The Microbiome Diet: Can It Restore Your Gut Health?

The Microbiome Diet is a new, trendy weight loss diet.

It was created by Dr. Raphael Kellman and is based on eating and avoiding certain foods in the hopes of restoring gut health.

It’s also claimed to offer other benefits, such as a faster metabolism and weight loss.

This article reviews the Microbiome Diet and whether it can restore your gut health.

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What Is the Microbiome Diet?

The Microbiome Diet is a three-phase program aimed at helping you lose weight by restoring gut health.

It was developed by Dr. Raphael Kellman, a board-certified physician specializing in gut health.

It’s based on the idea that eating the right foods will help keep your gut microbiome healthy — which is instrumental to your overall health.

Your gut microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms — both friendly and unfriendly.

Maintaining the right balance of friendly and unfriendly bacteria in your gut is touted to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, decrease anxiety, and even improve brain function and mood.

A healthy balance of gut bacteria is also said to boost metabolism, eliminate cravings, and help you shed unwanted weight.

SUMMARYThe Microbiome Diet is a three-phase program designed to improve gut health. It’s also claimed to boost metabolism, eliminate cravings, and help you lose weight.

How to Follow It

The Microbiome Diet is divided into three distinct phases.

Phase 1: Your Four R’s Meal Plan

This first phase lasts 21 days and aims to remove unhealthy bacteria from your gut and replace stomach acids and digestive enzymes.

It’s also designed to populate your gut with prebiotics and probiotics to repair its lining.

This phase is the strictest of the three and is based on the following “Four R’s” of intestinal health:

  1. Remove: Cutting out all foods, toxins, and harmful chemicals that may cause inflammation or an imbalance in your gut bacteria. This includes pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and certain medications.
  2. Repair: Load up on plant foods and supplements that heal your gut and support the microbiome.
  3. Replace: Eat certain herbs, spices, and supplements that can replace stomach acid, digestive enzymes, and improve the quality of bacteria in your gut.
  4. Reinoculate: Repopulate your gut with healthy bacteria by eating probiotic- and prebiotic-rich foods and supplements.

In this phase, you are required to avoid a large variety of foods, including all grains, eggs, most legumes and dairy, as well as starchy fruits and vegetables.

Packaged and fried foods, sugar, fillers, coloring, artificial sweeteners, and some types of fats, fish, and meat should also be avoided.

Instead, you’re encouraged to eat an organic, plant-based diet with prebiotic-rich foods, such as asparagus, garlic, onion, and leeks. Fermented foods rich in probiotics — such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt — should also be included.

Certain supplements are strongly recommended, including probiotics, zinc, vitamin D, berberine, grapefruit seed extract, wormwood, and oregano oil.

Phase 2: Your Metabolic Boost Meal Plan

This phase is designed to last 28 days. By the time you reach it, it’s assumed that your gut and microbiome have gotten stronger, allowing you a bit more flexibility with your diet.

During this phase, you still need to avoid the supposedly gut-damaging foods from phase one — but only 90% of the time.

Concretely, this means that up to four of your weekly meals can include food not recommended on the food list from phase one.

In addition, dairy, free-range eggs, gluten-free grains, and legumes can be added back into your diet.

Finally, you can also start eating most fruits and vegetables again, such as mangoes, melons, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, and yams.

Phase 3: Your Lifetime Tune-Up

This last phase of the diet is considered the “maintenance phase.”

It has no recommended length, as you’re encouraged to follow it until you lose your desired amount of weight. Phase three is also meant to help you maintain the weight loss long term.

By this point, your gut and microbiome are believed to be almost fully healed. So, although the foods to avoid remain the same as in the first phase, you only need 70% compliance.

In other words, you can eat what you want 30% of the time — equalling about one meal per day. Still, it’s recommended to avoid processed foods and added sugar as much as possible.