Bacteria and microbes have always been a cause of concern as they are known to be the carriers of disease. But can you believe that microbes could actually be good for your health? Unbelievable but true! The fact is that out of the trillions of microbes that reside in your body, there are many which are actually good for you. Collectively known as the microbiome, these bacteria, fungi, and viruses live on and within your body. There are a number of species that live on the skin, in the mouth and nose, and within the digestive system. While many of these may be associated with diseases, there are some that can bring amazing health benefits. Let us discover some ways in which microbes give you good health.
- They help in weight control
Several research studies have indicated that the diversity of the microbiome is directly linked with weight; specifically speaking, the microbiome of obese people is less diverse as compared to that of the lean ones. Some studies have indicated that obesity is linked with an increase in the Firmicutes bacteria and a decrease in the Bacteroidetes species. Another factor that accounts for the relationship between microbes and obesity is that microbes play a key role in digestion and regulation of the metabolic rate. A high metabolic rate keeps you fit and reduces the risk of obesity.
- They strengthen the immune system
The digestive tract is the location where the immune system interacts directly with the toxins that enter the body with food sources. The good microbes that reside therein strengthen your body cells to form a strong immune function. A 2010 study at Loyola University indicated that Bacillus bacteria in the human digestive tract bind with the immune cells and stimulate their reproduction within the body. This implies that consumption of the good microbes in the form of probiotic supplements is an effective measure to enhance your immunity manifold.
- They eliminate toxins from the body
Another surprising health benefit that the good microbes in the body can bring for you relates to the elimination of the deep-seated toxins from the body. These organisms are capable of taking in the toxins and saving you from their impact. Detoxification is a process that is vital for keeping you healthy and free from diseases of all kinds. Besides the removal of the environmental toxins from the body, the healthy microbes can also reduce stress to a considerable extent.
- They are good for the brain
This may sound incredible but certain species of gut bacteria are good for your brain too. As mentioned before, the healthy ones are helpful in alleviating stress. Additionally, animal studies have suggested that a disruption in the gut bacteria may have an impact on the brain. For instance, administration of antibiotics can disrupt the gut flora and cause cognitive issues such as anxiety, depression and mood swings. On the other hand, restoration of the gut microbiome can have a positive impact on the brain function and reduce the related issues.
- They offer protection from pathogens
Another amazing health benefit of a strong microbiome is that the good ones offer reliable protection from disease-causing pathogens. The reason is as simple as occupying the space inside your body and leaving no room for pathogens to survive and thrive. Cultivating a healthy microbiome, therefore, protects you from diseases in a natural way, right from boosting your immunity to filling up your body and giving no space to the pathogenic ones.
- They prevent infant colic
Abnormal gut bacterial makeup is not only a concern for adults but can be the cause of a major health issue for infants too. Harmful bacteria in their gut are regarded as the primary cause of infant colic. Research has shown that colicky babies who cry persistently without any known medical reason are likely to exhibit a distinctive bacterial signature. Their microbiome contains a higher number of Proteobacteria as compared to those without colic. This bacterial species is known to produce gas, which could be the reason of discomfort and excessive crying.
Considering the health benefits of the good microbes within your gut, it becomes imperative to make efforts for cultivating an optimal microbiome. The best way is to eat healthy and natural foods that bring diversity and offer nutrients to support the growth of the good bacteria within your digestive system. In addition to eating healthy and avoiding toxins in your diet, you can consume probiotic supplements to ensure that your microbiome gets a favorable environment to grow optimally.