Don’t you just love interesting facts? For example, we have about as much bacteria in our guts as we have cells in our bodies…
And our gut bacteria, or microbiome, weighs about 1-2 kilos.
And about 60% of our poo is gut bacteria.
And the bacteria in our guts can directly affect our mental health.
And about 70% of our immune system is linked with our gut microbiome.
Fascinating, isn’t it!
And when it comes to gut bacteria it’s a war between the good guys and the bad guys – and ultimately, we want the good guys to be winning on a daily basis. When the balance swings in the wrong direction then we get increased inflammation and a lowered immune system.
In fact, there is currently a lot of research being undertaken about the effects of microbiome on our health as it’s now widely recognised that the impacts are so far reaching that we can’t ignore it.
So how do we look after our microbiome?
We take a daily PROBIOTIC from Young Living called ‘Life 9’ which has 17 billion live cultures from a mix of strains. We like this probiotic because we both have a degree of histamine intolerance and none of the strains in this probiotic give us any problems.
Another way to get probiotics would be from our diet, such as eating fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi, or probiotic rich foods like probiotic plain yoghurt or kefir – but unfortunately that just doesn’t bode well with histamine intolerance so they’re off our shopping list for now…
But we also make sure to eat plenty of PREBIOTIC foods. These help to feed or fuel the good bacteria in our guts. Prebiotics are either found in certain foods, such as raw garlic and onions, whole oats, apples, pomegranate seeds, under ripe bananas and flaxseeds. Or by letting certain starchy food go cold after cooking, which makes the starch ‘resistant’ to digestion – hence the term ‘resistant starch’. Whenever we cook brown rice, therefore, we make sure to cook enough to freeze some. Also, we eat plenty of beans and legumes, which are high in resistant starch.
All in all – our microbiome is worth looking after if we want to reduce chronic inflammation!
Want to understand more?
There is so much to read about gut microbiome!
I really recommend ‘The Clever Guts Diet’ by Dr Michael Mosley (Short Books ISBN 978-1-78072-304-4). It’s a really easy read with fascinating insights.
There is also an accompanying recipe book called ‘The Clever Guts Diet Recipe Book’, which has some lovely recipes (Short Books ISBN 978-1-78072-338-9).
For more on probiotics Dr Josh Axe has a really helpful and in-depth article 7 Reasons to Get Prebiotics in Your Diet — Plus the Best Sources