Are you more human or microbe?
These microbes — a combination of bacteria, viruses, yeast, and protozoa — are critical for numerous positive interactions in the body such as decreasing inflammation, aiding with digestion, and making vitamins for our body’s use. The understanding of the interaction between our body and this microbial community is in its infancy. However, we do know that supporting these microbes is in our best interest.
One way to support the microbes in our gut is by regularly consuming probiotic-rich foods. The most common one in our culture is yogurt (IF it has “live active cultures”). However, now more than ever we have access to a variety of cultured or fermented foods such as traditionally prepared sauerkraut, kimchi, or miso. There is also a plethora of beverages available, with many grocers and artisans selling kombucha, kefir, and even various probiotic “sodas.”
While these foods and drinks cannot compensate for a poor diet, the addition of these foods are an easy way to support the friendly “other” lifeforms with which we share our human body. Much like the way the plant, animal, and microbial symbiotic existence in forests and jungles are all integrated in a cycle, so are our digestive systems and the 10 trillion microbes we share it with.
By: Daphne Olivier
About the author: Daphne is a food passionista, farm girl wanna-be and registered yet unconventional dietician with a private practice--My Food Coach. She focuses on unprocessed, real food and balancing the diet with your lifestyle. Visit her website at myfoodcoach.tv.