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Get to Know Your Microbiomes
It’s all about your body’s eco system and what you can do to help keep it balanced.
OK so what are microbiomes? They have been just recently discovered and they are a collection of over 1 trillion microbes that are living throughout your body. These microbes are found in your skin, nasal passages, mouths and mostly in your digestive system.
These guys outnumber your cells 10 to 1 and carry their own set of genes. Scientists are calling them the second genome. Scientists believe that though your inherited genes are permanent these “second genomes” have the potential to evolve and change. This could change everything medicine knows about disease and health.
In 2008 the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health launched a 5 year $153 million dollar research project study the effects of the microbiome.
The research is young but it appears the U.S. population has a pretty unhealthy ratio of “good” to “bad” microbes. Scientists believe this could be due to several lifestyle factors such as ultra-sterile environments, over use of antibiotics, lack of breastfeeding, C-sections and over-processed diets.
So what can you do to cultivate “good” microbiomes?
Here are a few tips you can use.
- Get outside, breath the fresh air…play in the dirt and mingle with new microbes. Gardening builds your good microbiomes and also reduces stress.
- Eat more cultured foods – rich sources of probiotics such as plain yogurt, kefir, kimchi cultured vegetables and raw cheese are great examples.
- Eat foods that have naturally occurring prebiotics. Leeks, oats, tomatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, whole soybeans, bananas, whole-wheat, asparagus, onions and garlic.
- Take a probiotic and prebiotic supplement. Did you know that prebiotics feed probiotics? It’s best to take them together. A good example of a probiotic is lactobacillus and a prebiotic is oligosaccharide.
- Relax the hard washing policies. You need to wash your hands after touching raw meat, taking out the trash or going to the bathroom but, it’s not necessary every time you pet your dog or cat.
- Stop taking antibiotics. There lots of herbal options to kill the bugs, such as viruses and bacteria, that try to take over your body. If you build up your immune system you won’t need antibiotics.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Natural fibers found in fruits and vegetables help feed the good microbes.
- Limit your intake of processed foods. Processed foods feed the “bad” bacteria and harm the “good”. Remember processed foods are loaded with white flour and white sugar.
- Breast feed your babies. Breast milk is loaded with pro- and pre-biotic. It helps establish healthy microbiomes which are a great way to help your child stay healthy.
- Avoid C-Sections if possible. Did you know when a baby goes down the birth canal there are tons of good microbes absorbing into the baby. These beneficial germs are important to your baby’s immune system.
So has this amazing information changed the way you look at your health?
If so pass this blog on to someone you love.
Call Dr. Linda today at 773.922.6672 to make your appointment for a Nutritional Consultation!
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