A change in diet might be the first order of business. It stands to reason that what we eat affects our bodies and our health on a microbial level.

Eating lean meats, vegetables and fresh fruit is one way to get our health on track and improve overall health.

Here are some foods you can consume to help balance that microbiome and give it what it needs to be the most beneficial to you.

Increase Fiber

Eating twice the recommended daily allowance of fiber (which would be 40 grams) is beneficial in many ways. It can help lower blood sugar levels, fight weight gain, and help keep you “regular.”

Foods high in fiber are mostly fresh fruits and vegetables.

Apples, pears, strawberries, Avacados, bananas, carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kidney beans, oats, almonds, popcorn and dark chocolate.

Drink/Eat polyphenols

Polyphenols are antioxidants that fuel microbes. Nuts, seeds, berries, olive oil, Brassicas (which include cauliflower, cabbage, rutabaga and turnip), coffee and tea, especially green teas. 

Eat fermented foods

Though it doesn’t sound appealing, you probably already eat some fermented foods and aren’t even aware of it:  Unsweetened yogurt, sauerkraut, and soybean-based products such as soy sauce, and tempeh (a soy product from Indonesia).

Our own Eris Hilburn also suggests Komboucha, a fermented tea made with brewer’s yeast. It comes in a variety of flavors and usually can be found in your local grocery store. It can be made at home, but if not made properly, it can cause health problems. It has a slightly bitter taste, has a foam head and may bring to mind flavored beers.

Have a drink

But only in small quantities. Perhaps one glass of wine or one beer on occasion. Alcohol has been shown to increase gut diversity. But don’t overdo it, as large quantities are harmful to your overall health.

Eat some collagen-rich foods

Collagen provides protective covering, not only for our skin, but also for our organs.

Foods which contain collagen are tomatoes, peppers, beets, spinach, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, blackberries, raspberries, white tea, oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, meats, nuts, egg whites and garlic.

Other suggestions include eating lean proteins, using coconut oil (for its healthy fat content), limiting sugar and sugar-substitute intake, and getting plenty of sleep.

HS shows on our skin. But what’s on our skin may well be connected to what we put into our bodies.

Whether or not an imbalanced microbiome contributes to our HS, it stands to reason that eating healthier is beneficial to our overall health.

This article was first published in the March 2019 issue of the HS Journal. It is reprinted here with permission.

(Thanks for assistance from Miss Sandra Guilbault and Miss Eris Hilburn)

No part of this article is to be construed as medical advice.