3 min read + listen
Your body is made up of around ten trillion cells, but you harbour a hundred trillion bacteria. For every gene in your genome, there are 100 bacterial ones. This is your ‘microbiome’ and it has a huge impact on your health, your ability to digest food and more.
Our microbiome is like a hidden organ, helping us to break down foodstuffs that our own cells cannot cope with. And in turn, our food affects our microbiome. As our diet diversifies, so do our bacteria. They activate genes that use carbohydrates effectively, produce vitamins, and break down unusual and diverse chemicals. As adults, our microbiome becomes relatively stable, but it all depends on the food we eat.
"The number one food to eat to grow a good gut garden is plant fibre, and there really can be no debate about that."- Robynne Chutkan, MD
In his book ‘Fueled by Fibre’ Dr Will Bulsiewicz highlights the explosion of studies on the microbiome, making it abundantly clear that elimination diets are in fact hazardous to our health. What studies clearly now show is that gut health is the key to boosting our metabolism, balancing our hormones, and taming the inflammation that causes a host of diseases. And the scientifically proven way to fuel our guts is with dietary fibre from a varied plant-based diet.
"The single greatest predictor of a healthy gut microbiome is the diversity of plants in one’s diet."- Dr Will Bulsiewicz
Listen with us: We’ve been listening to this podcast via Rich Roll as a team this week and wanted to share it with you. It’s a great intro to all things gut health and the microbiome and it will give you valuable insight from leading experts and scientists.
Image credits: Stefan Eberhard, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Martin Oeggerli, National Geographic and Guntars Grebezs