How to Support Your Microbiome During the Summer Months

Summertime is wonderful for many things: outdoor events, relaxing vacations, fun in the sun, beach and pool time, and much more. But with it comes hotter, longer days that require a little bit of extra care towards our health goals from us. Luckily, we make it easy for you in several ways. First, we offer a range of healthy product options that support your gut health. Lifeway Kefir is a time-tested, well-loved product for many people all over the world for its beneficial cultures and many different probiotic strains that support gut health, immunity, skin health, and more. It’s a secret weapon for helping you care for your gut health during the summer months, along with the rest of your microbiome where 70 to 80 percent of cells that make up the immune system are located.

There are multiple ways to use our kefir throughout your day, which we share with you down below, and you’ll find some of our best tips to help you care for your health during the summer months in areas that require a bit of extra attention during the warmer months. So, take a look at these, incorporate them one by one if you can, and reap the overall wellness benefits as a result. If you try any of them out and have success, definitely let us know! We’d love to hear your story and possibly share it.




The Top 3 Ways to Support Your Microbiome During the Summer Months


1. Make Sleep a Priority

Believe it or not, our guts are pretty picky about getting enough rest and sleep during the night. When suffering from gut issues like poor digestion, gas, bloating, excess stress, and more, it may be time to focus on what time we’re going to bed each night and how many hours of sleep we’re getting. Summertime means longer, warmer days but that can lead some of us to get in bed later than we intended. Since the sun sets later in the day, it can affect our body’s natural circadian rhythm,  therefore it may be necessary for you to put extra time and attention into getting enough sleep during the summertime more than you have to in the winter when it’s easier to get in bed earlier since it’s dark out earlier. Even if the sun hasn’t fully gone down yet, depending on where you are, try to start winding down around 9:30ish pm and be ready to hit the bed by 10 or 11 p.m. if you have a normal workday ahead the next day. Most people need at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night in order to operate at full capacity with the best energy, digestion, and mood the next day. Our guts actually maintain a rhythm all on their own, and when we get adequate levels of sleep, studies show our digestion is greatly enhanced.

Bonus Tip: Lifeway Kefir and Farmer Cheese are both sources of all the necessary amino acids, the building blocks of protein. They are both complete proteins that contain all the essential amino acids our bodies need in order to function, repair, and operate at their best. Some of these amino acids support the body in relaxing, one of which is tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that many people associate with turkey at Thanksgiving, but the reason for that is that tryptophan doesn’t just make you sleepy. It is an important precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter that helps our moods and brains relax, which can then help us relax in the evenings more easily. Lifeway Kefir also contains other amino acids that support brain health, and the probiotics in Lifeway Kefir have been shown to support a healthier mood, thanks to the beneficial effects of the probiotics on brain health. This synergistic effect is a unique power of kefir that regular milk doesn’t offer. Kefir even contains more beneficial strains of probiotics than any yogurt on the market, because it’s so high in live and active probiotic cultures that other dairy products don’t offer.

The protein in kefir can help repair muscles over the night, which is great if you’ve had a long day outdoors! In addition, kefir contains vitamin B12, vitamin D, additional B vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium which support your health by helping the body repair, relax, and reset during the night.

So, instead of a sugary snack that might upset blood sugar levels throughout the night, upsetting optimal sleep conditions, try having a bowl of creamy oats or your favorite high-fiber whole grain cereal in the evening with some berries and Lifeway Kefir! Maybe add a sliced banana that contains magnesium and vitamin B6 that support relaxation too.



2. Don’t Skimp on Skincare

Did you know that your skin is made of living bacteria just like your gut? While that might sound gross, it’s actually an incredible thing! Many of these bacteria, if they are healthy bacteria, can promote good skin health. They help fight bad bacteria that can cause breakouts, dryness, and more skin issues. While sunscreen is great, and we highly recommend it, along with choosing more natural skincare product choices, and it’s important to remember to eat for a healthy gut. What we eat (and drink) each day has a direct effect on our skin because of what is known as the Gut Skin Axis. Our skin needs several components to be at its best: anti-inflammatory antioxidants and fiber from fruits and vegetables, high-quality proteins to repair the skin since amino acids support healthy skin growth, repair, and a natural glow, and it needs live and active fermented, cultured foods that include living good probiotic cultures to support the growth of healthy skin cells to fight skin troubles.

Kefir’s complete protein, probiotics, and natural properties that promote a healthy glow are a great choice to make each day. It’s the perfect replacement for regular milk, which many people find contributes to acne and digestion troubles that can then lead to poor skin health. While milk may not be troublesome for everyone, there’s no denying that regular milk can’t compare to the benefits of kefir, because kefir is nearly lactose-free due to the way it is cultured, so it’s very tolerable to most people with lactose intolerance or those who don’t or can’t, use many other dairy products that don’t have living probiotics in them.

Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad


Bonus Tip: Kefir is a delicious choice for smoothies and overnight oats, and it can even be used in dinners, snacks, sides, and more. Check out our recipes; we have a ton that can help you swap our kefir for other products! Some of our favorite skin-friendly recipes are this Clear Skin Tonic, Acai Bowl, Tropical Cantaloupe Boats, Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad, and Immune Booster Smoothie!



3. Stress Less

We know that this one is much easier said than done, right? But stressing less IS possible; there are just a few things to think about to make it easier. First, you don’t have to remove the stress from life, which is impossible. Instead of trying to get rid of the stressors in life, which we all have, find ways to proactively take them on. Many of us procrastinate on things that we know bring us stress. A to-do list, scheduling upcoming bills, erratic schedules, crowded areas that be overwhelming, or tackling chores around the house when we’d rather be outside. Instead of trying to get rid of these, start the day out and do one first thing, right after you get up and have breakfast. No matter what this is. That can mean making a list of the top 3 things you need to do that day and doing the first one first, then prioritizing something on the next. As a result, you may find that instead of making you stressed, checking these off your list can help you actually have more energy, and a healthier mood, and believe it or not, your gut will respond too. When we are highly stressed, our guts know. Our digestion is erratic because our cortisol (the stress hormone) can interfere with optimal digestion, nutrient absorption, and more which contributes to gas, bloating, and leads many people to overeat sugary foods or unhealthy processed foods that weaken gut health over time.

By sleeping better each night (see tip#1!) you may find this is much easier. Getting in 30 minutes of activity each day, perhaps first thing each day or to wind down at the end of the day can go a long way. If exercise stresses you out, then maybe choose something else as an activity to move your body instead of a gym session or HIIT workout. A relaxing walk, whether alone or with a friend or pet, or even a quiet yoga session all count. No one’s the same when it comes to the way they prefer to move their body, so it’s important to remember your own personal needs and where you’re at on your health journey to choose the best form of movement for you. Moving throughout the day and tackling things head-on will both bring your stress levels down over time.

Final Tip: Luckily, kefir can even help you stress less too because of its high-quality proteins, probiotics, and B vitamins that all contribute to a healthy mood. Pick up a bottle of Lifeway Kefir, dairy-free Lifeway Oat, our kid-friendly Pro-Bugs (great for kids!) for lunchboxes, bottles of our mini kefir and Oat, or even our Farmer Cheese, a probiotic cheese high in protein that has a wide range of probiotic cultures for optimal gut health and more. Check out our full range of products here for more. This summer, we wish you the best for your microbiome, gut health, and wellness goals. We fully support you all the way as you continue to #LoveYourGuts each and every day.

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