Maybe you have heard the term microbiome, maybe you haven't but it seems to be a popular term nowadays. I am glad that people are becoming more aware of how important our microbiomes are and how they impact our health.
What is a Microbiome?
Merriam Webster defines Microbiome as a community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular environment and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body.
We have a microbiome on our skin, in our intestines, our mouths, etc. Deepak Chopra, who is a medical doctor in addition to guiding people spiritually, said in a recent LinkedIn article, "Taking every location from the skin to the mouth to the intestinal tract into consideration, the microbiome weighs around 3 lbs., roughly the same as the human brain."
Our Bodies are Ecosystems
Understanding that we all have microbiomes has helped us to more fully understand how our bodies are ecosystems. In order to be healthy, the whole ecosystem needs to be functioning properly.
One of the most important microbiomes is in our digestive system, which is really just the tip of the ecosystem iceberg.
Our Digestive Microbiome
Yes, it is true, there is more to our digestive system than breaking down food and absorbing nutrients from it and then excreting the rest. We have a whole microbiome in our intestines that we need to feed (with prebiotics and probiotics).
Deepak Chopra explains, “As intestinal microbes feed, they excrete chemicals that are essential to wellness. Besides producing well-known chemicals like vitamin B, the microbiome sends neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine into the bloodstream. Hormonal levels are influenced, and so is your immunity from disease.”
He goes on to explain, “As in the Earth’s ecosystem, survival demands that every microbe performs a useful function. But where there is balance the possibility for imbalance occurs. When this happens, the body and the microbiome are off kilter, with the result that disease processes may start to form, and natural functions like staying at a proper healthy weight are impaired—or even become impossible.”
The Epidemic in Modern Society
So, how do we keep our microbiome in balance? Our modern society has done nothing to help us here. With unhealthy diets, not enough exercise and overloading ourselves with chemicals modern society will struggle to keep their ecosystem functioning properly.
Think as you take your next bite of food, “how will this affect my ecosystem?” because every bite we take, every step we take will create a response from our microbiome. Are we working to feed it and keep it functioning or are we “cutting down our rain forest” so to speak?
So, What Can You Do?
Personally, I feel being aware is the first step. Once we are aware then we can make a conscious effort to nourish our microbiome so it can flourish. On top of eating right and exercising there is supplementation as well that we can all benefit from.
This is my purpose, to help people understand and come up with a plan on how to get back on track or more balanced. If you would like to learn more, just get in touch with me.
Read Deepak Chopra's Full LinkedIn article.