Boost Your Health: Achieving a Healthy Gut Microbiome

Last updated October 09, 2023
woman enjoying the sun

The best path to maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is a fresh, balanced diet.

In addition to positive life choices such as consistent exercise, reducing the intake of sugary foods, and getting good sleep, food plays an essential role in balancing the digestive system.

Vital Info:

  • A healthy, diverse diet can maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
  • Eat more fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
  • Incorporate food sources with probiotics, like yogurt or kimchi, into your diet.
  • Sleep, regular exercise, and managing stress promote gut health.
  • Certain foods can negatively impact anxiety and depression.

Engage with the full guide: 5 Practical Tips to Maintain a Healthy Gut

What is a Healthy Gut Microbiome?

A healthy gut microbiome refers to the vast community of microorganisms (gut bacteria) in the digestive tract.

These tiny guests are more than just freeloaders; they're hard-working contributors to your overall health and well-being.

The magic happens when these microorganisms live together in balance. When they do their jobs right, they help us digest our food efficiently and contribute to a robust immune system.

gut biology animation

Diversity Matters for Your Gut Health

A key factor that defines a healthy gut microbiome is diversity.

Having a wide variety of gut bacterial species can contribute to wider health benefits in the body. (1) (2)

Maintaining a diverse microbiome rests on a diet that consists of different types of food and ingredients.

Avoiding excessive fast foods, sugar and alcohol will go a long way in balancing the gut. (3)

The Mental Health Connection

Anxiety, stress, and depression can change how the GI tract moves and contracts. (4) Our belly is often referred to as our 'second brain'.

Researchers call it the "gut-brain axis." This communication pathway links emotional centers in your brain with peripheral intestinal functions (5).

This is why stress or anxiety can lead to an upset stomach, while certain foods may influence mood swings or depression symptoms.

Suggested reading: A list of the worst ingredients for your immune system.

Best Ways to Maintain a Healthy Gut Microbiome

1: Eat Fermented Foods

Fermented foods have undergone the process of 'fermentation', which involves the breakdown of sugars by using bacteria or yeast.

Eating fermented foods can help balance both good and bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. (6)

Various studies show that eating yogurt on a regular basis may improve intestinal bacteria and decrease the risk of lactose intolerance. (7)

Examples of fermented foods:

  • Yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Kefir
  • Fermented Soybean

2: Eat Fruit, Vegetables and Legumes

Fruits and veggies are the best places to get the nutrients your microbiome needs to be healthy.

They are a rich source of fiber, which can't be broken down by your body. But some bacteria in your gut can break down fiber, which helps them grow.

Likewise, legumes and beans contain high amounts of fiber. Studies have shown that apples, blueberries, pistachios, and almond nuts have been shown to increase Bifidobacteria. (8) (9)

Examples Include:

  • Artichokes
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Lentils
  • Green peas
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Whole grains

3: Eat Prebiotic foods

Prebiotics are dietary fibers that serve as nourishment for the good bacteria residing in our gastrointestinal tract.

They promote their growth, activity, and overall health.

By eating prebiotics, we help keep a healthy balance of microbes in the gut, which is good for digestion and general health. (10)

Various types of prebiotics may lower levels of insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol. In turn, this may help avoid the risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (11) (12)

Examples of prebiotic foods include:

  • Dandelion Greens
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Chicory Root
  • Whole oats
  • Leeks
  • Konjac Root

4: Increase intake of probiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria that are naturally found in fermented foods. Probiotics may improve digestion by breaking down complex carbs into short-chain fatty acids, which provide energy for the digestive system.

Studies show that one of the largest benefits of probiotics is their potential to help improve the gut microbiome. (13)

Taking probiotics may also be good for your mental health because it affects how hormones are regulated in the body systems that help keep your mood stable. (14)

Examples of probiotic food sources:

  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Miso
  • Pickled vegetables

Suggested reading: Prebiotics vs probiotics: what are the differences?

5: Consume Whole Grains

Whole grains are rich in fiber and nondigestible carbs, which work their way to the large intestine and, in turn, increase the growth of beneficial gut bacteria (good gut bacteria).

Various studies show that increasing whole grains in the diet may promote the growth of lactobacilli and bacteriophages, which are essential to gut health and maintaining a healthy gut microbiota composition. (15)

A good example of nondigestible carbs is beta glucan which is a natural immune supplement that has the ability to enhance (activate) and boost the immune system.

The fiber-like molecule of beta glucan activates every immune cell in the body, which helps the immune system work as efficiently as possible.

An increased immune system may promote metabolic health and overall general wellness.

6: Exercise often

Studies show that when we exercise, our brain and blood vessels get more oxygen, the core temperature of our bodies goes up, and the blood flow increases.  This positively impacts the gut and microbiome. (16)

Consistent exercise stimulates and increases the growth of a variety of microbial species, which encourages gut bacteria.

A fitness study found that people engaging in regular exercise (without changing their diets) had increased levels of short-chain fatty acids, which may reduce inflammation in the body.

7: Natural Supplements

In addition to healthy eating and regular exercise, using a natural supplement may help maintain the balance of gut bacteria and gut health.

Supplements can also be handy to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients for healthy living. One trusted supplement known for its benefits to gut health is beta glucan.

What Is Beta Glucan?

Beta glucan is a fiber-like molecule that has the ability to activate and enhance the immune system. It is naturally found in food sources such as oats, barley, grains, fungi, and yeast.

As each immune cell is stimulated to perform at its best ability, the body reacts by improving the immune system and immune response.

This way, when the body is faced with harmful and foreign pathogens, glucan puts the cells in alert mode to fight off these pathogens.

Role of Beta Glucan In The Gut Microbiome

Beta glucan is rich in prebiotic properties, providing a thriving environment for beneficial bacteria in the gut. This helps to balance the microbiome and maintain gut health. (17)

Beta glucan may be able to help with: *

  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Cramping
  • Regular bowel movements
  • Balance intestinal and microbial

Beta Glucan Sources

β-glucan can be found in the following sources:

  • oats
  • yeast
  • mushrooms (such as shiitake and reishi)
  • fungi
  • seaweed

You can also take beta glucan in supplement form to ensure you get the daily benefits for your immune system.

mushroom in the forest

FAQs in Relation to Healthy Gut Microbiome

How do you get a healthy gut microbiome?

To get a healthy gut microbiome, munch on fiber-rich foods and probiotics like yogurt or kimchi. Also, try to lessen stress and get plenty of sleep.

What does a healthy gut microbiome consist of?

A thriving gut consists of various types of bacteria that play crucial roles in digestion, immunity, metabolism, and even mental health.


To ensure that you are maintaining a balance in your gut microbiome, focus on eating a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of food sources such as fruit, vegetables, grains, and yogurt.

Consider using a prebiotic or probiotic supplement, or beta glucan which activates the immune system, strengthens the immune response, and maintains a healthy gut.

(*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease)

Still have questions?

Our ACES Team is always there to help.

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As COO of Better Way Health, Taylor creates and Implements business operations and policies that reinforce our company culture. He ensures we stick to our core values and provides resources to elevate our team members in their respective roles. He is the day-to-day backbone of our world-class customer service and a seasoned authority on Beta Glucan.
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