Taking care of your gut health can be a tricky thing. When your microbiome—that’s the neighborhood of trillions of bacteria living in your gut—is put off-balance, the results can affect your sleep, weight and even digestion, among other things. What you eat can have an influence on your gut health, which is why we’re all about eating lots of fiber and probiotics, and your daily habits can also make an impact.
The good news is that Will Bulsiewicz, MD, MSCI, the gastroenterologist who goes by Dr. B, just shared a list of five essential things that he does to protect his gut health each day. His list includes some basic dietary tips we can get behind, plus one great suggestion that will help you get a good night’s rest. While not every piece of advice will work for every person, these doc-approved habits are a good place to start.
1. Enjoy your morning cup of joe.
“Coffee actually has prebiotics in it already, but I actually like to put in a soluble fiber supplement and some spices, really take it up to the next level,” Bulsiewicz says.
2. Eat fermented foods.
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, the good bacteria that can help your gut balance itself out and even support digestion. There are plenty of ways to work this tip into your diet, from kimchi and sauerkraut to yogurt and kombucha. If you don’t think of yourself as a person who enjoys the funky tang of condiments like miso or kraut, you could opt for a serving of kefir or mix your favorite fruit with ice and yogurt for a quick smoothie.
3. Don’t count calories—but eat more plants.
“Stop counting calories,” Bulsiewicz says. “Start counting plants. Enough with the dietary restrictions—let’s live a life of abundance with as many different varieties of plants as possible.”

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