What is microbiome?
The microbiome are the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut, and they are an integral part of your overall health, and your weight!
The usually don’t get a second thought (or maybe no thought at all)
What Is Microbiome?
Some bacteria are great for us and support our health by extracting nutrients from food. Some nutrients we can’t even get from our food without the action of certain bacteria. It’s like they are meant to be there, which of course they are!
The ‘good bacteria’ also release compounds that have an anti-inflammatory effect on our body, helping us to keep healthy and disease free. They even help maintain our ideal weight!
However, there are also bacteria that are not so good for us. These guys release compounds that are inflammatory to the body. Inflammation is the root cause of many of the common degenerative illnesses people suffer in the West – like high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.
Research is showing that diversity of the microbiome is one of the keys to great health and ideal body weight.
Leaner people tend to have a richer and more diverse gut flora than overweight people – theirs tend to be much less diverse.
A rich and diverse microbiome is basically a requirement to enjoy your best health and weight, and it’s supported by the food you chose to eat.
They survive on the food you eat, and in doing so either help you, or harm you.
Supporting Your Microbiome
The bacteria in your gut don’t all feed on the same thing, which is why to support a diverse collection you have to eat a varied diet.
Fiber is the food of your microbiome, and if the amount of constipation and requests for laxatives I see in my work as a GP is anything to go by – I’d make a bet that it’s one of the biggest nutritional deficiencies of all.
All fiber is not the same, so that’s why a varied diet is so important. Different bugs thrive on different things.
One patient tried to convince me that their diet had been varied and healthy in terms of whole grains:
- Weetabix for breakfast
- Sandwich with whole grain bread at lunch
- Whole grain pasta in the evening
This is all the same as far as your microbiome is concerned – it’s all wheat! But at least she was having whole grains.
There would be no food for the microbiome if she had chosen differently, e.g. Special K, sandwich with white bread, and white pasta.
Processed junk refined ‘food’ is is barren food and your microbiome, so many of them will starve and die off. It’s interesting that the ones that survive are the very ones that work against your body – working with the shite ‘food’ to make you fat and unhealthy.
You are not just eating for you, you are eating for your trillions of gut bacteria. The more you look after them, the more they will look after you!
To look after them all you have to do is provide a buffet of fibre for them to dine on every day, and there is so much choice:
- Fruit and veg – so much variety to be had
- Seeds and nuts – loads of different sorts
- Pulses – beans, split peas, lentils, chickpeas
- Whole grains – not just wheat!
When I shop these days I like to see how many different sources of fiber I can get into a week’s food shop.
I love my gut bacteria and feed them well. In return they love me and keep me well.
How many different sources of fiber can you consume in one day? My current record is 16.
Have a marvelous week!
PS A shitty diet is one of the worst offences to your gut flora, and another really common one it taking antibiotics – Can Antibiotics Cause Weight Gain?
PPS The food in The Daily Checklist For Losing Weight supports a healthy microbiome
What is microbiome