The health of the community of microbes living in and on our bodies—100 trillion single-cell organisms, outnumbering human cells 10 to 1—has become a top priority.
With good reason: Our gut bacteria regulate many of our bodily functions, from creating vitamins to controlling our immune system, our brain function and of course, our metabolism and weight. They are critical to our long-term health.
Meanwhile, modern living and our bad lifestyle choices have been hard on those little bugs. The standard western diet is impoverished of the things our beneficial gut bacteria require. All the chemicals from processed foods and the environmental toxins we take in only make the situation worse.
Our guts become damaged when we eat a processed diet that’s high in sugar and starch, don’t eat enough of the right fiber and prebiotics, or take too many gut-busting drugs (like antibiotics, acid blockers for reflux, anti-inflammatories, hormones, and more). Think of your gut as an inner garden; just as with any garden—when you let the weeds take over, you get into trouble.
It’s our job to encourage the good microbes by feeding them the things they need and avoiding the things that damage them. Not surprisingly, good bacteria love healthy whole, organic, plant-based foods, ones that are high in fiber and nutrients and contain no artificial ingredients.