Though it’s not needed for us to write our E. coli love letters or send our lactobacillus some flowers, although some of your gut bacteria might be grateful if you snatched a few mouthfuls of sweet chocolate. Feeling grateful for these small but influential beings is certainly justified.
Want to know why? Keep reading.
1. It has been estimated that there are trillions of microorganisms in the human body in recent years, about ten times more than the number of human cells. They are much smaller than most human cells, so they weigh only a few pounds. But we still have more than 10 to 1 ratio (not to mention that there are probably more than 10,000 different species in your body as of the moment).
2. And they are also powerful. Research has revealed that modifying the bacterial balance in the gut can cause mice to be more anxious, or braver, or stronger against disease, or more susceptible to it. Human studies have not yet been done, but it seems that your microbiome could affect your health, your mood and your well-being in ways we’re only just starting to comprehend.
3. Your bacteria need you, but you need them as well. Even though you can’t see them, they help you grow, digest your food, combat disease, absorb nutrients, reduce inflammation and more. They might even play a role in chronic diseases if they’re not taken care of.
So let’s give a great warmhearted hug to all the little assistants we didn’t even know we had.