Reset your gut in 3 days.

By  18 November 2022 

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Trust your gut.

How do you know if your internal microbiome is healthy and happy?

“It’s a gut feeling,” Quite literally. With bacteria and other microbes vastly outnumbering the human cells in our bodies, we’re more bacteria than human. Our bodies can’t function properly without them. They support our immune system, help us process and absorb nutrients, and lower the risk many conditions, including:

  • obesity
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • mental health and mood conditions

Trust your gut when it’s feeling funny and revisit the state of your health.

The intestinal microbiome “really does lend itself to people doing experiments on themselves and figuring out what works for them.”

There are roughly 100 trillion bacteria in the digestive system alone. It may seem like a tall order to change them, but the good news is that your microbiome can quickly change. Research has shown that within two to four days of eating right, your gut microbiome can change.


When to wake up

Let your body wake up naturally

Sleeping in line with your body’s natural circadian rhythm is important for good sleep and a healthy gut.

“The gut microbiota has a circadian rhythm.  If that circadian rhythm is disrupted, we are going to have issues. We don’t want to interrupt that cycle.”

What to eat today

Ditch the Western diet

A diet that’s high in animal protein, sugar, and fat, and low in fiber — have been shown to decrease the amount of bacteria in the gut

Go Mediterranean

recent review found that a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with a lower intake of red meat, processed foods and meats, and dairy increased the amount of total bacteria in the gut and supported beneficial bacteria.

Stick to one glass of red wine or dark chocolate

Red wine has been shown to support beneficial bacteria in the gut thanks to its concentration of polyphenols. If you don’t want to drink, indulge in fresh berries or dark chocolate to get the same polyphenol benefits.

What to do today

Try to stop smoking, if you do

A small study found that when people stopped smoking, they had more microbial diversity in their gut. 

Go for a 30-minute run or workout

Add gut health to the list of reasons you should hit the gym .. many researchers believe that exercise reduces stress hormones, which affect the microbes in your gut. A small study found that exercise alters intestinal bacteria in humans and increases microbial diversity.

When to sleep: 11 p.m.

Sleep deprivation has been found to alter the bacteria in your gut. Go to bed early — at least 30 minutes before you normally do on a weekday — for quality sleep.


When to wake up: 7:30 a.m.

Get up earlier so you’re not preparing your body for a late start on Monday.

What to eat today

Add high-fiber foods to every meal

Fiber is key to a happy gut especially indigestible fiber. Indigestible fiber, aka prebiotics, boost the bacteria you already have instead of adding new bacteria, like probiotics. Feed the bacteria in your gut with:

  • raspberries
  • green peas
  • broccoli
  • beans
  • lentils
  • whole grains

Cut added sugar

The microbes in your belly love sugar just as much as you do, but the results aren’t great.  Simple sugars feed bacteria and can lead to overgrowths of less beneficial or harmful bacteria and reduce diversity. 

Have a glass of kombucha

Fermented foods contain beneficial live bacteria. Some examples include:

These probiotic foods can help improve intestinal health and digestion by supporting and introducing beneficial microbes. 

What to do today

“We live in a society that is too clean,” said Azcárate-Peril. “We are not exposed to enough microbes during childhood, so we are not properly educating our immune systems.”

Play with a pet

Studies have found that exposure to pets as infants and children can:

  • reduce the risk of developing allergies
  • support a healthy immune system
  • encourage a diverse microbiome

Get dirty

Garden. Play outside. Lounge on the grass. Exposure to the natural microbes around us can help replenish our microbiota and encourage diversity.

When to sleep: 11 p.m.

Keep the early bedtime to wake up refreshed tomorrow and stay in sync with your circadian rhythm.


When to wake up: 6:30 a.m.

Try to get up at least 7 hours after you went to bed to bank a full night’s rest.

What to eat today

Try a meatless Monday

Diets that are loaded with fruits and veggies and low in meat have been linked to more diverse microbiota and an abundance of good bacteria.

Hold the artificial sweeteners in your coffee

Studieshave shown that artificial sweeteners like sucralosesaccharin, and aspartame can change the balance of bacteria and reduce the amounts of beneficial bacteria in the gut. 

Drink two extra glasses of water

Proper hydration is key to keeping food moving through your intestines properly, and this movement is vital for a healthy gut.

What to do today

Throw out your antibacterial toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash

Antibacterial chemicals can cause antibacterial-resistant microbes and harm beneficial bacteria in your mouth.


Stress reduces beneficial bacteria and increases harmful bacteria in the gut.

Chronic stress is particularly dangerous because it may increase intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut) and allows the gut microbiota to go where they shouldn’t, causing inflammation.

When to sleep: 11 p.m.

Keep up a healthy sleep pattern and go to bed early to wake up sharp tomorrow. Even partial sleep deprivation can alter your microbiome, and recent findings suggest that these changes reduce your cognitive function.

The rest of the week

A healthy, low stress lifestyle with an emphasis on sleep, exercise, and plant-based foods is the best way to support a healthy gut. But if you’re only going to stick with one thing: Change your diet to include more whole foods and fresh vegetables. This will have the single biggest impact.

For the rest of the week:

  • Mix it up and try new foods. Eating diverse foods leads to a happier gut and a more diverse microbiota.
  • Skip harsh, aggressive cleaners like bleach and use natural cleaners like soap and water instead.
  • Take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary.
  • Exercise regularly.

While your microbiome may change quickly with what you eat, there are no quick fixes or overnight miracle workers for a healthy gut. Instead, it’s about sticking to the small changes that add up.

“Our microbiome is a mirror of our lifestyle,” said Bhatt. “We need to enact healthy lifestyles over the long term if we are going to see that reflected in our microbiome.”

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