The human Micro-biome is made up of a community of microbes (bacteria) that live all over our bodies. Microbes can be found in our mouth, on our skin and in our large and small intestines. Each human has roughly 40 trillion microbial cells in and on our bodies.
Most of our bodily microbes live in our gut. This is because it has a constant stream of nutrients flowing through. Our microbial eco system is made up of fungi, viruses and bacteria each requiring different nutrients and conditions for growth. Microbes have different jobs to ensure we stay healthy. That is why it is SO important to have a diverse range of microbes within our gut.
Each human microbiome develops when we are still in the womb, but we get our first real exposure to microbes during birth. The microbes exposed in the birth canal are very important in the development of our immune system.
So what about C – section births? Then your first real exposure to bacteria is from surroundings (doctors, nurses, and equipment) which is why, babies born by C-section, may have higher rates of asthma and allergies due to a compromised immune system.
What do these microbes do?
The microbes are very important and help to control your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, prevent you getting infections, control the calories you absorb and communicate with your nervous system (along with many other functions) One of the most important jobs of microbes is to digest dietary FIBRE. The human body cannot digest fibre on its own, as we do not have the enzymes to do so. Fibre makes it was down the large intestine where it become food for all your microbes. When the gut bacteria eat fibre they break it down into chemicals such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) that are responsible for metabolism (regulating how hungry you are) and gut integrity, preventing conditions like leaky gut.
It is crucial that we have a healthy and happy gut, full of as many different types of microbes to carry out all the important jobs. So how can we improve our diversity?
Eating a VARIED diet is key, such as lots of different colour fruit and vegetables (EAT A RAINBOW) nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It is all to easy to stick to the same meals, but that doesn’t help grow a diverse microbiome.So next time you go to grab a bowl of cereal, or make a sandwich, think about your gut bacteria and how you can help them grow and nourish by adding variety and colour. Aim for 10 portions of fruit and vegetable per day and see if you feel any different.
Love H x