How Our Microbiome Dictates Our Health

While probiotic supplements can help, a balanced and nutritious diet is still the answer

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How Our Microbiome Dictates Our Health

Studies have long linked gut bacteria to changes in mood and mental health, tendency to obesity, and cardiovascular health. There are different things we can do to have an impact on our gut health, and the first one would be to take foods or supplements with probiotic bacteria in them.

Generally, the ones most often encountered are bifidobacteria and lactobacillus, even though there are thousands of different types of bacteria found in people’s microbiomes. People usually have about 150-250 types of bacteria in their gut, while people with diseases have lesser or closer to 150.

Meanwhile, prebiotics are a source of food for probiotic bacteria to live off, which are indigestible to humans. By offering a certain type of prebiotic for a specific bacteria to feed off, we will increase that specific bacteria, not the overall number of different types of bacteria.

In conclusion, microbiome diversity cannot be achieved by taking different supplements, instead we need to improve diversity of the foods we eat. While no specific food can be efficient, the secret lies in eating varied healthy foods daily in order to get a diverse and healthy microbiome.

Studies have shown that fermented foods such as kombucha and kefir definitely have benefits and boost microbiome diversity. Also, ingesting these type of foods and the bacteria from them was proven to have a positive mental health effect. Moreover, people ingesting fermented milk products were shown to have lower levels of cortisol in their blood, and a more diverse microbiome.

Of course, while eating fermented dairy products is healthy for us, consuming only this type type of products is not having a healthy diet. A balanced diet is the way to go for a healthy life, accompanied by a healthy lifestyle and low stress levels.

Source: bbc.com