The Trillion Friends you should be taking care of.... your microbiome
January 22, 2016
I have written and posted links previously on the topic of Probiotics (good bacteria for the gut) and its various uses. Most of these have been topics which are fairly obvious, you improve gut flora to help the gut and immune system… ie: improving digestive function (constipation, diarrhoea, gastro, bloating etc.) Or, boosting immunity (colds, flu, gastro, allergies etc)
But so much research is emerging about how the bacteria in our gut (microbiome) is influencing our health way beyond our digestive tract.
Looking at trends in research I predict that gut microbiome is going to come to the forefront in medical breakthroughs over the next 5 years and our germ-a-phobic, anti-biotic popping generation will have some catching up to do to re-inoculate and care for the trillion little good guys residing in our insides.
Some amazing facts, your microbiome is responsible for:
Your weight- Yes that’s right, the bacteria in your gut have the ability to tell you when you are full, they also regulate insulin response, fat metabolism and your metabolic rate. Dysfunctional microbiome is correlated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and insulin resistance.
Your headspace- Anxiety, stress and depression all have a detrimental effect on your gut microbiome, and the unfortunate thing is that once your microbiome is out of whack it can then lead to worsening of your emotional state thus becoming a downward slippery slope.
Inflammation- Try naming a health condition which isn’t initiated, driven or sustained by inflammation… it’s tough!! Think all the obvious ones… arthritis, IBD, IBS, etc etc but did you know we can also see the effect of inflammation in depression, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, acne, endometriosis, auto-immune disease, cancer and so many other less obvious conditions. The gut microbiome is paramount in controlling inflammatory response far beyond the digestive tract.
TOP 10 WAYS FOR A HEALTHY MICROBIOME
When we are born we have a sterile digestive tract and we receive our initial microbiome from the birth canal and then through breast milk, therefore caesarean births and bottle feeding influence the child’s gut microbiome. Obviously we don’t always have a say in such circumstances so I always suggest that these new mums (myself included) supplement their little ones with probiotics as well as allowing bubs to suckle on their fingers, shoulder, nose etc to expose them to the bacteria found naturally on our skin.
Eat a high fibre diet- lots of fruit and vege, seeds, nuts and wholegrains. Particular “microbiome friendly” foods include onions, artichoke, leeks, barley, oats, rye, garlic and chicory root. Basically EAT MORE PLANTS
Supplement with Probiotics
Reduce intake of sugar and other “junk”- DAMN IT! Yes sugar just feeds the bad guys which over run and displace the goodies.
Introduce fermented foods and foods naturally containing probiotics such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar and pickles.
Stress Less, enough said.
Avoid anti-biotics whenever possible.
Don’t be too clean! Allow yourself and your kids to get their hands dirty, leave a bit of dirt on your veges, kiss your dog and chew your nails. All of these micro-organisms are so important to our health (within reason ;-)
Open your windows and allow all the little goodies to come in, we spend so much time in doors it is changing what we are exposed to in our environment. Or better yet just spend more time out doors
Ditch the hand sanitizer… that stuff is more trouble than all the bugs combined anyway!