woman).

More Ways to Improve Gut Health Naturally

“Probiotics contain live bacteria that boost the “good” kind of bacteria in your gut. You can take them as supplements along with a healthy diet.”

Harshi Dhingra, M.D.

In addition to eating prebiotic and probiotic foods, you can support your diet with synbiotics. These are supplements that combine probiotics with prebiotic ingredients.

Some health experts believe they can help with certain situations — such as when you're are trying to reduce your symptoms after being exposed to a pathogen or antibiotics.17

You can start by taking the probiotic supplements suggested in your gut report. Because they're personalized too your needs, they can correct your specific imbalance.

Having variety in your meals may also cause your gut flora to thrive. It promotes gut diversity, increases good bacteria, and decreases some potentially harmful microbes.27

Why Good Gut Health is Important

7 Best At-Home Microbiome Tests: How to Test Your Gut At Home 14
Viome

The Best Gut Health Test

Viome tells you how your diet and lifestyle affect your digestion. It provides steps to improve your digestion, food absorption, gut diversity, and more.

Keeping your gut bacteria healthy offers many health benefits. You can enjoy:

  • Better food digestion
  • Improved mood, focus, and concentration
  • Stronger immune system and disease prevention
  • Good quality sleep
  • Enhanced energy levels
  • Successful weight control

These are just a few rewards of a healthy gut. If you want to know whether your gut is healthy enough, try taking a microbiome test.

A gut test can detect imbalances in your gut bacteria. It can tell you if you need professional help, lifestyle changes, and other things you can improve on.

Testing your gut bacteria can provide you with practical information on your microbiome. By following these recommendations, you can enjoy the benefits of a healthy gut.

Resources

SHOW
HIDE
Minus IconPlus Icon
  1. "Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans." National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  2. The Gut-Brain Axis: Influence of Microbiota on Mood and Mental Health.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  3. "Stress, depression, diet, and the gut microbiota: human–bacteria interactions at the core of psychoneuroimmunology and nutrition." National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  4. "Trait Energy and Fatigue May Be Connected to Gut Bacteria among Young Physically Active Adults: An Exploratory Study." Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute.
  5.  “Role of the gut microbiota in nutrition and health.” The BMJ.
  6. "Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms." National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  7. "Gut Microbiota and Metabolic Disorders." National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  8. "The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity." National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  9. "Gut microbiota and malnutrition." PubMed.
  10. "Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  11. "Evaluation of 16S rRNA gene sequencing for species and strain-level microbiome analysis." Nature.
  12. A specific strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus may relieve symptoms of lactose intolerance.” European Society of Neurogastroentology and Motility. 
  13. Vitamin K Compounds in Bacteria That Are Obligate Anaerobes.” PubMed.
  14. The gut microbiome in health and in disease.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  15.  “Bacteroides: the Good, the Bad, and the Nitty-Gritty.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  16. "The Microbiome." Harvard Health Publishing.
  17. "Diet rich in animal foods, alcohol and sugar linked to ‘inflammatory’ gut microbiome." The British Medical Journal.
  18. "Sugars and Gastrointestinal Health." Science Direct.
  19. "Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes." Mayo Clinic.
  20. "Adaptation of the Gut Microbiota to Modern Dietary Sugars and Sweeteners." Oxford Academic.
  21. "Artificial Sweeteners Negatively Regulate Pathogenic Characteristics of Two Model Gut Bacteria, E. coli and E. faecalis." National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  22. "Dietary fat, the gut microbiota, and metabolic health - A systematic review conducted within the MyNewGut project." PubMed.
  23. "Exercise Modifies the Gut Microbiota with Positive Health Effects." National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  24. "New study points to another possible correlation between sleep and overall good health." Science Daily.
  25. "Stress & the gut-brain axis: Regulation by the microbiome." Science Direct.
  26. "The Gastrointestinal Microbiome: Alcohol Effects on the Composition of Intestinal Microbiota." PubMed.
  27. "Dietary variety relates to gut microbiota diversity and abundance in humans." Springer Link.
Dr. Dhingra
Dr. Harshi Dhingra
Medical Reviewer
Dr Harshi Dhingra is a licensed medical doctor with a specialization in Pathology. Dr. Dhingra has of over a decade in diagnostic, clinical, research and teaching work, including managing all sections of Pathology laboratory including histopathology, cytology, hematology and clinical Pathology.
Ada Sandoval
Ada Sandoval
Content Contributor
Ada Sandoval is a B.S. in Nursing graduate and a registered nurse with a heart for abandoned animals. She works as a content writer who specializes in medical-related articles and pet health.
Back to top icon