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Meet Your Microbiome: Get To Know the Healthy Bacteria in Your Gut

Posted May 26, 2023 Updated Mar 04, 2024

Did you know that there are bacteria that live in your gut? And did you know that some of the bacteria strains found in your gut can support aspects of your health? If this is news to you, or you want to learn more about this emerging topic, keep reading to get up to speed on healthy gut bacteria. 

Get To Know Your Gut Microbiome

What Is the Microbiome?

Microorganisms, or microbes, include bacteria, fungi, and viruses. These microbes reside in your gut. And the makeup of these live organisms makes up your microbiome, with most residing in the large intestine.

There are trillions of bacteria living in your gut, with some offering health benefits and others potentially causing harm (like e.coli). Each person’s microbiome makeup is different, and certain factors can affect which microbes colonize the gut, including your diet, lifestyle, and drinking habits. 

How Does Your Microbiome Impact Your Health?

Your microbiome plays many important roles in your health, and having a healthy balance in your gut microbiome is key. Here are some ways that the beneficial bacteria in your gut can impact your health:

  • Digestion: Certain bacteria help the body absorb nutrients and break down certain molecules that you ingest via your diet. Other bacteria may help keep bowel movements regular
  • Immune health: Approximately 70% of your immune system is located in your gut. And certain bacteria can stimulate secretory IgA, which can help support your immune health. 
  • Mental health: While many factors play into your mental health — with some being completely out of your control — your gut health may be one that can impact your risk of developing anxiety or other health disorders. There is a distinct line of communication between the gut and the brain, known as the gut-brain axis. And the makeup of your gut microbiota impacts that communication. 

Get To Know Your Gut Bacteria

What Bacteria Live In Your Gut?

It's estimated that a whopping 10 trillion bacteria live in your gut. And among the hundreds of species found in this area, these are the most common ones you’ll find:

  • Bacteroidetes: Gram-negative bacteria that make up around half of many people’s microbiota, according to some estimations. It’s most known for helping boost your immune functioning, helping break down carbohydrates to energy, and can even help limit the bad bacteria in your gut.
  • Firmicutes: Another bacteria typically found in your gut. This bacteria produces an important substance called butyrate that helps support your gut barrier and encourages a healthy metabolism.
  • Actinobacteria: Although not as populous as the above two, this bacteria is crucial for maintaining gut homeostasis, or a microbiota balance that creates a healthy and stable ecosystem. 
  • Proteobacteria: One of the most diverse groups of bacteria, this cohort includes some not-so-good bacteria strains like E. coli and salmonella. High levels can be pro-inflammatory and play a detrimental role in all sorts of metabolic diseases.
  • Verrucomicrobia: A healthy gut is packed with this bacteria and that’s because its anti-inflammatory properties could help support intestinal health.

How Are Bacteria Helpful?

“Healthy” gut bacteria means that there is a balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gut. If you have too much of one type of bacteria and not enough of another, your balance can become out of whack, which can lead to some unsavory health outcomes. 

There are many different bacterias that we may find in our gut. While lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are examples of beneficial bacteria, e. Coli and certain coliforms are considered “bad”, as they don’t offer the same health benefits that the “good” ones provide. Having more of the good bacteria and less of the bad bacteria is the ultimate goal. 

How to Increase the Healthy Bacteria in Your Gut

If you’re sold on the idea of doing everything you can to support a healthy gut bacteria balance, the good news is that certain habits can help boost the “good” bacteria that colonize your gut. Here are some of the most popular ways to do just that:

Eat a Diverse Diet

There is a wide variety of bacteria in your gut. Eating a wide variety of fermented foods, produce, beans, and nuts will help support a healthy and varied gut microbiota. Some fermented food examples include kimchi, tempeh, kefir, miso, and some fermented pickles. 

Get High-Fiber Foods Like Vegetables, Beans, and Fruit

The live bacteria use prebiotic fiber as fuel. You can supply the bacteria in your gut with these prebiotic fibers by eating a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, beans, and nuts. Jerusalem artichoke, onions, and slightly underripe bananas are three examples of foods that contain prebiotic fiber. 

And for beverage options, sipping on OLIPOP will provide you with 9 grams of fiber to help support a healthy gut. With prebiotic-containing ingredients like Jerusalem artichoke, these sodas can help you fuel your body with prebiotics simply by sipping a delicious drink. 

Load up on Probiotics & Prebiotics

Prebiotics and probiotics work together to support healthy gut microbiota. Prebiotics fuel probiotics, so both are important aspects if you are trying to have a diverse gut microbiome. 

Avoid Unnecessary Antibiotics

While antibiotics can be necessary for certain situations, overusing them can negatively affect the gut microbiome. Antibiotics “kill” bacteria. And they don’t always distinguish between “good” and “bad” when they are doing their job. 

Spend Time Outdoors 

Taking steps to support your gut microbiota doesn’t mean only eating a certain way. Spending time outdoors may help support a diverse and healthy gut microbiome too. Exposing your body to the outdoors could offer benefits for the gut microbiome. 

So, making a point to spend time in nature may help you see the results you are hoping to see. And while you’re chilling outdoors, consider cracking open a can of OLIPOP to give your body a 1-2 punch in the gut health department. 

Healthy Gut Bacteria: The Takeaway

The bacteria in your gut can support your health in some surprising ways. And taking steps to ensure that you have the right gut bacteria that colonize your gut is key. Eating fermented foods, including prebiotic fiber to fuel the probiotics, and spending time outdoors helps power a diverse and healthy gut microbiome.

Focusing on your diet is a good first step on your journey to having healthy gut microbiota. Load up on fermented foods like kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Then, add in prebiotic options like garlic, apples, and OLIPOP soda. This will give your body the balance it needs to support a healthy gut microbiota. 


  1. Cohen, S. (2021, March 19). If you want to boost immunity, look to the gut. UCLA Health. https://www.uclahealth.org/news/want-to-boost-immunity-look-to-the-gut
  2. Fan, S., Chen, S., & Lin, L. (2023). Research progress of gut microbiota and obesity caused by high-fat diet. Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, 13, 1139800. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcimb.2023.1139800
  3. Yang, Z., Wang, Q., Liu, Y., Wang, L., Ge, Z., Li, Z., Feng, S., & Wu, C. (2023). Gut microbiota and hypertension: association, mechanisms and treatment. Clinical and experimental hypertension (New York, N.Y. : 1993), 45(1), 2195135. https://doi.org/10.1080/10641963.2023.2195135
  4. Ng, Q. X., Lim, Y. L., Yaow, C. Y. L., Ng, W. K., Thumboo, J., & Liew, T. M. (2023). Effect of Probiotic Supplementation on Gut Microbiota in Patients with Major Depressive Disorders: A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 15(6), 1351. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15061351
  5. Yang, S., Wu, C., Yan, Q., Li, X., & Jiang, Z. (2023). Nondigestible Functional Oligosaccharides: Enzymatic Production and Food Applications for Intestinal Health. Annual review of food science and technology, 14, 297–322. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-food-052720-114503
Cheat Sheet
  • Your gut microbiome applies to the makeup of the live organisms that reside in your gut. There are over 10 trillion bacteria living there. But some of the most common ones you’ll find include Bacteroides, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia.
  • Some bacteria that live in your gut can support certain aspects of your health like digestion, immune, and mental health, highlighting why having a healthy gut microbiome is important.
  • Eating fermented foods and prebiotic-rich foods can help support healthy and diverse gut microbiota. 
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