Mahmoud Ghannoum, Ph.D., MBA, FIDSA, could be considered the godfather of microbiome research. Not only has he pioneered breakthrough research in the probiotic and gut-health space, but he's also the founder of Biohm, the first company to engineer products and tests that "address the total microbiome of both bacteria and fungi, allowing consumers to maintain total digestive health," according to his profile. Between writing several books and 400 peer-reviewed scientific papers on gut bacteria, his findings have also been shared on CBS News, Scientific American, Forbes, and USA Today. It goes without saying that we're a bit curious as to what Ghannoum actually eats on a daily basis. Read up on his diet plan in his own words below, as originally shared on MindBodyGreen.
"I avoid sugar because it tends to encourage the growth of fungi like Candida," he writes. "This is especially true of refined sugar because unlike sugar you get from fruit, it's been shown to affect the way your gut works." In the morning, for example, he adds dried fruit like raisins or dates to a bowl of oatmeal instead of plain sugar.
Load Up on Fiber
"Dietary fiber is a phenomenal prebiotic that encourages the growth of probiotic organisms in our gut," he explains. "Think of it as food for the good bacteria and fungi in your gut." He adds that dietary fiber can also help lower your gut's pH levels, which "helps keep bad bacteria in check." His go-to fiber-rich snacks are hummus with celery or a seasonal fruit, like an apple or orange.
Make Protein a Priority
"Increased protein has been strongly tied in a number of studies to a more diverse microbiome," he writes. With that said, Ghannoum stays away from red meat because of its ties to a number of health issues. Instead, he fills up on fish and hearty plants, including salmon, bass, roasted onions, zucchini, carrots, and peppers over rice.
Rely on Herbs and Natural Flavors
"To keep things tasty, I'll incorporate seasoning like lemon, garlic, mint, parsley, turmeric, and honey with olive oil because of their beneficial nutrients," he adds. "These are great for the microbiome and help keep things interesting."
All things considered, he adds that a gut-healthy diet is all about balance. "I'm a human, and I know that it's incredibly hard to only eat this or that," he concludes. "When I say to increase a type of food or certain ingredient, that does not necessarily mean you should only eat that food."