Feed Your Microbiome

You have close to 40 trillion “friends” living on you and in you. In fact, we have more bacterial DNA than human: we only have 30 trillion body cells (mostly blood cells). Though most of us do all we can to avoid “germs,” it is the bacterial strains within our digestive tracts that actually help protect us AND it is their digestion of nutrients that can benefit our health. Feeding our gut microbes well is the best way to keep our bodies healthy. Turns out that they thrive on carbohydrates, especially those that have fiber like whole grain breads, cereals, beans, resistant starches in pasta and rice, as well as fruits and vegetables. Fiber can’t be digested by our enzymes in the small intestine so it is broken down by gut bacteria in the large intestine to produce things like butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that helps the cells of the colon stay healthy. The next time you are faced with a food choice, consider a higher fiber option; you’ll make your microbes happy.