For every cell that makes you, “you” — there are an estimated 10 microbial cells. That means you are 10 percent you and 90 percent microbial! Researchers are now discovering that a healthy and diverse microbiome is responsible for the health and healthy functioning of literally every part of our body. Gut bacteria is associated with a healthy mind too. Anxiety and depression are linked to a healthy gut flora. Scientists are focusing on our gut flora to find new therapies for diabetes 1 and 2, and looking at links between our gut bacteria and major diseases plaguing the world today. When you get and maintain healthy gut flora, not only will you get a flat belly, your health will improve in many ways.
What is Gut Bacteria?
Our gut bacteria is established in the first one to three years of life. This makes it critical from birth to the age of three to populate excellent gut flora. Microbes lie within us and on the outside of us. In fact, researchers believe gut microbiota is an unappreciated ‘organ’. The human microbiota includes bacteria, fungi, and archaea, the full collection of all the microbes. The human microbiome refers to their genomes. The human microbiome is considered the counterpart to the human genome. The genes in our microbiome outnumber the genes in our genome by about 100 to 1. Researchers are turning their attention from the human genome to the microbiome since studies are showing the relationship between our microbiota and our immune system and mental well being.
What is The Role Of Gut Bacteria?
Defenders: The microbes protect us from pathogens on the outside by just being there. They occupy the spots that nasty things might try to infiltrate us with to keep us healthy. Think of a barrier cream that protects our skin from the elements, that is what external microbes can do for us.
Strengthen: The lining of our gut is where 90 percent of our immunity is located. This mucosal lining needs a healthy and diverse microbiota to keep our immune system strong. The National Institute of Health states that “variations in the composition of microbial communities may contribute to chronic health conditions, including diabetes, asthma, obesity, and digestive disorders.”
Train The Immune System: Immune cells (dendritic cell, DC) line the digestive tract residing within the gut and the gut wall. These cells communicate with T Cells (immune cells) on how to respond to invaders with either an inflammatory response or an all out attack. Studies show that friendly flora provides the training for these DC cells that results in proper immune response.
Keep Us Slim: Microbiota help us digest food by producing chemicals that regulate metabolism. A disturbance in the diversity of our microbiota can lead to obesity. Because of it’s ability to keep bad bacteria in check and inflammation down, bloating, gas and a protruded stomach are reduced leading to a flat belly!
6 Ways to Maintain And Get Healthy Gut Bacteria
- Laughing: Improves intestinal flora by reducing stress. Studies show that reducing stress increases the levels of important microbes that keep inflammation in check.
- Throw out the hand sanitizer: When we use hand sanitzers and kill germs (microbes), we are also killing beneficial germs (microbes). This limits our exposure to a wide diversity of microbiota. A diverse microbiota is critical for our health and mental well-being. Any disruption can lead to a weakened immune system, leaky gut and a host of autoimmune diseases.
- Get Outside: Bring the outdoors in! Garden, walk barefoot, lie in the grass or open your windows. Spend time with dirt. Allow your body to get in touch with microbes of all kinds. The more microbes, the more diverse your microbiota, the healthier you will be.
- Take Probiotics: Probiotics contain different strains of live organisms which help populate your microbiota. Your probiotic should contain at least 20 million to 50 million live organisms. They should also contain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
- Eat More Plants: Green leafy plants and vegetables give your microbes something to chew on and feed off of. This will make them stronger and proliferate more. Just what you need for a diverse and healthy gut flora!
- Reduce the Sugar: Cutting down on sugar is one of the best ways to maintain gut flora. Bad bacteria feed off of sugar and they grow and proliferate making the delicate balance of gut flora out of whack. This leads to inflammation and digestive issues and possibly other diseases.
Read here to learn how to keep a flat belly with diet and probiotics.
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