5 Way to Improve your Gut for Better Overall Health

By Melissa Carr, Dr. TCM

Mar 19, 2021

Bacteria. Your body is filled with them, and they are essential for your overall health and wellbeing. Believe it or not, there are trillions of bacteria living in your body, including your gut, right now. They are not only important in aiding digestion and regulating your metabolism, but also play a role in impacting your mental health and immunity. Read on to learn some helpful tips on how to boost better gut health.

Eat fermented foods

Consuming fermented foods is a great way to support a healthy gut microbiome. There are many foods that provide a natural source of probiotics, including sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kimchi, kefir, and tempeh. You can also take probiotic supplements to help enhance beneficial bacteria.

Load up on whole foods

In order to maintain a good balance of healthy bacteria in your body, it’s important to remember that these are live organisms that need food themselves. Prebiotics are a type of dietary fibre that you can find in a wide array of whole foods. Some of the best sources include dandelion greens, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, onions, leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, apples, bananas, garlic, chicory root, wheat bran, oats, barley, seaweed, and flax seeds.

Take care of your teeth

It might seem like a stretch to believe there is a connection between oral hygiene and gut health, but it’s true. Various studies have shown that harmful bacteria that grows in your mouth can make their way into the bloodstream and your stomach. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits can help keep dangerous microbes at bay.

Lower stress

Impacting many facets of our wellbeing, here is yet another reason to manage stress. There are a wide range of stressors that can negatively affect your gut health, including, psychological stress, environmental stress, and sleep deprivation. To help alleviate chronic stress, try some relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga.

Try reishi

Could this medical mushroom be good for gut health? According to a study published in Nature Communications, yes it can.

The study was intended to investigate whether reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) can help reduce obesity by modifying the balance of gut bacteria. The research demonstrated that mice fed a high-fat diet together with reishi mushrooms gained 25% less weight than those on the high-fat diet alone. The study further indicated that supplementation with reishi also decreased gut inflammation by altering the composition of friendly bacteria in the gut and helping to maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining. For those who’ve been told they have a "leaky gut," this marvelous mushroom is something for you to consider taking.

On top of all that, one of the biggest reasons why people love reishi is its ability to help calm the nervous system. Since an amped up nervous system can negatively affect your microbiome and digestion, managing stress and anxiety is key for a healthy gut.

Rich in polysaccharides, reishi mushroom helps maintain a healthy immune system, provides prebiotic food for your good bacteria, supports a healthy microbiome, and calms the nervous system. If you are looking to promote better gut health, check out this fabulous fungus.

Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a B.Sc. in Kinesiology. In practice since 2001, Dr. Carr has a passion for sharing health information. She has been a nutrition instructor and a health consultant, lecturer, and writer for 24 Hours Vancouver newspaper, Fraser Health Authority, UBC, and the David Suzuki Foundation, amongst others. www.activetcm.com


  • Chang, C., Lin, C., Lu, C., Martel, J., Ko, Y., Ojcius, D., Lai, H. (2015, June 23). Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota. Retrieved March 12, 2021, from https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8489

> Back to Health Articles

All information on this site is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Information presented here is not intended to substitute the advice provided to you by your physician or healthcare practitioner. You should not use any information contained in our site to self-diagnose or personally treat any medical condition or disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical condition, you are urged to contact your healthcare practitioner.

Taking natural health supplements should be a decision made by the individual themselves and based on personal research. It is recommended for all individuals to consult their healthcare practitioner prior to starting any new medication. Individuals should not discontinue current medication without first consulting their doctor.

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy describes how your personal information is collected, used, and shared when you visit or make a purchase from our websites which includes www.mikei.ca, www.mikei.com, www.mikeireishi.com, www.mikei.co.uk and www.nikkeicanada.com (the "Sites").


When you visit the Sites, we automatically collect certain information about your device, including information about your web browser, IP address, time zone, and some of the cookies that are installed on your device. Additionally, as you browse the Sites, we collect information about the individual web pages or products that you view, what websites or search terms referred you to the Sites, and information about how you interact with the Sites. We refer to this automatically-collected information as "Device Information."

We collect Device Information using the following technologies:

Additionally, when you make a purchase or attempt to make a purchase through the Sites, we collect certain information from you, including your name, billing address, shipping address, payment information (including credit card numbers, expiration date), email address, and phone number. At your discretion, we may also be collecting your birthdate and title information. We refer to this information as "Order Information."

When we talk about "Personal Information" in this Privacy Policy, we are talking both about Device Information and Order Information.


We use the Order Information that we collect generally to fulfill any orders placed through the Sites (including processing your payment information, arranging for shipping, and providing you with invoices and/or order confirmations). Additionally, we use this Order Information to:

We use the Device Information that we collect to help us screen for potential risk and fraud (in particular, your IP address), and more generally to improve and optimize our Sites (for example, by generating analytics about how our customers browse and interact with the Sites, and to assess the success of our marketing and advertising campaigns). We may also use the Device Information for remarketing and retargeting purposes to provide you with targeted advertisements and offers we believe may be of interest to you.


We share your Personal Information with third parties to help us use your Personal Information, as described above. For example, we use an outside shipping company to ship orders, and a credit card processing company to bill users for purchases. We also use Google Analytics to help us understand how our customers use the Sites. You can read more about how Google uses your Personal Information here: https://policies.google.com/privacy. You can also opt-out of Google Analytics here: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

Finally, we may also share your Personal Information to comply with applicable laws and regulations, to respond to a subpoena, search warrant or other lawful request for information we receive, or to otherwise protect our rights.


As described above, we use your Personal Information to provide you with targeted advertisements or marketing communications we believe may be of interest to you.

You can opt out of targeted advertising by:

Additionally, you can also visit NAI's opt-out page http://optout.networkadvertising.org.


Please note that we do not alter our Sites' data collection and use practices when we see a Do Not Track signal from your browser.


The Sites contain links to other websites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.


If you are a European resident, you have the right to access personal information we hold about you and to ask that your personal information be corrected, updated, or deleted. If you would like to exercise this right, please contact us through the contact information below.

Additionally, if you are a European resident, we note that we are processing your information in order to fulfill contracts we might have with you (for example if you make an order through the Sites), or otherwise to pursue our legitimate business interests listed above. Additionally, please note that your information will be transferred outside of Europe, including to Canada and the United States.


From time-to-time, the Sites may request information via surveys, contests, or offers. Participation in these surveys, contests, and offers is completely voluntary and you may choose whether or not to participate and therefore disclose this information. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and shipping address), and demographic information (such as postal code, age level, gender). Contact information will be used to notify the winners, award prizes, or redeem offers. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of the Sites and the products offered on the Sites.


When you place an order through the Sites, we will maintain your Order Information for our records unless and until you ask us to delete this information.


We may update this privacy policy from time to time in order to reflect, for example, changes to our practices or for other operational, legal or regulatory reasons. This policy was last updated on October 27th, 2019.


For more information about our privacy practices, if you have questions, or if you would like to make a complaint, please contact us by e-mail at info@nikkeicanada.com or by mail using the address provided below:

Nikkei (Canada) Marketing Limited Unit 170 - 12868 Clarke Place, Richmond, BC, V6V 2H1, Canada