To some terms like probiotics, gut bacteria and lactobacillus are nothing new. To some, it’s a whole new world. Either way, the category is now littered with drinks and supplements so we wanted to do a back-to-basics overview and get everyone up to speed. Better digestion, fast metabolism? The gut microbiome is are pretty instrumental in how are lives are lived.
What is the Gut Microbiome?
Microbiomes are basically trillions of bacteria living inside our gut. When we ingest something, we also feed them, create them and kill them. Collectively they weigh around 3 pounds in the average human! Each of us is technically more bacteria and less human as the gut to cell ratio is 10:1 i.e. bacteria per gram of gut content: 1L alimentary tract capacity.
Gut microbiomes represent around a million genes as opposed to 25,000 in humans. To be precise, there are 100 trillion microorganisms living not only in the gut but also on our skin, inside the mouth and other such areas. However, their population keeps changing rapidly and it can shift day to day causing dramatic changes in our lives.
Role of the Gut Microbiome
Your gut basically affects everything. The microbiomes are essential to keeping your circulatory and nervous system and metabolism churning along. Healthy microbiomes shape your medical future as your habits predispose you to disease and other potential ailments. A healthy gut microbiome has been shown to enhance enhance cognition and naturally, keep the weight off. It’s the ability of microbiomes that help our body adapt to various ways of eating regardless of the genetic behavior. How you eat and what you eat determines which microbiomes will survive happily and which ones will disappear.
Improving the Gut
So like everything else, creating a healthy gut goes back to diet and lifestyle changes. It can be a task at first, but improving the health and diversity of the microbiomes in your gut will make you better in virtually every area of your life. On the flip side, when your guts out of whack it’ll manifest in everything across the board rashes and skin issues, depression, brain fog, insomnia, etc.
The microbiome of the gut even plays a role in how we make decisions, engage our co-workers, and talk to our family. Alejandro Junger, a doctor with a cult following, writes in one of his books, Clean Gut, “Your body has two brains: one in your head and one in your gut,”. When you think, sparks of electricity appear in your head. When you experience a “gut feeling,” sparks of electricity flick on the neurons of this second brain. “While your first brain serves as your intellectual hardware, your second brain—the gut—is your spiritual and emotional GPS,” he writes. “Without it, you’re lost.”
The Microbiome Lifestyle
The basics are things like getting enough sleep, eating and exercising well. To taking relaxation time seriously and actually de-stressing. To take it up a notch, get your micro-nutrient profile reviewed by a medical professional and from there you can create your unique diet and learn what you should and shouldn’t be eating. Other options are to keep a food journal, recording how you feel after you eat or trying a food elimination diet. At the end of the day, you don’t need to overdo it, but being mindful of what we eat and how we live our lives is part of the battle. Also you’re supporting the lives of trillions of bacteria, no pressure 🙂