Everywhere you turn and every health blog you read these days, you just cannot escape the mention of Microbiomes and their effect on our entire body, mind and mood!!
What are these Microbiomes after all??
Microbiomes are tiny organisms that exist in our guts and in fact all over our bodies!!
Now before you get all weirded out by this concept, keep in mind that these tiny organisms are good news and when you keep them happy they affect everything from your gastrointestinal health to your cardiovascular status and even down to asthma.
The gut consists of not just bacteria but fungi and viruses too. It is estimated that the gut consists of up to 35,000 strains of bacteria and the majority abide in the intestines. Particularly in the colon however most of these bacteria can be found in our oesophagus, stomach and small intestine.
Ewwww!! Right?? Well actually NO! NOT Ewwww!!
These little critters are responsible for everything from your weight, to your mood to your energy levels and even your relationship and confidence.
Well here’s the thing. If those little critters in your gut and intestinal tract are happy and healthy they automatically have the effect of Reducing inflammation in your gut
Guess what? When the inflammation in your gut goes down, inflammation in your entire body starts to recede. And the good news is that once the inflammation recedes everything starts to fall into place.
But what exactly falls into place??
Ok so here comes the science bit!!
There is growing evidence that dysbiosis (imbalance) of the gut microbiota is associated with the pathogenesis of both intestinal and extra-intestinal disorders. Intestinal disorders include:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Coeliac disease
While extra-intestinal disorders include:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Cardiovascular disease
Surprised right?? Ok so how do I keep my Microbiota happy and healthy??
Here are some of the things that you can do to help keep your Gut singing in harmony!!
Include Probiotics in your diet – Bacteria consumed through our diets (or supplements) that help support gut health. Common strains of bacteria should ideally include bifidobacterium and lactobacillus and then there can be others to support the diversity of strains.
The more diverse the bacteria in your gut, the happier your gut will be!
Where can I find these “Healthy Bacteria”
Here are some foods that you can include in your diets on a daily basis:
What are the benefits of these foods though?
- Reduced risk of depression, increased feelings of happiness
- Reduced circulating cortisol (the stress hormone)
- Reduced feelings of anxiety
- Support healthy aging
- Reduced risk of obesity and overweight
- Increased immune function
- Support production of short-chain fatty acids, which increase absorption of calcium and help reduce oxidative stress
- Support satiety and may support a healthy BMI
In addition to Probiotics, your Microbiomes simply love and thrive on a healthy dose of Prebiotics. Which is basically plant based fibre.
Particular fiber sources that ferment in the gut, creating beneficial bioactive compounds.
These you can get from :
- Artichokes hearts
- Baby spinach
- And what are the benefits of prebiotics then?
Our current Millennial diet is associated with dysbiosis, a disruption in the gut bacterial profile when the “bad” bacteria outnumber the “good.” A combination of probiotics and prebiotics as part of a whole foods diet can help achieve the right balance of gut bacteria to support health and reduce inflammation.
Now armed with this information, what changes are you going to make in your diets? Tell us and chat with me if you have any questions.
Next week I will talk to you about what factors affect our Microbiomes negatively. Watch this space.
Nutrition& Health Coach
For fun, easy and Anti Inflammatory recipes and tips, follow me on: