Foods to nurture microbiomes


What kind of food do you eat daily?

Fermented foods? Grilled fish? Soups with a lot of vegetables? Some of you may only eat salads because you are on a diet.

The ingredients we eat differ depending on our tastes and circumstances.

Nevertheless, it is a significant choice because our health changes by what we eat.


The key to a healthy body and beautiful skin is the microbiome in the intestines.

If good bacteria increase, you may be able to solve your current problems.

However, it is also true that the balance of the microbiome can change from day to day due to diet, stress, lifestyle, hormone balance, and antibiotics.

You may know that it is important to take lactic acid bacterium by supplements or yogurt for the intestinal environment.

For our daily changing intestinal environment, taking in good bacteria such as lactic acid bacterium and Bifidobacterium in our intestines is significant.


But there is something else we should do. That is to take in "foods that microbiome need (prebiotics)."

No matter how good the bacteria exist in your body, they cannot exert their power without food.

That would be a waste, wouldn't it?


Today, we'll introduce foods for the microbiome to power them up!



What are the foods that feed the intestinal microbiome?

Nutrients that serve as food for the microbiome can be found in surprisingly familiar foods.

The most common examples are soluble fiber, oligosaccharides, and resistant starch.

When we intake these microbiome feeds (prebiotics), the good bacteria in the intestines eat them, and fermentation occurs. Fermentation causes an increase in short-chain fatty acids in the intestines.

When there are more short-chain fatty acids in the intestines, the intestinal will be kept acidic, the number of the bad bacteria will remain low, and the intestinal flora will be in good balance.

It is also said that the barrier function of the intestinal tract will be improved, strengthening its ability to protect against viruses and pathogens.

To improve the intestinal environment, we recommend actively including foods that feed the microbiome on the menu at each meal.

But, do you know what kinds of foods contain soluble fiber, oligosaccharides, and resistant starch? Below is a list of typical ingredients for each.



Soluble dietary fiber

Unlike other nutrients, soluble fiber reaches the large intestine without being digested or absorbed. The pectin, glucomannan, alginic acid, and other components reach the large intestine and serve as food for good bacteria. This leads to an increase in good bacteria and a better intestinal environment.


There are a lot of them in sticky seaweed, vegetables, fruits, soybeans, barley, and mushrooms. 

Also, the soluble dietary fiber becomes gelatinous when it contains water, increasing the water content of stools and making them easier to expel, which we can expect to improve constipation.


Some foods contain both soluble as well as insoluble fiber. The amount of dietary fiber that we should consume daily is 18 to 20 g for adults, but many people do not consume that much. Be proactive and include them in your daily diet.



Okra, radish, cabbage, spinach, yam, pumpkin, potato, garlic, carrot, allium chinense, burdock root, shallot, and lily bulb 


Undaria pinnatifida(Wakame), kelp, laver, seaweed, hijiki, cladosiphon okamuranus(Mozuku),  agar-agar


Shiitake mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, nameko mushrooms


Apple, kiwi fruit, prune, avocado, tangerine, peach, kumquat, lemon, dried grape, dried persimmon, dried fig


Soybeans, natto (fermented soybeans), dried tofu, grains (barley, rye, oatmeal, brown rice), refined konjac powder




There are various types of carbohydrates, and a monosaccharide is the smallest unit that cannot get any smaller. When these monosaccharides combine, they become oligosaccharides.

When you hear the word "sugar," you probably think of starchy things like sugar or white rice. But oligosaccharides are a combination of many more sugars.


Oligosaccharides are not easily digested in the stomach or small intestine and reach the large intestine as is. 

Oligosaccharides that reach the intestines become food for good bacteria and are attracting attention for their ability to improve the intestinal environment.

Many syrup and powder products containing oligosaccharides are now available in supermarkets.

However, the truth is that oligosaccharides are more abundant in natural foods such as vegetables, fruits, and legumes than in such products.

The ideal intake of oligosaccharides for intestinal health is 3 to 5 grams per day. Again, few people consume sufficient amounts every day, so make a conscious effort to consume them.



Onion, sugarcane, cabbage, burdock root, asparagus, corn, garlic, leeks, shallots


Banana, apple, kiwi fruit, blueberry


Soybeans, adzuki beans(red mung beans), kinako(roasted soybean flour)


Honey, milk, yogurt



Resistant starch

    Resistant starch has recently become a hot topic for its health and beauty benefits. The name may sound unfamiliar, but it refers to indigestible starch found in rice, grains, potatoes, and other foods.

    Because it reaches the large intestine without being digested or absorbed in the small intestine, it serves as food for the good bacteria and improves intestinal flora.

    When the low carb diet was popular, starch sugar was treated as if it were a bad thing, but it's something we should eat for the sake of the intestines.


    Moreover, resistant starch combines the goodness of two types of dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble. It also has the effect of moderating the rise in blood sugar levels.


    However, we need to be careful how to eat it. Although you may prefer a hot meal, eating it cold allows it to reach the large intestine undigested as resistant starch. In a heated state, carbohydrates are digested in the small intestine. 

    Therefore, if you want to take in resistant starch, you should eat foods that are not hot, such as cooled potatoes, cold rice balls, or cold noodles.



    Corn, sweet potato, potato, pumpkin


    Barley, white rice, whole wheat (whole grain), buckwheat

    (We at KINS don't recommend wheat such as bread and pasta because of its high gluten content.)




    Soybeans, adzuki beans(red mung beans), green beans, chickpeas

    Microbiome care by making the most of ingredients

    Now we learned what foods are good for the gut, let's look at what recipes are best for Microbiome Care.

    Elaborate and complex dishes are not suitable for us busy modern people.

    It is important to consume prebiotics every day,  so we will introduce simple recipes with a rich repertoire that we will never get tired of.



    The standard raw vegetable salad or vegetable sticks are a good choice, but how about adding a twist?

    For example, simply adding seaweed or sautéed mushrooms rich in soluble dietary fiber, will increase the Microbiome Care effect.

    You can also make a dressing with olive oil, which is rich in oleic acid and has a beneficial effect on the intestinal tract.



    When it is difficult to eat properly due to busy schedules or lack of appetite, just make a smoothie with a blender and feed the microbiome.

    Choose vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, and carrots high in soluble dietary fiber. You can add oligosaccharide syrup or powder as a sweetener to make it easy to drink.

    Soy milk or soybean flour, which contains oligosaccharides, also tastes mild and delicious.



    The good thing about soup is that you can eat a lot of different kinds of ingredients such as vegetables, mushrooms, and seaweeds at once.

    In addition to including ingredients that feed microbiome, you can expect a synergistic effect if you use fermented foods which allow you to consume the good bacteria themselves such as miso, koji, and soy sauce for seasoning.


    Soup recipes are varied from soup with soy milk rich in oligosaccharides, minestrone with lots of vegetables such as cabbage and onions, seafood and vegetable soup with fish that is good for the intestines, to miso soup.


    Stir-fry dish

    Stir-frying is an easy and quick recipe that many people incorporate into their daily meals.

    We recommend frying mushrooms and vegetables in perilla oil or olive oil for health.

    Use fermented foods such as miso, soy sauce, or malted rice for seasoning to take in good bacteria.

    Instead of white sugar, use oligosaccharides, beet sugar, or honey for Microbiome Care.


    Stewed Dish

    The best part of stewed dishes is that you can cook many ingredients at once.

    For ingredients, we recommend seaweed such as kelp rich in dietary fiber, potatoes, and taros rich in resistant starch, and root vegetables such as radish, burdock root, and carrot which are full of soluble dietary fiber.

    For seasoning, avoid white sugar, and choose gut-friendly ingredients such as oligosaccharides or beet sugar.


    Use rice cooker

    Carbohydrates are often frowned upon in low carb diets, but they are the ingredient we would rather include in cold conditions, such as rice balls.


    However, instead of cooking white rice alone, mixing brown rice or cereal grains will greatly increase the nutritional value.

    If you cook mushrooms and vegetables together, you can take insoluble fiber at the same time.


    Put sweet potatoes in the rice cooker, add water and cook on normal mode to make delicious baked sweet potatoes full of resistant starch. Be sure to let it cool before you eat.




    Recommended products when you are busy

    It would be ideal if we could eat food made from fresh ingredients every day, but we are all busy with work, childcare, housework, etc., and it is not always possible for us to lead such a life.

    However, we can consume foods that serve as food for the microbiome without spending much time and effort. Here are some items for quick and easy Microbiome Care.


    [Easy soups with just hot water]

    There are many kinds of dry soup mixes that you can easily complete by simply pouring hot water on the market recently.

    In particular, we recommend products containing seaweed, mushrooms, and grains as an easy way to incorporate soluble dietary fiber.


    [Add Oligosaccharide in seasoning and drinks]

    Syrup and powder types of oligosaccharides are readily available at supermarkets. We recommend those made from beet sugar. It does not raise the sugar level in the blood rapidly, improves the intestinal environment, and is mild, rich, and tasty.


    [Add Resistant Starch to food and drinks]

    Resistant starch may seem difficult to incorporate into your diet.
    But there are convenient powder products available online and in stores that you can add to meals easily. We at KINS recommend corn- or tapioca-derived products instead of wheat-derived (gluten-containing)



    As we have shown today, there are a variety of foods that can be used to power up the microbiome, from raw ingredients to easily incorporated powdered and instant products.
    Enjoy feeding your microbiome according to your lifestyle.

    And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask the KINS concierge.


    We will be happy to advise you on recommended foods and recipes for Microbiome Care that suit your concerns and lifestyle the best.