Over the past few decades, we have come to better understand the gut microbiome and how it impacts overall health. Today, science continues to show us how important friendly bacteria and other microorganisms are when it comes to health and wellness.
What is the microbiome?
The gut microbiome is a very delicate system that is affected by a number of factors both internally and externally. By definition, the microbiome refers to microorganisms in a certain system of the body. They can be found on the skin, in the genital and urinary tracts, and most commonly in the gut. They exist in the trillions and some studies actually propose that our bodies are made up of more microorganisms than actual human cells.
The gut microbiome is made of over 1,000 species of tens of trillions of small organisms known as beneficial bacteria. And, these bacteria play a crucial role in gut health and overall health. They are largely responsible for important body functions and have the capability to affect the body’s mineral and vitamin absorbency, digestion, hormone regulation, immune response, and the body’s ability to get rid of toxins.
The Importance of Balance
When it comes to the health of the gut microbiome, we are looking for both richness and diversity, in other words, a large community of diverse bacteria. As a matter of fact, the benefits of a balanced, symbiotic gut microbiome are hard to ignore:
- Good digestion. We’ve all experienced digestive discomfort before and it’s safe to say it’s less than pleasant to experience. A balanced gut microbiome is especially helpful when it comes to breaking down food. Certain bacteria produce enzymes that help with the breakdown of compounds like fiber, meat, fat, and more.
- Weight loss. The health of your gut microbiome affects how your body processes and utilizes the food you consume. A balanced microbiome actually allows your gut to function better which can mean reduced cravings, more effectively absorbing nutrients, and improving elimination which all greatly impact your ability to shed a few pounds.
- Skin health. The age-old saying that beauty starts within holds true here. The health of your digestive system reflects on the surface via the gut-skin axis. Everything from eliminating toxins to the absorption of nutrients comes into play here.
- Brain function. When the gut is working optimally the brain benefits as well. The gut and brain are directly connected by what is known as the gut-brain axis. Simply put, when the gut is happy and healthy so is the brain and vice versa.
- Strengthen defenses. With over 70% of the immune system residing in the gut, the gut microbiome plays an important role in supporting your body’s defenses. The good bacteria found in the gut actively compete with problematic microorganisms for resources which in turn limits their growth potential. You can think of it as the good crowding out the bad. These friendly bacteria also promote the formation of antibodies through exposure which in turn strengthen your defenses.
It Goes Way Beyond the Gut; Four External Factors That Influence the Gut Microbiome
The gut microbiome is affected by many factors including your age, gender, diet, whether or not you were breastfed as an infant, and many others. The environment in particular plays a major role by determining what you are exposed to, and by extension, the components and balance of your gut microbiome. Here are four of the most important external factors.
- Living conditions. Do you live alone or with people? Do you have pets in your home? How much space do you have? Any plants? All these and many other living conditions play a huge role in determining your exposure to different microorganisms and as a result, affect your microbiome composition.
- Diet. This plays an important role in not only determining what microorganisms exist in your body but whether or not they survive. Are you consuming a whole food diet rich in prebiotics and probiotics that nurture your gut microbiome? Or, does your diet consist of processed foods that actually harm your gut microbiome? Remember, all of the living organisms in your gut require certain nutrients. You want to be sure you are feeding the right ones by consuming a whole foods-based diet.
- Medication. Antibiotics have the biggest influence in this case. They do their job by wiping out both the good and bad bacteria. As a result, they may eradicate the gut microbiome–especially if taken over a long period of time, which can have a negative impact on digestion. If you are in a situation where antibiotics are necessary, consider utilizing a quality probiotic after you finish your antibiotics to help restore the good bacteria.
- Personal hygiene and overall cleaning practices. Believe it or not, “too clean” can actually be a problem when it comes to both your body and your living space. No, this doesn’t mean that your floor and hands should be stained brown with dirt. Rather, avoid antibacterial products that wipe out both good and bad bacteria. This includes harsh chemicals found in cleaning solutions or antibacterial soaps. Rather, turn to natural alternatives that keep your body and home clean without ridding the beneficial bacteria.
Support Your Microbiome with Essentials
There’s no denying how important the gut microbiome is when it comes to both digestive and overall health. The good news, supporting it doesn’t have to be complex or difficult. Small daily behaviors add up in a big way. Everything from consuming a whole food diet and utilizing natural cleaners to consuming gut supporting supplements like Essentials can make a world of difference. Essentials supports digestion from A to Z with enzymes that help break down food, probiotics that reseed the gut with beneficial bacteria, and superfood nutrition that feeds your body and cells. Better yet– you can actually try it risk-free with our 90-day money-back guarantee.
At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly, nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of blue-green algae that is available in many forms including algae tablets, algae pills, and algae powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part, we offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.