Can we just talk about the Microbiome for just a minute please? Chances are that you have heard of it but not quite sure what it is. It’s a subject that has just recently become on the forefront of health and wellness. So what is it exactly? The Microbiome is a vast ecosystem of bacteria that lives on and in our bodies. From on the skin to in the mouth but most importantly in the intestines. There are about 100 trillion of these microbes living in our bodies. There are more bacteria in our bodies than there are human cells in our bodies. So essentially you are more bacteria than you are, well, YOU.
These little guys protect us from pathogens , help break down food, aids in digestion, increase energy levels and mood, synthesizes vitamins within the body, regulate body weight and MOST importantly boosts immunity. 70% of our immune system resides in our gut. The lack of healthy gut bacteria can lead to a slew of issues like asthma, diabetes, leaky gut, arthritis, fibromyalgia, eczema and psoriasis and several other auto-immune diseases.
We may not realize it but every day we are consuming things that are destroying our little friends. Among these things are sugar, over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, alcohol, pesticides, chlorinated water, processed foods, meat and dairy. Even stress and sleepless nights can effect your microbiome.
THE MOST important thing you can do for optimum health and longevity is to repair and restore your gut flora. Benefits of a healthy microbiome are:
- improved immunity
- improved mental health
- boosts energy
- supports a healthy weight
- aids in digestion
- reduces stress
- regulates hormones
- contributes to longevity
- regulates cholesterol
So, how do we repair and restore? Obviously we need to cut back or eliminate the things I mentioned earlier that destroy. But we also need to add in foods with polyphenols such as colorful fruits and veggies. Foods high in fiber such as leafy greens. Eat prebiotic foods such as asparagus, garlic, onions and bananas. These foods contain undigestible fiber that we can’t digest but our gut bacteria can and thrives on. But the most important thing in my opinion is probiotics in the form of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh and my absolute favorite Kombucha. Kombucha is fermented black tea and I am obsessed with it. You really should try it. It comes in several different flavors. It really is the easiest way to get all those little guys back into our system. You just buy it from the store and drink it. Now I must warn you, it’s an acquired taste. The first time I tried it to say I didn’t like it is an understatement. But now I love it and I actually crave it because i know the wonders that is is doing for my body. So just try it and don’t give up on it. You will learn to love it. I promise! So grab a bottle and sit back and let these little magicians do their magic.