There is no easy way to say this so we’ll just get it out there: You are swarming with bacteria. In fact, some experts estimate that for every one of your own cells dwelling in your body, there are at least 10 microorganisms swimming around. This also means that every single human gene you carry is outnumbered by about 360 foreign genes.
But this news needn’t be as terrifying as it sounds; This is actually the way your body is meant to work. As we learn more and more about the human body, the more we come to appreciate the value of this microbiota – the tiny ecosystem that exists within us all. These bugs, most densely populating our intestines, aren’t just hitching a ride – they play a vital role in keeping us healthy. So, how can we benefit most from these critters?
A Healthy Diet For Everyone
These microorganisms are designed to function well within the bounds of a healthy human diet. The sad truth is, though, that the common diet is anything but healthy. Not only is it possible for your diet to not be giving your gut bugs the nutrients they need to thrive, it could be poisoning them. Recent research has demonstrated that many common modern food additives, including certain emulsifiers and artificial sweeteners, can change the make-up of your microbiota in dangerous ways. These changes can greatly increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, digestive disorders and inflammatory conditions.
It’s important, than, to consider both our health and the health of our microbiota in making food choices. While this field of research is relatively new, a pattern has already started to emerge: heavily processed foods are not generally a good idea. On the other hand, some foods have come forward as being especially healthy to the gut bacteria – this class of food is sometimes called prebiotics.
Generally consisting of certain types of fibers that slip nearly undigested through your stomach and large intestine, prebiotics ferment in your small intestine and are eaten by the bacteria there. By improving the health of these microorganisms, prebiotics have demonstrated the ability to enhance your ability to absorb nutrients, as well as reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, obesity and inflammatory diseases.
A Dose of Life
While prebiotics are the food necessary to support healthy gut bacteria, probiotics are the bacteria themselves. This might seem strange – to think about swallowing millions of tiny creatures – but it’s much more common than you might think. Yogurt, for example, contains healthy bacteria that will make itself at home in your intestines and get to work.
Regularly ingesting these beneficial forms of bacteria makes sure that the entire ecosystem is working smoothly and your digestive tract operates properly. This allows for more efficient absorption and use of nutrients and can improve several factors of your health. These bacteria even communicate with your own cells to control your appetite, metabolism and immune response. By taking in probiotics, you are also helping to limit the amount of not-so-good bacteria that can potentially grow in your intestines.
All In The Tub
To help you improve your overall health and make sure you get the most out of your Gnarly products, we’ve bundled both pre- and probiotics directly into our Gnarly Whey. Take a look at the product page to learn more about this extra feature.