And do you know that we have many more bacterial cells than human cells? This means that, in a way, we are more bacteria than human! (although not in terms of weight).
Our microbiome, which resides mainly in our gut, has a huge impact on overall health and our immunity. Certain bacteria thrive with certain kind of foods, such as complex, unrefined carbohydrates found in most plant foods. On the other thand, certain members of the gut microbiota have been linked to autoimmune diseases.
What can you do to have a healthy gut microbiome?
- Eat plenty of fibre-rich foods (fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, beans)
- Reduce your intake of processed foods. They generally contain little or no fibre, as well as excessive amounts of added oils, salt, sugar and additives which aren’t good for our gut microbiome.
- Exercise regularly outdoors. People who spend more time in the countryside generally have healthier microbiomes than those who live in a highly sanitised environment.
- Avoid taking antibiotics unless really necessary. Antibiotics alter the microbiome balance. This also includes reducing or avoiding the consumption of meat and dairy from animals that have been given antibiotics.