Your microbiome is comprised of critters that live on and in you. Things like bacteria and yeast may seem like freeloaders on your body but they actually earn their keep.
Aside from helping you digest your food, gut bacteria interact with your immune system cells in a way that ‘teach” some of your “special forces” immune cells when and where to seek and destroy and when to back off. Without these “smart” bacteria, immune cells may attack the wrong targets. When this happens, unwanted signals are sent from your uneducated immune response team resulting in inflammation and damage to tissues. This is an attack on the self, or, a type of autoimmune attack.
So, how to build up your microbiome? Probiotics and prebiotics.
Probiotics are foods with good bacteria. They include: Yogurt, Kifer (kind of a drinkable liquid yogurt), kombucha tea, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso (soybean product) and fermented cheeses like gouda, cheddar and swiss.
If you don’t like any of these foods and don’t mind spending a little extra cash, you can go to a drug store and buy probiotics in capsule form. Margaret takes them and hasn’t missed a day of work due to sickness since we opened our office in 1991. Honest.
Prebiotics are substances you eat that make a happy home for the bacteria in your gut. They include; gum Arabic (found in soft drinks and candies that have a coating) leeks, onions, garlic, raw asparagus, dandelion greens, chicory root, and Jerusalem artichoke.
I recommend you focus efforts to consume probiotics every time your doctor prescribes anti-biotics. Why? Because every time you take antibiotics, some of the good bacteria get knocked off.
- Dr. Mehlmauer