Inside each of us, there are millions of bacteria which call our body home – the internal world these organisms form is commonly referred to as ‘The Microbiome’. The human microbiome is a small, but incredibly complex, ecosystem, containing hundreds of different competing and co-existing species. In fact, our own cells are outnumbered 10-1 by the plethora of cells and microbes which live in us and on us.
There is currently a huge amount of ongoing research dedicated to the investigation of the Microbiome and the multitude of ways it may impact our health and wellbeing. These good bacteria are important for our digestion, immunity, mood and behaviour.
The gut contains cells which form 70% of our immune system, so the health of your gut has a huge impact on the health of the rest of your body. It is not possible to be a healthy human being without a healthy microbiome, so it is important to take care of our bacteria.
There are two ways to get more good bacteria into your gut: fermented foods and dietary supplements.
Fermenting is one of the oldest techniques for food preservation. Foods that are fermented go through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food, creating lactic acid. This process creates an environment that preserves the food and promotes various species of good bacteria. Such foods include: Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut and Miso.
Probiotics in the form of supplements will however offer a wider selection of species at higher amounts. Those who have taken anti-biotics, are on The Pill and HRT, are stressed, have digestive issues or an auto immune disease would be better off taking a daily supplement. Read more on these here.