03 Sep Microbiome – Don’t forget the little guys
Perfect health really depends on our prolific population of good bacteria in our gastrointestinal system. Trillions of bacteria form a massive ecosystem within our gastrointestinal tract, called the microbiome. The microbiome is so important that it is being dubbed as the forgotten organ. These bacterial organisms are amazing companions and we must love them, even though they are invisible to the human eye. They basically govern our existence – when they happily flourish, so do we. When they are sparse and struggle to survive, so do we.
As soon as we pass through the birth canal and drink our mother’s milk that contains prebiotics, our bacterial ecosystem flourishes. There are ten times more microbes than living cells in our intricate bodies. A healthy gut will contain one hundred trillion microbes from a thousand different species! The more species our microbiome contain, the healthier, and much happier we will be. Just like any ecosystem, living organisms work together to keep each other alive, so we must feed it the right foods. These little nonhuman, practically invisible organisms orchestrate our immune system and digest our food. They govern our appetite, mood, brain function, metabolism, heart and bone health. Our entire DNA expresses itself by the nature of our ecosystem. They also hold occupancy in our mouth, nasal passage, lungs, skin and brain. They will help us digest foods, which is essential for absorbing vital nutrients – we aren’t what we eat, we are what we absorb. These little guys even produce vitamins and act as a natural antibiotic. A healthy microbiome will eventually take care of unwanted symptoms like headaches, skin conditions, congestion, frequent colds, depression, anxiety, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, etc.
Be aware that chronic and even daily stress can dramatically wipe this ecosystem out, allowing pathogenic bacteria to settle in. There are many nerves in the gut which transmit messages to and from the brain. Our guts produce neurotransmitters that help us feel calm, balanced optimistic, energized and focused. When we are stressed, your brain tells the adrenals to flood with stress chemicals which disrupts your digestive system, producing gas, heartburn, bloating, etc. The microbes have a life span of about 20 minutes, so even a day of intense stress can read havoc on the ecosystem. The good news is the microbiome is able to change within a few weeks or even days in response to a healthy diet, supplements and exercise, low stress.
Minimizing sugar and increasing probiotic rich foods and vegetable fibre will help heal our gut and diminish bad bacteria. If we eat the right foods, our ecosystem will flourish, creating perfect health.
Consider this a short introduction to the invisible ecosystem our bodies occupy for good health. Look out for recipes to help your microbiome flourish. You will notice consistent energy levels, deep sleeps, a robust immune system, increased fat burning genes and beautiful strong hair and nails.