Written by Joseph E. Scherger, MD MPH, Medical Director, Restore Health Disease Reversal
Your intestines, mainly the colon, have about 100 trillion microorganisms consisting of bacteria, viruses and parasites. The inner garden or microbiome would fill a milk carton and collectively weighs about 10 pounds. The health of your microbiome determines your mood, degree of mental clarity, and much of your overall health. The microbiome is a newly appreciated vital organ in our body.
The health of our microbiome depends on what we eat and what we do to help or hinder it. Primitive man, such as the natives of Amazonia in Brazil, have a rich and diverse microbiome. Modern Americans who eat mostly processed foods have a microbiome that is lacking in vital organisms. Taking antibiotics is like taking a flame thrower to your microbiome, so be sure you need them before using these lifesaving drugs.
You can enrich your microbiome by eating unprocessed natural foods, especially vegetables, nuts and seeds. The fiber in raw and unprocessed foods is fertilizer to these gut bugs called prebiotics. If you are taking an antibiotic or have a diarrhea problem, you can replace some of the healthy bacteria by taking a probiotic. When your microbiome secretes chemicals that enhance your health, these are called postbiotics.
If you want to read more about having a healthy microbiome, I recommend the book Super Gut by William Davis, MD.