The microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes that live mainly in your large intestine or colon. Together they weigh around 1-2kgs and until relatively recently they were largely ignored.
Lots of research has, over the last few years, shown that having the right mix of “good” bacteria in your gut is vitally important for your long term health. It’s a bit like rainforests being vital for the overall health of the planet.
We also know that by eating the right foods, and nurturing a healthy microbiome, your gut produces substances that act as natural mood boosters and help reduce anxiety. And these are important for good quality sleep too.
The microbiome can influence everything from your immune system to your mood, from the allergies you develop to the amount of weight you put on. As you get older having lots of “good” bacteria living in your gut is increasingly important, as they will help you fight infection and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, as well as depression and common gut disorders.
There are multiple benefits to having a healthy, happy gut. These include obvious ones, such as “being regular” (good-bye to constipation and diarrhea) to the less obvious, which include improved mood and better sleep.