Did you know that your gut can carry up to two kilograms of microbes (bacteria and other microscopic living things)? There are over 1,000 species of the tens of trillions of small organisms that live in your gut. However, most of us don’t know that these gut microbiotas play an important role in digestion and overall health.
Importance of Gut Microbiome
Gastrointestinal health is often the root cause of several health problems, and it’s important to restore it to improve your overall well-being. Most of the microbes in your body exist in your intestines which are found in a pocket like part of your large intestine known as the cecum, and they are commonly known as the gut microbiome. The beneficial bacteria in your gut are largely responsible for important body functions and have the capability to affect your body’s mineral and vitamin absorbency, digestion, hormone regulation, immune response, and the body’s ability to get rid of toxins. What’s more, the gut bacteria aid the production of some vitamins which boost the body’s immunity.
The bacteria found it your gut have a few other roles as well, including:
- Digesting breast milk: The bacteria that first grow inside a baby’s intestines (Bifidobacteria) helps in the digestion of healthy sugars contained in breast milk and it’s important for the growth of the baby.
- Aids in the extraction of calories and important nutrients like vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, fatty acids and minerals.
- Assists in the digestion of fiber.
A healthy gut microbiome assists with a healthy gut overall. Bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli found in yogurt and probiotics help in sealing gaps that may exist between intestinal walls. These good bacteria also prevent harmful bacteria from placing themselves on the intestinal wall.
How to Support a Healthy Gut Microbiome
You can improve your microbiome by:
- Eating fermented foods: Some of the fermented foods like kefir and yogurt contain healthy bacteria, mainly Lactobacilli, and they can help reduce harmful bacteria in the gut.
- Eat foods rich in prebiotics: Prebiotics are fiber that helps in the growth of healthy bacteria. Examples of foods that contain prebiotics include bananas, oats, and apples.
- Take probiotic supplements: Supplements such as New Earth’s Spectrabiotic® contain different live bacteria that can help restore your gut to a healthy state. Probiotic supplements do this by reseeding your gut with healthy microbes.
Poor diet, stress, age, over-sanitizing, and exposure to antibiotics can cause a shift in our microbes. When this happens, there are very little beneficial microbes left to effectively facilitate important processes in our bodies. Taking a probiotic supplement will replenish your beneficial gut bacteria and improve your overall health.