The diet for the microbiome was created with the intention of helping people lose weight quickly and safely. This dietary plan is based on avoiding the consumption of certain foods in the hope of restoring intestinal health, offering other benefits such as the acquisition of a faster metabolism and weight loss.
Discover everything you need to know about this diet and how it can help you not only lose weight, but improve your health.
What is the microbiome diet?
It is a three-phase program, designed to help you lose weight through intestinal restoration. It is based on eating the right foods that will help you keep your gut microbiome healthy, which is essential for good health in general.
The intestinal microbiome is made up of billions of bacteria and other microorganisms, both friendly and hostile. Maintaining the right balance between these bacteria will help you improve digestion, reduce inflammation, decrease anxiety and even improve brain function and mood.
Phases of the microbiome diet
This phase lasts 21 days and aims to eliminate unhealthy bacteria from the intestine. This is the strictest phase of the three, and is based on the following instructions:
- Elimination: eliminate all food, toxins and harmful chemicals that can cause inflammation or an imbalance in your intestinal bacteria. This includes pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and certain medications.
- Repair: consume foods and vegetable supplements that heal your intestine and support the microbiome.
- Replacement: Eat certain herbs, spices and supplements that can replace stomach acid, digestive enzymes and improve the quality of bacteria in your intestine.
- Repopulation: repopulate your intestine with healthy bacteria by eating probiotic and prebiotic foods and supplements.
In this phase you should avoid the consumption of dairy products, grains, eggs and most vegetables, fruits and vegetables. Instead, the consumption of plant foods is recommended.
This phase has a maximum duration of 28 days. When you reach this stage, it is assumed that your microbiome has been strengthened, allowing a little more flexibility in your diet.
During this phase you should avoid consuming the harmful foods for your intestine, but only 90% of the time. Dairy, legumes and eggs can be added back to your diet. Finally, you can start eating most fruits and vegetables.
This phase is considered as the maintenance phase. It does not have a specific duration, so it is recommended that you continue at this stage until you lose the desired amount of weight. By this we mean, that it is destined to last for the long term.
In this phase, it is considered that your intestine and your microbiome are practically healthy. Although they continue to prohibit the intake of the same foods of the first phase, this time you will have to avoid them by 70%.
Foods to avoid improving the microbiome
- Processed and fried foods.
- Sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
- Artificial sweeteners, except for small amounts of Lakanto.
- Trans and hydrogenated fats.
- Fruits and vegetables with starch, such as bananas, potatoes, corn and peas.
- Meat rich in salt and fat.
- Peanuts, soybeans and other legumes, except chickpeas and lentils.
- Fish high in mercury.
- Nuts and fruit juices.
- All grains that contain gluten.
- Eggs and dairy, except butter and ghee.
- Yeast and foods that contain it.
Foods to improve your microbiome
- Wild salmon and grass meat.
- Fermented vegetables: sauerkraut and kimchi.
- Non-starchy vegetables: asparagus, carrots, garlic, artichokes, leeks, onions and radishes.
- Non-starchy fruits: tomatoes, avocado, apples, cherries, grapefruit, kiwis, oranges, nectarines, rhubarb and coconut.
- Nuts, seeds and butter from these same seeds.
- Sunflower and olive oils.
- Chickpeas and lentils
- Herbs and spices.
Recommendations to improve your microbiome
This diet encourages people to consume organic foods to avoid chemicals. It is also recommended to use a water filter and some supplements as a way to reduce inflammation, such as zinc, glutamine, berberine, caprylic acid, quercetin, garlic, grapefruit seed extract, wormwood, oregano oil, probiotics and vitamin D .
Studies of the microbiome diet
- Friendly bacteria help colonize the intestine and prevent hostile bacteria from overpopulating it.
- Prebiotics are a type of fiber that helps feed these friendly bacteria. You can find them in foods such as asparagus, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, leeks and radishes, all of which abound in the microbiome diet.
- Prebiotics and specific probiotic strains such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria can also help seal gaps between intestinal cells, preventing leaky gut syndrome.
- The research also reports that probiotics can combat digestive disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- The diet also warns against overuse of antibiotics. Studies show that some medications can damage the intestinal wall and eliminate microorganisms, including friendly bacteria.
Benefits of the microbiome diet
By improving intestinal health, the diet for your microbiome can help prevent many diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s and depression. In addition, the microbiome is responsible for converting fiber into short chain fatty acids, which strengthen the intestinal wall and the immune system.
A stronger intestinal wall helps prevent unwanted substances from entering your body and provoking an immune response.
Disadvantages of the microbiome diet
This diet requires the restriction of a wide variety of foods; some of these can be nutritious and benefit your health, such as fruits, vegetables with starch, all grains and most vegetables.
The diet for the microbiome consists of a series of phases that are used to help you lose weight, although not only that, it also has numerous benefits for your health in general, starting with making you have a completely healthy intestine. However, like all types of diet, it also has its disadvantages, which consist in stopping eating certain foods that are nutritious for the health of people.
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