By Carrie Bailey, functional nutritionist
You are the host of trillions of microscopic microbes living in your gut. That’s more microbes than human cells, by the way. The health of your gut microbiome is a reflection of the choices you make every single day from where you live, what you eat, the people or animal you interact with, the medications you take, and the activities you participate in. All these things contribute to your microbiome diversity.
When your microbiome is working well it helps keep your entire body healthy. It helps regulate your digestive system, breaks down your food into energy and nutrients, and it regulates your behavior and emotional well-being. Did you know that more than 90% of your serotonin is made in your gut with the help of certain microbes? Your microbes help produce and respond to all your neurotransmitters. They may produce GABA to help you with relaxation and sleep or dopamine and norepinephrine to help with motivation and feelings of reward.
Your gut microbes love whole foods! The more vegetables and fruits you eat, the happier and healthier your microbiome. Choosing organic foods whenever possible will reduce your exposure to pesticides and herbicides will keep your microbes in balance. Another way to support your microbiome and your liver is by drinking 16 ounces of water with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon added (some honey too if you like) first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
The microbiome can become imbalanced which is to say more bad guys than good guys. Let’s unpack these microbes for a second. These include bacteria, fungi and virus’ that, like you, eat and create waste. When there are too many bad guys versus good guys, we call that an imbalance or dysbiosis. This may mean that they are creating waste that presents as a neurotoxin. Too many neurotoxins can cause problems like fatigue, mood imbalances, cravings, addictions, and other brain and nervous system dysfunctions.
Your microbiome is damaged by pesticides and herbicides sprayed on your food or the foods of the animal products that eat like chicken and beef. Choosing organic as much as possible will reduce your exposure to pesticides and herbicides. Medications have also been found to harm your gut friends. These include proton pump inhibitors which are used for acid reflux or GERD, birth control, and antibiotics. Avoid any unnecessary medications or find alternative solutions that maintain the health of your microbes.
Guest Blogger - Carrie Bailey is a Functional Nutritionist. She has more than 10 years experience and a passion for helping people with anxiety and depression. She finds the root causes and makes personalized diet, lifestyle and supplementation recommendations to improve mental health. You can learn more about Carrie at www.carriebaileyfunctionalnutritionist.com.