Would you be surprised to learn that you have trillions of microbes hanging out in your intestinal tract right now? These microbes make up your microbiome, which may be more critical to your health than you realized. Here’s what you should know about your gut microbiota and why keeping them healthy and balanced is so important.
What Is a Microbiome
Your gut microbiome is a community of fungi, bacteria, viruses, and other microbes that naturally live inside your digestive tract. Though there is still so much to be learned about this vibrant community of microbes, scientists have discovered that the link between gut health and overall health is quite strong. An imbalance of the “wrong kind” of bacteria could lead to various health issues, such as obesity, intestinal bowel diseases, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancer types.
On the other hand, when gut microbes are diverse and well-balanced with plenty of desirable types, they help strengthen the immune function and improve overall health. People with healthy gut microbiota are also more likely to maintain a healthy weight and stave off unwanted illnesses.
How Do I Get My Microbiome
Infants aren’t born with much of a microbiome to speak of. They rely primarily on their mother’s milk to provide the probiotics that will help form their microbiome. In some cases, infants may not receive sufficient probiotics in their diets. They are more likely to experience colic and other abdominal pain and discomfort.
Fortunately, it is possible to supplement an infant’s or child’s diet with probiotics to ensure optimal digestive health. Probiotic supplements such as Wellements Organic probiotic drops contain child-safe probiotic strains to boost the number of healthy microbes in the digestive tract. Mothers may also take probiotic supplements to enhance the number of positive probiotic strains in their breast milk.
As children and infants grow into adults, the foods they eat and the lifestyle changes they adopt can positively or negatively impact their developing microbiomes. The best foods for healthy gut microbes include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy proteins, and wholesome fats. The human microbiome is constantly changing, and there are ways to improve it if the balance of good and harmful bacteria is disrupted.
Why Are They So Important
Gut bacteria are small but mighty. They perform a lot of functions in the body and can have a significant impact on physical and mental health. They can stimulate the nervous system, regulate hormones, and support optimal immune function. When they’re imbalanced, you can experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms, such as:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Sleep disturbances
Skin irritation is another common symptom linked to poor gut health. Problems with their gut microbiomes may also plague people with unintentional weight changes. In short, many seemingly unrelated health issues could stem from an unhealthy gut.
What Does a Healthy Microbiome Look Like in the Human Body
Each healthy microbiome looks different. However, most scientists agree that the more diverse your microbiome is, the better. A healthy diversity of friendly bacteria can make you less prone to inflammation, obesity, and other unwanted health conditions.
Start by changing what you eat to enjoy optimal health. Consuming fewer sugary and processed foods and eating more raw foods may be the change required to help you increase healthy gut bacteria while minimizing harmful bacteria.