To some terms like probiotics, gut bacteria and lactobacillus are nothing new. To some, it’s a whole new world. In health vogue now is "gut microbiome" a new health category that has exploded onto the scene in recent years as drinks, probiotics, speciality supplements, food products and a wealth of information and research has become available. So we wanted to do a quick overview to help familiarize. Better digestion, fast metabolism? The gut microbiome is pretty instrumental in how our 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.
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 systems, 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 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 genetic behaviour. How you eat and what you eat determines which microbiomes will survive happily and which ones will disappear.
Improving the Gut
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 from rashes and skin issues, to depression, brain fog, and insomnia.
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 learning effective stress habits. The below is a list of foods that have been deemed “good” for the gut, BUT to get a customized list, 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. The cost of having such tests can be prohibitive so another option that’s free is to keep a food journal. Record your meals and do a mental body scan. Does your stomach hurt? Feel dizzy? Are you sluggish? Do you feel absolutely stupendous? Keeping track of things like your energy levels, cognition, emotions, etc.., can help give you insights into how the foods affect you. 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