What feeds a healthier microbiome? Seasonal eating!

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard about the connection between your gut microbiome and how it supports immunity, and boosts overall health and vitality.[1]

Which is something everyone is striving for… but no matter how many probiotic supplements modern humans ingest, we still fall short on gut diversity and improving our health.

Why?

It seems modern science has finally caught up with what sages and shamans have known for thousands of years. We are intimately connected to the earth. And, we need to rotate our diets throughout the year, and change our eating habits with the seasons.

Here’s why…

According to Science magazine, a study done on the Hadza tribe of Tanzania reveals that their diverse microbiome fluctuates with the changing seasons and their shift in diet.[2]

This is a BIG problem for urbanized humans.

Many modern humans eat the SAME food day after day, year after year, regardless of seasonality or where it is grown. This type of eating will feed only a small population of bacteria in the gut. And, can lead to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and other digestive woes. I understand that nutritional science says broccoli is good for you and you should probably eat it to improve your health. But for godsakes, it does NOT grow in every season!

That means… do NOT eat it (or any other food for that matter) every day, without altering your diet accordingly.

The Hadza tribe also has direct access to the soil. Guess where the most diverse population of bacteria live? In the soil! It’s one of the reasons why those soil-based probiotics are so hot right now. We need soil, and bacteria from the soil, in our body.

If you go to the trouble to either grow your own food, or get your food from a CSA or a local farm, do NOT over-sanitize it. Modern humans are notorious for overly sanitizing food using harsh chemicals like chlorine to wash fruits and veggies. Not smart! The microbes from the soil are still on that food when it comes out of the earth. If you want to populate your body with more diverse strains of bacteria, don’t kill them all!

3 things you can do to diversify your microbiome:

  1. Eat seasonally and locally! I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to rotate your food and eat with the seasons. I’ve been shouting this from the rooftops for 2 decades and I will continue until it finally sinks in; eat seasonally, eat locally! It’s not just a concept. This way of eating supports a more diverse microbiome, and intimately connects you to the earth.
  2. Rinse your veggies but don’t bleach them! So many clients ask me whether or not they should wash their fruits and veggies with a chlorine spray. My answer is absolutely not! Rinse your veggies, but don’t sanitize them. And, this includes washing with vinegar. Simply rinse your veggies in water. That’s it.
  3. Don’t overdo it with probiotics – I’m not saying don’t eat probiotics. Just be cautious of taking probiotics, in excess, without fiber. One of the things that bacteria in the gut thrive on is fiber from fruits and veggies. That means a fermentation like sauerkraut, kimchi, pickled veggies and fruits, are going to supply your body with millions of beneficial bacteria AND simultaneously provide that bacteria with fiber to thrive.

When your microbiome is intimately connected to the earth and the seasons, you will begin noticing positive changes in your overall health and vitality.

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[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5408367/

[2] http://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6353/802