Your Gut Microbiome & Why Prebiotics Are Essential

Image of gut microbiome with trillions of microorganisms that influence human health.

Your gut microbiome impacts every cell and system in your body.

Almost every disease is connected to the state of the trillions of microorganisms (microflora, microbiota) that live in your gut.


As a naturopath, I help my clients learn how to rebuild, maintain, and protect their health.

And the ability to protect your health begins within your gut.

In a healthy gut, you have rich and diverse numbers of beneficial microflora.

BUT when there is an imbalance between healthy and unhealthy microbes in your gut (gut dysbiosis), you become more susceptible to sickness and disease.

I liken gut health to our solar system.

Imagine Earth as it revolves around our sun.

The sun powers all life processes on Earth.

Your body functions in a similar way.

Your gut microbiome is like the sun to the systems that maintain your life.

Your health is directly affected by the trillions of microorganisms living in your gut.

Like the sun, your gut microbiome powers your life processes.

Image of intestines with cross sections comparing healthy gut flora with unhealthy gut flora.GUT HEALTH EQUALS STRONGER HEALTH

Your immune system is your defence against sickness and disease.

And the strength of your immune system is totally dependent on your gut microbiome.

Gut dysfunction is a driver of disease because your gut microflora and immune system are inseparable.

Beneficial gut microorganisms (microbiota, microflora) regulate both your innate and adaptive immune balance.

A healthy gut microbiome communicates with your immune cells and controls how your body responds to infection.

Having ‘optimal’ gut microflora increases your resistance to disease-causing pathogens and reduces your risk of cancer too.

Image depicting 70% of your immune system is located in your gut.FOOD HEALTH BENEFITS

The food you eat every day (your diet) is critical to your health.

The nutrients in food enable your cells and systems to perform their vital functions.

Food health focuses on giving your cells the ingredients they need to function properly.

If you don’t get the right balance of nutrients from your diet, metabolic processes decline, and health deteriorates.

Imagine the diet-related diseases and disorders we could change if we treated the food we eat as our medicine.

A healthy diet is related to a flourishing microbiome, a strong immune system, and a lower risk of disease.

Diet is also a key factor of healthy longevity in cultures where people live long lives.

Studies found that our gut microbiome is causally associated with how long and how well we live.

The relationships between your diet, gut microbiome, health, and disease are obvious.

Feeding your gut microbiome the right nutrition is essential for health and healing.

Image showing the vitamins and minerals essential for human health.PREBIOTICS FEED YOUR MICROBIOME

Using targeted nutrition to induce microbial change in your gut offers promising health benefits.

Eating prebiotic food improves your intestinal health and immune status by increasing the population of protective microorganisms.

Chart depicting the role of prebiotic food in human health.PREBIOTIC POWER FOODS

Prebiotic research originally focused on non-digestible, fermentable dietary fibres that could boost the growth and activity of beneficial gut microflora.

It’s now recognised that a wide variety of foods and herbs have prebiotic properties that benefit your gut microbiome.

The following lists are some of the foods beneficial gut microflora thrives on.

To promote better gut health, include 5-7 serves of prebiotic foods in your daily diet.

Organically grown food is always best.








Beet greens






Dandelion greens

Dark leafy greens






Green beans

Green peas

Heritage potatoes

Jerusalem artichoke


Kiwi fruit






Radicchio (Italian chicory)


Snow peas


Spring onion

Sweet potatoes

Swiss chard


Unsulphured dried fruit





Brazil nuts

Cashew nuts



Macadamia nuts


Pistachio nuts





Black rice

Brown rice


Chia seed

Linseeds (flaxseed)

Oat bran






Black beans


Kidney beans


Pinto beans


White beans


Black pepper

Burdock root

Cayenne pepper

Chicory root





Ginseng (red ginseng extract)

Licorice root

Marshmallow root


Panax ginseng (berries extract)


Slippery Elm




Green tea

Jiaogulan (gynostemma) tea

Pu-erh (fermented black tea)


Monk fruit

Raw honey

Foods that can act like medicine for improving gut microbiome health and preventing disease.


Eating a healthy diet can be delicious when you know how to create dishes you fall in love with.

The good news is there are some amazing chefs that freely share healthy plant-based recipes on YouTube and their blogs.

If you want recipe ideas for creating better gut health, visit our Healthy Eating Directory blog.

We also share recipes and a delicious Boost Porridge on our blog that are ideal for nourishing beneficial gut microorganisms.

You can also join our Pinterest page, which has folders full of inspiring recipes.

Explore the many ways food can delight your taste buds and be good for your health.

And if you haven’t seen my blend created to promote beneficial gut bacteria, click on the link to NOURISH Prebiotic Breakfast Drink.

All the very best,

Lisa Rieniets ND


We have included live links in our references so you can explore gut microbiome and disease, diet and longevity studies, and the role of prebiotic foods in human health.


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