Here's Exactly What You Need to Know About The Gut Microbiome

Here's Exactly What You Need to Know About The Gut Microbiome

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We know you have guts, LIV Fam: You’re thrill-seekers, adventurers, and explorers always looking for the next great adrenaline fix. But how well do you really know your gut microbiome?

There’s growing research to support how influential a healthy gut microbiome is to your overall well being. It can affect your energy levels, mood, skin, metabolism, weight, digestion, brain function, and even sleep. 

Let’s take a closer look at this incredible epicenter of your body, so that we can better understand how to optimize our health. 

###First, What’s The Gut Microbiome? 

Inside your intestinal tract you’ll find the trillions of microorganisms that create your gut biome. These microorganisms, which are mainly comprised of bacteria, play a critical role in your overall well being. There are roughly 1,000 species of bacteria living in your gut, and they each play a different role in your body. They are essential to digesting the food you eat, and absorbing and using nutrients, too. They impact your metabolism, immune system, brain, and more. 

Packed with nerves, your gut is often called the “second brain” for its ability to send messages back and forth to your brain. This brain/body connection plays a role in your digestion, mood, and even your cognitive skills

###Simply, Without The Science

To state it plainly, the gut microbiome refers to the bacteria—all 40 trillion of them—that live in your intestines and play a critical role in your overall health.  

The key to a healthy gut biome is balance, keeping the good bacteria happy and working hard for you. 

##5 Tips For Gut Health

###Mix Up Your Menu: Eat A Diverse Offering Of Whole, Real Foods

A healthy microbiome is a diverse one, so make sure you’re eating a mix of foods to give your gut what it needs. If you’re the type who gets in the habit of sticking with your few favorites, keep reading. 

###Build a Technicolor Plate

One thing the bacteria in your gut biome loves: fiber. Even though your body can’t digest fiber, some of the bacteria in your gut can—and it stimulates growth. You may not need to completely change up your usually-healthy foods, just add more of what’s rich in fiber: broccoli, beans, apples, bananas, lentils, chickpeas, artichokes, raspberries, and whole grains. 

###Befriend Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are (you guessed it) those that have undergone fermentation, which is when the sugars they contain are broken down by yeast or bacteria. Chances are you’ve already got a few fermented favorites in your life: kombucha, yogurt, tempeh, kefir, sauerkraut, leavened bread, and kimchi are all great choices. (And yes, beer, wine, and cider are fermented but should be enjoyed in moderation.) Fermented foods enhance the microbiome’s function and crowd out more adversarial bacteria in your gut. One thing to note: When opting for yogurt, be sure to check the sugar content of the brand you choose. 

###Stress Less, Exercise More & Catch Some Zs

Here’s where your active lifestyle puts you ahead of the curve: By using physical activity to reduce stress, you’re actually contributing to the health of your gut. Getting enough sleep is also essential to keeping your gut happy and balanced, and those who don’t get enough sleep might find they’re prone to nausea, bloating, indigestion, and other digestive discomforts. 

###Take a Probiotic Supplement

Yes, increasing your dietary intake of gut-friendly foods will help you balance your microbiome, but taking a daily probiotic supplement is a quick way to do the most for your “second brain” right now. Because these supplements are packed with microbes, they are an efficient way to help get what you could be missing. That said, you should always speak with your doctor before starting any supplements to see what’s right for you.

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