I don’t have kids, but I love children’s books. Especially when they introduce us (kids and adults) to important concepts in creative, friendly ways.
A Garden in Your Belly is all about the human microbiome. And let’s be honest here, don’t you think the human microbiome is pretty important?
What’s that? You’ve never heard of the microbiome?
Well, that’s probably because this sweet little book wasn’t around when you were a kid. 😉
What is the human microbiome?
The microbiome is basically a collection of microscopic organisms that inhabit our human bodies. Things like bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Sounds gross that we have millions of living "bugs" in our bodies, but it’s actually quite interesting. We now know that the human microbiome has some powerful connections to our health, so it’s a pretty important topic.
Why is the microbiome such a big deal?
Here are some fun facts…
- Your microbiome is as unique as your fingerprints. No two people have the same mix of "bugs".
- Most of the microorganisms living in your body are in your intestines.
- Scientists estimate that the average person carries around 1 to 3 pounds of microbes (wow!). That’s 100 trillion microbes (give or take a couple billion at any given time) partying in your body.
- Some microorganisms are good and essential to our wellbeing, and some are not-so-good, causing a wide variety of health problems.
- Your gut is one of the most important defenses when it comes to preventing illness and getting well faster. The good microbes are always looking out for your best interests, battling the bad bugs whenever needed.
- There’s a nerve that carries information directly from your gut to your brain. The brain is basically hardwired into your gut and gets direct input from the microorganisms living there and translates those signals into emotions. This puts a whole new meaning into the phrase, "I have a gut feeling."
So, what’s the bottom line when it comes to your microbiome?
Well, A Garden in Your Belly sums it up perfectly:
- The garden in your belly is diverse. The good microorganisms living there help you stay healthy.
- Eating sweets and junk food encourages the "weeds" (AKA bad bugs) to grow and overtake your beautiful, healthy garden.
- The best way to keep your garden of microbes healthy and happy is to give them attention and love. This means playing outside, breathing fresh air, drinking lots of water…
- … and by not letting the weeds get out of control by staying away from sweets and junk foods.
- 10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness, by Alanna Collen
- Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It, by Dr. Josh Axe
- Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain - for Life, by David Perlmutter
- Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ, by Giulia Enders