Your body is home to an awe-inspiring metropolis, your microbiome. It is crucial in digestion, nutrient absorption, and even your immune system. NHS GP Dr Sara Kayat shares her top 3 tips to help your gut microbiome thrive.
First up, what is the gut microbiome? A diverse ecosystem of bacteria, viruses, and fungi reside in your body, primarily in your gut, your microbiome.
Gut check: This ecosystem of bacteria, viruses, and fungi is not merely a passive bystander but an active participant in various vital functions. It aids in the digestion of food, ensuring that nutrients are efficiently absorbed and utilised by your body. Moreover, your microbiome is pivotal in supporting a robust immune system, acting as a defense mechanism against harmful pathogens
3 ways to harness the power of your microbiome
1. Balance is key
Maintaining a balanced and diverse microbiome is essential. Avoid excessive antibiotic use and incorporate fibre-rich foods to nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge revealed that the gut microbiomes of individuals in the United Kingdom are less diverse compared to populations in less industrialised countries, suggesting this may be due to our lifestyle of a diet rich in processed foods and antibiotic usage.
2. Remember the gut-brain connection
Your microbiome can also influence your mental health. A healthy gut can positively impact mood, stress, and cognitive function. This connection is known as the gut-brain axis. Gut bacteria produce compounds that can influence brain function and mental health. This emerging field of research suggests a potential link between gut health and conditions like anxiety, depression, and neurodegenerative disorders.
3. Nurture your microbiome
Show your microbiome some love by incorporating fermented foods, like yoghurt, kombucha and kimchi, into your diet. For those who find fermented foods less palatable, there is also the option of probiotic supplements. Additionally, manage stress, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly to promote a flourishing gut ecosystem.
Your microbiome is one of your greatest allies in maintaining overall health and well-being. Embrace its power, nourish it wisely, and always trust your gut.