The word bacteria is usually correlated with diseases, giving it a negative reputation. But the bad rap these microorganisms get is uncalled for! While it’s true that some bacteria may be harmful to our system, some are actually necessary to keep you alive and healthy.
There are over 40 trillion bacteria in your body and most of them are found in your intestines. Fun fact, there are more bacteria than cells in your system. Most of these bacteria are found in a section of the large intestine known as the cecum.
The cecum, where all the bacteria come to party, is known as the gut microbiome. Depending on which type of bacteria your system feeds, your gut microbiome plays a huge role in the overall aspect of your health and longevity.
What is the Gut Microbiome’s Role in the Body?
The gut microbiome affects the digestive, central nervous, and immune systems. It starts to become active at birth and then gradually diversifies as we get older. Your body’s metabolism, resilience against viruses and diseases, and your capacity to cope with stress have a lot to do with your gut microbiome’s condition.
How does one maintain a healthy microbiome?
Our lifestyle and the food we eat affect our gut microbiome’s performance, which in turn affects our bodily functions. To ensure a healthy microbiome, eating clean is key. Plant-based, fermented, and prebiotic-rich foods should regularly be on your grocery list.
Some examples of fermented foods rich in probiotics are cultured milk and yogurt, kimchi, cider, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, pickles, miso, and tempeh. In one of my Get Yourself Optimized episodes, my guest Dr. William Davis shared his L.reuteri yogurt recipe. The benefits of this are quite exceptional, from smoothing out skin wrinkles to an increased libido.
On top of that, avoid sugar like the plague. Sugar does more harm than good in the body. It’s one of the main culprits of weight gain, blood sugar spikes, and hormonal imbalances. Excessive intake may also cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Not all bacteria are harmful to your body, and some are actually necessary to keep you healthy such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, etc.
A healthy gut microbiome can help you prevent diseases, obesity, and hormonal imbalance. Your main priority should be the food you eat. Realistically, what you give your gut is what you get in return for your health and longevity.