Your microbiome is a massive ecosystem made of up trillions of organisms such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi & viruses that live in your digestive tract. Collectively these weigh up to 2kg – that’s heavier than the average human brain!
The human gut microbiome and its role in health are the subject of extensive and ongoing clinical research. What we do know is that the microbiome is involved in fundamental metabolic, nutritional and immune system functions. That’s why it is so important to protect the microbiome and support its continued healthy balance.
The human microbiota consists of the 10-100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells harboured by each person, primarily bacteria in the gut; the human microbiome consists of the genes these cells harbour. A typical digestive tract contains a vast collection of microbial communities, including: Bacteria, Yeasts, Viruses, Archea & Fungi.
All these bacteria mean your gut is almost as diverse and dense as the Amazon rainforest. And that’s a good thing, because a diversity of bacteria in the gut is associated with stability and resilience, which is a reliable indicator of gut health. And, interestingly, research has shown that the composition of the gut microbiome can change with dietary intervention, stress levels and quality of sleep. Scientists are increasingly treating the gut as its own organ, recognising how vital these bacteria are as they break down food and toxins, make vitamins and interact with our immune system.
You can look after your microbiome by incorporating fermented foods or drinks into your diet - these include kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi. Watch your sugar intake as sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your gut and can encourage dysbiosis. Eat more fibre as fibrous foods are great for your gut health, especially prebiotic fibres, will encourage your body's good bacteria to flourish.