It all began with breakthrough research into how the intestines hold the key to understanding almost all aspects of our health. The microscopic microbes in our guts dictate our immune response, help to regulate the nervous system and directly impact on our emotional state. What we previously regarded as purely a digestive tract has now taken centre stage for ongoing research into how our biological compositions affect our health and wellbeing.
Of course, these scientific revelations have had a ripple effect across the whole of the wellness industry. Everywhere you turn, there is talk of probiotics and healthy gut flora and it stands to reason that we take note. Ensuring that the microbe population, existing in and on our physical beings, is happy and healthy might just be the answer to all of our wellness related prayers. Good mood, feeling energised and a glowing complexion all hinge upon the health and wealth of your little friends, the good bacteria.
There are a huge number of factors which affect the diversity of the microbiome; a delicate ecosystem that requires natural balance in order to be effective. Typically though, most aspects of our modern lifestyles serve only to put it out of whack, which explains the myriad of health issues that people are increasingly experiencing.
With some basic understanding, however, there are lots of things you can do to be 'on side' with your bodily bacteria and boost your health from the bottom up. Here are three good bits of advice, which have emerged within the wellness world off the back of the recent research into the human microbiome.
Feed your gut flora
Every time you eat, you are either the fueling the fire of your health, or effectively extinguishing it. Diet lays the foundations for your overall wellbeing, so it's where a lot of the power lies in terms of improving areas of your health. As mentioned, the gut flora is made up of living organisms which require an energy source. Certain foods are particularly beneficial for the 'good' bacteria and support a diverse microbiome within the gut. These foods are referred to as preboitic, meaning that they feed and encourage the growth of the bacteria that are already there, as opposed to probiotic which is a source of the bacteria itself.
Watch out for probiotic skincare
Probiotic skincare is taking the beauty world by storm with its revolutionary approach. According to leading dermatologist, Dr Anjali Mahto, author of The Skincare Bible: "Probiotic skincare relies on the theoretical premise that live bacterial cultures in their products can alter the skin's microbiome. Firstly, these cosmetic products, such as face creams, can create a protective barrier on the skin surface and prevent 'bad' bacteria from interacting with the skin. Secondly, some probiotics produce substances that can damage 'bad' bacteria, reducing inflammation." It should be noted, however, that research within this area is still very much in the preliminary stages, so it remains to be seen just how effective certain brands that proclaim to be 'probiotic' really are.
Stop using anti-bac
In recent times we've gone a bit mad for antibacterial products, believing that germs are bad for us and that we must sterilise our homes and our bodies. This is a huge mistake. Only certain types of bacteria cause sickness and are 'bad', however we also coexist with billions of 'good' bacteria which are integral to our health. The trouble is, with our penchant for antibacterial products we effectively destroy all bacteria. This puts us in a good bacteria deficit and upsets the natural microbial ecosystems, which has a detrimental impact on our health.