The secrets of your microbiome.

The secrets of your microbiome.

From the moment we're born, our bodies are home to an ecosystem full of trillions of symbiotic bacteria and microbes.

In fact, there are more microbial cells in our body than human cells.

We still have a lot to learn about how the immune system functions in our guts, and this is, specifically, where we find something remarkable - which is that there are bacteria living normally as part of our guts, yet our immune system evolved to protect us from microorganisms invading. 

There are many beneficial bacteria living in the gut, which we don't want to eliminate, but at the same time there could be harmful pathogens causing unpleasant diseases. This makes immunology fascinating as it's constantly re-learning new areas.

This thriving microbial world is called our microbiome. 

The importance of our microbiome to the human body and human survival cannot be overstated. Altogether, every bit is as important as other key organs - such as the brain, heart etc.

Microbes live all over our skin, and in every orifice of our bodies; but most of the microbiome is found inside our guts. Our gut microbes are an essential part of our digestive system. They help to regulate hormones and can boost the immune system too.

Our microbiome consists of an array of microbes, some which have beneficial effects on our health and others that are downright harmful.

Microbes are an integral part of our health and wellness. They help us to directly ward off big threats like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis and even depression. 

Our modern lifestyles, western diet and overuse of antibiotics might all be having a harmful effect on our internal ecology; portraying how an unhealthy microbiome can be detrimental towards someone’s health and a contributor to many diseases.

So, how does one grow a healthy microbiome? 

The answer seems to be that the more diverse your microbial population is, the better.

In order to diversify your microbiome, it is shown the best way is through consuming a wide variety of plant-based foods.

Research is in favour of this, showing that people who eat at least 30 plant-based elements in their diet every week have a wider range of bacteria living in their guts, which has been linked to an array of positive qualities, such as better mental health, better heart health and better mental health.

By adding mixed seeds to your breakfast, you can easily increase your numbers of bacteria, as every seed count as one of the elements. Nuts, legumes, and whole grains are also beneficial to add into your diet as well.

The influence of your gut microbes goes further than you might think.

We've learned that they communicate constantly with your brain, perhaps even exerting control over mood and emotions.

In fact, microbes in the gut can produce nearly all neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. Cells in the gut lining can also detect these neurotransmitters and send signals to the brain. 

Studies have found that when people take probiotics containing four different types of bacteria it affects their connectivity and activity of emotion processing, leading to healthier emotions.

There was also a study that found pregnant women who are given certain types of bacteria have lower scores on depression and anxiety tests.

Such studies have led to the idea that medical illness can be treated with drugs that target gut bacteria, being dubbed psycho-biotics.

Your microbiome is a crucial part of who you are, so take care and it'll take care of you in return!

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