A healthy diet and lifestyle will help keep your gut microbes — and you — happy.

It’s common for people to focus on their health at the start of the year. But few consider the well being of the microbes that live inside the human gut – the microbiome – which are vital to an individual’s good health.

How important are these bacteria? There are as many bacterial cells in us as there are human cells, and they help control everything from inflammation and the development and treatment of cancer to how much energy we get from our foods and perhaps even what foods we crave and our moods. When our microbiome becomes unbalanced, often indicated when certain species or groups of bacteria become overly abundant, these functions can be disrupted, contributing to the development of a wide range of diseases such as obesity, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and many others.

Our gut microbes are also responsible for gas production when we eat new foods as those microbes adapt to this new nutrient source in their environment. So it is clear we want to have a healthy microbiome, but what is that?

 

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