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New Year's Resolutions Reloaded - Microbiome Friendly Diet

Everything will be different in the new year!?

Year after year, New Year's Eve lures us with promising and supposedly good resolutions. Highly motivated, on January 1st we open a blank book with still empty pages of our lives. Old vices should be discarded and a good lifestyle awaits us. But where should you start? Our intestines provide a clue!

Microbiome-friendly diet

According to the latest scientific findings, it is not the utilization of carbohydrates, sugar or fats that is the cause of obesity and health problems. In many cases, the decisive factor for cravings, metabolic disorders and the balance of the entire organism is an imbalance in our microbiome, i.e. the bacterial, highly individual fingerprint of our intestinal flora. Unbalanced diet, fast food, processed foods, crash diets, medication, stress, too much or too little exercise are just a few of the causes of this imbalance.

So how about we don't just limit our New Year's resolutions to ourselves, but rather if we make the 100 trillion bacteria in our gut happy and make a truly sustainable contribution to our health with a microbiome-friendly diet and a more relaxed lifestyle afford!

A microbiome-friendly diet is not a diet.

Losing weight is not the main priority, but it can certainly be a positive side effect. As well as strengthening the immune system, minimizing annoying allergies and intolerances, bringing the hormonal balance into balance or helping to achieve sporting goals. At the same time, we also do something for our appearance, because a balanced, intact microbiome has been proven to stimulate metabolism and detoxification processes and ensure a clear complexion with significantly fewer impurities or wrinkles.

The right food for our intestinal inhabitants

The balance in the intestine can be influenced very well by a microbiome-friendly diet and the right food. With this form of nutrition you can not only reduce your weight, but also reprogram your intestinal bacteria in the long term - so you not only maintain your figure in the long term, you can also do something good for your (intestinal) health.

Valuable proteins, healthy oils, fiber, vegetables, fruit and of course lots of healthy bacteria, including your favorite food, must therefore be on the menu. Carbohydrates are not the top priority, but are useful in reduced quantities in the form of whole grains, legumes and potatoes. What you should avoid are alcohol, processed foods and sugar in large quantities.

If your intestines are basically intact and fully functional, fermented foods make a valuable contribution. However, if you often suffer from digestive problems, are often tired and exhausted after eating, or are plagued by flatulence and stomach pain, you should avoid fermented foods for the time being.

Key takeaways

Everyone is different, but if you want to improve your digestion, lose weight, or take care of your overall health, there are some general principles that apply to everyone.

  • Eat a wide variety of plant-based foods. A healthy gut has a diverse community of microbes, each preferring different foods.
  • Eat more fiber. Most people eat less than they should (30g per day). Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains feed healthy bacteria.
  • Bacteria love resistant starch: This includes starch from potatoes, pasta and rice - these are complex carbohydrates. Resistant starch is created when these foods are cooled, as it changes their chemical structure. It is almost indigestible for the intestines and thus has a positive influence on the intestinal flora. The process takes approximately twelve to 24 hours. Even reheating does not destroy the resistant starch.
  • Avoid heavily processed foods. They often contain ingredients that either suppress good bacteria or increase bad bacteria.
  • Uses good fats: for example organic linseed oil or virgin olive oil. These contain microbe-friendly polyphenols.

If your diet has been low in fiber, suddenly consuming more can cause bloating. So at the beginning, be careful to slowly increase the amount and drink enough.

Our experts

about the author

Simone Kumhofer, BA, BSc./MSc.

Professional triathlete
Sports and nutrition scientist