We all have one. Each of ours is unique. It is composed of tiny minuscule organisms – inside our gut and intestines, inside the “tube” through the body from where food and drink go in to where they come out, on the skin and hair, and in the air we breathe. This is the glorious microbiome.
The microbiome is an expansion of the discussion on intestinal flora that is widely known to affect our overall health. Intestinal flora is the environment of all micro-organisms in the gut and intestines. There are beneficial organisms and also “bad” organisms. We need a balance of them and they are extremely linked to good or poor health. Some research supports that gut health is at the root of much disease and general poor health. Everthing from sinus infections to allergies to neurological problems.
One reason the microbiome is so unique to each of us is because it is heavily influenced by our environment and what we are exposed to in air, food and what we touch.
Ways to improve your microbiome:
- Maintain exposure to microbes throughout life
- Keep windows open and spend time outdoors. Yes, even in the dirt! Gardening is a great way to nurture your microbiome.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and nutritious diet including organic greens
- Reduce use of antibiotics and eat probiotic (good bacteria) enhancing foods such as fermented foods: sauerkraut, kim chi, pickeled foods, and kombucha.
- Eat pre-biotic foods. Pre-biotic organism feed the probiotic organisms. Try artichokes, garlic, beans, oats, onions and asparagus.
- Avoid processed foods – grains, sugar and meat.
- Avoid hand-sanitizer when possible.
- Use a probiotic supplement which is a high concentration of a spectrum of good bacteria. Look for something with at least an acidophilus strain and bifidus strain. There are many types out there and some are formulated for specific problems. Often times a good basic one of a high quality brand is best unless you find that’s not working.