”Micro” means small, and ”bio” means life. Microbiota is the more than 100 billion bacteria that inhabit your body, mostly in your intestine. Long neglected by science, these microorganisms are now considered as a revolution in the domain of nutrition, ever since we’ve known that an imbalance in your microbiota can be harmful to your health and your weight.
Get to know your microbiota
Your intestinal microbiota is all the bacteria, viruses, and yeast cells that live inside you. Like our fingerprints, our microbiota is unique. It’s a ”signature” that constantly changes depending on a multitude of factors, adapting to our environment and varying over the course of our lifetime.
The microbiota can be described as the new ”invisible” organ, or the ”2nd brain” that plays in an important role in keeping us healthy: protecting against inflammation, regulating weight, immunity defense, regulating our mood, producing vitamins B12, B1, and folic acid, protecting against colon cancer, reducing many health problems such a cardiovascular disease, and so on.
Even though our exploration of the intestinal microbiota is only beginning, several indications appear to be very promising for researchers. It’s still better to understand what a healthy microbiota is or a microbiota that lacks diversity in order to be able to better feed it and promote the growth of good bacteria.
Change your microbiota through food
The intestinal microbiota seems to be directly influenced by the food we eat. The more our diet is varied, the more the microorganisms living in our intestine will be as well. We can also see a significant reduction in the diversity of the microbiota in those who have poorly balanced diets or who are obese.
Fiber is the main food for our microbiota. On average, we consume about 15g of fiber per day, but we should be consuming 25 to 40g per day. There’s still some work to be done here!
What can we to do promote the diversity and health of our microbiota?
What to avoid
As much as possible, you should avoid foods high in fat, salt, and sugar, as well as highly processed foods and foods that are low in nutritional value. To promote the diversity of your microbiota, you should therefore limit your consumption of fast food, red meat, food additives, fried foods, sugary snacks and desserts, salt, beer, and white bread. A high-calorie diet is not advised, either.
What to eat
As often as possible, you should eat fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Opt for berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries) and root vegetables (parsnips, leeks, asparagus, garlic, and so on) since they are very rich in prebiotics. To this you can add fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, and kombucha as well as probiotic foods such as several types of dairy foods and yogurt.
A varied diet is the starting point to great health!