What is Your Microbiome and Why is it Important?

When you look at the human body, you may not realize how complex it actually is. We usually just go about our days and never really stop to think about all the work our body is doing to allow us to get through each day.

Nearly everything that our bodies do happens internally. This is probably why we never really notice the work our bodies actually do. We can’t actually see what they’re doing.

I like to think of our bodies like machines. The entire machine needs to work together to get you through your days with little to no problems at all.

Staying with the same analogy with our bodies being like a machine, one of the most vital parts is your gut, more specifically your microbiome.

But what is your microbiome?

What is Your Microbiome?

Your gut contains trillions of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. All of them are living inside your intestines. There are many other microorganisms that are spread throughout other areas of your body as well.

The entirety of these microorganisms is what make up your microbiome. Yes, a huge focus of your microbiome is around your gut, however, it’s not solely located in that area.

Your microbiome is something that is constantly changing, but it plays one of the biggest roles when it comes to your body’s health.

Why is Your Microbiome Important?

The microbiome has to deal with everything your body goes through. It doesn’t just serve one purpose.

It helps your body digest foods and gets the nutrients it needs. Your body will get the amino acids it needs because your microbiome is functioning properly. The microbiome provides your body with everything that it needs just to get through everyday life.

Yes, your brain and heart are important because they basically keep you alive. However, you can argue that your microbiome is the most important organ since, without it, your brain and heart won’t be able to function the way that it should.

Your Microbiome’s Effect on Your Body

The microbiome is truly a magnificent thing. As mentioned earlier, it essentially aids with everything that goes on in your body.

All the microorganisms in your body are there for a reason. They don’t all perform the same functions. Each one is specific to a function of the body.

From birth to whatever stage in life you’re at know, your microbiome has been becoming more and more diversified with the more you’ve been exposed to.

The people that are considered to be “healthier” typically have more diverse microbes.

Here are some examples of how the microbes affect your body:

  • 1) Digesting food – Some microbes affect how your body digests certain foods. People that are lactose intolerant aren’t able to digest lactose the way most people can. This is because of the microbes and bacteria in your gut.
  • 2) Controlling Brain Health – The impact your microbiome has on your central nervous system cannot be overlooked. Your central nervous system is directly related to brain function. Without a good central nervous system, brain function significantly decreases.
  • 3) Immune System – Your microbiome has one of the biggest effects on your immune system. This is what fights any kind of sickness that is trying to invade your body and take over. When your microbiome is healthy, your immune system is boosted. When your microbiome is slightly on the unhealthy side, you’ll probably experience more sickness.

The Microbiome’s Effect on Gut Health

what is microbiome

It’s been said before that all disease starts with the gut. This can lead you to believe that you need a healthy gut to fight off disease. In many ways, this is true.

Your gut health is going to be vital when it comes to people that have diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. When people have these diseases and you take a look at their gut health, it’s going to be on the unhealthy side.

The bad bacteria that is present in a gut with IBS is thriving much more than the bad bacteria in a gut that doesn’t have IBS.

With regards to your microbiome, the health of it is going to greatly affect your gut health.

Your microbiome is in constant communication with your gut. When you have a microbiome that is operating the way it needs to, it’ll communicate with your gut and help the good bacteria in your gut thrive more than the bad bacteria.

Any type of communication that is going to allow your gut to thrive in a healthy way is good. A lot of this communication comes from your microbiome.

Without any communication from your microbiome, your gut is going to struggle no matter what. Your gut isn’t going to understand what it needs to do and when it needs to do it.

The Microbiome and Your Heart

microbiome and heart health

It’s no secret that your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. We know that it pumps blood throughout your body and helps keep you alive. But what does your microbiome have to do with your heart?

Your microbiome can help promote good cholesterol and triglycerides.

However, there are some bacteria in your microbiome that can have negative effects on your heart. The bad bacteria that are part of your microbiome can produce a chemical that can lead to clogged arteries and lead to heart disease.

This is why people tell you red meat can be dangerous if you have too much of it. Red meat contains nutrients that some of the bacteria in our microbiome convert into these chemicals that can clog arteries.

On the flip side, there are bacteria in your microbiome that can help reduce cholesterol. This is why it’s important to focus on your health and make sure that your microbiome remains as healthy as possible.

Can You Improve Your Microbiome Health?

The short answer, yes. You are able to improve the health of your microbiome. It’s not something that can’t be turned around if it’s not where it should be.

Improving your microbiome isn’t something that needs to be difficult either, but it’s going to take some time. You won’t be able to completely change the health of your microbiome overnight.

The best way to improve your microbiome is to pay attention to what you’re eating. Eating a wide range of foods, probiotics, prebiotics, plant-based foods, and whole grains are going to be things that can give your body what it needs to change your microbiome around.

Eating these types of foods aren’t going to cause your microbiome to make a 180-degree turn right away, but they are going to put you on the right path to a healthy microbiome.

Your Microbiome is Everything

Without your microbiome, your body isn’t going to be able to function the way it needs to.

To put it bluntly, you will die much sooner rather than later without your microbiome. Although it can give you some problems at times, it truly helps you when it comes to your health. It protects you while at the same time giving you that boost you need to carry on through each day.

Remember, all of this happens internally as well. We don’t recognize what’s going on within our bodies until it’s a little too late. So, knowing what your microbiome is and what it does for you is going to take you a long way.