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Gut Health Hacks: How to Restore Your Healthy Gut Flora

Updated on April 28, 2022
Written by
Kelly Jamrozy
1 sources cited
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Your gut contains a complex and diverse ecosystem of microorganisms, including good and bad bacteria. It plays an important role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function.

An imbalance in the gut bacteria is linked to a variety of health conditions, including inflammatory bowel diseases, allergies, and obesity.

The key to maintaining a healthy gut microbiota is to keep the "good" bacteria and "bad" bacteria balanced. When there is too little good bacteria or too much bad bacteria in your gut, the microbiome gets imbalanced.

The good news is you can restore and rebalance your gut microbiome.

What Kills Good Gut Bacteria?

People with healthy diets and lifestyles usually have a well-balanced gut.

Sometimes, depending on what you eat and your current health, your gut becomes imbalanced. When things kill good gut bacteria, it results in an unhealthy environment. 

Things that are bad for gut bacteria include:

  • Antibiotic use
  • Illness
  • Stress
  • Bad dietary habits
  • Lifestyle
  • Aging

Certain foods are also bad for your these bacteria. Processed foods, high-lactose dairy, and refined grains are some of the worst foods for gut health

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Restoring Gut Flora Balance and Diversity 

To restore gut, you need to increase the good bacteria and decrease bad bacteria. This promotes microbiome diversity and relieves symptoms of gut flora imbalance. Combining a healthy diet with lifestyle changes is the key to achieving this goal. 

9 Effective Ways to Restore Healthy Gut Flora

Here’s how you can improve your gut microbiome:

1. Add fermented foods to your diet

Fermented foods are natural probiotics. They contain helpful gut bacteria that help with imbalances. This improves beneficial gut bacteria and overall digestive health. 

Examples of fermented probiotic foods include:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh
  • Miso
  • Kimchi
  • Some types of yogurt

Really, it’s the fermentation process that turns them into superfoods for gut health.

2. Drink coffee and tea

Coffee and black and green teas contain polyphenols, which are plant compounds. These increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Make sure you choose home-brewed coffee that uses ground coffee or coffee beans. You also need to avoid sweetened coffee beverages. 

Also, opt for natural tea leaves instead of sweet teas. These provide a better concentration of polyphenols without any sugar.

3. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables

Eating a variety of fruit and veggies ensures your diet is rich in different types of fiber, starches, and other nutrients. All of which support a wide variety of probiotic bacteria.

Make sure you include produce in the brassica family, such:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Collard greens
  • Bok choy
  • Arugula
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower

They suppress the bacteria that causes ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Tip: You can use a food tracker to monitor your eating habits. These are apps that track the foods you eat every day. If you’re eating the same types of food, you can replace them with other options.

4. Skip the artificial sweeteners and food additives

Artificial sweeteners damage the gut’s microbiome diversity. They interfere with the body’s ability to absorb sugar in the blood.

A similar thing occurs with strong emulsifiers in processed foods. These break up the protective layer of mucus in the intestines and cause inflammation. 

This layer is where many good bacteria spend their time. The most damaging emulsifiers include carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate 80.

Common artificial sweeteners and emulsifiers include:

  • Sucralose
  • Aspartame
  • Saccharin
  • Carboxymethylcellulose
  • Polysorbate 80

5. Increase your fiber intake

Fiber-rich foods are great for your gut. They act as prebiotics, which help nourish your good gut bacteria. 

Examples of fiber-rich foods include:

  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Raspberries
  • Bananas
  • Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Leafy greens
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans

6. Eat more fish

Increasing good fats in your diet improves your gut’s microbiome diversity. Five or more servings of high-fat fish per week boost beneficial bacteria.

Examples of fish high in healthy fats include salmon and cod.

7. Plan your meals with a calorie counter

Meal planners can help you plan your meals ahead of time. It’s another way to ensure that you eat different foods throughout the week.

This encourages a healthy and diverse gut microbiome. The best calorie counting apps usually let you plan meals on your phone.

8. Get adequate sleep

Inadequate sleep has a negative effect on gut flora. Not getting enough sleep or having poor quality sleep also increases your risk of inflammatory gut.

To improve gut health, aim for at least seven hours of quality sleep each night. Choose a consistent waking and bedtime and create as peaceful sleeping environment as possible. 

Avoid electronic devices for an hour or more before bedtime. Finally, keep the room dark, cool, and quiet.

9. Take probiotic supplements

Probiotic supplements usually contain a mix of different types of bacteria. They can help:

  • Restore the balance of bacteria in the gut. This prevents gastrointestinal infections, IBS, and obesity.
  • Reduce inflammation in the gut. It decreases your risk for IBD and Crohn’s disease.
  • Improve the barrier function of the gut. It helps you avoid leaky gut, autoimmune diseases, and food allergies.

Most gut supplements contain only probiotics. Some may contain a combination of gut healthy ingredients.These supplements can be pre-formulated or they can be personalized and contain a custom blend.

ONNIT Total Gut Health is an example of a pre-formulated supplement. It contains probiotics, prebiotic, digestive enzymes, and yeasts to promote overall digestive health.

Ombre only contains probiotics but it’s personalized to treat your gut imbalance.

Improve Your Gut Health Naturally

Maintaining a well-balanced gut flora is crucial to your overall health. You can start by eating the right foods, such as:

  • Fermented foods
  • Coffee and tea
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Fibers
  • High-fat fish

Leading a healthy lifestyle is equally important. This includes getting adequate sleep, avoiding sweeteners, taking probiotics, and using apps that can track your food choices and meals.

Restoring your gut microbiome is just one way to bolster your digestion. There are other things you can do to naturally improve your gut health.

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Resources

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  1. Impacts of Gut Bacteria on Human Health and Diseases.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Kelly Jamrozy
Kelly Jamrozy
Content Contributor
Kelly has experience working with clients in a variety of industries, including legal, medical, marketing, and travel. Her goal is to share important information that people can use to make decisions about their health and the health of their loved ones. From choosing the best treatment programs to improving dental and vision health to finding the best method for helping anyone who is struggling with health issues, she hopes to share what she learns through informative content.
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