WHY UNDERSTANDING THE MICROBIOME IS CRITICAL TO FULL-BODY WELLNESS
Written by Courtney Podany, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
The term microbiome has been quite the buzzword lately, and for good reason! When we recognize how to nourish our microbiome is when our bodies can truly begin to flourish and have the best chance of warding off chronic diseases--and keep you in a good mood while doing so. But, why the microbiome itself so essential to our full-body wellness? And how it ultimately expands to even our mind, spirit, and happiness?
Understanding the Microbiome
The microbiome, located in our intestines, is composed of trillions of bacteria, some bad and some good. The foods we eat and endeavors we participate in either increase the amount of bad bacteria or the amount of good. Processed and refined carbohydrates, (think packaged foods that live down the aisles of the grocery store), will contribute to the bad bacteria. While some bad bacteria is essential, we need more of the good bacteria to maintain homeostasis and regulate assorted functions.
Colorful and diverse produce, prebiotics (hello, Malua!), and probiotics will contribute to and sustain the good bacteria. The microbiome and it’s good bacteria, or flora, play significant roles in our digestion and absorption of nutrients, and are responsible for our immune system. It also assists in vitamin production, and regulates our disposition.
The microbiome has such powerful jobs involved with our full-body wellness, so much so that it is also referred to as the second brain and includes 80% of the immune system.
When we don’t nurture our microbiome, we are prone to fatigue, stress, being sick frequently, diabetes, arthritis, and various other autoimmune diseases. In most cases, when you experience any type of symptom, it can be traced back to our microbiome.
Microbiome and Emotional Health
The health of our microbiome is so crucial, in addition to affecting your physical health, it encompasses our emotional health, and mental health, too. On the emotional and mental side, a function of the microbiome is to produce neurotransmitters, or chemical messengers, like serotonin, dopamine, and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). When the flora are balanced, these neurotransmitters are abundant and have us feeling happy and cheerful. However, when imbalanced, the body is unable to produce these messengers and we will find ourselves feeling anxious, depressed, sad, and lethargic.
Start your healing journey
Seeing as the microbiome is involved with so many aspects in our body, it should be a main consideration when addressing our health and health-related issues. When we eat something, or partake in an activity, it will either hurt or heal my microbiome. If the answer is hurt, we know it will soon manifest as physical or emotional symptoms that are not ideal. But, you should find that once you actively make healthier decisions your vitality, stamina, mood, and energy will blossom. To begin this journey, head over to The Path to a Healthy Microbiome where key actions are highlighted for you to start implementing today, and know that there is hope to reverse any disturbance that might have been created.
Now that you are familiar with the microbiome and its inner workings, you might subconsciously start to shift your behaviors and selections in a more favorable way.
Courtney Podany is a nutritional therapy practitioner and certified personal trainer. She helps women ditch diets and embrace real, whole food nutrition and movement into their lives while emphasizing gut health and blood sugar regulation. She strives to simplify health and wellness for her clients and creates actionable tasks that can be easily implemented.