By now, most of us have heard about “the microbiome”, right? How much do you know about your microbiome(s)? We want you to be up-to-date on this important information about who you are in this human body you occupy. The microbiome is important because it’s what makes up most of your body. Adults are comprised of about 2 pounds of microbes; we’re more bug than we are what we would consider human cells. Fun fact, our mitochondria (the so called powerhouse of the cells) are actually bacteria that figured out how to pilot our cells and grow us into these bipeds most of us are today.
We typically think of our microbiome as something that dwells in our guts, and that’s not wrong, but we have many communities of microbiomes all over our bodies, and they are as diverse as are the populations of humans covering this planet. You’ve got these little things all over your skin, and throughout your mouth all over your eyeballs, and now they’re finding out – in your brain. Pausing for an existential moment here – what if we are really just members of a microbiome of the earth, and the other planets are the solar system’s other organs, with different elements in their own microbiomes?!?
Knowing that we are chiefly that which we formerly considered pathogens in our make-up, how does that alter our approach to our own health? It should tell you that you really need to look after those microbe populations in your body if you want to feel as good as you possibly can. But how do you do that? In much the way we would tend to a beloved houseplant or garden we must care for our microbes. When you eat, you are feeding your microbiome and if you’re not eating what it needs to thrive, you’re not going to thrive.
Here are some handy do’s and don’ts of a thriving, flourishing microbiome (and subsequently, a thriving flourishing you!)
- Eat lots of high fiber, whole foods like leafy greens, fresh herbs, seeds, and cruciferous veggies
- Eat a variety of fermented foods, a little bit with each meal – that keeps the microbiome diverse and healthy
- Drink non-alcoholic fermented beverages like (low sugar) kombucha, and kefirs
- Drink plenty of filtered water each day
- Choose fresh, locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible
- Eat lots of sugar (only the unwanted microbes can eat it leading to serious dysbiosis inside you)
- Eat GMO foods. The argument that these genetically altered foods are safe for humans lies in their ability to attack a specific digestive pathway that only exists in bugs. Seems foolproof until you realize that you are mostly bugs
- Eat conventionally grown foods. They are heavily sprayed with insecticides and herbicides – see prior note. Need to weigh the pro’s and con’s of organic vs. conventionally grown with your own food budget? Check our the EWG’s annual list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 here