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September 17, 2021 3 min read

The human body contains millions upon millions of bacteria and fungi that help support the body’s immune system.‡ Collectively, these tiny organisms are referred to as the microbiome, and they often live inside vital organs like your intestines. It’s why you may often hear the term gut microbiome when describing these organisms.

But what exactly is gut microbiome? Gut microbiome is typically found within your large intestine and it’s vital to your own health and well-being.‡ A more diverse microbiome helps promote a healthier immune system that can impact things like your overall body weight, and it can even influence the brain function.‡

How does the gut microbiome affect the brain?

On the surface level, it would seem that there’s very little connection between your gut and your brain. After all, one organ is located in the middle of your torso while the other rests in your  head.

However, below the surface, there’s a direct connection between the gut microbiome and brain function. Through a complex series of nerve cells and immune pathways, a gut-brain axis transmits subatomic signals between the two organs. These signals influence how the brain processes things like memory or emotions and, in turn, how it influences the gut’s digestive system.

What is a healthy gut microbiome

A healthy gut microbiome is a diverse collection of microscopic bacteria and fungi that live inside your gut. Your gut microbiome has the potential to influence your brain, your immune system, and even your emotions.

The organisms within your gut microbiome produce important chemicals within the body, including serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin and dopamine have a direct effect on your mental health and they help influence the signals transmitted to the brain via the gut.

Health practitioners recommend that you improve your diet to strengthen the health of your gut microbiome. This includes eating more organic or plant-based foods while reducing, if not eliminating processed and artificial foods from your daily regimen.

In addition to your diet, there are other fairly simple ways to improve the health of your gut microbiome. This includes getting a regular amount of sleep, becoming more physically active, and even focusing on your own wellness through personal time management. Yoga or meditation are great ways to help relax the mind and improve your overall health.‡ You can also increase the amount of collagen in your system to deliver rich proteins to your gut that will further support the health of your gut microbiome.

Benefits of a healthy gut microbiome

Since the gut microbiome influences the serotonin and dopamine levels that register within your brain, it’s very important to your physical and mental health to maintain a healthy gut.‡ Healthy levels of serotonin and dopamine influence how your brain responds to emotional situations, including unexpected or stressful episodes.‡ If your brain has a healthy ability to respond to these moments, it helps support your mental and physical health.‡

Additionally, a healthy gut microbiome improves your body’s ability to digest the foods you eat. A healthy digestive system breaks down the compounds within the foods you eat and converts them into energy that allows your body to engage in your daily routine and activities.‡ Without a healthy digestive system, you risk compromising your immune system.‡

Finally, a healthy gut microbiome helps keep the “good” bacteria within your microbiome strong enough to combat the “bad” bacteria that can compromise your health.‡ If the good bacteria take up more space in your gut, the bad bacteria don’t have room to grow and expand. This helps keep your digestive system strong and your overall health in check.‡

What foods are good for the gut microbiome?

Organic foods with no artificial or processed ingredients are the best choices to help support the overall health and vitality of your gut microbiome.‡ At Rritual, we’ve even put together a list of foods that are good for the gut microbiome, which you can use as a guide to help guide diet and healthy eating.‡

Fresh foods like healthy fruits and vegetables are among the best foods for your gut. Nutritionists recommend at least two cups of fruits and vegetables per day to support overall well-being, which also supports a healthy gut microbiome.‡

While they’re technically classified as vegetables, mushrooms are in a distinct food category of their own. Nevertheless, mushrooms are very good sources of protein, vitamins, and nutrients that all help support the production of good bacteria within your gut microbiome.‡

Of course, if you’re not a fan of the taste of mushrooms, you can purchase plant-based mushroom supplements instead. Mushroom powders are often enhanced by adaptogens that provide added benefits to your overall health, including support for your body’s immune system.‡ By increasing the amount of mushrooms or mushroom powder supplements you ingest on a regular basis, you can boost the support of your gut microbiome, your immune system, and your quality of life.‡

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