Eat some fermented foods
Fermented food contains some of the beneficial bacteria that contribute towards a healthy microbiome. In Ireland, yoghurt is our traditional fermented food. We always recommend natural yoghurt to avoid the sugars and sweeteners found in flavoured varieties. Just sweeten yourself with fruit, jam or a little honey. If you are dairy free, then try natural coconut, almond or soya yoghurt instead. Try our apple cinnamon overnight oats recipe for a healthy breakfast boost. Many other fermented foods and drinks are widely available including sauerkraut, kimchi, miso paste, kefir and kombucha. Its best to include a variety as each one includes a different range of beneficial bacteria. We also recommend introducing these in very small amounts e.g 1 tbsp sauerkraut, 75ml kombucha, especially if you have sensitive digestion as they can initially cause bloating.
Try a probiotic
Some of us may benefit from an added boost by taking a probiotic supplement, especially after antibiotics, a bout of thrush or an illness. There are a wide variety of probiotics available and different probiotics suit different people. Most probiotic supplements are now freeze dried to preserve the bacteria and do not need to be refrigerated. Many will contain both pre- and probiotics, which is usually helpful. However, if you find that your probiotic is causing bloating or if you have been diagnosed with SIBO, try switching to a brand without prebiotics like Biokult. Other ranges like Optibac include different probiotics for different health issues e.g. thrush or bloating. Children’s microbiomes are different to those of adults, so if looking for a probiotic for a child, chose one that is age-appropriate. If in doubt, ask for advice.
Heather Leeson. Heather is Senior Nutritionist at Glenville Nutrition www.glenvillenutrition.ie and divides her time between clinic patients and corporate workshops and talks. She is also the Nutritionist on Virgin Media’s weekend breakfast show.
Apple cinnamon overnight oats recipe see it here