Second Self-Care: Supporting the Microbiome for Health and Longevity

Second Self-Care: Supporting the Microbiome for Health and Longevity - Moodbeli
Second-Self Care
Caring for our second selves, or the 39 trillion microbial cells that make up our microbiome, is as important as caring for ourselves. These tiny organisms play an integral role in our health, well-being, and longevity.
Eating with the microbiome in mind, and finding time to rest and exercise, not only soothes digestion in the short term, it's linked to lower inflammation, better mood, and a longer life. 
The symbiotic relationship between ourselves and our second selves has been evolving since the first humans walked on earth. Eating with this ancient wisdom in mind can help us choose live, nutrient-dense foods and remind us to enjoy highly-processed modern foods in moderation.
Second Self-care: Supporting the Microbiome for Healthy and Longevity

Seek Change

Change is good for the microbiome. A microbiome that changes as we get older is linked to longer life and improved health outcomes. Adapting diet and behavior as we grow may increase longevity.

Be Pre-Active

It's not enough to take probiotics to maintain a healthy gut. Prebiotics are food for the microbiome. Grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, alliums, and root vegetables are all high sources of dietary prebiotics.

Ferment

Fermented foods are ubiquitous in ancient cultures because they're the best way to preserve the harvest, they're delicious, and they keep our microbiota happy so it can keep us alive.

Keep it Diverse

A more diverse microbiome is associated with decreased risk of obesity, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Caring for our diverse microbiota includes eating a wide range of foods and moderating activities that stress microbes, like drinking too much alcohol.

Skip the Process

Eating a diet high in processed foods, added sugars, salt, and highly modified ingredients kills microbiome diversity. Fresh, nutrient-dense, lightly processed foods promote the growth of good bacteria.

Get Sleep

Maintaining good sleep hygiene helps support a flourishing microbiome and vice versa. Going to bed at the same time each night gives the body the rest it needs so the second self can get to work.

Save this post for when you're feeling disconnected or having trouble caring for your first, human self. Research shows that caring for others feels good, and caring for our microbiome can help us feel really good, right now.

References:

  1. Wilmanski, T. et al. "Gut microbiome pattern reflects healthy ageing and predicts survival in humans." Nature metabolism. 2021
  2. Smith, R. et al. "Gut microbiome diversity is associated with sleep physiology in humans." PLOS One. 2019
  3. Wastyk, H. et al. "Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune status." Cell. 2021

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